This is fairly specific to Canada but it’s important to put it out to the universe. In Canada, there is the myth that all First Nations people receive a free post-secondary education. I found this article by Lenard Monkman of the CBC that exposes this erroneous belief.

Here are the key points:

“Only “status Indians” — or people recognized by the federal government as “Indian” — are eligible to receive funding for post-secondary education (it’s a treaty right).”

“Most often, the demand for funding far exceeds the money that bands receive for post-secondary education.”  This is due to funding caps initiated by the federal government in 1996.

Students who receive funding face strict conditions:

Reapply every year,
Maintain a certain grade point average,
Have a career outline,
Not miss classes,
Take a minimum of four courses per semester.

If a student loses their funding they “have to wait a minimum of two years before they can reapply.”

“Most only have the cost of their tuition and books covered for the term.” Living expenses and other costs are not covered.

There are very good reasons why First Nations peoples receive education funding. While those not involved in the process could be forgiven for having misconceptions of these benefits what I notice is an expression of resentment and with tones of racism.  I think it’s time for change and that begins with ending the spread of the myth of the free ride.