Deadline is August 27, 2021!

2021 NIEEF Awards

NIEEF Scholarships for 2021.
Four (4) awards of $2,000 each.

Recipients to be announced at 2021 Cando Conference.

The National Indigenous Economic Education Foundation (NIEEF) is a charitable organization of Cando providing scholarships, training and research funding to students involved in Indigenous community economic development.

Apply Today!

The NIEEF Indigenous Scholarships ($2,000 each) will be awarded to 3 successful applicants at Cando’s upcoming Annual National Conference & AGM.


One Plains Midstream Canada - NIEEF Scholarship ($2,000) will be awarded to a successful applicant based in Alberta.

Selection is based on passing Grade 12 marks or post secondary GPA (Grade Point Average). Please review eligibility requirements carefully.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Priority will be given to students enrolled in one of the Cando accredited institutions

  • Must be a current Cando Student member

  • Attending or currently enrolled as a full-time student in a post-secondary institution

  • Proof of Indigenous ancestry

  • Studying in the fields of: Business Administration / Economics, Business Finance, Business Management, Natural Resources or CED

 To qualify for this scholarship, please submit the following:

  • Completed NIEEF Scholarship Application Form

  • Cover letter outlining a personal introduction, educational level achieved to date and your community involvement

  • A copy of the most recent official transcripts

  • Proof of current enrolment

  • Two (2) Letters of Support

  • Essay describing career goals & aspirations

  • Proof of Indigenous Ancestry

  • Completed Cando Student Membership Form ($25+applicable taxes)

Deadline is August 27, 2021!


Email/mail completed scholarship application to:

NIEEF Scholarship Application
c/o Cando
9635 - 45 Ave, Edmonton, AB T6E 5Z8
Phone: 780.990.0303
Toll Free: 1.800.463.9300
Fax: 780.429.7487



NIEEF partners with CIBC to create
Indigenous Scholarship Program
delivered by Indspire
for 2019, 2020, 2021 & 2022

This new initiative will provide $44,000 in awards
annually for four (4) years.
Many of the awards provide funds to a student over multiple years.

Yearly Application deadlines:

February 1 - August 1 - November 1

More information:

Please see list of 2021 Scholarship Recipients Profiled below!



CIBC NIEEF Scholarship for 2020/21


Chowace to become first family member to earn university degree

Janice ChowaceJanine Chowace is well on her way to a major accomplishment.

Chowace, a 31-year-old member of Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation in Alberta, is more than halfway done the requirements necessary to earn her university degree.

Chowace is in her third year of studies of the four-year business management program at the

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT).

“It’s a pretty big deal,” Chowace said. “I’ll be the first one in my family to get a university degree.”

Chowace’s mother had seven children.

What is also a big deal is the fact Chowace is one of eight recipients of this year’s Indigenous Scholarship Program.

Funds were provided through a partnership between the CIBC and Cando’s charitable organization, the National Indigenous Economic Education Fund. The program is delivered through Indspire, the national organization that raises funds and provides programming for Indigenous people across Canada.

“It’s a big relief for sure,” she said. “I feel pretty thankful.”

Chowace wasn’t quite sure how exactly her scholarship money would be spent but it would in all likelihood help pay off some of her debts.

Chowace added being awarded a sizable amount of money to help continue her education proved to her she is on the right path.

“It is really comforting,” she said. “I work really hard. And this shows me this hard work has paid off.”

Chowace had dropped out of high school while she was 16 and in Grade 10.

“That was a goal to go back and finish high school,” she said.

Read Janice's full story 


Duke has hopes of earning university degree after getting business administration diploma

Alexis DukeAlexis Duke is facing numerous challenges.

But Duke, a 26-year-old member of Little Pine First Nation in Saskatchewan, continues to move forward with her education.

Duke is in her second and final year of the business administration program at the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, located in Regina.

Besides being in the home stretch of earning her diploma, Duke also received some welcome news recently.

It was announced that she is one of the eight recipients this year of the Indigenous Scholarship Program, offered through Indspire.

“It helps a lot because I’m a single mom,” she said.

