Indigenous Pharmacy Professionals of Canada (IPPC) launch national scholarship program

·2 min read

A national Indigenous pharmacy association is launching a new scholarship program aimed at increasing the accessibility of study programs for Indigenous pharmacy students, the group announced earlier this week.

The Indigenous Pharmacy Professionals of Canada (IPPC) announced Monday it was launching the first national scholarship for Indigenous Peoples pursuing a degree in pharmacy.

The IPPC’s founder said one of many myths non-Native people believe is that post-secondary education is free for Indigenous people and said he hopes this new scholarship will reduce the barriers to entry many Indigenous people have experienced.

“It is a myth that Indigenous people receive free post-secondary tuition in Canada — we do not," said Jaris Swidrovich, who is also the chair of the IPPC. "One of the IPPC's key priorities is to encourage and support Indigenous youth pursuing a role in pharmacy. We are confident that this scholarship will help reduce financial barriers to accessing pharmacy education for all future recipients of IPPC scholarships and awards."

The IPPC Indigenous Pharmacy Scholarship is now accepting applications for the 2023-2024 academic year.

The deadline to apply is April 30.

The IPPC Scholarship is open to any First Nations (status or non-status), Métis or Inuit individual enrolled or accepted in a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD.) or pharmacy technician program in Canada.

The IPPC and Canadian Pharmacists Association will continue to seek additional funding to expand the Indigenous Pharmacy scholarship program going forward, Swidrovich added.

"We are dedicated to building a strong network of Indigenous pharmacy professionals, and we encourage all Indigenous people currently enrolled or considering a career in pharmacy to apply," he said. "We anticipate that this scholarship will grow over time and will assist with increasing visibility and belonging for Indigenous people in pharmacy across Canada."

The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) chair and dean of Memorial University’s pharmacy program agreed, saying it’s important to increase Indigenous representation in the field.

"It is so important to increase representation in our pharmacy schools and to help make every faculty a safe and welcoming place for Indigenous students," said Shawn Bugden. "This scholarship is an important step forward in encouraging more Indigenous people to consider a pharmacy career, and CPhA is proud to support the IPPC and their efforts to grow the Indigenous pharmacy community and enhance the pharmacy care provided to Indigenous patients."

The 2023-2024 application process is already open. Applicants will be required to provide verification of ancestry, proof of acceptance or registration in a PharmD. or pharmacy technician program in Canada and a letter of introduction outlining how the applicant anticipates that their education will effect change.

To apply, visit

Marc Lalonde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Iori:wase