Onion Lake
Education Trust Fund

The Onion Lake Education Trust Fund (OLETF) was established by Onion Lake Chief and Council to assist, recognize and encourage post-secondary students through incentives, scholarships and awards now and in the future.

For today and tomorrow.

Scholarships Application Form

A MESSAGE FROM 
CHIEF HENRY LEWIS

As the Onion Lake Cree Nation moves forward in the beginning of the 21st Century, the education of our young people becomes a critical factor in our ability as a Nation to deal with the many challenges that await us. Through such organizations as the newly established Onion Lake Education Trust Fund we hope to lay the ground work for our support for our members to pursue higher education in order to survive and succeed in the modern world.

As we move together towards our vision of the future, we want to see more and more Onion Lake members graduate from various post-secondary educational institutions. As our population increases so will our need to support and have very well trained and highly skilled Onion Lake people. What we require is for our members to go well beyond Grade 12.

The OLETF will help support and celebrate our outstanding students who will guarantee us a positive and promising tomorrow.



– Chief Henry Lewis, BEd, MEd

MOST COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS REGARDING THE ONION LAKE EDUCATION TRUST FUND

what is the onion lake education trust fund?

Q

A  It is an independent Trust Fund recently established by the Onion Lake Cree Nation Chief and Council to assist and recognize qualifying Onion Lake Students financially through incentives, scholarships and award programs at the post-secondary education level. The Trust Fund will provide funding in addition to other financial assistance received by students such as Indigenous Affairs government funding, student loans, and parental contributions.

ARE THE INVESTMENTS MADE WITH TRUST FUNDS SAFE?

Q

A  The Board of Trustees manages the Trust Fund’s investments to earn the best possible rate of return consistent with safety. The trust deed itself sets the strict boundaries and restrictions for the types of investments that can be made.  Trust Capital of the OLETF is presently invested in a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (“GIC”) at RBC – Royal Bank.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE ONION LAKE EDUCATION TRUSTFUND?

Q

A  The purpose and mission of the Onion Lake Education Trust is to assist and encourage in the educational development of the human resources of the Onion Lake Cree Nation with the view for members to successfully complete their education at the upgrading, college and university level and obtain a profession, occupation or skill that will benefit themselves and in turn Onion Lake Cree Nation as a whole.

WHICH STUDENTS QUALIFY UNDER ONION LAKE EDUCATION TRUST FUND POLICIES?

Q

A  Onion Lake students who are accepted to or attending accredited post-secondary educational institutions on a full-time basis for technical trades, college and university programs.  The student’s name must also appear on the membership list controlled by the Onion Lake Cree Nation to qualify under the Trust.  Restrictions apply since the Onion Lake Trust Fund has just been established and funds are limited only scholarships are provided at this time.

WHO ARE THE TRUSTEES AND HOW WERE THEY APPOINTED?

Q

A  After over two years of review and adoption a written trust deed, Chief and Council posted public notices, including on the Nation’s website, for any interested Onion Lake member (over 18 years) to apply for the position of Trustee for the Onion Lake Education Trust Fund.  All applications were carefully reviewed and in accordance with the trust deed, five (5) trustees were appointed through a Council Resolution – Matthew Fox (Chair), Delia Harper, Pauline Muskego, Wilma Dillon and Ivan Harper.  Under the rules of the trust deed they all serve a three (3) year term.

DOES THE TRUST FUND PAY FOR TUITION, BOOKS, ACCOMMODATION, TRAVEL AND SUPPLIES?

Q

No. The Trust Fund will only provide general financial support through incentives, scholarships, and awards to qualifying Onion Lake students. The Government of Canada through the Department of Indigenous Affairs (“INAC”) has a first-line treaty obligation and trust responsibility for the payment of tuition, accommodation, travel, books and supplies for Onion Lake students.
Funding from OLETF is only supplementary to any financial support from INAC through Onion Lake’s post-secondary office or elsewhere.

WHAT ARE THE RULES THAT GOVERN THE ONION LAKE EDUCATION TRUST FUND?

Q

A  First and foremost is the OLETF trust deed which is the primary document that sets out the overall rules for the operation and must be followed at all times by the Board of Trustees. Copies of the trust deed are available to all Onion Lake members.
In addition to the trust deed, the Board of Trustees has and will develop detailed written policies in all areas of the administration and financial operations of the Trust including student incentives, scholarships and awards.
The Board of Trustees must also publish an annual report each year for distribution to the membership detailing their activity during the year and must include audited financial statements.

ARE THERE ANY SCHOLARSHIPS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FOR ONION LAKE STUDENTS?

Q

A  Yes. The OLETF has developed a scholarship program for Onion Lake post-secondary students.  Through the generous support of its sponsors the Board of Trustees has now secured funds for numerous scholarships from $500 to $2,500 that will be provided to successful applicants attending accredited full-time post-secondary institutions in and outside Canada.
It is hoped that many more scholarships, awards and incentives for Onion Lake students can be offered in the future as the OLETF Scholarship Programs grows.

HOW MUCH MONEY DOES ONION LAKE EDUCATION TRUST FUND HAVE AND CAN IT BE SPENT?

Q

A  No, not all the money can be spent. The Trustees can only expend Trust Revenue generated from the Trust Capital. They can expend funds provided directly for scholarships.  The capital base of the Trust Fund, which is presently only $50,000, is held forever in trust for educational purposes for Onion Lake Cree Nation members and can never be spent.  It is hoped that Trust Capital of the OLETF will grow to millions of dollars over time in order to support all post-secondary students and take into account Onion Lake Cree Nation’s fast-growing population.

HOW CAN STUDENTS FIND OUT IF THEY QUALIFY?

Q

A  Students need to read the policy guidelines and will also need to fill out a scholarship application form. They may also be required to supply the Onion Lake Education Trust Fund with additional documents such as letter of acceptance, transcripts and other information in accordance with prescribed rules and deadlines.