Indigenous Admissions Pathway

Keknu’tmasiek Welo’ltimk (We Learn Healing)

Dalhousie Medical School recognizes that Mi’kmaw, Wolastoqiyik, Peskotomuhkati, and other Indigenous people face unique and unjust barriers in their journey to medical school. We are renewing our efforts to identify and eliminate these barriers. A new Indigenous Admissions Subcommittee has been established to guide this work. This subcommittee is comprised of an Indigenous Elder, community leaders, physicians, medical students, residents, faculty, and staff. Several non-Indigenous allies also sit on this subcommittee.  

In an acknowledgement of Indigenous rights-holders in the territories that we serve, Mi’kmaw, Wolastoqiyik, Peskotomuhkati, and other Indigenous applicants who can demonstrate a substantial connection to an Indigenous community in the Maritimes will take priority under the new Indigenous Admissions Pathway. Indigenous applicants who can demonstrate a substantial connection to other Indigenous communities across Canada will also be considered. All applicants must meet published residency requirements to be assigned to Maritime or other Canadian seats.

By applying to and being admitted under the Indigenous Admissions Pathway, applicants agree to meet with the Program Manager of Keknu’tmasiek Welo’ltimk on at least two occasions per academic year. The purpose of these meetings will be to understand the strengths and needs of each student. Keknu’tmasiek Welo’ltimk staff will work to provide individualized support and guidance to all Indigenous students throughout their medical training. Students who fail to meet this requirement may be referred to the Progress Committee for review under Faculty of Medicine Promotion, Assessment, and Appeal Regulations.

Self-Identification

To be considered under the Indigenous Admissions Pathway, applicants must self-identify in Section 1 and provide the following supporting documents with Section 2 of their application:

  1. A letter (not to exceed 750 words) expressing the applicant’s intent to be considered under the Indigenous Admissions Pathway.        

    In this letter, applicants must be able to describe their Indigenous identity and their connection to an Indigenous community within the Maritimes or Canada. The Indigenous Admissions Subcommittee recognizes that colonial policies (e.g. the Indian Residential School System, the Sixties Scoop, etc.) have disrupted the connection between many Indigenous people, their cultures, their languages, and their communities. These factors will be considered when reviewing letters for eligibility under the Indigenous Admissions Pathway.
  2. A letter of support from either an official in a recognized Indigenous organization or a relative in an Indigenous community.
  3. Specific information and documentation regarding their First Nation (Status and Non-Status), Métis, Inuit, Band Council, Tribal Council, Treaty, community, nation, or organizational affiliation. Some examples of acceptable forms of documentation include:
  • A copy of a valid Indian Status or Treaty card;
  • Proof of enrolment as a Mi’kmaw of Nova Scotia through Wula na kinu;
  • A copy of a valid Nunavut Trust Certificate card, roll number or any other proof accepted by Inuit communities;
  • A copy of a membership card from a Métis registry recognized by the Métis National Council (Métis Nation of Ontario, the Manitoba Métis Federation, the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan, the Métis Nation of Alberta and the Métis Nation British Columbia);
  • A copy of a membership card from a Métis Settlement General Council community;
  • Written confirmation of a nationhood in a federally recognized band coucil which has its own citizenship code; or, 
  • A declaration of Indigenous (status or non-status) identity by the candidate with supporting documentation from either an official in a recognized Indigenous organization or a relative in an Indigenous community with any of the aforementioned forms of documentation.

These documents will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and may be subject to verification by members of the Indigenous Admissions Subcommittee. All three supporting documents must be submitted by the Section 2 deadline. Late submissions will result in automatic disqualification from the Indigenous Admissions Pathway. Applications that are deemed ineligible for consideration under the Indigenous Admissions Pathway will be re-directed to the Admissions Committee for consideration among the general admissions pool. This decision is final. Suspected Indigenous identity fraud will be investigated in accordance with university policies and procedures and may result in rescission of an offer or expulsion from the university.

 

Requirements

Applicants who are considered under the Indigenous Admissions Pathway must complete and submit each requirement that is listed here 

Complete applications will undergo a holistic review by the Indigenous Admissions Subcommittee, where no single component of an application will be considered grounds for disqualification. 

Indigenous applicants must demonstrate an ability to meet the academic rigor of medical school, but there is no minimum score required for any component of an application under the Indigenous Admissions Pathway. Applicants are encouraged to explain any areas of weakness or concern in their personal statement.

Incomplete or late applications will be considered ineligible for admission.

FAQ's

I am Indigenous, but I don’t have Indian Status. Am I still eligible for consideration under the Indigenous Admissions Pathway?

Yes, the Indigenous Admissions Subcommittee recognizes that Indigenous identity is complex, and it isn’t based solely on a card, document, or legal status. The goal of our self-identification policy is to prevent fraud and abuse. It is meant to be as inclusive as possible. Applications will be reviewed carefully and thoughtfully on a case-by-case basis.

I wrote the MCAT, but my score doesn’t meet the minimum requirements listed on the general admissions website. Should I bother applying?

Yes! Applications that are considered under the Indigenous Admissions Pathway will undergo a holistic review. Indigenous applicants must demonstrate an ability to meet the academic rigor of medical school, but there is no minimum score required for any component of an application under the Indigenous Admissions Pathway. This includes the MCAT and GPA. Applicants are encouraged to explain any areas of weakness or concern in their personal statement.

This is a big change from previous years. Is there someone I can talk to about how this might apply to me?

Yes, please contact Hannah Asprey (Program Manager, Keknu’tmasiek Welo’ltimk) at ihim@dal.ca or the Admissions Office at medicine.admissions@dal.ca