The Limestone District School Board, like other school boards across Ontario, is inviting students and their families to state voluntarily and confidentially if they have Indigenous ancestry.
Who can self-identify?
If you are a student over 18 years of age and have any degree of Indigenous ancestry you may choose to self-identify. If you are under 18 years of age, your parents or guardians will need to identify for you. You can identify as First Nation, Métis or Inuit. No proof is required.
Is the information confidential?
Yes. It will be treated like all personal information collected by the Board. Board personnel who would require such information for the provision of resources, services, and experiences to benefit individual Indigenous students will be informed. This information will be shared with the Ministry of Education and the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO). Overall aggregate results, including provincial test results, will be studied to see if there have been improvements for Indigenous students.
What are the benefits to individuals of self-identifying?
Self-identified students may be eligible for additional support such as counselling, tutoring and extra-curricular opportunities. The Board wants to ensure that we are meeting your learning and developmental needs through appropriate supportive programming in our schools.
Will I be treated differently if I self-identify as First Nation, Métis or Inuit?
No. Schools ensure that all students are treated with respect. You may, however, be entitled to some additional supports as an identified First Nation, Métis or Inuit person.
Why is this information useful to the Limestone District School Board?
The information will allow the Board to:
know more about the Indigenous population it serves.
further support the success of our Aboriginal students.
advocate for funding from the Ministry of Education which will provide the means to develop and implement student success programs and supports for Indigenous students.
target expenditures and initiatives to enhance the success of Indigenous students.
provide more help to Indigenous students to be successful in school, entering the workforce, and preparing for post-secondary studies
How was the Self-identification Policy created by the board?
The Board consulted with local Indigenous parents and organizations, Indigenous teachers in the board, board staff, Ministry officials, and other school boards to draw up the policy. The Ministry initiative is outlined in the document, Building Bridges to Success for First Nation, Métis and Inuit Students: Developing Policies for Voluntary, Confidential Aboriginal Students Self-Identification.
Is the Self-Identification Policy related to other Ministry of Education initiatives?
Yes. In 2007 the Ministry of Education issued the Ontario First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Education Policy Framework. In that document, the ministry has stated that First Nation, Métis and Inuit students will have the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to successfully complete their elementary and secondary education in order to pursue postsecondary education or training and/or to enter the workforce. The self-identification policy allows
school boards and the ministry to measure whether they are achieving that goal.
Can I withdraw my self-identification?
Yes, at any time. Upon written request to the principal of the appropriate school, you can remove your self-identification.