As Canadian universities work towards establishing culturally safe spaces for Indigenous faculty, staff, and students in classrooms and on campuses, it is integral that hiring processes for Indigenous specific positions be conducted with an appropriate amount of rigor to verify the indigeneity of applicants. The Interim Policy for Hiring of Indigenous Specific Positions (“ISP Policy”) will aim to satisfy the University that applicants for employment who identify as Indigenous are in fact Indigenous by applying a verification process. Verifying the indigeneity of applicants for Indigenous specific positions will maintain the integrity of Indigenous spaces at Queen’s and will enable Indigenous experiences and community connections to enlighten and enrich the University, academia, and student experiences at Queen’s.
This interim ISP Policy was developed drawing on recent policies and practices for Indigenous identity verification of peer universities in Canada.
The purpose of this interim ISP Policy is to vet and verify the Indigenous identity of applicants for Indigenous specific employment opportunities at Queen’s University. The interim ISP Policy will supplement the Queen’s Targeted Hiring Policy when Indigenous applicants are considered for Indigenous specific positions. It will not be used to retroactively verify identity of existing faculty or staff.
Requirements to Confirm Indigenous Identity
Option one: Government Documentation
The applicant must provide one of the following documents as a requirement of their application:
- “Certificate of Indian Status” issued by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada that is current and not expired;
- Certified copy of a Métis Nation Citizenship card from one of the four provincial affiliates (Métis Nation of Ontario including "complete citizenship" confirmation letter from the MNO Registrar, Métis Nation Saskatchewan, Métis Nation of Alberta, Métis Nation British Columbia) of the Métis National Council; or a valid membership card from one of the Metis Settlements of Alberta, the Northwest Territory Métis Nation, or the Manitoba Métis Federation;
- Certified copy of a Nunavut Trust Certificate card or Inuit Enrollment card associated with one of the Land Claim Agreements in the claim regions of Nunavut, Nunatsiavut, Nunavik, and Inuvialuit;
- Citizenship identification issued by a First Nation that has a modern Treaty and / or self-government agreement;
- Membership card or other documentation indicating that the person is a Non-Status First Nation person who is a member of an Indigenous organization negotiating a treaty or other agreement with the federal and/or provincial governments; and
- American Indian, Alaskan Native, or Native Hawaiian citizenship document from tribes that are state or federally recognized or recognized by the National Congress of American Indians.
Option Two: Applicant Self-Declaration
If an applicant does not possess proof of the documentation listed in Option 1, he /she / they must submit a statement about their existing lived experiences and ongoing relationship to a legally recognized and rights bearing1 Indigenous community, Nation, or People. This includes specific information about the First Nation, Inuit, or Métis community such as their treaty, scrip, land claim, and territory or region.
The applicant will also be required to provide a letter of verification issued by a recognized First Nation, Inuit, or Métis community claimed by the applicant.
1"Rights bearing" means that the Indigenous nation/collective has section 35 rights, which means Aboriginal or Treaty rights in their territory.
Verification of Indigenous Identity
Prior to consideration for candidacy, steps will be taken to verify the identity of an applicant under Option 1 or 2, as applicable, in accordance with Appendix A, “Procedure For Verification Of Indigenous Identity For Employment.”
Applicants failing to have their identities confirmed to the satisfaction of the University under this interim ISP Policy will be disqualified from further consideration for the position being sought.
Appendix A: Procedure for Verification of Indigenous Identity for Employment
- The position is posted as a designated hire, where only Indigenous applicants will be considered.
- The posting for the position will clearly stipulate that applicants are required to provide information to verify their Indigenous identity and will be expected to elaborate on the written information if invited to an interview.
- The identify verification process will be conducted on short-listed applicants only, prior to the applicant being invited to an interview.
- The hiring manager/committee chair, in consultation with Human Resources, will collect the information required to verify identity in accordance with the Interim Policy for Hiring for Indigenous Specific Positions.
- The University may request additional information from the applicant to complete their assessment and/or consult with internal or external resources, as appropriate.
- Only applicants whose identities have been positively verified can proceed to the interview stage of the hiring process.
- Documentation related to the identity verification process will be retained in accordance with document retention procedures for recruitment files and employment files.
- If the ISP Policy is unclear or there are questions related to the documentation submitted by the applicant, advice and guidance may be sought by the Indigenous Oversight Council, once established. Prior to establishment of the Indigenous Oversight Council advice and guidance may be sought from legal or other advisors with particular expertise in Indigenous Identity.
Appendix B: Guidelines and Wise Practices for Indigenous Hiring
Hiring Committee Composition
- Equitable representation of Indigenous faculty / staff on the hiring committee;
- Indigenous representatives have equal voice in decision-making;
- Additional committee member(s) has experience working with Indigenous peoples and communities.
Interview Inquiry Theme Examples
- Experience with Indigenous communities
- What is your experience working with Indigenous peoples and communities as it relates to this position (or as it informs your research, teaching, and relationship building)?
- Relationship to Indigenous Community
- Describe how your research and work experience demonstrates your commitment to and responsibility to your community, nation.
- Lived Experience
- How has being Indigenous impacted the research/work you have undertaken?
If a successful applicant is later proven to have falsely claimed Indigenous identity, their appointment will be immediately terminated subject to and in accordance with the applicable laws, collective agreements, and University policies.