Reference Letters

Organizations giving out scholarships have no idea who you are. They don’t know what the community thinks of you and what you are capable of. That’s where a reference letter comes into play. A reference letter is a letter of praise commending your character, various accomplishments and other feats.

There are many people you can ask to write you a reference letter: teachers, friends, professors, coaches, employers/ managers, community leaders, etc. Don’t be shy to ask as they will be more than willing to do it for you. Send them a formal letter requesting their assistance and provide as much information as you can that they can utilize. If you have permission from the person writing your letter, use it for multiple applications, that way you’re killing many birds with one stone.

Important things that should be included in your reference letter are:

  • How they know you and how long your reference has known you.
  • Your academic accomplishments, awards, and your potential for future success.
  • Your character and integrity as a person.
  • Information the application requests specifically such as : community involvement, organizational skills, writing skills, etc.

Sample Reference Letter Request

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Student Funding

Did you know that there is money available to help students with the cost of post-secondary education (training programs, college or university)?

There are four basic kinds of money for school:

Student Loans
Internal Awards
External Awards

Students often think they will not qualify for awards, but in fact, there are many that all students are eligible for! At the Louis Riel Institute, we can help you find scholarships and bursaries that you might be eligible for. We will also help you to complete the application packages if you need assistance.

The LRI will help you understand and apply for funding that you may be eligible for with the Manitoba Metis Federation as well.

We can contact you on a regular basis with information about upcoming scholarships and bursaries. Please feel free to phone or email Margaret Flett to be added to our contact list.

Presentations Available!

The Louis Riel Institute is available to come out to make a group presentation as well where students will receive resource handouts, financial aid lists and current applications that are available. Call our office to inquire about fees at 204-984-9480.

Scholarships and Bursaries

Louis Riel Scholarships & Bursaries

In 1999, an endowment fund was started between the Manitoba Métis Federation and participating Manitoba universities in order to create available funds for issuing scholarships and bursaries to Manitoba Métis students. The awards come from the interest on the capital contributions to the fund, creating a legacy for future generations.

MMF – Vickar Award

Manitoba Métis Federation – Vickar Community Chevrolet Métis Student Award

This award originated with the desire of Mr. Larry Vickar to make a generous donation towards Métis education in the automobile industry.  An endowment fund was established partnering Vickar Community Chevrolet’s donation with matching funds from the Manitoba Métis Federation and Red River College’s Manitoba Scholarship and Bursary Initiative (MSBI).

The award is now available to Métis students attending Red River College enrolled in an automotive course.

Mary Guilbault Métis Bursary

The Mary Guilbault Métis Bursary was named in honour of Mrs. Mary Guilbault, a respected Elder in the Métis community and a pivotal player in the creation of the Manitoba Métis Federation. Mary has been actively involved in the development and establishment of organizations for Aboriginal people as well as advocating for Aboriginal students throughout her life.

Audreen Hourie Indigenous Governance Graduate Fellowship

The Audreen Hourie Indigenous Governance Graduate Fellowship will be awarded annually for University of Winnipeg Metis students pursuing a Master’s Degree in Indigenous Governance.

The funds for this award were established by an endowment from the Manitoba Metis Federation that was matched by the University of Winnipeg.

All applicants are required to provide proof of their Metis heritage by providing a copy of their genealogy or their membership in a Metis nation.

Application Deadline: September 14th annually Value of award: $5,000 Preference is given to full-time students

Senator Gerry & Margaret St. Germain Bursary

Through a donation received by Gerry St. Germain and matched funds by the Manitoba Metis Federation, the Louis Riel Institute is proud to offer the Senator Gerry & Margaret St. Germain Bursary. This bursary is named for the respected past Senator, the Honourable Gerry St. Germain and is for grade 12 Manitoba Métis students who excel in Math and/or Science

Sources of funding for school

Click here for a printable guide on how to access funds for your education.

