senecaSeneca College President David Agnew presents MNO President
Gary Lipinski with a hand-made drum painted by Aboriginal artist
Jay Bell Redbird during ceremonies at Seneca College on Friday.

On Friday, April 8, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) announced that it has pledged $20,000 to provide financial assistance to Seneca College’s Métis students.

The new MNO award is intended to encourage Métis individuals within Ontario to pursue post-secondary studies specific to careers leading to employment and funds will be matched by the Ontario Trust for Student Support.

“Métis students face a number of unique cultural, geographic and social challenges when attending a post-secondary institution,” explained MNO President Gary Lipinski, “the financial assistance we are providing will help to address some of these issues.” The new Award is part of the ongoing work taking place in Ontario flowing from the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between MNO and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU), which was signed last year. “The MOU is part of our overall Framework Agreement with the Ontario government,” stated Lipinski, and “the Award is another example of the progress being made in implementing the Framework agreement.”

“We are pleased to have the Métis Nation of Ontario invest in the success of Seneca students,” said Seneca College President David Agnew. “By working together, Seneca and the Métis Nation of Ontario can provide more access to education to help students develop the skills and expertise necessary for today’s careers.”

In order to be eligible for the award, students must show academic promise and have a demonstrated financial need. In addition, applicants are encouraged to provide information about their active role in the Métis community and any humanitarian or volunteer efforts.

“Four per cent of Seneca’s full-time student population is Aboriginal,” said Mark Solomon, Manager Student Development. “This new award acknowledges the unique needs of Métis students and will help them to achieve their academic and career goals.”

“Over the years, the MNO has provided assistance to Métis students attending Seneca through our employment and training programs,” stated Jennifer St. Germain, MNO Director of Education and Training, “last year we were able to fund 7 students pursuing studies in Golf-Course Technician, Registered Practical Nursing, Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs and Quality Operations, Computer Networking and Technical Support, Early Childhood Education – Apprenticeship Program, Law Enforcement & Investigations and Tourism & Travel. This new award is an important step forward to create more opportunities for Métis people to attend Seneca College.”