Saskatchewan

University rejects scholarship offer for non-aboriginal students only

The University of Saskatchewan has turned down a $500,000 offer to endow a scholarship because the donor wants the money to be spent only on non-aboriginal students.

The University of Saskatchewan has turned down a $500,000 offer to endow a scholarship because the donor wants the money to be spent only on non-aboriginal students.

According to the university, a 57-year-old graduate of the Saskatoon-based university offered the money, with the stipulation linked to race.

Heather Magotiaux, vice-president of advancement for the university, told CBC News that setting up such a scholarship would violate human rights legislation.

"We do make exceptions where those exceptions have been identified by the human rights legislation," Magotiaux said about other scholarships that target minorities such as aboriginal students and students with disabilities. Outside of those categories, she said, "our core position is that scholarships should be made available to students regardless of race."

Magotiaux said the university would take the money if the race-related clause was dropped.

She said, however, that the potential donor was adamant.

"It became evident that that was a criterion that the donor insisted on, and therefore, we had to decline the gift," Magotiaux said.

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