The Verna J. Kirkness Science and Engineering Education Program is accepting applications until February 28th, 2018!
“Increasing the number of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students graduating from science and engineering programs in Canada.”
The Verna J Kirkness Science & Engineering Education Program keeps growing. In addition to UBC, U of Sask and U of Manitoba there will be three more universities involved in 2018 including the U of Calgary, Univ of Ottawa and the First Nations University of Canada. Dalhousie and McGill continue to show great interest and may be on board for 2019. We are also exploring possible partnerships with U Vic, SFU and UNBC. In 2017 the Foundation also received funding of $500,000.00 from the Sisters of St Ann to establish and endowment fund for the Verna J Kirkness Foundation.
The deadline is February 28th so the sooner the students apply the better. The First Nations University of Canada will run April 29 – May 4 2018 and the U Sask program will run May 6-11, 2018. The details and dates for the other programs are on the website at
Announcement circulated to teachers, schools, and divisions:
The Verna J. Kirkness Education Foundation(www.vernajkirkness.org), a registered Canadian charity, started this program in 2008 with the goal of increasing the number of First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) students graduating from post-secondary programs in science and engineering. In 2018, we will offer 100 FNMI grade 11 students from across Canada a full scholarship to participate in the Program for a week in May. The program will be offered at 6 universities: UBC, University of Calgary, University of Saskatchewan, University of Manitoba, University of Ottawa and First Nations University of Canada. They will do research, meet Elders at the Indigenous Student Centre and experience what it would be like to attend a university. The application for the program and videos of students talking about their experience can be found at the website: www.vernajkirkness.org. The criteria used to select students is their essay explaining why they would like this opportunity and a reference from a teacher or councilor indicating that this experience could be a strong motivator for the student to complete grade 12 and consider post secondary studies.
The foundation web site has videos and testimonial from students and faculty mentors. A 2017 video made by UBC can be seen on YouTube and Facebook:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8AROm7KQOA and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuDqQHuv_VE. Here is another one made by students from High Prairie Alberta:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuDqQHuv_VE.
I have attached the 2018 brochures are available on the website. There is also the opportunity for teachers to volunteer as chaperones for the week but this is not required for your students to be accepted. The students live in residence and are chaperoned at all times either by their faculty mentor or a teacher chaperone. I have also attached a brief bio of Dr. Kirkness. <Available here: Bio Dr. Verna J. Kirkness 2018>
We would like to have applications from as many Saskatchewan school boards as possible as this will provide an incentive to partner with more universities. All of the application information which is now available in both English and French is on the web site(www.vernajkirkness.org).
(604) 536-3804 (h)
(604) 828-8049 (c)