Beau Dick Memorial Award for Indigenous Students

About the Beau Dick Memorial Award

This $20,000 award is made available through a gift from Donald Ellis, in memory of Beau Dick (1955 to 2017), for a female student from the Kwakwakaʼwakw Nation in any undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate program who has achieved good academic standing and demonstrated leadership and community involvement. 

Conditional on the recipient’s continued satisfactory academic progress, the award may be renewed until the recipient receives their first undergraduate degree, first post-baccalaureate degree, or in the case of a graduate student, first graduate degree. If a student from the Kwakwakaʼwakw First Nation is not identified, the award may be given to a student from another First Nation in British Columbia. 

Chief Beau Dick, Walas Gwy Um, was an expert carver and knowledge keeper of Kwakwaka’wakw ceremonial tradition who activated ceremony as a way to engage contemporary politics. Beau was the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory’s Artist in Residence from 2013 to 2017. Donald is an internationally renowned art dealer who focuses on historical First Nations art. He established the Donald Ellis Gallery in Canada in 1976, and opened a New York City location in 2004. Donald counts the National Gallery of Canada, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Louvre Abu Dhabi among his clients. 

The award is made on the recommendation of Enrolment Services, and in the case of a graduate student, in consultation with the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Browse through other awards for Indigenous students you may be eligible for.

Eligibility requirements

The Beau Dick Memorial Award will not be offered for the 2023/24 Winter Session. Below are the typical eligibility requirements that must be met for this award:

  • You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • You must be an Indigenous student, preference is given to students from a Kwakwaka’wakw community.
  • You must be a newly admitted or continuing student in an undergraduate, graduate or post-baccalaureate program at UBC.
  • You must meet the eligibility requirements as outlined in UBC’s Regulations Governing University Awards.

UBC uses the term “Indigenous” in lieu of "Aboriginal" in the spirit of its use in section 35(2) of the Canadian Constitution, to refer inclusively to members of First Nations, status and non-status, treaty and non-treaty Indians, Métis, and Inuit peoples in Canada, recognizing in doing so that many people prefer the terms that are specific and traditional to their communities.

Before you apply

There are 2 separate applications you'll need to complete:

  • Award application with questions
  • Creative component

Prepare your responses to application questions

There will be several written questions for the application to assist the adjudication committee in their selection. Please prepare your answers in advance, as there is no option to save the application if you close it. Maximum word count is 500 words for each question.

  1. How do you hope to impact or give back to your community?
  2. What community leadership or advocacy are you currently involved in?
  3. What traditional or community values do you want to represent your work?

Complete the creative component

Answer one of the questions below in a way that feels best to you (e.g., essay, poetry, spoken word, video, artwork with description):

  • Share a story of a time you were inspired to create change.
  • Share a personal struggle that influenced you to take action and pursue your education.
  • Share what empowering community means to you.

How to apply

When applications open, you will need to complete the following:

  • Submit an online application form.
  • Submit a creative component.

If you have any questions, please email

Band sponsorship

Third-party billing

If you are an Indigenous student and are thinking about how to finance your education, you might consider band sponsorship. Depending on your band, sponsorship can cover some costs and not others.

One common type of sponsorship is band funding for tuition, also known as third-party billing, where your band office provides your tuition and fee payments directly to UBC through Enrolment Services.

If you are considering band sponsorship, always be aware of deadlines for your band office and UBC Enrolment Services. For more information, read about third-party billing.

If you are already receiving band sponsorship, it's important to make sure you understand the type of sponsorship you are receiving and any restrictions on it.

View sponsorship details

Things to consider

  • Housing
    If you are receiving band funding for 4 years of on-campus housing, one question to ask your band is whether you could still be funded if you chose to live off-campus.
  • If you are in a co-op program

    If you are participating in a co-op program and need an additional year to finish your degree, check with your band about continued funding for your fifth and last year, or if this makes you ineligible for continued sponsorship.

  • Other costs
    If band funding is not enough to cover all your costs, look at other financial options available to you.

Additional resources

If you have questions

Please contact your Enrolment Services Advisor directly. All undergraduate students have an assigned advisor for personalized advising. 

If you do not have an assigned advisor, you can email the Indigenous Advising Team at