Funding for the scholarship program was made available through a partnership between the CIBC and Cando’s charitable organization, the National Indigenous Economic Education Fund.

Duke was pleased to hear she was a scholarship recipient, adding any financial assistance is welcome.

“I have car payments and I have other payments,” she said. “And I don’t have a lot of support.”

Duke is forging ahead with her post-secondary career during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has created additional obstacles.

Read Alexis' full story 


MacDonald proving it’s never too late to further one’s education 

By Sam Laskaris
Cando Contributor

Karen MacDonaldKaren MacDonald is fulfilling a long-standing desire.

The 56-year-old is in her second and final year of studies working towards her Master’s degree in business administration from the University of Calgary.

MacDonald believes it’s better late than never to return to school in order to further one’s education.

“I missed the opportunity to do it earlier in my career,” said MacDonald, a member of Thunderchild First Nation in Saskatchewan. “A lot of people encouraged me but I had this self-doubt.”

Karen MacDonald is a member of Thunderchild First Nation in Saskatchewan.

MacDonald, who is married and has two children of her own who are also attending the University of Calgary now, decided there was no point in waiting any longer and returned to school herself.

“What I want to do is assist other Indigenous students achieve their business goals,” she said.

Besides being a student again, MacDonald is also a member of the university’s staff. She’s the manager of the Writing Symbols Lodge, the school’s Indigenous student centre.

MacDonald was also recently announced as one of eight recipients of the Indigenous Scholarship Program, delivered by Indspire.

“The tuition is just sky high,” she said. “Every dollar helps.”

Read Karen's full story 


Indigenous student thrilled with scholarship but disappointed about online learning

Quintin HelmQuintin Helm is having some mixed reactions about his first year of university life.

The 18-year-old, who lives in the Alberta town of Okotoks, is studying finance at the University of Calgary.

But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Helm, a member of the Metis Nation of Alberta, is forced to take all of his classes virtually for now.

Quintin Helm is a member of the Metis Nation of Alberta.

“You hear about how different and fun university can be and I’m just not experiencing that with online classes,” he said.

Though he is not getting the full experience of university life by studying remotely, Helm does like his post-secondary program.

“I am enjoying the classes that I am taking and I somewhat take joy from getting one year closer to starting the rest of my life,” he said.

Helm is also pleased that he is one of the eight recipients this year of the Indigenous Scholarship Program, which is delivered by Indspire.

Funding for the scholarship is via a partnership between Cando’s charitable organization, the National Indigenous Economic Education Fund, and the CIBC.

Read Quintin's full story 


Scholarship enables Indigenous student to pay bills and save for her future

Kineisha Eagle BearPerfect timing.

That would undoubtedly be the best way Kineisha Eagle Bear would describe the recent news that she won a $10,000 scholarship.

Eagle Bear, a member of Kainai Nation in Alberta, is in her final year of finance studies at the University of Lethbridge.

But things were not looking too rosy this past fall for Eagle Bear, a 25-year-old single mother, who has a five-year-old daughter named Nova.

She already had some bills which needed some attention. And her expenses increased as it was necessary to get some vehicle repair work done since she was involved in a car accident this past November.

Kineisha Eagle Bear is a member of Kainai Nation in Alberta.

Plus, her computer which she required for her school work, seemed to be on its last legs and needed to be replaced soon.

Eagle Bear’s fortunes then improved considerably in late November when she heard she was a recipient of the Indigenous Scholarship Program.

Funding was available via a partnership between Cando’s charitable organization, called the National Indigenous Economic Education Fund, and CIBC.

“Receiving the scholarship has allowed me to cover these extra costs, without having to worry about the financial impact,” Eagle Bear said. “With the scholarship I was also able to pay off all my bills, and I saved 50% for future investment plans.”

Read Keneisha's full story 


Scholarship was perfect timing for Indigenous student

Remmy DillonFor Remmy Dillon the fact she won a scholarship couldn’t have come at a better time.

Dillon, 21, is a second-year student in the environmental resources program at the Nicola Valley

Institute of Technology, located in Merritt, B.C.

Like the majority of other post-secondary students across the country, Dillon, a member of the Cayoose Creek First Nation in B.C., has been forced to take her classes online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dillon, however, was having her share of frustrations this past fall, primarily because she had an older computer.

