Current Students

Congratulations on making it to McMaster! University is fun, but it can also be very challenging. As such, we offer many supports and services for Indigenous students. If you ever have questions or find yourself in need of some extra support, please stop by to see us.

Indigenous Student Wellness

Check out the transition, mental wellness, and finances sections of the site.

Academic Support

Need a little bit of extra help with a course? Confused about your degree requirements? No problem! There are several options available to you:

  • Academic Advising – Plan courses, degree audits, understand program requirements. Your faculty’s Academic Advisors can let you know more about your degree requirements and academic guidelines. The Senior Advisor, Indigenous Student Services, can help you understand your degree requirements and options.
  • Tutor support – support is available to assist in covering the costs of a tutor. Make an appointment with the Senior Advisor to access tutoring.
  • The Student Success Centre’s Academic Support Program offers Academic Skills and Writing Workshops, Academic Advising, and more.
  • Partnership with Student Accessibility Services provides accommodations to Indigenous learners in need. 


Visit the Registrar’s Aid & Awards for Indigenous Students page for information about government aid, navigating OSAP,  scholarships, bursaries and other resources.


Student Development Program

Indigenous Student Services provides and connects Indigenous learners to the supports they need to achieve their academic goals (ISS).  The ISS Student Development Program supports students to create or participate in activities that enhance their academic or professional growth i.e., conference or community event. Students are encouraged to propose initiatives that will enable them to take on a leadership role and learn new skills.

The goal of this program is to enable you to be innovative, develop and demonstrate your leadership skills, as well as enhance your portfolio.


A variety of supports are available for your professional development.  The following are examples of eligible/ineligible activities. Supports you seek may fall outside of the examples provided but are encouraged to complete the application form.

Examples of eligible activities include:

  • Support to attend relevant conferences, events, workshops
  • Provide assistance for students’ professional development through presenting at conferences.
  • Participate in networking opportunities and mentorship with professionals in their field
  • Opportunity to network with other students

Examples of ineligible activities include:

  • International travel and expenses
  • Events/programs outside of academic program
  • Purchasing of technology or equipment; i.e. new computer
  • Professional development for self (i.e. professional association membership fees)


  • Contact indigssa@mcmaster.ca for more information
  • Agree where appropriate to promote the experience on social media via hashtags to ISS Facebook, Instagram, etc., or within the ISS newsletter/website. This may include recipient’s bio and photograph


  • Each application will be evaluated based on its relevancy to the student’s program of study and professional development
  • The amount allocated will vary from partial to total cost depending on total number of funding requests received; amount requested for the event and significance to career/academic development
  • Funding may be provided after the event depending on timing of application and approval
  • Students are encouraged to look for additional sources of funding
  • Funding must be expensed 2 weeks after event/activity/travel funded


Applications are accepted throughout the term.  Applications for travel must be submitted 3 weeks prior to travel.  Students are encouraged to apply with as much notice as possible.

All receipts for expenses must be submitted within 7 business days of the event.


Prior to travel

  • Student will provide links to the most cost-effective accommodation and travel to your event/activity for booking. Reimbursement for other expenses such as meals or other travel accommodations will need to be approved prior to travel.

While travelling

  • Student will keep all original receipts for hotel, airfare (including boarding passes), taxi receipts (including to/from location), meals (if covered).

Upon return

  • Student will provide all original receipts within 7 business days upon return to Tracy Bomberry (ISS office) for reconciliation of travel expenses. Including a copy of the agenda and/or poster of event.


  • Complete a post event report within one week of the event/travel

Indigenous students (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) are encouraged to apply!

Work Program for Students

Each year Indigenous Student Services offers a variety of employment opportunities for Indigenous Students. Most are offered through the Work Study Program.

Indigenous Student Services is currently hiring two students for the Fall/Winter Term. Students must be approved for the McMaster Work Program to apply. https://registrar.mcmaster.ca/aid-awards/work-program/

For more information contact the Senior Advisor at indigsc@mcmaster.ca.

“Exploring the campus and asking questions about the many, many services at McMaster for students is essential to your vitality. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of any and all services available to you.”


Social and Community Events

Throughout the academic year, we work with community partners to offer social events and workshops.  Join our student mailing list and visit the events section to stay connected. 


Come check out our new space! You can find us in L.R. Wilson Hall, Room 1811. Our facilities include:

  • Student Library: We offer hundreds of books, articles, DVDs, and CDs related to Indigenous knowledge and issues. The library is also equipped with computers and printers for general use.
  • Student Lounge: The lounge is available for students to study, meet for group projects, or just hang out. The room is equipped with a flat screen TV and DVD player.
  • Elders Lounge: This room is used by our Elders In Residence for one-on-one or small group conversations.  It also remains open as a space for students that need to access sacred medicines or to have quiet reflection.  Our Elders Lounge is not meant for regular studying or business meetings. UPDATE 2023: Our Elders Lounge is currently unavailable. Students who need access to a quiet space can contact the Senior Advisor, indigsc@mcmaster.ca or indigssa@mcmaster.ca
  • Ceremonial Room:  This space is used as study space, a meeting place, and for programs and gatherings. For booking inquiries, please contact Ashley Green, Indigenous Studies Department.
  • Teaching Kitchen: Stop by the kitchen to grab a snack, to heat up your lunch, or to attend a cooking workshop.
  • Medicine Garden: This outdoor space is the perfect place to unwind and spend time outdoors. Seating is available.
  • Outdoor Classroom and Community Gathering Space: This new and unique space can be used for lectures and community events. It is located behind the University Club.

To book the ceremonial room for an evening event or meeting, please contact the Undergraduate Assistant, Indigenous Studies Department.

Elders and Knowledge Keepers-in-Residence

Elders and Knowledge Keepers provide a link to culture, traditions, histories, teachings and more. Connecting with Elders and Knowledge keepers builds a sense of community, belonging and support.  

The Elders and Knowledge Keepers provide workshops in a variety of topics, such as but not limited you; crafts, cooking, sewing, Indigenous art, and much more. They are also available for one-on-one support when requested. 

Current regular Elders and Knowledge Keepers: 

Bertha Skye
Bertha Skye, Cree
Kathy Knott
Kathy Knott, Anishinabe
Renee Thomas-Hill
Renee Thomas-Hill, Cayuga

For more information about our Elders and Knowledge Keepers-in-Residence Program contact eir@mcmaster.ca

Graduation Ceremony

We want to celebrate graduates from the following programs:

  • First Nation, Metis and Inuit students graduating from all programs at McMaster
  • Students graduating from the Indigenous Studies Program (Honours BA, Combined Honours BA,  Combined BA Program, Minor in Indigenous Studies)

If you are graduating, please contact indigssa@mcmaster.ca for more information