Indigenous Education Fund Opportunity: ḴEL,ḴELOŦEN ȻE S,ISTEW̱

For more information, please contact:
Andrea Chin, Communications Director

Peggy Theodore, Principal

December 13, 2022

Vancouver, BC - Applications are now open for the second annual ḴEL,ḴELOŦEN ȻE S,ISTEW̱ Fund.

The ḴEL,ḴELOŦEN ȻE S,ISTEW̱ Fund provides an annual award of $5,000 to an Indigenous, First Nations, Inuit, or Métis architectural or engineering student in British Columbia. The fund’s mentorship program provides all applicants access to working professionals that provide industry relationships and support pivotal career choices. On the other side, this program creates a network for Indigenous technical professionals to draw from and collaborate together. Eligible students must identify as an Indigenous, First Nations, Inuit, or Métis persons from British Columbia, be working toward a career in engineering or architecture and be enrolled in post-secondary studies for the 2022-2023 academic year. 

“There are very few Indigenous professionals working in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Many engineering and architecture firms work with Indigenous communities, but few have Indigenous professionals working within their organizations. Our partners recognize this and want to help Indigenous people pursue careers in our industry,” said Kear Porttris, Committee Chair and Métis civil engineer. 

Established in June 2021 by AME Group, Gwaii Engineering, Diamond Schmitt, Number TEN Architectural Group, AES Engineering, RJC Engineers, and the Victoria Native Friendship Centre; the ḴEL,ḴELOŦEN ȻE S,ISTEW̱ Fund aims to bring more Indigenous voices into architecture and building design, imbuing these industries with Indigenous values, perspectives and ways of knowing, being and doing. 

The naming of the post-secondary education fund acknowledges the territories of Lekungen, W̱SÁNEĆ and Malahat Peoples. To honour the local Nations the team worked with the SENĆOŦEN Language-Revitalization Group to name the award and begin in a good way. What emerged through conversation was this phrase: ḴEL,ḴELOŦEN ȻE S,ISTEW̱. The English translation is “a dream for what becomes of you.” 

"Being one of very few women, and one of very few Indigenous people in my classes can be incredibly difficult. Some days it can be hard to find peers that can relate. Having Indigenous engineers and architects to look up to as role models and mentors makes a huge difference." said Kennedy Rolston, 2021/2022 recipient of the inaugural ḴELOŦEN ȻE S,ISTEW̱ Fund Award. “I hope that this award can inspire many more to pursue their passions in the field and remove the financial barriers that many are facing when it comes to pursuing post-secondary education.”

The deadline for submissions is January 6, 2023.

For more information on eligibility requirements and how to apply, please visit: