Indigenous Student Services (ISS) strives to be a home away from home for Indigenous students. You can talk with the Indigenous Student Success Advisor, counsellors, meet other students and join in activities and cultural events.
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 Nations, Métis or Inuit 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.
Indigenous Studies Program (ISP)
ISS works closely with the Indigenous Studies Program and shares its space.
The ISP 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 ISP are home to the Indigenous Student Lounge. The room is equipped with a flat screen TV, a DVD player, computers, a printer and Internet access. You can use this space to study, hold a meeting or just take a break.
One day each week, the Indigenous Student Lounge offers free soup to students. Students can sign up to make the soup; those who do will be provided with a $75 gift card for the campus store.
Indigenous Students Health Sciences (ISHS) Office
The ISHS office is solely 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, which is a tool used to help dismantle barriers to postsecondary education for First Nations, Inuit and Métis students coming into, or already within, the Faculty of Health Sciences. Each year, Indigenous students are recruited from all areas of the Faculty of Health Sciences and related health programs to be mentors.
- The Medical School Entrance Interview workshop, which is a 2-day workshop focusing on increasing a positive performance during the medical school interview, specifically the Multi-Mini Interview. ISHS, in collaboration with the undergraduate medical program, delivers the IPAC workshop on a yearly basis in February.
ISHS also engages with broader Indigenous communities and knowledge shares with non-Indigenous students, staff, faculty, and departments interested in Indigenous health.
ISHS offers a culturally safe space for First Nations, Inuit and Métis students on campus. Our corner of the McMaster University Medical Centre provides students with space to write or host a study group, access the ISHS library, have a nutrition/health break, spend time with our Elders, check in with members of the ISHS team or just visit and share a few laughs.
ISHS offers career and academic advising by assisting with admission requirements, meeting and maintaining those requirements and the application process.
The ISHS 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
- Provides knowledge shares about upcoming professional development opportunities.
- Connects students with mentors and tutors.
ISHS 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.