Indigenous Women in Community Leadership

Application information and FAQs


When is the deadline to apply?
Applications are now closed.

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?
You are required to upload both in order 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 know you at least two years. One individual should be from an organization or community endorsing your work.

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

  • Why you think indigenous women’s leadership in communities is important;
  • Your own most important leadership experience to date (positive or negative);
  • What community initiative(s) you would like to build or enhance in your community.

Indicate, where possible, whether your project has the support of your community or organization.

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

Your Leadership Profile/Experience:

  • When have you provided community leadership? Please describe.
  • What did you learn from your leadership experience?
  • What are your expectations of the course?
  • What is your number ONE course goal?
  • What skills or knowledge can you offer to other participants?
  • Are there any recent life events that might prevent your course completion and/or success?
  • What else should we know about you to enable us to give you the best possible support?

Proposed community initiative:

  • What is your project focus?
  • Who are the people you want to serve?
  • Tell us what sparked your passion to want 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.  If you are shortlisted for the program, you will undertake a skype interview with the selection committee.

What are the qualifications?
Participants should meet the following requirements:

  • Indigenous (First Nation, Métis and Inuit) woman legally entitled to work in Canada
  • Able to demonstrate at least five years of leadership either in formal roles or informally through organization, community involvement or volunteer work
  • High school diploma or equivalent (GED)
  • Have the support of their organization and/or community in undertaking this program.

I applied before and was not accepted, should I apply now?
Please see 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 organizations or communities, who are highly motivated to continue their learning and leadership journeys. Participants should be willing to share their 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 information provided on application forms, including education, experience, and the candidate’s statement of interest in addition to meeting the requirements noted above. Telephone or Skype calls, or an email exchange will take place with shortlisted candidates to finalize selection.

When will I know if I have been selected?
We will undertake the review of applications throughout the month of April 2019 and a decision should be made by mid-May 2019.

Program Costs

What costs are covered by my scholarship?
Successful candidates will receive a full program scholarship.  This 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 on-campus program;
  • Tuition and materials for program duration;
  • One month stipend to offset partial time away from regular work duties and/or childcare;
  • Mentorship and facilitator support during community engagement portion of program.

The program

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

The IWCL program is 5 months in duration from September 9, 2019 – February 14, 2020.

Participants take part in a pre-residency online program during the month of September. This includes a time commitment of approximately three days in total.  The online component is flexible and can be undertaken at times convenient to participants.  There will be two 2-hour mandatory webinars during this month.

For the residency component, Participants arrive on campus at St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia on October 13, 2019 and participate in full day classes from October 14 – November 1, 2019. A celebration marking the end of the on-campus portion of the program will take place on November 1, 2019. Participants return home on November 2, 2019 and work on community engagement projects for three months until February 14, 2020.

What will be the class, weekday and weekend hours?
Classes typically run Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with lunch from 12-1:00 p.m. and mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks. The program is intensive and participants are required to attend every class and field trip. There will be some special evening sessions, homework, as well as a possible weekend field trips.

Will I be able to work during the three-month IWCL community engagement program?

This program does not replace regular working arrangements and will arranged to be flexible to individual learner needs. Where possible, participants in the program should have the support of their organization in undertaking this program and see the benefits to the organization and community in being involved.  Participants may undertake initiatives that help to enhance organizational goals for community development.    Participants need to dedicate approximately three-four days per month; this will be established on a case-by-case basis with the learner.

How will my mentor be chosen?
Your mentor will advise, guide and support you throughout the program.  She will be chosen based on the best match for your capacity enhancement and among those who are available and have committed to working with Coady Institute.

Can I suggest my own mentor or community placement?
We welcome suggestions from participants on potential mentors. The suggestions will be considered along with other potential mentors and placements identified by our team.  A decision will be made based on the best match for your leadership learning needs.

How long will the community placement period be?
Participants will spend a total of up to twelve weeks on their community initiative.