EmpoweringU Financial Wellness Program
The Indigenous Student Centre (ISC) is committed to providing students with the knowledge, skills and resources to make confident, responsible financial decisions. With busy academic schedules, jobs and family commitments it can be difficult to devote time to managing money. Recognizing that these demands can be stressful (and impact studies) we are here to let you know it’s never too late to begin developing financially smart habits!
Paying for school
The majority of students pay for their post-secondary education with a combination of funds such as: savings, scholarships, wages and loans. There are several options to explore, be sure to find the one that's best for you. Here are a few to consider.
Government of Canada Post-Secondary Student Support Program
- If you are a First Nations, Métis, or Inuit student, you may qualify for support. Visit Indigenous Services Canada to learn more.
- Treaty/Status First Nation students can apply for post-secondary education sponsorship financial assistance. Students are advised to contact their Education Authority, Band or Tribal Council.
- Inuit students should contact designated organizations or Indigenous Services Canada regional offices in their province/territory of residence (12 consecutive months) to determine eligibility.
Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) Post-Secondary Education Support Program
- Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) provides financial assistance to Métis students who are enrolled in eligible post-secondary education programs. Learn more about the program and check your eligibility.
Government Student Loans
- Federal and provincial student loan programs provide no-payment/interest-free loans while students are studying full-time. It is suggested students apply prior to June 30. For more information, visit Government Aid and Student Aid.
- Scholarships, grants and funding opportunities are available for Canadian students, whether part-time, full-time, with dependents, with disabilities or from low- or middle-income families.
Financial Institution Options
- A line of credit or a personal loan may be another option to explore when looking for ways to pay for school. Contact your Financial Institution (bank or credit union) to see if you qualify
Registered Education Plan
- If you have a Registered Education Plan, learn more about how to withdraw the funds or start saving for your child's education.
Scholarships and Bursaries
Many U of M awards are automatically awarded (no application) each year based on academic achievement. Be sure to fill out the Canadian Indigenous Self-Declaration form. This will ensure that you are considered for automatic Indigenous-specific academic awards and scholarships.
Scholarships for Indigenous Students
UM General Bursary
Indigenous Bursary Search Tool
- Certain programs at the U of M may offer limited scholarships and bursaries to their student members. Please check directly with your program for more information.
Redeem Loyalty Points
- Higher Ed Points is a unique way to turn loyalty points into money for tuition or student loan repayments.
Managing your money
Are you looking for tools and resources that will help you manage your finances? Check out the resources below.
The cost of an education is more than just tuition and books! To help estimate your living costs, create a budget that includes travel, rent, damage deposit, housing insurance, utilities, child care, family expenses, groceries and vehicle costs. Don't be discouraged by the high cost of education – think of it as investing in yourself!
A budget will also help provide balance between your income and expenses and, assist with saving towards your goals (paying off debt, visiting a relative). Check out the tools below that will help you get started!
Budgeting for Student Life
There are a lot of things to know when thinking about banking. Check out the link below to learn more about account types, cashing cheques and keeping your money safe.
Filing Income Tax
It is important to file taxes each year so that you qualify for credits and benefits that can help put money in your pocket. Learn more about Income Tax here
Need assistance filing your Income Tax Return? Community Financial Counselling Services is a partner of the Empowering Financial Wellness Program and offers virtual (over the telephone), drop-off, and coached tax filing options. To learn more visit the CFCS page today.
Financial Wellness is understood by Indigenous peoples to be:
"The continuous process of balancing income, saving, investing and spending to achieve one's life goals (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual) over the life cycle, and to maintain a state of wellness for individuals, family and community (Mullholland and Brascoupé 2017)."
To increase your knowledge and skill in personal finance, attend one of the free workshops provided by EmpoweringU! The tools, tips, and strategies that you will gain during these workshops will help you begin or continue on your path to developing financially smart habits.
At each workshop, those who attend will be entered to win a $25 gift card (winner will be given some options).
Students who attend two financial wellness workshops per term will be entered into a grand prize draw at the end of the year! Start getting your ballots now with this one. Grand prize to be determined.
All workshops are offered virtually. Please email Zach.Unrau@umanitoba.ca for Zoom login information.
Workshops are open to current UM students studying at any campus. For workshops or events with limited space, preference will be given to Indigenous students.
Fall Term Workshop Dates
Past EmpoweringU workshops
KINANASKOMITIN! MIIGWECH! MARSI!
Peer participant reflections
“Financial Wellness programming is important for Indigenous people because it will help with your money management skills. As someone who has lived on the First Nations community, I know the financial struggle of living day to day with little money. EmpoweringU is teaching me about how to manage and monitor my money”.
“The most impactful thing about the EmpoweringU program is having very supportive staff and mentors who genuinely cared about you, and they were always willing to help in any way.”
“I was scared to file taxes so I haven’t. The program coordinator encouraged me to attend a tax filing clinic. I owed some money but the best part was I now get benefits that I didn’t before because I hadn’t filed my taxes.”
Indigenous students looking for support on their financial wellness journey are welcome to book an appointment with Zach Unrau, program coordinator, by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Indigenous Student Centre
Migizii Agamik - Bald Eagle Lodge
114 Sidney Smith St.
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada