Oct 27, 2022

Qualico Commits to Five-Year Renewal of Qualico’s Bridge to Success Program at University of Manitoba

Winnipeg, MB - Students back on campus this fall can continue to rely on a first-of-its-kind program offered at the University of Manitoba (U of M), as Qualico has made a five-year renewal worth $1 million to the Qualico Bridge to Success (QBTS) program. Since the program's launch during the 2016/2017 academic year, the QBTS program has helped 328 new Indigenous students transition into post-secondary life at the U of M.

“The Qualico Bridge to Success program has grown every year since 2016, with an average of 55 students participating in the program each year,” explained Carla Loewen, Director, Indigenous Student Centre. “With Qualico’s commitment of funding for the next five years, we are looking forward to implementing new programs and activities for the students.”

For some context, the QBTS program facilitates the transition of new Indigenous students into post-secondary education at the U of M by offering pre-orientation activities, academic learning support, advising and special events to enhance the first-year experience. The program also offers a boot camp, Neechiwaken Indigenous Peer Mentor Program, and a learning cohort through an Introduction to University course (ARTS 1110). Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Qualico Communities also offered student internships during the summer.


With the renewal of funding from Qualico, QBTS can confidently move forward with adding new elements to the program’s portfolio.

“In the next five years, we want to create a structured cultural component to the program. Oftentimes, this would be a student’s first ceremony or first time engaging with an elder and it would be a great opportunity for new students to learn more about Indigenous cultures,” said Bailey Hendry, Student Advisor, Indigenous Student Centre. “We also want to implement some more family-oriented programming because some of the students have their own children, or they have other folks in their family that they want to bring to the workshops and meetings.”


Carla Loewen echoed these sentiments as it’s something important for the continued growth of the QBTS program heading into the future.

“It’s really important to enhance the cultural piece because we know that students are coming here unsure about their identity or they’re used to having tradition in their lives, so we want to incorporate that programming piece and make it more intentional, because we do focus a lot on the academic components,” said Loewen. “When it comes to the work that we do at the Indigenous Students Centre, we have a holistic approach that concentrates on the spiritual, mental, physical and emotional pieces as well. We are trying to encompass the students with everything that they might want and maybe don't even know about.”

Qualico’s initial gift plus its renewal has brought the investment in supporting Indigenous education and students in Manitoba to total of $2 million, and the gift has not gone unnoticed. 

“The University of Manitoba and the Indigenous Student Centre are so grateful for this opportunity that has been provided to us by Qualico. It really has made an impact to over 300 students and the staff as well, as we get to see the students really enjoy coming to campus and starting or completing or their studies,” Loewen expressed.

To learn more about the Qualico Bridge to Success program, read Indigenous Students Find Academic Success Through Qualico’s Bridge to Success Program.

Let us help you direct your questions to the right team at Qualico.

Contact Us