Indigenous Women in Community Leadership

Application information and FAQs


When is the deadline to apply?
February 15, 2024.

What does it cost to apply?
There is no cost involved to apply for this program.

Will you review my application if I do not upload my resume or statement of interest?
No. You are required to upload both for your application to be complete. You will receive an email confirmation from our Student Services office once you submit your completed application.

Do I need to provide a Letter of Reference?
No. We will contact referees as part of the application review. Individuals willing to provide a reference for you should have known you for at least two years. One reference must be from an individual from the community or organization you plan to do your project with.

What do you want to see in the Statement of Interest?
Your statement of interest should contain the following:

  • Evidence of your passion for community leadership or your high personal potential to make a difference in your community.
  • Your most significant leadership experience to date (positive or negative).
  • A description of the community project you would like to build or enhance in your community or organization with details of your community and target group, (ex. Urban Indigenous 2SLGBTQ+ youth in Vancouver, 18-24 year-old Mi’kmaq women language speakers in Eskasoni, Metis Grandmothers parenting group, community musicians of all ages in Tuktoyaktuk, etc.)
  • the kind(s) of support you and your project have from your community, organization or association.

Some guiding questions that can help you to write your statement are below.

Your Leadership Experience:

  • When have you provided community leadership? Please describe.
  • What did you learn from your leadership experience?
  • What are your expectations for the course?
  • What is your ultimate goal for taking the course?
  • What skills or knowledge can you offer to other participants?
  • Are there any recent life events that might prevent you from completing the program?
  • What else should we know about you to enable us to give you the best possible support?
  • How will you use the knowledge and skills you gain at Coady in your community?

Proposed community engagement project/initiative:

  • What is your project focus?
  • Who are the people you want to serve?
  • Tell us what sparked your passion for wanting to help this group of people.
  • How will they benefit from your project? What do you imagine will be the positive result?
  • What will be different after the project’s completion?
  • What will those involved in your project do or say?

Do I have to provide a skype address?
Yes, this is preferable.  Shortlisted participants will be required to meet the selection committee in an on-screen interview.

What are the qualifications?
You must meet the following basic requirements:

  • Indigenous (First Nation, Métis and Inuit) woman or trans woman legally entitled to work in Canada
  • Able to demonstrate at least three to five years of leadership in formal role(s) or informal role(s) through community involvement, organizational involvement or volunteer work
  • High school diploma/equivalent (GED) or undergraduate degree with sound written and oral skills
  • Have the support of your community, organization, settlement or Nation in undertaking this program.

I applied before and was not accepted, should I apply now?
Please see the requirement criteria above. Your application may not have been accepted in the past because you did not meet the program criteria or because demand was much higher than the number of spaces open. Candidates are chosen each year based on the applications received in that period.


What are you looking for in a candidate?
We are looking for Indigenous women who demonstrate some leadership experience in their communities or organizations, who are highly motivated to continue their learning and leadership journeys. It would be best if you were willing to share your knowledge with others and respect the diversity that others bring, be passionate about their communities, and want to make a difference in their development.

How do you select participants?
A selection committee will review the information provided on your application form, including education, experience, and your statement of interest in addition to meeting the requirements noted above. Telephone or Skype calls, or email exchange will take place with shortlisted candidates to finalize the selection.

When will I know if I was selected?
We will undertake the review of applications and interviews throughout February and March, 2021, and by the end of March, we will communicate final decisions.

Program Costs

What costs are covered by my scholarship?
Successful candidates will receive a full program scholarship.  The scholarship includes the following:

  • Actual and reasonable (economy class) travel to and from Antigonish, NS and the location from which they are travelling (this may be air or ground travel or combination of both);
  • University accommodation and meals during the on-campus program;
  • Tuition and materials for program duration;
  • Mentorship and facilitator support during the optional community engagement project portion of the program.

 The program

What are the dates of the IWCL Program, when do I go to Antigonish, N.S., how long am I there?

  • May 1 – October 11, 2024
  • May 1 – 15, 2024: Online Learning Component
  • June 5 – 19, 2024: In-person, On-campus Component, 1st Residency
  • June 20 – September 30, 2024: In-community Engagement Component
  • October 6 – 1, 2024*: In-person, 2nd Residency
    *Dates may be subject to change

What will be the class, weekday and weekend hours?
Classes typically run Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with lunch from 12-1:00 p.m. and mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks. The program is intensive, and you are required to attend every class and field trip. There will be some evening sessions, reading, written assignments, as well as a possible weekend field trip.

 Will I be able to work during the optional three-month IWCL community engagement project?
Yes. This program does not replace your regular working arrangements and is flexible to suit individual learner’s needs. Where possible, you should have the support of their communities or organization in undertaking this program and see the benefits to the organization and community in being involved.  You may undertake initiatives that help to enhance organizational goals for community development. You will need to dedicate approximately 4-8 days per month; this will be established on a case-by-case basis with the learner.

How will my mentor be chosen?
You will have the opportunity to meet the mentors at the beginning of the program and self-select your mentor if you choose the option of completing your proposed community engagement project. Your mentor will advise, guide and support you throughout the program.

Can I suggest my mentor?
We have a select group of long-term and invested Indigenous women mentors that work with the IWCLprogram and Coady, and we allow you to get to know them and select a mentor for yourself. At this time, we cannot officially engage other mentors.

 How long will the optional community engagement project be?
You will spend a total of eleven weeks on your community engagement project.


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