The University of New Brunswick;s faculty of education has received a $500,000 donation to establish scholarships, bursaries, and a summer camp for aboriginal students. This donation comes from John and Judy Bragg, founders of the Bragg Group of Companies, which operates Oxford Frozen Foods. This donation was announced by UNB president and vice-chancellor Eddie Campbell at the Currie Center on Wednesday.
This donation was inspired by the advocacy of former Prime Minister Paul Martin, a friend of the Braggs, who founded the Martin Aboriginal Education initiative which improves elementary and secondary school education outcomes for aboriginal Canadians.
According to The Martin Aboriginal Education website, 26.5% of non-aboriginal Canadians have a university degree, whereas only 11.7% of Métis nations, 8.7% of First Nations, and 5.1% of Inuit Canadians have a university degree.
In addition to supporting aboriginal students in their studies, Imelda Perley, UNB’s elder in residence, said the Braggs’ donation will help the university to offer support for aboriginal students to learn their own language.