Rio Tinto and Indspire showcase $2 million award program for Indigenous students in Canada

MONTRÉAL, May 10,  2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Rio Tinto and Indspire hosted an event in Ottawa to showcase the $2 million Rio Tinto Award for Indigenous Students aimed at providing Indigenous students across Canada financial assistance to pursue post-secondary studies.

Alf Barrios, chief executive of Rio Tinto's aluminium group stated: "We are proud to partner with Indspire to establish the Rio Tinto Award for Indigenous Students.

"Rio Tinto has been invested in Canada for over 100 years and we have a long history of working closely with Indigenous people across this great country. At Rio Tinto, we know just how critical education is to the success of the communities in which we work, and to the success of our business.

"Through our partnership with Indspire and the participation of the Canadian government, we aim to provide the chance to all Indigenous youth in the areas we operate to realize their full potential and have the best chance at quality education."

Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire said: "We know from our research that one of the key barriers Indigenous students face when pursuing higher education is a lack of finances. But 93% of the students given financial support by Indspire are graduating. We are delighted to partner with Rio Tinto to support many more students over the next five years."

The Rio Tinto Award for Indigenous students was established following a $1 million contribution from Rio Tinto which was matched by the Canadian government, for a total of $2 million. The Award is designed to offer financial support to Indigenous students who are enrolled or would like to enrol in post-secondary studies.

It gives students of all ages the chance to obtain a diploma, degree, certificate, academic upgrading, or apprenticeship program with financial assistance.

The award prioritizes students in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines but is also available more broadly to students in any discipline including trades, and is available to students of any age pursuing post-secondary education, including adult learners.

There are three upcoming application deadlines for the award: June 1, November 1, and February 1.

For more information about the award, visit

About Indspire
Indspire is an Indigenous-led registered charity that invests in the education of Indigenous people for the long term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada. With the support of its funding partners, Indspire disburses financial awards, delivers programs, and shares resources with the goal of closing the gap in Indigenous education. Through Indspire's K-12 Institute, it provides resources to educators, communities, and other stakeholders who are committed to improving kindergarten to grade 12 success for Indigenous youth. Since its inception in 1985, Indspire has awarded close to $79 million through almost 25,000 bursaries and scholarships to Indigenous students, making it the largest funder of Indigenous education outside the federal government. Each year, the organization presents the Indspire Awards, a gala celebration of the successes achieved by Indigenous people that is broadcast nationally.

Rio Tinto – Invested in Canada
With more than 11,000 employees working at over 35 sites and operations, Rio Tinto is the largest mining and metals business operating in Canada. Rio Tinto's extensive operations in Canada include mining and manufacturing interests in alumina, aluminium, iron ore, diamonds and titanium dioxide, as well as exploration activities, research and development centres, port and rail facilities, and hydroelectric facilities in the provinces of Quebec and British Columbia. In addition, Montreal is home to the global headquarters for Rio Tinto's Aluminum business.



For further information: Indspire Media Relations: Anne Marie Gabriel, M: 226 920 5928; Rio Tinto Media Relations: Bryan Tucker, M: +1 514 825 8319

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