Indigenous Foundations Program

Program Overview

In the Indigenous Foundations Program, students have the opportunity to earn university credits in an environment, which encourages growth, and learning while respecting cultural and traditional diversity.

The program provides students with a learning environment focused on the "Sweetgrass Holistic Approach to Support" where they can pursue their academic goals and be successful while balancing personal wellness.

An integrated staff of Elders, faculty and a dedicated Student Success Coordinator supports learners in the Indigenous Foundations Program program. This team recognizes and celebrates the learner' identities as Indigenous people.

When students successfully complete their first year in the Indigenous Foundations Program, they will have earned up to 24 university credits towards their university degree. Students will also have developed a strong foundational basis of academic and personal skills to help ensure their continued success in their studies at Nipissing University.

Who can apply?

The Indigenous Foundations Program welcomes applicants from a wide range of students with Indigenous ancestry who would like additional supports for their transition to university.

  • Recent high school graduates
  • Recent college graduates and transfer students
  • Mature Students
  • Those missing some of the traditional admission requirements

How do you apply?

To apply to the Indigenous Foundations Program applicants must submit the following documents to the Office of the Registrar.

  • An Application Form
  • Statement of Intent - A personal letter outlining the your educational goals, strengths and challenges
  • An updated resumé
  • Two references on the forms provided. One professional reference (Possible references include, teachers, employers, Elders or community members) and one personal reference (a non-family member who has known you for several years)
  • Original Transcripts (Secondary & Postsecondary)
  • Proof of Ancestry


Need more information? 

Call or email us, we are happy to chat with you and answer any and all of your questions about the program.

Indigenous Foundations Program, Student Success & Development Coordinator

Phone: 705.474.3450 Ext. 4441

Dakota, Bachelor of Arts Honours Specialization in Social Welfare and Social Development, Hometown: Ottawa, ON

Academic Supports and Resources

Academic Supports and Resources

Students participate in a series of workshops and activities to strengthen and enhance their academic skills and knowledge.

  • One-on-one (or small group) tutoring sessions
  • Writing and grammar skills workshops
  • Study Skills Seminars
  • Laptop Lending Initiative - any student in the Indigenous Foundations Program, who requires a laptop for their first year can borrow one through the Office of Indigenous Initiatives.

Personal Supports and Resources

Personal Supports and Resources

A Student Success Coordinator works with students to find balance between their academic and personal lives.

  • Transition Support
  • Stress Management
  • Budgeting/housing assistance (scholarships/awards/bursaries)

Peer and Community Connection

Peer and Community Connection

In the Indigenous Foundations Program, students are encouraged to make connections with their classmates, the staff and faculty within the university community.

  • Orientation
  • Cohort Model of Learning (learning together in group)
  • Connecting first year students in the Indigenous Foundations Program with previous AAP students and the wider Nipissing University community

Cultural Supports and Resources

Cultural Supports and Resources

The Indigenous Foundations Program involves the participation of Elders from the community to create connections to cultural support for students.

  • Sharing circles and smudges
  • Individual sessions with the Elder
  • On-going guidance and mentorship

Indigenous Foundations Program Orientation 2019-20

Orientation for the Indigenous Foundations Program is essential to starting your year off in a good way. It is an opportunity for you to get acquainted with your peers and on-campus support network. The three day orientation will begin on campus on Tuesday August 27, 2019. During the first day you will meet your peers, pick up your computer, tour the campus, register for courses etc. Days two and three will be held off campus at Spirit Point in Trout Creek, Ontario (about a 40-minute drive from North Bay). During these two days students will engage in a series of activities that will allow you to build meaningful relationships with your peers,  support staff and faculty. We will provide transportation, accommodations and food while you are there - there is no cost to students. Previous students feel that this is their favourite part of the program. Full attendance is mandatory.  

Additional orientation information will be emailed to your Nipissing University email account at the end of June, 2019.



Indigenous Foundations Program Course Registration 2019-20

Students enrolled in the Indigenous Foundations Program have the choice to register throughout the summer or they can wait and register for their courses during the first day of orientation, August 27th, 2019. 

If you choose to register from home over the summer, please see the instructions below. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Student Success & Development Coordinator for the Indigenous Foundations Program at or (705) 474-3450 Ext. 4441.


Kiethen, Master of Environmental Studies, Hometown: Kashechewan, ON


Ready to apply to the Indigenous Foundations Program?


For additional information about admission requirements, deadlines or any other questions you have please contact our Student Success & Development Coordinator.

Phone: 705-474-3450 Ext. 4441