Program to improve access to Aboriginal self-identification


On March 11, Kingston and the Islands MPP Sophie Kiwala announced funding to the Self-Identification Project at Queen’s.
Journal File Photo

New funding from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities aims to make self-identification more accessible and impactful for Aboriginal students at Queen’s. 

On March 11, Kingston and the Islands MPP Sophie Kiwala announced funding to back two programs: the Self-Identification Project at Queen’s and the Kickstart College program at St. Lawrence College. 

The program at Queen’s will develop new means for Aboriginal students to self-identify on their student records in an effort to increase discussion and access to specialized programs and assistance. 

Under the current system, Aboriginal students can self-identify in the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre process, but can’t do so after their application closes. 

The Self-ID Project will examine current methods of collecting and reporting information on self-identified Aboriginal students and is seeking to improve recruitment and retention programs. 

Services on campus that aid Aboriginal students will also be investigated to determine how they can be improved. Issues to be investigated include possible structural and societal barriers to self-identification. 

The funding will be taken from the Ontario Targeted Initiatives Fund, where the province invested $3 million during 2015-16. The fund supports 20 projects within post-secondary and training institutions, community organizations and service delivery partners. 

The Ontario government has promised to invest $97 million into support for Aboriginal post-secondary educational initiatives over the next three years.

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