Indigenous Self-Identification

Be Proud, Declare, Connect

Are you First Nation (Status, Non-Status), Metis or Inuit? 

Self-Id is a confidential and voluntary online survey to identify and connect Indigenous students studying at Lakehead University. This information helps Indigenous units provide appropriate services and effectively report and guide future program planning geared towards Indigenous students.

Indigenous Self-ID

By self-identifying, Indigenous students can:

Strengthen the Indigenous presence at Lakehead University and connect with the Indigenous community on campus

Students will receive communications about:

Scholarships, bursaries, events, career opportunities, academic supports, workshops, cultural events, elders in residence and much more. 

The Office of Indigenous Initiatives is dedicated to the success and support of students and working with the Indigenous community.

The Importance of Self-Declaration

Lakehead University is dedicated to recruiting, retaining, and graduating Indigenous learners. If you are First Nation, Non-Status, Métis, or Inuit, there are many support services that can help enhance your success as a student and make your life on campus a positive experience. You can access these support services by voluntarily declaring your Indigenous status as follows:
  • When you first apply to the Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC), it is important that you declare your Indigenous status
  • Once you are accepted to Lakehead University and have registered for classes online, complete the Voluntary Canadian Indigenous Self-Declaration
  • Join the Indigenous Student Services Centre (ISSC) email list to get connected to Lakehead University and the Aboriginal communities; by doing so, you will:
    • Be alerted to events, academic workshops, scholarships and awards, Elder visits, powwows, community gatherings, and recreational and cultural activities
    • Benefit from enhanced academic support
Indigenous students who have self-declared on the Voluntary Canadian Indigenous Self Declaration that would like to belong to the ISSC E-mail list can contact Indigenous Student Services Centre by email at to be added to the list

What you need to know about Indigenous Self-Identification

What is Indigenous student self-identification?
Indigenous students provide specific information about themselves in a voluntary and confidential online survey conducted and kept secure by Lakehead University. The University's Offices of Indigenous Initiatives and Institutional Planning and Analysis use this data for reporting purposes, to support Indigenous specific programming, and to plan future initiatives.
Who can self-identify and is proof of Indigenous ancestry required?
Within the survey, any student of Indigenous ancestry (First Nations, Métis, and/or Inuit, Status or non-Status) can self-identify at any point in their studies at Lakehead University. Proof of Indigenous ancestry is not required to self-identify; Indigenous identity is self-determined.

***Note: Outside the survey, some Indigenous programs with special admissions requirements and some Indigenous specific bursaries and scholarships may mandate proof of ancestry.
Can I self-identify as Indigenous in more than one group?
Yes. The standard categories of Indigenous identity, "First Nations," "Métis," and "Inuit," are those referred to in Canada's Constitution Act, 1982. Should you feel that none of these categories accurately reflect your identity as an Indigenous person, the "Alternative Identity Term" category can be selected for you to generate your own identity term, whether the name of your Nation (e.g. Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Cree (Mushkegowuk), Sto:lo, Nisga'a, etc.) or the name of your community or territory (e.g. Fort William First Nation, Wikwemikong Unceded Territory, Treaty #3, Métis Nation of Ontario, Thunder Bay Métis Community Council, etc.).
I am Indigenous from another country (i.e. other than Canada). Can I self-identify?
The Office of Indigenous Initiatives and the Indigenous Student Services Centre (ISSC) focus on supporting our Canadian Indigenous students through specific programs and services. We value, however, inclusivity and welcome your self-identification as Indigenous in the survey if you are an Indigenous person (as per the United Nations definition at from elsewhere in the world. Lakehead's Office of Indigenous Initiatives will then reach out to you and, with your consent, add your confidential contact information to our mass email communications list for services available to Indigenous students.
Why self-identify?
By self-identifying, Indigenous students can:
  • Strengthen the Indigenous presence and influence at Lakehead University.
  • Connect with the growing Indigenous student community on campus.
  • Assist Indigenous departments to further positive changes to services and supports and create leverage for Indigenous curricula, content and infrastructure.
  • Receive communications about Indigenous specific opportunities such as scholarships, bursaries, events and career opportunities.

If you choose, you can also add your name and email address to the confidential Indigenous Student Services Centre (ISSC) email membership list. This will ensure you receive information about the following:

Academic workshops
Bursaries and scholarships
Career and employment opportunities
On and off campus events
Cultural events information
Didn't I self-identify when I applied to Lakehead University?
Lakehead University's Indigenous students have three (3) opportunities to self-identify:
  1. In the Application Process (through OUAC Ontario University Application Centre application) 
    You may have "self-identified" as Indigenous on your OUAC application. However, the OUAC "self-identification" process is separate from Lakehead University's Self-Identification Survey which provides us with more directly accessible information.

  2. During the Registration Process - (As a student admitted to the University)
    When students begin the process of registering for classes the Self-Identification Survey will appear, which students may choose to complete or bypass. 

  3. After Registration
    Once you’ve registered for courses, you can access Lakehead’s Self-Identification Survey online through “myInfo”, under your personal profile tab. This means you can self-identify as Indigenous at any time during your student career at Lakehead.
Why does Lakehead want to know this information?
Lakehead University's Office of Indigenous Initiatives and the Office of Institutional Planning and Analysis use the Self-Identification Survey data to help guide institutional planning and to help provide effective delivery of programs and services. This process also ensures that we are delivering high quality learning opportunities and being responsive to our students' changing needs and that the University's services and supports are accessible to all Indigenous students.
How will this information be used and protected? Who will have access to my responses?
Lakehead University is bound by Ontario's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act ("FIPPA") (accessible online at and associated regulations to keep all students' personal information confidential and secure. Only select staff of the University's Offices of Institutional Planning and Analysis, Enrollment Services, and Indigenous Initiatives, themselves bound to maintain strict confidentiality, will collect and securely store the data provided by the Self-Identification Survey. Survey information that can identify you will thereafter be disclosed only to the extent that you permit. Otherwise, the survey information will be aggregated and anonymized so that no individual can be identified. Only then will such information be passed on to provincial and federal government departments and/or Lakehead University offices and groups who require the information to monitor and improve services to the Indigenous community in the post-secondary sector in general and at Lakehead University in particular.
What happens when I select "I prefer not to answer at this time"?
If you select "I prefer not to answer at this time", you will be presented with the Self-Identification Survey again at a later point while you are a student at Lakehead – but you will never be compelled to complete the survey. You can also self identify at any time by logging in to your myinfo student profile to complete the survey at anytime.
What if my information changes later on or if I change my mind?
If you wish to remove your Indigenous self-identification information, you can:

Contact the Indigenous Student Services Centre via email at or visit in person and submit a request.

Note: Data previously reported cannot be changed or withdrawn.
What does it mean if I choose not to self-identify?
Your self-identification will help us to serve you and Lakehead University's Indigenous community better, but it is not a condition of service. All Indigenous students are welcomed and encouraged to participate in our on-campus Indigenous community and encouraged to utilize all services whether or not they choose to self-identify. Please contact the Indigenous Student Services Centre for more information.

Questions concerning any aspect of Indigenous self-identification may be directed to the Indigenous Student Services Centre at