Bimaadiziwin: The ‘Good Life’ Fund

Bimaadiziwin: The ‘Good Life’ Fund

The Rundown

“Bimaadiziwin” is an Ojibwe word that means ‘good life’.

The good life does not mean making money, buying material things or pursuing fame. Rather, it has to do with taking care of yourself, your family and your community. It is showing love by performing acts of kindness. It is having the courage to be honest with ourselves and with others. It is getting wisdom through years of listening to others and learning from our mistakes. It is being generous to our family and community without expecting anything in return. It is living life as a kind, humble member of the community.

Through the Bimaadiziwin Fund, we will help make this good way of life possible for Indigenous students at Carleton.

The Background

The purpose of this fund is to provide financial assistance to Indigenous students participating in the AESP program who are unable to meet immediate and essential expenses as a result of a temporary hardship related to a personal emergency situation.

These hardships can include a lack of funds to get food, lack of daycare, lack of funds for textbooks and supplies, limited or no access to technology, need for counseling services, or simply missing community support. Unlike a student loan, funds disbursed to students through this fund will not have to be repaid.

What is the AESP Program?

The Aboriginal Enriched Support Program (AESP) is one of only two programs in Canada that provides  students with a route to university degree admission while gaining credits that count to a future degree. In the first year of study, the AESP integrates familiar Indigenous traditions and cultural experiences into academic learning to ensure a supportive learning environment and a smooth transition into the university system. AESP-supported students have entered into a Carleton degree program with an 80% success rate of completion.

The Rollout

Endowed in 2016, through the generous support of Ed Ireland, the Bimaadiziwin Fund will exist in perpetuity to support current and future generations of Indigenous students.

The benefit of every gift made to the Bimaadiziwin Fund is twofold. Half of the funds raised through this FutureFunder project will help us to grow the endowment so more students each year can be supported through unexpected hardships. The other half will be put to good use right away and spent over the course of the current academic year to help Indigenous students in immediate financial need.

Above all, your support today means that students like D.F. Galipeau get a chance to complete AESP and go on to pursue university degree programs.

“As an Aboriginal person, I thought the door was closed to me, and that I had no chance, but AESP opened that door.”

D.F. Galipeau from Attawapiskat, now studying toward a Bachelor of Arts Honours (Economics).