July 27, 2020Print | PDF
First-year students applying for scholarships, registering for courses and paying fees can expect a bit of a learning curve, but these processes can feel even more complicated for students who have sponsors that cover all or part of their university fees. In these cases, university staff communicate with the student, as well as an outside agency, organization or community.
In an effort to clarify university processes and build close, ongoing relationships with Indigenous communities, Laurier’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives has created a guide for community sponsors. The Third-Party Sponsorship Guide was sent to band education officers from First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities across Canada in July.
The guide helps clarify the university’s student sponsorship processes and lists the best contacts for specific subjects or concerns. It also outlines some of the supports and services available to students through Laurier’s two Indigenous Student Centres – one located in Waterloo and one in Brantford – including assistance with scholarships and bursaries, tutoring, advising, mentoring and the Indigenous Academic Success Program. Indigenous students can also access a resource library, a visiting elders program and on-campus medicine gardens, as well as workshops, ceremonies, speaker series and weekly soup lunches.
“Through this guide, we hope communities will feel more confident navigating the system and will know who to reach out to if they have questions or concerns,” says Melissa Ireland, interim senior advisor of Indigenous Initiatives. “They will also be better equipped to point current and future Laurier students to the services in place for them. We want students and their communities to know that we are there to support them every step of the way.”
The Third-Party Sponsorship Guide is one of the first of its kind in the province. Representatives from Laurier’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives have been invited to speak about the guide at an Ontario Native Education Counselling Association conference scheduled to take place in November.