Indigenous Student Services

Indigenous Student Services (ISS) strives to be a home away from home for Indigenous students.

You can talk with the Senior Advisor, Indigenous Wellness Counsellor, meet other students and join in activities and cultural events provided by Indigenous staff for Indigenous students. Further, Indigenous students in the Faculty of Health Sciences can access a Faculty Advisor through Indigenous Health Learning Lodge (IHLL).

The following are just some of the services you will find at McMaster and the ISS.

The ISS acts as your guide on campus and in the greater Hamilton community. If you are a First Nation, Inuit or Métis student, staff are available to help you through the application process and the transition to postsecondary studies. Staff can also help you navigate other McMaster services and opportunities, such as academic advising, scholarships and bursaries or student wellness.

The ISS provides ongoing assistance and support to incoming and current students. This support includes academic, practical and culturally appropriate advising.

Every year, the ISS has the privilege of hosting the Elder in Residence Program, where Elders and Knowledge Keepers visit weekly, provide advice and lend a supportive ear if needed.

The ISS also provides academic skills workshops throughout the academic year.

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Indigenous Studies Department (ISD)

ISS works closely with the ISD and shares its space.

The ISD Student Library offers hundreds of titles in the areas of Indigenous Knowledge, research and language, as well as DVDs and language CDs that you can borrow.

The ISS and ISD centre in LR Wilson Hall has an Indigenous Student Lounge. The centre is equipped with a kitchen, computers, a printer and Internet access. You can use this space to study, hold a meeting or just take a break.

View all the services provided by Indigenous Student Services.

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Indigenous Health Learning Lodge Student Supports and Programs (IHLL)

IHLLis dedicated to providing services and supports for the academic success and well-being of all First Nations, Inuit and Métis students in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster.

Examples of our programming include:

  • The Elders and Knowledge Keepers in Residence program, which increases awareness and understanding of history, traditions and culture for all students by providing them access to Elders who are actively engaged in their communities and culture.
  • The Indigenous Mentorship Program is a program that is accessible to current and future students. The program helps dismantle barriers to postsecondary education for First Nations, Inuit and Métis learners within the Faculty of Health Sciences. Currently enrolled Indigenous health science students are recruited to become mentors.
  • The Medical School Entrance Interview workshop is a 2-day workshop focusing on increasing a positive performance during the medical school interview, specifically the Multi-Mini Interview. The IHLL, in collaboration with the Undergraduate Medical Education program, delivers this workshop in February each year.

IHLL engages with Indigenous communities and shares knowledge with non-Indigenous students, staff, faculty and departments interested in Indigenous health.

IHLL offers a culturally safe space for First Nations, Inuit and Métis students on campus. Our office is in the Michael DeGroote Centre for Learning. The IHLL office provides:

  • a student lounge to write or host a study group,
  • access to the IHLL library,
  • space for a nutrition or health break,
  • time with our Elders,
  • access to members of the IHLL team or
  • space to just sit and share a few laughs.

IHLL offers career and academic advising by assisting with admission requirements and maintaining those requirements and the application process.

The IHLL also:

  • provides information about scholarships and bursaries and referrals to general student services at McMaster,
  • works with students on academic planning and career goals,
  • provides links to professional and para-professional health networks,
  • shares knowledge about upcoming professional development opportunities and
  • connects students with mentors and tutors.

IHLL has a resource library. The library houses primarily Indigenous-authored documentaries, peer-reviewed articles, journals and texts, policy and technical reports, facts sheets and literature from North America. It also includes information about the global Indigenous health scholarship.

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