UWaterloo announces tuition waiver for students from two First Nations communities
Initiative is part of University's efforts toward indigenization, decolonization and reconciliation
Initiative is part of University's efforts toward indigenization, decolonization and reconciliationBy Media relations
The University of Waterloo is offering a full tuition waiver to all qualifying students from two First Nations communities on whose traditional territory the University is situated.
The initiative covers current and incoming students who are members of the Six Nations of the Grand River and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Waterloo will also offer Ontario domestic tuition rates for Indigenous students from elsewhere in Canada and the United States and will continue to waive the application fee for applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and Inuit. Students will need to meet admission requirements for a full-time undergraduate or graduate program at Waterloo to qualify for the waiver.
“This announcement is part of Waterloo’s efforts toward indigenization, decolonization and reconciliation, which are at the heart of the values guiding us as an institution of higher learning,” said Vivek Goel, president and vice-chancellor of Waterloo. “We hope that by reducing financial barriers for these students we will encourage them to participate in our innovative academic, entrepreneurship and co-op programs, which increases their future opportunities while strengthening communities and economies.”
Last fall, Waterloo hosted a commitment ceremony in which Goel acknowledged that Indigenous Peoples are the original inhabitants of this land who continue to suffer devastating loss and cultural disconnect in Canada as a result of colonialism. He committed the University to developing a better understanding of Indigenous history and the intergenerational trauma caused by colonialism and the systems it created—including the residential school system—while taking responsibility for critical components of the reconciliation process.
“This landmark decision to increase access to education is in direct response to the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its calls to action,” said Jean Becker, associate vice-president, Indigenous Relations at Waterloo. “I believe Waterloo is the first university in Canada to waive tuition in full for members of specific First Nations communities, and I hope this demonstrated leadership will inspire other post-secondary institutions to take similar action.”
The tuition waiver will be in effect at Waterloo in September 2023 and is open to students in any Faculty. For more information, applicants should visit the website.
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The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within our Office of Indigenous Relations.