There are four basic sources of money for school:

  • Student loans
  • Funding
  • Internal Awards
  • External Awards

Student Loans

A student loan is money that can be used for tuition, books and living expenses.  Student loans can come from the government or the banks and it has to be paid back.

Government Loans (Manitoba and Canada Student Loans)

  • don’t have to be paid back until after you graduate and generally have a much lower interest rate
  • are only paid out once or twice a year
  • you automatically apply for various grants (money you don’t have to pay back) at the same time

Manitoba Student Aid provides funding for Manitoba residents.  To see if you are eligible, go to: Maximum assistance is $350 per week of study.  Assistance is based on financial need.  Repayment begins six months after completion of your studies.

Contact the Manitoba Student Aid office:

Room 401-1181 Portage Avenue

Winnipeg, MB R3G 0T3


Rick Lavallee

Manitoba Student Aid

Aboriginal Liaison / Consultant

(204) 945-6339 / 1-800-204-1685

[email protected]

The Canada Student Loans website takes you on a step by step process to help you determine what type of funding is most appropriate for you:

Maximum assistance if $210 per week of study.  Repayment begins six months after your academic program ends.

Bank Loans

  • have to be paid back regularly and have higher interest rates
  • are available all the time
  • bank loans do not have any grants


Funding is when you can apply for and potentially receive a regular living allowance, plus tuition and books.  Funding comes from an organization.  In the case of First Nations students it may come from their bands.  Métis students may get it from the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF).  Other students may get it from Employment Insurance.

Funding does not have to be paid back.  It varies according to student need, financial ability of the organization and other criteria.

MMF Funding

The MMF delivers a training program on behalf ot the federal government.  As part of this program, the MMF can offer funding to students who are Aboriginal students.  This includes Métis students, Inuit students and First Nations students who are not Indians under the Indian Act (i.e. not Treaty).  There are a variety of eligibility requirements.  Please contact the MMF for more information.  To apply for funding, call the Education / Employment Counsellor in your region.

Education/Employment Counsellors listed by region:

Winnipeg Region

Winnipeg Métis Association Inc.

412 McGregor St., Wpg, MB, R2W 4X5

Ph: 204-589-4327 or Fax: 204-582-2711

Employment / Education Counsellors

Jacquie McLeod [email protected]

Cathy Buors [email protected]

Interlake Region 

Interlake Métis Association Inc.

P.O. Box 390, St. Laurent, MB, R0C 2S0

Ph: 204-646-2706  or Fax: 204-646-4171

Empl/Educ Counsellor – Karen Kosten

[email protected]

Northwest Region

Northwest Métis Council Inc.

40-1st Avenue N.W., Dauphin, MB, R7N 1G7

Ph: 204-638-9485 or Fax: 204-638-3878

Empl/Educ Counsellor – Shirley Mullet

[email protected]

Southeast Region

Southeast Regional Métis Corporation

Box 13,  Grand Marais, MB, R0E 0T0

Ph: 204-754-2721 or Fax: 204-754-2687

Empl / Educ Counsellor: Alberta Thomas

[email protected]

Southwest Regional Office

656-6th St., Brandon, MB R7A 3P1

Ph: 204-725-7520 or Fax: 204-725-7528

Empl/Educ Counsellor: Jason Gobeil

[email protected]

The Pas Region Inc.

215-2nd Street  P.O. Box 2467, The Pas, MB R9A 1M2

Ph: 204-623-5701 or Fax: 204-623-2825

Empl/Educ Counsellor: Annette Veito

[email protected]

Thompson Regional Office

171 Cree Rd., Thompson, MB R8N 0C2

Ph: 204-677-1430 or Fax: 204-677-2240

Empl/Educ Counsellor: Sandra Trottier

[email protected]

Internal Awards

These are the scholarships and bursaries that are only available to students at a particular school.  If you are attending a particular University, you can’t apply for internal awards at the other universities.  Each school has many internal awards to choose from and they can be found by going to the school’s website and searching “Financial Aid and Awards”. This will bring you to the awards site.  Read it; find everything you are eligible for.  Find your school’s Awards Office, browse the brochures and take everything you are eligible for.  Ask if there is a booklet of awards or any deadlines coming up right away.  Take it all and circle EVERYTHING you are eligible for.  And then apply! For all of it!

