Frequently Asked Questions

1. 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. Self-identification is a personal choice and no proof of ancestry is required.

2. Is the information confidential? Who will have access to the information?
Yes, the information collected is confidential. 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 First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students will be informed.

Self-identification data will be used as provided for by the Education Act and as a means to enhance Aboriginal education programs within the Board. Information gathered shall be used in the aggregate only and only for the purpose of developing and implementing supportive programs.

This information will be shared with the Ministry of Education and the Education Quality and Accountability Office. Overall aggregate results, including provincial test results, will be reviewed to see if there have been improvements in academic achievement for Indigenous students and a reduction in the achievement gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.

3. What are the benefits to individuals of self-identifying?
The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board wants to ensure that we are meeting all students' learning and developmental needs through appropriate supportive broad programming in our schools across the District. Benefits to First Nation, Métis or Inuit students who choose to self-identify include: better access to board and/or school-sponsored cultural programming; better access for students to information about post-secondary pathways and funding support specific to First Nation, Métis or Inuit students; increased school awareness about the diverse needs of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit learners.

4. What can I expect if I self-identify as First Nation, Métis or Inuit?
Schools will continue to ensure that all students are treated equitably and with respect. Voluntary self-identification of Indigenous students will enhance the provision of quality programs, supports and services.

5. Why is this information useful to the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board?
The information will allow the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board to:
- learn more about the Indigenous population it serves.
- support the success of our Indigenous 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.
- support Indigenous students in entering the workforce, and preparing for post-secondary studies.

6. Can I withdraw my self-identification?
Yes. Upon written request at any time to the principal of the school, you can remove your self-identification.

7. How was the Self-identification Policy created by the board?
The policy was developed through a consultation process with local Indigenous parents, students, community members and organizations, Indigenous teachers in the board, board staff, Ministry officials, and other school boards.

8. Is the Voluntary 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 Voluntary Self-Identification Policy allows school boards and the Ministry to measure progress towards achieving that goal.

9. How can I learn more about the Ministry of Education's initiatives for First Nation, Métis and Inuit students?
Ministry of Education documents regarding the Indigenous Education Strategy are available at
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