The Assembly of First Nations embarked on a major education program earlier this year, in an attempt to explain the program and encourage people to apply.
AFN personal credit liaison officer Shannon Payne says it has been an uphill battle trying to explain the government process.
“I think it was an incredibly flawed process…incredibly flawed,” she says.
Payne is one of four personal credit liaison workers with the AFN.
She has been on the road virtually non-stop for the past 10 months meeting with local bands and chiefs to provide education on the program.
Payne says the forms, put together by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, are a bureaucratic nightmare.
“It is very, very difficult to understand exactly what is being requested on the forms. Thousands of forms have been returned deficient out of a very small number of uptakes.”
Payne also says a lot of people, especially the elderly, have thrown the forms out saying they don’t plan to go back to school.
She says it is unfortunate more people don’t know the credits are transferable to children or grandchildren of eligible candidates and they can also be used for cultural events.
“So, for example, up in the Beaufort Delta in the Northwest Territories, a lot of people are accessing the credit so they can go out on the land and they can run caribou camps and they can run caribou hunts and they can show their kids how to dry meat.”
There is a helpline for those wishing to make inquiries and the number is 1-866-343-1858.
But phone traffic is currently extremely heavy and it is difficult to get through.
Those seeking information on the program can also email
The Assembly of First Nations also has information on the program on its website at AFN.CA