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Piece of $2.3M scholarship fund awarded to 20 Indigenous students from the Tri-Cities

The local recipients are among more than 660 in B.C. in undergrad, post-grad and teacher education programs.
graduation celebration getty images
Student graduating. | Getty Images

Removing barriers to reach higher education.

That's the goal behind the Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship fund, which, this year, is giving 20 Tri-City students with an Indigenous heritage that very chance to continue to pursue a post-secondary degree.

Today (Nov. 25), the society's 2021 awards pool of $2.3 million was distributed to 663 students across the province currently enrolled in undergrad, post-grad and teacher education programs. 

This includes Douglas College and its Coquitlam campus, which saw 15 students earn bursaries between $1,000 and $5,000 — funded from the returns of an endowment fund by the province.

The recipients are determined through a competitive application process. Participants must identify as First Nations (Status or Non-Status), Métis or Inuit.

"Scholarships like this make a huge difference in the lives of Indigenous students," said Anne Kang, minister of advanced education and skills training, in a news release. She notes those under 25 years old account for 42.5 per cent of B.C.'s Indigenous population.

"By breaking down barriers to accessing post-secondary education, these awards support Indigenous youth to gain the knowledge and skills they need to start their careers and contribute to B.C.’s economy."

Since 2004, the Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship Society has granted almost $29 million to students studying in post-secondary across the province and around the world.

Applications will open in January for the 2022-23 program; more information can be found here.

The 2021 recipients from the Tri-Cities are as follows (in alphabetical order by last name):


  • Coquitlam
    • Julia Arriaza, Douglas College
    • Natasha Beauregard, Simon Fraser University
    • Paige Desjarlais, Simon Fraser University
    • Ava Ferenc, Douglas College
    • Kayla Hartley, University of British Columbia
    • Audrey Heath, Simon Fraser University
    • Cynthia Paul, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
    • Jaik Wardman, Emily Carr University of Art and Design
  • Port Coquitlam
    • Tasia Dodman, Douglas College
    • Alicia Hiebert, University of the Fraser Valley
    • Malissa Vidal, Bodai Douglas College
  • Port Moody
    • Julia McIntyre Smith, Langara College
    • Hunter Lang, University of British Columbia


  • Coquitlam
    • Logan Burd, Simon Fraser University
    • Erika Doehring, Simon Fraser University
  • Port Coquitlam
    • Emily Taylor, University of British Columbia
  • Port Moody
    • Meghan Shannon, University of Victoria
    • Dawn Marsden, Simon Fraser University


  • Port Coquitlam
    • Yvonne Hill, Simon Fraser University
  • Port Moody
    • Maxine Jackson, University of British Columbia