First Nations students studying at North Island College received another boost this week with the announcement of an $11,000 gift from the Nanwakolas Council to the NIC Foundation.
The gift, raised though a corporate golf challenge at Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community in Comox will be used to support the Foundation’s TL’axsam Memorial Bursary, in memory of former Comox Valley MLA Stan Hagen.
“Stan was the inspiration behind this idea,” says Dallas Smith, president of the Nanwakolas Council. “TL’axsam, meaning Red Cod, was the honourary name the K’ómoks First Nation gave to Stan because of his rosy cheeks. Mr. Hagen was an advocate for First Nations and education. This bursary will help ensure his legacy lives on.”
Smith adds their hope is that the bursary fund will continue to grow, “to a point where post-secondary education is a given, as opposed to the exception in First Nations communities.
The golf tournament has raised $23,500 over the last three years, and when combined with the more than $10,500 that the donations have received in matching funds from North Island College, the endowment’s fund balance currently stands at over $34,000. The income generated annually will support an approximate $1,300 bursary for a student every year, forever.
“The creation of this bursary not only honours Mr. Hagen’s memory, but it also ensures that financial circumstance is no longer a barrier to post-secondary education and allows students to achieve their educational goals locally, which is a much healthier option for both families and communities,” says executive director of the NIC Foundation, Susan Auchterlonie.
The TL’axsam Memorial Bursary was awarded for the first time in 2015 to Christina Smith, a Campbell River student currently enrolled in NIC’s Applied Business Technology program.
For more information about the NIC Foundation, their bursary and scholarship opportunities or how to create one, head online to nic.bc.ca/foundation