External Awards

This consists of all of the other awards available outside of what the university offers.  There are millions.  Royal Bank, Xerox, Folklorama – all give scholarships.  These awards are specific to students, not to schools, although in some cases they will only be for students at certain schools.  There are many of these and it can be tricky to find them.  There will be posters and brochures about these in your awards office.  Also try your advisor’s office, Aboriginal Student Centres and student associations.

There are two really good websites that will help your find awards you are eligible for:

Both of these websites are databases.  You sign up for them and enter information about yourself such as school, program, year, grades, extracurricular, ethnicity; basically anything that might be award criteria.  After you have signed up, the website will search its database and bring up a list of awards you might be eligible for.  It will then send you regular updates by email about new awards.  All you have to do is update your information every once in a while.

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Course Selection

The Louis Riel Institute Adult Learning Centre offers a variety of Manitoba Senior Years credits including the following:

Grade 9

English Language Arts 10F

Mathematics 10F

Grades 10 & 11

Essential Math 20S

Science 20F

ELA Comprehensive Focus 30S

Grade 12

ELA Comprehensive Focus 40S

ELA Transactional Focus 40S

Essential Math 40S

Applied Math 40S

Pre-Calculus Math 40S

Biology 40S

Physics 40S

Chemistry 40S

Psychology 40S

Family Studies 40S

Film Studies 42S

Métis Studies 41G

Physical Education 40F

Automated Office 40S

Career Development 40S

Métis Art 40S


High School Apprenticeship Credits

Transfer and Out-of-Province Credits

Prior Learning Assessment Recognition

Upgrading and Literacy

Eight total credits are required for the Mature Student Diploma—this can include transfer credits and prior learning assessment recognition as well as those earned at our school—and the following additional requirements must be met: at least four credits must be at the Grade 12 level. at least one Grade 12 ELA and one Grade 12 math credit must be included.

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School Calendar

The Louis Riel Institute Adult Learning Centre follows the standard Manitoba school year. The school is closed after June 30 and classes begin after Labour Day. Registration is continuous throughout the school year, but opens two weeks prior to Labour Day for September courses.

We offer a four-term system which allows for easy entry at any time of year.

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Why Choose Us?

The Louis Riel Institute Adult Learning Centre is a non-traditional high school for adults. Our centre is learner focused and we strive to create an academic environment that is safe, comfortable and supportive.

Our courses are delivered in modules using an On-line Course Delivery Portal and/or through classroom delivery.

We integrate technology into all of our courses and have a fully equipped computer lab available to support our learners.

We offer continuous intake September through June.

Additional highlights:

-Certified, qualified and highly experienced adult educators

-Large course selection

-Transfer previously earned high school credits to fast-track your program completion

-Fully equipped computer lab

-Flexible study options

-Convenient, central location

-Discounted bus passes

-Student advocacy and support provided by a dedicated Retention and Support Worker

-Safe, comfortable and supportive environment

-Opportunities for field trips to enhance your learning experience

-Wheelchair accessible

-Breakfast & snacks provided

Hours of Operation

Monday to Thursday – 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

And Fridays – 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

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Educational Programs

Mature Student High School Diploma

Are you 19 or older and have been out of school for more than six months? If yes, then you qualify for the 8 credit Mature Student High School Diploma Program. There is a $10.00 Academic Registration Fee (non-refundable) for obtaining your Mature High School Diploma.

Post Diploma Upgrading

Already a high school grad but need specific courses to further your education? If yes, you can complete the courses at our centre. Post diploma courses are subject to a $20.00 fee per course (non-refundable).

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