The Nunatsiavut Government is applauding this week’s release of an independent report on Indigenous Verification at Memorial University. Conducted by First People’s Group (FPG), the report offers insights and recommendations on ways to improve the university’s approach to confirming Indigenous identity.

“The issue of false claims to Indigeneity is a serious concern faced by universities across Canada,” says Nunatsiavut President Johannes Lampe. “As the governing body representing true Labrador Inuit, the Nunatsiavut Government recognizes the importance of accurately documenting and affirming Indigenous identities within educational institutions like Memorial University.”

The report emphasizes the need for vigorous systems based on consultation to prevent false Indigenous claims, and highlights the importance of establishing meaningful relationships with recognized Indigenous collectives.

It also recommends MUN utilize a two-pronged approach with regard to “outlining recognized Indigenous collectives within a confirmed protocol, including federal recognition under section 35 of the Constitution Act and/or recognition as a legitimate Indigenous collective by their federally-recognized neighbours.” This protocol will be applied to situations where individuals may benefit from claims related to Indigenous identity, such as targeted hiring, designated seats for Indigenous students, scholarships, and research funds.

“This report not only serves as a testament to MUN’s dedication to fostering an inclusive and culturally-diverse environment, but also underscores its commitment to reconciliation with the legitimate Indigenous peoples in Newfoundland and Labrador,” says President Lampe. “We encourage MUN to accept and implement the recommendations contained in this report, and urge other educational institutions in the province and across Canada to prioritize truth, reconciliation, and Indigenous representation within their establishments.”

FPG engaged in extensive consultations with self-identifying Indigenous faculty, staff, students, and alumni of MUN, as well as Indigenous governments, nations, communities, and organizations within Newfoundland and Labrador.

Media Contact:
Bert Pomeroy
Director of Communications
(709) 896-8582