“Word wasn’t updating,” she said. “And (Microsoft) Excel wasn’t updating. And it kept crashing on me. It was coming to a boiling point. I couldn’t do many of my assignments.”

Funding was available via a partnership between Cando’s charitable organization, called the National Indigenous Economic Education Fund, and CIBC.

Read Remmy's full story 


Former surveyor much happier with his return to school

Wyatt DraycottAlmost a year after taking the plunge and opting for a career change, Wyatt Draycott still finds his decision to be a nerve-wracking one.

Draycott, who lives in Cold Lake, Alta., had spent 20 years working as an industrial surveyor, including the last five years owning his own company.

But in February of 2020, Draycott, a 46-year-old member of the Metis Nation of Alberta, called it quits in order to go back to school.

He’s now a first-year student in the Natural Resources Technology Program at Portage College in Lac La Biche, located about a 90-minute drive from his home.

Though he was making a six-figure salary, Draycott was not happy with his previous career.

“I wasn’t enjoying it anymore,” he said. “Things were getting too monotonous.”

Fortunately for Draycott, he is receiving some financial assistance now that he’s a student again.

It was recently announced he is one of eight winners of the Indigenous Scholarship Program delivered by Indspire.

Funding was available via a partnership between Cando’s charitable organization, called the National Indigenous Economic Education Fund, and CIBC.

“Every bit helps,” Draycott said of his scholarship.

Read Wyatt's full story 


Scholarship allows Indigenous student to focus solely on his academics

Nikia Pratt

Nikia Pratt had to perform quite the juggling act when he returned to school.

After a 16-year career managing various McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) outlets in Regina, Pratt decided to become a student once again.

The 34-year-old is now in his second and final year of business administration studies at the Regina campus of the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies.

Pratt, a member of George Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan, is also thrilled that he was a recent scholarship recipient, part of the Indigenous Scholarship Program, delivered by Inspire.

Funding for the scholarship program was available via a partnership between the CIBC and the National Indigenous Economic Education Fund, Cando’s charitable organization.

“It’s a huge stress reliever,” Pratt said of his scholarship. “When I first started school last year, I was still working 40-50 hours a week.”

“Having the scholarship my stress levels are completely down,” he said. “And I can focus on my studies and academics.”

Read Nikia's full story

2020 NIEEF Scholarship Recipients

Recipients announced at 2020 Cando Conference.

Tasha BrooksTasha Brooks
Cowichan Tribes in British Columbia
Doctorate of Business Administration,
Royal Roads University in Victoria

Read Tasha's story!


Michelle Francis-DennyMichelle Francis Denny
Pictou Landing First Nation in Nova Scotia

Master's of Business Administration,
Simon Fraser University

Read Michelle's story!



Jana SasakamooseJana Sasakamoose
Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation in Saskatchewan
Business Administration,
First Nations University of Canada

Read Jana's story!




 Chase SoosayChase Soosay
Samson Cree Nation in Alberta
MacEwan University, Edmonton

This Award generously supported by Plains Midstream

Read Chase's story!



 CIBC NIEEF SCholarship for 2019/20

Metis student/athlete receives lucrative university scholarship


Elise McCormack NIEEFElise McCormack still has some positive moments from her first year of university even though the ending was not ideal.

McCormack, who hails from Wyevale, a community in Tiny Township in central Ontario, attended Bishop’s University, located in Lennoxville, Que., during the 2019-20 academic year.

Elise McCormack is hoping to continue both her academic and hockey careers at Bishop's University this fall.

Besides taking Business Administration classes, the 18-year-old also suited up for the women’s varsity hockey squad, dubbed the Bishop’s Gaiters, in her freshman year.

No doubt one of the highlights of McCormack’s year was finding out she was one of seven recipients of the new Indigenous Scholarship Program. Those with Indigenous ancestry at post-secondary schools across Canada were eligible for the scholarships.

McCormack could apply as her mother Catherine is Metis. Meanwhile, her father Mason is British.

