NorQuest and Indspire announce $1 million partnership to support Indigenous learners

June 21, 2021
NorQuest and Indspire announce $1 million partnership to support Indigenous learners

EDMONTON – As National Indigenous Peoples Day was being celebrated across Canada, Indspire and NorQuest College proudly announced a new partnership aimed at empowering access to education in Alberta.

Indspire and NorQuest came together to recognize and honour the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding and ongoing contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples to our shared landscape with the $1 million, first-of-its kind partnership. The funding will provide up to $5,000 in financial support to any Indigenous learner with financial need who would like to attend either foundational or post-secondary (diploma or certificate) programs at the college. 

“Indigenous learners share an exciting vision for the future with their families and communities, and for Canada’s economy,” said Carolyn Campbell, President and CEO of NorQuest College. “This impactful $1 million partnership between Indspire and NorQuest means greater access and affordability in post-secondary education for Indigenous learners at NorQuest.”

 “By creating these awards, NorQuest has not only provided new opportunities for Indigenous learners to pursue their educational goals, it has also emphasized its commitment to furthering Indigenous education and supporting First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students,” said Mike DeGagné, President & CEO of Indspire. This is a significant and timely commitment, and we are proud to be partnering with NorQuest on this important initiative.”

Removing systemic barriers to education

By supporting Indigenous learners, the partnership will create more opportunities for Indigenous peoples to participate in the post-secondary system, succeed in the workforce, and model the way for future generations of Indigenous learners and leaders.

“Around 65 per cent of those enrolled in academic upgrading have First Nations status, but many take on this commitment with little in the way of external funding support,” said Tibetha Kemble, Senior Manager, Indigenous Relations & Support at NorQuest College. “This partnership with Indspire opens up incredible possibilities for Indigenous learners and helps round out our efforts to make Indigenous learners feel welcomed, supported, and valued when they come to NorQuest.”

To learn more about this and other supports for Indigenous learners, visit or contact

About NorQuest College: NorQuest College is Edmonton’s community college serving over 21,000 students annually throughout the province with full-time, part-time, online, and face-to-face learning options. NorQuest helps learners with diverse educational backgrounds complete or further their studies through foundational programs. Our post-secondary diploma and certificate programs and continuing education options offer rewarding career paths in health, community studies, business, environment, technology, hospitality, firefighting, and diversity and inclusion training. Our suite of customized and corporate training options ensures organizations and their workforces are prepared for the demands of the future. By collaborating with business, industry, government, and communities, we ensure our learners receive workforce relevant, inclusive, and transformative educational experiences.

About Indspire: Indspire is an Indigenous national charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people for the long-term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada. With the support of its funding partners, Indspire provides financial awards, delivers programs and shares resources so that First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students will achieve their highest potential. In 2020-2021, Indspire provided more than $19.9 million through over 6,200 bursaries and scholarships to First Nations, Inuit and Métis students across Canada.

Mike Reeves
Media Relations Consultant
NorQuest College
Brandon Meawasige
Director, Communications and Marketing