Indigenous Student Services

Indigenous Student Services (ISS) provides support to self-identifying Indigenous students in a manner that is consistent with the cultures and values of our peoples. We strive to be responsive to your needs as an Indigenous student so you can succeed as a self-directed, independent learner. Whether you are a new student, returning student or mature student studying full time or part time, contact us or drop by one of our centres to find out how we can help you reach your goals. 

Our culturally appropriate services include:

One-on-one support 

We provide personalized support and advocate for new and current students through funding opportunities, policy advocacy, community referrals and access to spiritual supports. We also help you find housing and childcare so you can focus on your studies. In addition to the support offered by ISS staff, Indigenous Student Assistants are available to mentor and guide you throughout your time at Douglas.  

  • You can also connect with Elders for spiritual and cultural guidance. 
  • Once you graduate, ISS will help guide you through the transition from post-secondary to the workforce.

Visit the contact page to connect with us.

Help with financial aid and applying for funding  

Whether you are status or non status, we can help you navigate the application process for applying for band/agency funding or financial aid, which includes scholarships, awards and more.

Visit the financial aid and band funding webpage to get started.

Events and activities 

We organize a variety of activities on campus. These include academic workshops to improve your writing and research skills, smudging, prayers, drumming and talking circles. We also have events celebrating and honouring annual days of support and awareness.

Indigenous student centres 

An Indigenous student centre at each campus provides a quiet place to study, take a break, connect with ISS staff and other Indigenous students, and find resources on Indigenous history and culture. Each centre has computers, a printer and a telephone.

  • New Westminster Campus: room S4830 
  • Coquitlam Campus: room B3131

Learn more about these centres on the contact page

Self-identifying as Indigenous

At Douglas College, we believe that self-identifying as Indigenous means being proud of who you are. It is also important for us to understand how many Indigenous students attend Douglas College so that we can provide a culturally appropriate environment and resources to support self-identifying students.  

If you are of First Nations, Metis, Inuit or Native American backgrounds, you can identify as being Indigenous, regardless of your official status. You will be asked whether you want to self-identify as Indigenous when you register for courses at Douglas College. Self-identifying is confidential and is voluntary. 

DSU Indigenous Students’ Collective

The DSU Indigenous Students’ Collective is run by the Douglas Students’ Union and provides an inclusive and welcoming environment to all students regardless of your Indigenous status. The collective builds community through gatherings, practicing indigenous lifeways, and strengthening our history and culture through learning. Members participate in activities and support special events on campus. Learn more about what the collective does, and how to join, on the DSU’s website


This centre sits on the traditional territory of the QayQayt First Nation. The Qayqayt (also Qiqayt, pronounced "Kee-Kite"), is one of the smallest First Nations in Canada and the only one without a land base.

The Qayqayt reserve used to exist on the banks of the Fraser River, around New Westminster. The Qayqayt people historically spoke the Halq'eméylem (Upriver dialect), of Halkomelem (also Hul’q’umi’num’/Henqeminem), a Coast Salish language.

Here are some resources for more information about the QayQayt: 

A Tribe of One – a National Film Board film documentary (available in our Library)

"We Are the Qayqayt" – Chief Rhonda Larrabee’s Story

This centre sits on the traditional territory of the Kwikwetlem First Nation. The Kwikwetlem are a Sto:lo people with reserves in the Coquitlam River watershed. They traditionally speak the Downriver dialect of Halkomelem (also Hul’q’umi’num’/Henqeminem). The name Kwikwetlem means "red fish up the river.”

Salute to Indigenous students

There is a longing
among the youth of my nation
To secure for themselves and their people
the skills that will provide them
with a sense of purpose and worth.

They will be our new warriors;
their training will be much longer
and more demanding
than it was in the olden days...

But they will emerge with
their hand held forward
not to receive welfare,
but to grasp a place in society
that is rightly ours.

- Chief Dan George (1989)