Are you interested in aboriginal education?

Mary Jane, Nashette and Shekau are Innu students from  Natuashish, Labrador who participated in an exchange with students from Centre Wellington District High School in Spring 2008The Upper Grand District School Board and the Wellington Catholic District School Board have formed a Community Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee. The purpose of this committee is to assist in identifying community needs and to provide advice and guidance on Aboriginal initiatives. New Aboriginal education initiatives and projects will be shared with this group for consultation and feedback.

If you are interested in joining this Advisory Committee, please complete and submit the application form (PDF). For more information about the committee, contact Colinda Clyne, Curriculum Leader for First Nations, Métis and Inuit education and Equity, at 519-822-4420 Ext 727 or

Aboriginal Self Identification / Declaration of Aboriginal Ancestry Forms

Provincial studies have identified a gap in the level of achievement between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students. It is the policy of the Upper Grand District School Board to provide programs and put into place measures that respond to the needs of Aboriginal students.

Parents of all Upper Grand Public Schools are now asked to voluntarily identify their child as being of Aboriginal (First Nation, Métis, or Inuit) or non-Native ancestry. Individual data will not be shared and will be kept confidential.

The data collected through the Aboriginal Self Identification process will be the foundation of our efforts to further support the success of our Aboriginal students. This will allow us to advocate for funding that will provide the means to develop and implement supports for all students to experience achievement in both elementary and secondary school.

Declaration of Aborginal Ancestry Form PDF icon

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important for parents/guardians to participate in the Voluntary Aboriginal Self-identification?Upper Grand Public Schools continually strives to meet your child’s education needs. Completing and returning the Declaration of Aboriginal Ancestry form will allow us to learn more about student achievement for all students in our system. We want to ensure we are meeting your child’s learning and developmental needs through appropriate supportive programming in the schools. Participating in student self-identification is voluntary.

Who is being asked to voluntarily self-identify as Aboriginal?All new and existing elementary and secondary students are being given a Declaration of Aboriginal Ancestry form. The information is provided on a voluntary basis.

What is the definition for First Nation (Status, Non-Status), Métis and Inuit?Aboriginal refers to the definition in The Constitution Act, 1982, Section 35 (2), in that “Aboriginal peoples” include “Indian, Inuit and Métis.” (Source: The Constitution Act 1982, Section 35 (2))
First Nations peoples include both status and non-status peoples: status refers to peoples registered under the Indian Act, holding certain rights and benefits that are not available to non-status or Métis people.
Non-status refers to peoples who consider themselves persons of Aboriginal descent who do not meet the criteria of the Indian Act or who, despite meeting those criteria, have not been registered as a status Indian.
Métis means a person who self-identifies as Métis, is distinct from other Aboriginal peoples, is of historic Métis Nation ancestry, and is accepted by the Métis Nation. (Source: Métis Nation Resolution, 2002)
Inuit is a distinct group of Aboriginal people who have ancestral ties to Northern Canada (Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Northern Quebec and Northern Labrador). (Source: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada)

What box do I select if my child(ren) is both Métis and First Nation (non-status)?The parent or guardian has the choice to select which ancestral background.

Is it mandatory for parents/guardians to self-identify their child(ren)?No. It is voluntary for parents/guardians to participate in this process. Parents/guardians have the option to not participate if he/she chooses. The student information given is collected as a whole and kept confidential. Verification of ancestral background is not required.

How will my child benefit from answering the Voluntary Aboriginal Self- Identification question?Knowing how our students, as a whole, are doing in school will help us understand what education programs and methods are working, where additional programs and supports are required and what changes need to be made.

What specific information will be tracked?Information on Non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal ancestry such as First Nation (including Status/Non-Status), Métis and Inuit will be collected as a whole. In order to measure the success of all students, establishing baseline student data is required. Particular attention will be given to monitoring grade promotion/retention, academic performance, and graduation/dropout rates.

How is the information collected and maintained?All student information collected is kept confidential. These forms are securely stored to respect privacy and will be treated in the same manner as Ontario Student Record Guidelines, according to the Education Act and Municipal Freedom of Information and Privacy Act.

For further information or questions, please contact the school Principal or Colinda Clyne, Curriculum Leader for First Nations, Métis and Inuit education and Equity at (519) 822-4420 Ext. 727 or  

(PHOTO: Mary Jane, Nashette and Shekau are Innu students from  Natuashish, Labrador who participated in an exchange with students from Centre Wellington District High School in Spring 2008. Photo by Jack Frimeth.)