The Victoria Foundation works with Aboriginal people and First Nations throughout B.C. This work includes:
- Funding programs for individuals and organizations
- Holding endowment funds and planned gifts
- Hosting First Nations' settlement funds
Investing in Aboriginal students across British Columbia
The Victoria Foundation manages two funds endowed by the Government of B.C. that provide awards and bursaries for Aboriginal students.
All of the funds awarded through the Irving K. Barber B.C. Scholarship Society’s Aboriginal Student Award go to Aboriginal learners pursuing post-secondary education in B.C. Approximately 20 per cent of bursaries from the Youth Education Assistance Fund go to Aboriginal youth formerly in government care.
Funding for Aboriginal people and organizations
Two funds established by the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development support adoption and permanency and people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Many of these funds have gone to organizations that serve Aboriginal people. In distributing these funds, the foundation supports community-based decision-making and customized approaches for the communities served.
In addition to these focused provincial funds, the foundation has also provided grants to many Aboriginal organizations, supporting projects such as Aboriginal language preservation, a learning program for Métis and First Nations middle school youth, and a pre-school program at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre.
Helping First Nations build capacity
The Victoria Foundation was selected as the trustee for two significant settlements between B.C. Hydro, the Province of B.C. and each of the Kwadacha and Tsay Keh Dene Nations. These settlements were for damage done as a result of construction of the Williston Dam in the 1960s.
The funds are improving the social and economic well-being of the members of these Nations, for example by funding health workers, school upgrades and supplies, a safe house for children, community green houses, a society for elders and equipment for managing reservoir lands.