VIU and Kw'umut Lelum Partner to Sign Up 20 Children in Care to Canada Learning Bond

Kw'umut Lelum executive director Bill Yoachim celebrates high school graduation in Nanaimo with 2015 graduates (l-r) Roy Seward, Randi Thomas and Jocelyn Antoine Lightfoot. Kwu'mut Lelum encourages the dreams and aspirations of all First Nations students, supporting them in many ways to complete high school, pursue post-secondary education, and choose a meaningful career path.

June 4, 2015 - 12:00pm

Twenty Aboriginal children in care under the guardianship of Nanaimo-based Kw’umut Lelum Child and Family Services will receive up to $2,000 for their future post-secondary education through the Canada Learning Bond program. Kw’umut Lelum partnered with Vancouver Island University (VIU) to register the children for the federal program that exists to help eligible families save for the future costs of children’s post-secondary education.

“We’re very pleased to work with Kw’umut Lelum to ensure this group of young children from nine different Coast Salish First Nations on Vancouver Island have the very best chance of accessing post-secondary education,” said Dr. Ralph Nilson, President and Vice-Chancellor. “At VIU we’re focused on taking a leadership role in encouraging and supporting as many people as possible to access post-secondary education and all the opportunities it creates.”

Kw’umut Lelum has approximately 80 children registered in its Guardianship Program, with up to 35 potentially eligible for the Canada Learning Bond. Staff at RBC’s downtown Nanaimo branch assisted with setting up Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) for each of the children, and registered them in the CLB program. A number of other Canadian banks and financial institutions also participate in the program.

“This is a significant step forward in the creation of post-secondary learning opportunities for our member First Nations’ youth,” said Bill Yoachim, Executive Director, Kwumut Lelum. “We are grateful to be working in collaboration with VIU in the creation of bright futures and bright future leaders.”

VIU’s Canada Learning Bond coordinator Rolanda Murray is also working with Kw’umut Lelum and many other regional families and organizations to ensure they access funds available through the BC Training and Education Savings Program (BCTESP), which will contribute up to $1,200 to eligible children who are residents of BC and born in 2007 or later. Eligible families or organizations acting on behalf of children in care can access this new program for the first time in August.

“In total, that means children from eligible families meeting the criteria of the Canada Learning Bond and the BCTESP program can receive $3,200 in free, no-strings-attached money to support post-secondary education,” said Murray.

All BC children in care are also eligible for VIU’s tuition waiver program, launched in 2013 to help children who have grown up in care access a high quality post-secondary education.



For more information on the Canada Learning Bond see

For more information the BC Training and Education Savings Program, see

For more information about Kw’umut Lelum Child and Family Services see

For more information on the VIU Youth in Care Tuition Waiver program see


Media Contact

Shari Bishop Bowes, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

P:250.740.6443  C: 250.618.1535 E:

Tags: In the Community

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