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Ryerson Aboriginal Student Services (RASS) provides a number of programs for First Nations, Inuit, Metis, Canadian Indigenous students (or those who identify by nation or community) at Ryerson.

Due to COVID-19, Ryerson University is closed except for essential services. As such, the Aboriginal Student Lounge, located at KHW-372 is not open for in-person visits. Please contact a member of our team by email or phone.

Peer support for Indigenous students at Ryerson

The Aboriginal Peer Support Program is dynamic and made up of Aboriginal students at Ryerson who conduct outreach and provide peer support to other Aboriginal students on-campus.

The Peer Support team can provide you with information and resources about our educational, social and cultural events. You can also learn how to get involved and connected with the Indigenous community at Ryerson.

All Aboriginal, Métis and Inuit students are eligible and welcome to participate in the program.

Get in touch with the Aboriginal Peer Support team

Room: Kerr Hall West, 372
Phone: 416-979-5000, ext. 556660

Two Indigenous students in conversation

Apply for a student staff position with the Aboriginal Peer Support Program

The Peer Supporter Program aims to enhance  the university experience of Aboriginal students at Ryersonby supporting  their adjustment and transition to university life. The program helps facilitate academic success, as well as positive social and personal growth. Peer Supporters provide opportunities for  Aboriginal students to access campus programs, networks and resources that enable them to benefit from a well-rounded university experience.

Peer Supporters will:

  • Serve as a positive role models and support systems for  Aboriginal students
  • Professionally communicate with students to offer assistance and valuable academic and social guidance 
  • Facilitate the active involvement of students in events 
  • Foster strong links between students and Aboriginal Student Services
  • Ensure confidentiality of students’ cases
  • Demonstrate commitment to valuing diversity

Peer supporters are not counselors or teachers, but are important resources, friendly guides, organizers and referral points. They act in a professional manner with students. Peer supporters will initiate and remain in contact with their students to offer valuable assistance and guidance both socially and academically. They are dynamic event organizers, which enrich the network and knowledge of the Aboriginal Student Community. In return, Peer Supporters will be provided with the opportunity for valuable hands-on work and leadership experiences, with formal leadership training.  .

Get in touch and apply to be a Peer

Phone: 416-979-5000, ext. 556660

Tea n Talk: Connect with fellow Indigenous students

Tea n Talk is a bi-weekly event hosted by Ryerson Aboriginal Students Services (RASS) for students who identify as First Nations, Inuit, Metis, Canadian Indigenous (or those who identify by nation or community). 

Students are encouraged to join us for fun activities and discussion within a casual environment. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet and connect with other Indigenous students as well as the dedicated RASS team. 

Sessions take place weekly during the fall and winter semesters and bi-weekly during the spring and summer semesters. Learn more and join the next gathering.

Ryerson student with a cup of tea on Zoom at a Tea n Talk event.

Writing workshops and support for Indigenous students at Ryerson

RASS’s Aboriginal Learning Support Facilitator is available to assist students one-on-one with their academic writing assignments from undergraduate to graduate-level studies. We offer a variety of workshops throughout the year to assist students with their writing assignments. 

Workshop topics include essay writing and referencing, incorporating Indigenous knowledge into essay writing, time management and effective study habits as well as self-care and wellness for successful academic success. 

Access writing support services

Date: Monday to Friday
Time: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Get in touch with the Aboriginal Learning Support team

To make an appointment for writing support services or to learn about upcoming workshops, please contact:

Diane Simone
Aboriginal Learning Support Facilitator
Phone: 416-979-5000, ext. 553326

Sarena Johnson
Liaison, Ryerson Student Affairs
Phone: 416-979-5000, ext. 552423

A student typing on a laptop during the online Writing Circle event

Cultural and traditional teachings for Indigenous students at Ryerson

RASS’s Cultural and Traditional Teachings Programs are aimed at complimenting, strengthening and supporting students by connecting them with Elders to receive traditional counselling and support. 

The program also invites Traditional Teachers from the Indigenous community to share indigenous knowledge and traditions, to teach Indigenous history, culture and protocols.

Get in touch with the Cultural and Traditional Teachings Program team 

Sloan (Joanne) Miller
Traditional Counsellor
Phone: 416-979-5000, ext. 552423

Two Indigenous community members participating in a smudge ceremony

Aboriginal Foundations Program for Indigenous community members

The Aboriginal Foundations Program is designed to accommodate those who may have obligations during the day, with classes offered for three hours, one evening a week, for thirteen weeks. The program will focus on upgrading writing and critical-thinking skills for Aboriginal individuals interested in entering bridging (through Spanning the Gaps), certificate, or continuing education programs, or upgrading academic skills towards greater success at the post-secondary level.

The Aboriginal Foundations Program runs annually at the beginning of the calendar year. Learn more about the Aboriginal Foundations Program through the Chang School of Continuing Education website

Who should apply

  • Aboriginal community members who seek the necessary writing and critical-thinking skills to enter into bridging, certificate, or continuing education programs at the university level, or to improve their academic skills towards greater personal achievement.
  • Aboriginal professionals who are seeking to upgrade their writing skills and may be interested in broadening their professional development through continuing education programs within a university environment.
  • Aboriginal university students who are looking to upgrade their essay and critical-thinking skills toward greater academic success.

Get in touch with the Aboriginal Foundations Program team 

To gain further information about the program and how to apply, please contact:

Diana Simone
Aboriginal Learning Support Facilitator
Phone: 416-979-5000, ext. 553326

Three Indigenous community members in conversation, looking at a laptop on Gould Street

Additional programs for Ryerson students and Indigenous community members

The Laptop Loan Program provides access to laptops for Indigenous students to ensure computer and program access, which is required to complete schoolwork off-campus. You can sign out computers for a short term loan. 

Learn more about the Library’s Laptop Loan Program.

The Certificate in Aboriginal Knowledges and Experiences is a multidisciplinary exploration, analysis, and reflection on the experiences of Aboriginal peoples in Canada and their relationships with non-Aboriginal peoples. This exploration aims to help develop an understanding of these experiences and relationships from many dimensions: historical, political, social, and arts- and health-related.  

This certificate provides a broad orientation to Aboriginal experiences in Canada and how Aboriginal peoples have been impacted by laws, policies, and practices in the health, social services, human resources, and other sectors. Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students, regardless of their academic or professional background, have the opportunity to learn about Aboriginal lived experiences through curriculum from Aboriginal perspectives taught by Aboriginal scholars and experienced community teachers.

Learn more about the Aboriginal Knowledges and Experiences Certificate Program through the Chang School of Continuing Education.

The Aboriginal Community Outreach and Recruitment program is based on engaging the Aboriginal community (both in Toronto and throughout the Province) in identifying how we can collaborate with and support their career, employment, training and education initiatives and programs.

It is associated with existing transition and support programs, involving several internal and external partners (within the Aboriginal community, locally and provincially).

If you are interested in hearing more about this program please contact:

Sheila Saikkon
: 416-979-5000, ext. 7699
Fax: 416-598-5919