Taking Flight Together

EleV supports Indigenous learners in Canada on their pathways through university or college and onto economic opportunities. Consistent with the vision of Mino-Bimaadiziwin (living in a good way), opportunities reflect their traditions, values, and aspirations and enable youth to contribute to self-determination within their communities.

EleV was launched in 2017 with Indigenous communities and two post-secondary education institutions, Vancouver Island University (VIU) and Yukon College. Programming was tailored to local strengths and needs, focused on generating new collaborative and innovative approaches to student success, and built on co-creation, listening, learning, and commitment.

In 2019 EleV was approved for an expansion, with a new bold goal of enabling 30,000 Indigenous youth to complete their education, access economic opportunities and drive meaningful change in their communities by 2030.Through regional partnerships co-created with Indigenous communities, young people and post-secondary institutions and/ or Indigenous organizations, we aim to catalyze:

  • Strong education and training systems supporting wellbeing and preparing Indigenous youth to contribute to their communities.
  • Economic opportunity for Indigenous young people including mentorship and training, informed by community and market needs.
  • Growth in employment in key sectors aligned to Indigenous community economic visions (including land and resource management, alternative energy, food security, technology, and eco-tourism), and increased Indigenous private sector development.​
  • Advancement of Indigenous young people as agents for change and builders of community capacity.​

The first partnership under this initiative was launched in December 2019 with the University of Lethbridge and the Blackfoot Confederacy.

EleV supports Indigenous students pursuing ongoing learning through post-secondary education. The Mastercard Foundation is working with Vancouver Island University  and Yukon College to double the enrollment and completion rates of Indigenous youth in these two post-secondary institutions. Working together with Indigenous communities, we are creating opportunities for Indigenous learners to be full partners in their education.

Building on the financial contributions from government, the private sector, Indigenous communities, and our two higher-education partners, Vancouver Island University (VIU) and Yukon College, the Mastercard Foundation has committed $13.5 million to VIU and $4.6 million to Yukon College to enhance the holistic support for Indigenous learners at both institutions.Indigenous community partners work collaboratively with the relevant post-secondary institutions to identify and recruit students. We encourage you to contact the institutions directly with any questions you might have about the initiative.


The Mastercard Foundation’s EleV Program engages in two kinds of partnerships. 

Anchor Collaborative Partnerships are the primary driver of systems change through EleV. They include partners focused on creating sustainable systems change led by Indigenous communities and youth in partnership with a diverse set of stakeholders including educators and employers. EleV will work to strengthen Indigenous youth and Indigenous youth-led organizations in the regions we work.


Catalytic and Learning Partnerships are agile and responsive. They are meant to harness opportunities for learning and/or acceleration in economic sectors or program areas key to the EleV strategy. They enhance the work of our anchor partnerships and strengthen Indigenous and youth-led social infrastructure and organizations.  


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