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Welcome to the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres

The Friendship Centre movement is built on community support, trust, strong leadership, tradition and faith and is mandated to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal Peoples throughout Canada.   Located at 551 Chatham St, in Victoria BC, the BCAAFC is the umbrella association for 25 Friendship Centres throughout the Province of British Columbia.

The First Citizens Fund Student Bursary Program provides funding to students of Aboriginal ancestry to help support their post secondary education. It's funded by the Province of British Columbia and delivered by the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres.

The 2016-2017 Academic year is fully prescribed at this time.  Students can apply to be added to the funding waitlist. 

Download the 2016-2017Application form

(please see the bottom of this page for other Aboriginal student bursary programs)


The First Citizens Fund student bursary program is funded by the Province of British Columbia and delivered by the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres.

New this year:

  • For eligible non-sponsored students, the level of assistance will now be $700 per semester (Fall, Winter and Summer).



The First Citizens Fund student bursary program is designed to reward students for successful completion of their term of study.  Funding is distributed to all students who meet the eligibility criteria on a first come, first serve basis. However, funding will not be sent out until a student’s official transcript is received and the student’s grades and enrollment is verified..  Funding from this program may be used for any purpose. 


  1. Applicants must send in an official transcript at the end of EACH semester in order to be considered
  2. A successful application is only valid for one school year
  3. Supporting documents are necessary for applications.


Aboriginal (status, non-status, Metis, and Inuit) post-secondary students that are:

  • Sponsored and Non-sponsored students
  • Permanent residents in British Columbia for six months or more at the time of application
  • International/U.S. studies are not eligible unless a part of your BC studies and/or program and will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
  • Registered full-time in a minimum two-year academic program at any BC recognized post-secondary institution.
  • Full time is considered as follows:
    • undergraduate students, at least 3 full time credit courses per term
    • students with a disability affecting academic performance, a least 2 full credit courses per term
    • Graduate students, a letter from your academic advisor confirming satisfactory progress at a full time level (for a maximum of 3 years for Masters Students, and 5 years for Doctorate students).


  • The applicant is of Aboriginal ancestry.
    • A copy of Status or Métis card must be provided. 
    • If you are non-status you must provide a copy of your birth certificate and a copy of a parents status card.
  • The applicant must provide a recommendation in writing by a recognized Aboriginal organization 
  • The applicant attains a minimum 2.5 grade point average or C+ grade equivalent.
  • Applicants completing graduate studies demonstrate satisfactory progress at a full time level.
  • Applicants completing a 40% course load have provided proof of a disability affecting academic performance.
  • The applicant must demonstrate a financial need.


Please note: Students will not be eligible for a bursary to repeat a course or academic year, for which a bursary has already been received.


***Students submitting an application must complete the following or will be denied funding:

  1. A completed, signed and dated application form for the proper academic year.
  2. A letter written by the applicant on ancestry, family background, education, employment history, and career or academic goal.
  3. Proof of full-time registration in a BC college or university
  4. A letter of support from a recognized Aboriginal organization.
  5. Supporting evidence of Aboriginal ancestry.
  6. Applicants with a disability that affects academic performance must provide one of the following documents explaining academic performance limitations:
    1. verification of receipt or qualification for federal or provincial assistance for persons with disabilities, or
    2. a medical certificate from a licensed medical practitioner e.g. physician or specialist, or
    3. a learning disability assessment, or
    4. a Verification of Permanent Disability form.  (Note: Medical documentation must be signed and certified by the prescribing medical practitioner
  7. Any additional information pertaining to the application can be included on a separate page.


Graduate students must also provide:  an official transcript verifying enrolment, a letter from your academic advisor confirming advisor’s role, full time level and satisfactory progress, advisor contact information, and dated and signed on university letterhead.


Returning Applicants:  You must provide a new, completed application for the academic year and proof of academic enrolment.  If you have a disability affecting academic performance you must provide a current document stating disability and academic limitations.



Students can apply by the following semester deadline dates:

  • Fall Semester (Sep-Dec2016)
  • Winter Semester (Jan-Apr 2017)
  • Spring/Summer Semester (May-Aug 2017) 

Documents must be received by our office by the due date, so please take into account mailing time. 

  • Applications can be made for each academic year required to attain a diploma, degree or graduate degree. 
  • ***Incomplete applications will not be considered for funding.  Please be sure to fill out entire application form and that your financial section is correct and completed.
  • Applicants may be asked to provide additional supporting information at the discretion of the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres.
  • A declined application can be appealed within 30 days of the date of decision.  Consideration will be based on the submission of supporting information or a change in circumstances.
  • T4As will be sent in February of the next year for tax purposes.
  • If you are moving or have a change of circumstance, it is your responsibility to notify the bursary office.



Students who do not submit their official transcripts within one month of their semester’s completion, may be ineligible for funding for the academic year.



All applications, official transcripts, correspondence, and telephone inquiries should be sent to:

BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres

551 Chatham Street
Victoria, BC V8T 1E1
Phone:  (250) 388-5522
Fax:  (250) 388-5502



***The guidelines for this program are subject to change without notice


Additional Bursary Resources:

Finding Your Gifts

This site has been developed based entirely on the contributions of Aboriginal students from a diversity of Nations who chose to take time out of their busy lives to offer stories of their personal experiences in post secondary education. As you plan your own academic journeys, these gifts provide insights into when, where and how to access resources, how to develop strategies for success, how to find balance in your life and how having a strong sense of identity and purpose can carry you through this sometimes challenging pathway to your future.

Aboriginal Bursary Programs (.pdf) 182 KB

Teacher's Guide (.pdf) 316 KB

Aboriginal Student Transition Handbook (.pdf) 2.94 MB