#ideclareindigenous: Indigenous students encouraged to self-declare by their peers
Indigenous students are taking part in a campaign to raise awareness about the U of M’s renewed self-declaration process, which now provides First Nations, Métis and Inuit students the option to receive communication about the University’s Indigenous community.
Using #ideclareindigenous they are sharing messages on social media.
“I declare Indigenous because it’s who I am. It’s where I’m from. It’s where I’m going,” shared Chanse Kornik, 4th year electrical engineering student.
Taylor Morriseau, an honours student in the Faculty of Science, encourages students to check the box to receive communication. “Our community includes supports such as the Indigenous Circle of Empowerment and the Neechiwaken Indigenous Peer Mentor Group. There are also events and ceremonies held at Migizii Agamik that allow students to stay rooted to their culture, especially for those who may feel disconnected by the immensity of university life,” says Morriseau. “As one of your peers, I encourage you to join our vibrant and growing community and take advantage of all the resources that are available to you.”
Chanse Kornik also encourages students to check the option to receive communication. Kornik is a past-president of the University of Manitoba Aboriginal Students’ Association (UMASA). “It wasn’t always easy to get a hold of students to be involved in our events,” he says. “If we could provide information to all self-declared Indigenous students, we could be much more productive as a student group. It gives students an opportunity to volunteer, get involved in the community, cultural events, meet people, and connect with possible mentors.”
How to sign up for communication about U of M’s Indigenous community
- To sign up for communication about U of M’s go to your student profile in Aurora and under the declarations tab select Canadian Indigenous Self-Declaration and click on the option to receive communication;
- Or, fill-out and print off the PDF on the self-declaration website, select the option to receive communication, and drop it off at the Registrar’s Office (400 University Centre); or
- If you have already self-declared you will receive an email this fall offering you an opportunity to opt-in with instructions on how to do so.
Indigenous students who self-declare are also considered for awards dedicated to Indigenous students such as scholarships, fellowships, prizes and bursaries. Self-declaration also provides statistical information that allows the U of M to better understand the Indigenous student population.
“Self-declaration has brought me many direct benefits including several bursaries and scholarships that have substantially lifted my financial burden,” says Morriseau. “I also believe self-declaration en masse has provided the University with invaluable knowledge of our growing presence for increased allotment of resources specifically dedicated to Indigenous students.”
Indigenous students can self-declare at point of application, in Aurora, or by downloading the self-declaration form online and returning it to the Registrar’s Office (400 University Centre). Answers to frequently asked questions about self-declaring are available at umanitoba.ca/ideclareindigenous, or students can contact isc [at] umanitob [dot] ca if they want more information.
During the review of self-declaration process, more than 50 Indigenous students provided input on everything from privacy concerns to what type of information they would like to receive about the U of M’s Indigenous community.
All information collected through the self-declaration process is kept by the Registrar’s Office and is protected by the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act.
“We want to make sure students feel comfortable self-declaring. All of the information collected through the self-declaration process is confidential,” says Christine Cyr, director of the Indigenous Student Centre. “Some students told us they don’t want to self-declare because they fear they may be penalized or treated differently in some way. On the other hand, we are seeing more and more students who are publicly sharing that they have self-declared. We are here to support all students and their decisions around self-declaration.”
Indigenous students are invited to come to Migizii Agamik – Bald Eagle Lodge as part of Indigenous Orientation on Wednesday, September 14 where there will be a photo booth set up to share their reasons for self-declaring: #ideclareindigenous because…