$1 million in new financial supports coming for Indigenous students at MSVU

$1 million in new financial supports coming for Indigenous students at MSVU

Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax announced Tuesday the creation of a new fund in support of Indigenous students through a $500,000 donation from philanthropists Scott McCain and Leslie McLean.

The university is also making an investment of $500,000, for a combined total of $1 million in financial support for Indigenous students at the school.

“We are deeply grateful to Scott and Leslie for their very generous gift in support of Indigenous students at MSVU,” said Ramona Lumpkin, MSVU interim president and vice-chancellor. “They have a deep commitment to removing barriers to education, in particular for Indigenous students.”

The Scott McCain and Leslie McLean L’nu Student Success Bursary Fund will support full-time undergraduate Indigenous students across all programs at MSVU through renewable bursaries and an L’nu Emergency Fund.

The bursaries will be awarded each year to Indigenous students from Canada at MSVU and will focus on supporting students facing financial barriers in the pursuit of a post-secondary education. Each will be renewable for up to four years.

Philanthropists Scott McCain and Leslie McLean are donating $500,000. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

The L’nu Emergency Fund will provide support to Indigenous students at MSVU who are faced with financial needs due to unforeseen circumstances, such as emergency housing, travel, child care or technology needs.

“We recognize that unexpected financial needs can arise in other areas of students’ lives which can have an impact on their abilities to continue their studies,” said McCain. “It is our hope that the new L’nu Emergency Fund will help address those financial challenges for Indigenous students.”

University commitment

MSVU has worked closely with Indigenous experts to build educational programs and services in support of Indigenous youth and communities and promote Indigenous world views in its work.

The school is continuing to make progress on 12 new commitments it made to Indigenous Peoples at a ceremony of apology and commitment held in October.

The Sisters of Charity Halifax, the founders and previous owners of Mount Saint Vincent University, had members who staffed the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School in Nova Scotia, which was open from 1930 to 1967.

“We are focused on making these commitments a reality,” said Lumpkin. “We feel that this generous gift and us matching it will give us a real leap forward in terms of meeting those commitments.”

At the beginning of this school year McCain and McLean gave another $500,000 to Saint Mary’s University for a new scholarship to assist Black and Indigenous students at the school.

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