Read Elise's full story


Matheson hoping for a return to classes this fall

 Britney Matheson NIEEFLike countless others, Britney Matheson is hoping for a speedy return to normalcy.

Matheson, a member of Mathias Colomb First Nation in Manitoba, is enrolled in the Natural Resources Management and Technology program at the University College of the North.

Britney Matheson is hoping her hands-on course will continue to be offered during the pandemic.

Matheson is hoping she will be able to travel to her second-year classes this September at the school located in The Pas, Manitoba.

But because of the pandemic and COVID-19 concerns, many schools in North America had already announced in the spring that they would be offering online only courses this fall.

“Our instructors are in meetings right now,” Matheson said about her school in mid-May. “They’re trying to see if they can deliver the course online.”

Since Matheson’s program is a hands-on course, this might not be possible, especially since there is a fall field practicum.

“They show us how to collect proper data,” Matheson said. “You have to go to a camp for three and a half weeks. We’re waiting on word to see how that could be done.”

Once COVID-19 started spreading in Canada in March, schools across the country began shutting their doors and moving their classes online.

For Matheson that meant several weeks of online learning to complete her first year. It wasn’t a process she necessarily enjoyed.

“I’m a hands-on learner,” she said. “It’s quite difficult for me to read a textbook and give (all the information) back to them.”

Read Britney's full story


Indigenous scholarship recipient returned to studies mere weeks after childbirth

Fredelle DeneyouaFredelle Deneyoua would have had a pretty good excuse had she decided to put her schooling on hold this past year.

Deneyoua, a member of Liidiii Kue First Nation in the Northwest Territories, gave birth to her second child, daughter Haley, this past August.

Fredelle Deneyoua returned to her studies mere weeks after giving birth this past August.

Less than a month later, however, Deneyoua was back in the classroom, for her second year of Business Administration studies at Aurora College, located in the Northwest Territories town of Fort Smith.

Deneyoua ended up completing all of her requirements to earn her diploma from the college in April.

The 32-year-old also received some good news midway through her academic year as she found out she was one of seven recipients of the new Indigenous Scholarship Program available to students across the country.

Deneyoua’s portion of the new scholarships was $2,000.

Read Fredelle's story


Scholarship winner hoping for eventual return to her First Nation

Loni VicaireLoni Vicaire yearns for a return to her home community.

But for now, Vicaire, a member of Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation in Quebec, is not only honing her work skills but also continuing her education in Nova Scotia.

Loni Vicaire is juggling job and family commitments while also working towards a Master's degree from Cape Breton University.

Vicaire, 34, has been working as a policy analyst for the Nova Scotia government in its Office of Aboriginal Affairs for almost four years now. Her work focusses on Treaty Education.

Since last summer, however, Vicaire has also been working towards her Master’s of Business Administration degree, which has a focus on community economic development, through Cape Breton University.

Vicaire estimates it will take 4-5 years of part-time studies to earn her Master’s degree.

Ideally, after that she would move back to her home province.

“I would love to move home and take all the work I’m learning in school and with the skills I’m applying to my job (and get a position there),” she said.

But some further education, after earning a Master’s degree, could also be in the cards for Vicaire. Several years ago she had thought of pursuing a Law degree. Those thoughts have been rekindled recently, especially with her line of work now.

“Treaty education is something I’m really passionate about,” she said.

Vicaire had moved to Halifax in 2012 to attend St. Mary’s University. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2016.

Read Loni's story


Scholarship winner aiming for accounting career

Katelyn Saultier NIEEFKatelyn Saultier is determined to achieve her goal of becoming an accountant.

Even if it means she has to take a chunk of her courses online.

Saultier, a member of O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation in Manitoba, is finishing off her two-year Business Administration program at the University College of the North.

Katelyn Saultier will be returning to the University College of the North this fall in her quest to earn a Business Administration degree.

The school is located in The Pas, Man., an eight-hour drive from Saultier’s community.

Saultier is finishing off her program now by taking a spring course, which ends in mid-June.

Earlier this year Saultier received some other good news as she chosen to be one of seven recipients of the new Indigenous Scholarship Program. 

Read Katelyn's story


To read about past NIEEF Scholarship recipients, click here.