You are now in the main content area


Welcome to Ryerson University!

Whether you are a new or returning student, we are excited for you to join us this year online.  We are Ryerson Aboriginal Student Services, and we endeavor to provide a culturally supportive environment to promote academic excellence and serve as a place to balance academic learning with traditional teachings and culture.

We understand that the transition to online learning and news of the pandemic overall may lead you to feel anxious, fearful and frustrated. As well, it must be raising questions about what to do and how you will complete the semester.   

Even though we cannot meet in person, our staff are still available to our indigenous students to answer any questions they may have.

At RASS we use a circle of support, web-based models. We work to support students in a way that is fluid and connected from the moment of their application to their graduation.   This means that instead of seeing one person for one piece, and another person for another piece -- the RASS team works with each other to assist students in a holistic way, both within our space and in relationship with other resources on campus.

All of our Indigenous students have access to the services we provide such as academic advising and referral, bursary and scholarship information, writing support, tutor assistance, financial planning and more.

Eagle Staff Ceremony

Ryerson University and Ryerson Aboriginal Student Services Eagle Staff

    Ryerson University and Ryerson Aboriginal Student Services (RASS) received a spiritual honour on May 30, 2012.  During a community ceremony and celebration they were presented with an Eagle staff.  The staff has very significant spiritual significance and is adorned with fur and thirteen eagle feathers. It is the traditional flag of Indigenous peoples and takes precedence over all other flags. Ryerson is the first and only university in Ontario to receive one.

    The Eagle Staff is a community staff that will take on a teaching role both here at Ryerson and within the larger Aboriginal community.  It also acknowledges the leadership Ryerson and RASS have cultivated in creating strong support systems to enrolled Aboriginal students. The presentation of an Eagle Staff is an event that happens once in a lifetime.  The Eagle Staff will participate in significant RASS and Ryerson community events, such as convocation.

    This Eagle Staff was designed and made especially for Ryerson and R.A.S.S. It is made from a five-foot wooden pole with a deer antler on top and the cloth has the Ryerson colours. Attached to the wooden pole are carved pieces depicting the Seven Grandfather teachings: Wisdom, Love, Respect, Bravery, Honesty, Humility and Truth.   There are footprints sewn into the cloth representing the path that Aboriginal learners embark on when they take up their learning journey here at Ryerson, ending with a Dream catcher representing the learner's attainment of their goal. Ten of the thirteen eagle feathers represent the services and programs offered by RASS.  The following three feathers represent the Aboriginal Education Council, Ryerson University and the Aboriginal students.

    The Eagle Staff represents a celebration of our mutual strength in maintaining the theme 'we stand in unity'.

Ryerson has revised it's Scholarship and Bursaries Awards application process to its new Awardspring Online Application system for the Fall/Winter 2020/2021 academic year.  Bursaries and Scholarhips for which you may be eligible are selected for you based on your RAMSS information (Program, Year, CGPA, etc).

The following is a list of bursaries and scholarhships which are available to any self-identified Indigenous, Inuit, or Metis student who meet eligibility requirements. 

For more information on these and more, log in to Awardspring, opens in new window with your "" identification.

We are not responsible for the content of external links.

Frank H. Hori Award for Aboriginal Students

Ann and Bill Mackay Enterance Award for Aboriginal Students in Recognition of Monica McKay, Founding Director of Ryerson Aboriginal Student Services

Ann and Bill Mackay Enterance Award for Aboriginal Students in Recognition of Joanne Dallaire, Ryerson's First Elder

2020-2021 Indigenous Student Bursary

Ryerson Faculty Association Scholarship

Rabbi Abraham Silverstein Aboriginal Student Award

Ryerson Bursary and Scholarship Information

Metis Nation of Ontario Bursary

Ryerson's Faculty of Community Services also has the following Awards available:

- Aboriginal Student Success Awards  (Undergraduate)

- Durst Family Award for Indigenous Students  (Undergraduate)  

- Toronto Eglinton Rotary Club / Dr. Robert McClure Award in Health Science Award (Undergraduate)

- Aboriginal Student Success Awards  (Graduate)

Please visit Ryerson's FCS website here, opens in new window.

Aboriginal Bursary and Scholarship Resources

General Bursary and Scholarship Information

If you are require assistance with an Aboriginal bursary or scholarship application, please talk to or make an appointment with the Aboriginal Academic Support Advisor.

Sloan (Joanne) Miller, Interim Aboriginal Academic Support Advisor
Telephone: 416-979-5000 ext. 2609
Fax: 416-598-5919


Aboriginal students who need assistance with course selection, to discuss course load or to talk about their academic goals are encouraged to make an appointment with Sloan (Joanne) Miller, Interim Aboriginal Academic Support Advisor.

Aboriginal Academic Support Advisor
Telephone: 416-979-5000 ext. 2609
Fax: 416-598-5919, opens in new window

Aboriginal students who are struggling with their academic courses are encouraged to make an appointment with our Interim Aboriginal Academic Support Advisor, Sloan (Joanne) Miller. Ryerson Aboriginal Student Services will provide the resources for an academic tutor.

Aboriginal Academic Support Advisor
Telephone: 416-979-5000 ext. 2609
Fax: 416-598-5919, opens in new window

Through our partnership with the Ryerson Admissions Office we have an Aboriginal Liaison/Admissions Officer; who will support the unique "wrap around" admissions process we have been building for Aboriginal learners.

Thunder Alponse is our Aboriginal Liaison/Admissions Officer who will be working very closely with the Aboriginal Academic Support Advisor to provide seamless support to Aboriginal peoples interested in applying to Ryerson's Academic programs.

Your first step will be to contact Sloan (Joanne) Miller, our Interim Aboriginal Academic Support Advisor. She will outline the application process and the documents that you will need to provide with your application. As well, you can ask for support and guidance in deciding on an academic program or career path.

When you are ready to submit your application, Sloan will provide Thunder the information files of who is applying to Ryerson; so that Thunder will be able to contact and advise potential applicants in the event their application need revision or to provide alternatives if the applicant is not successful.

Thunder Alphonse, Aboriginal Liaison/Admissions Officer
Telephone: 416-979-5000 ext. 3034
Fax: 416-598-5919

Sloan (Joanne) Miller, Interim Aboriginal Academic Support Advisor
Telephone: 416-979-5000 ext. 2609
Fax: 416-598-5919

Either the Aboriginal Academic Support Advisor, or the Aboriginal Learning Support Facilitator can assist Aboriginal students in identifying available resource information and assistance in applying for Aboriginal sponsorship. As well, they will assist in understanding how to fill out Bursary and Scholarship applications. Also, please go to our Bursary and Scholarship page for information on what is available at Ryerson University.

Aboriginal Students are encouraged to make an appointment with either:

Sloan (Joanne) Miller, Interim Aboriginal Academic Support Advisor
Telephone: 416-979-5000 ext. 2609
Fax: 416-598-5919

Diane Simone, Aboriginal Learning Support Facilitator
Telephone: 416-979-5000 ext. 3326
Fax: 416-598-5919

Aboriginal students who need assistance with balancing their academic responsibilities with their personal lives are encouraged to contact staff at Aboriginal Student Services for referral to one of many Toronto Aboriginal community agencies.  Please feel free to drop by our offices at KHW 389 during regular hours.  You can also call 416-979-5000 ext. 7699 and leave a message.

Planned in partnership with our Aboriginal Peer Supporters; to provide Aboriginal students the opportunity: to meet each other and to discover how the resources (available through Aboriginal Student Services), will assist in attaining their personal and academic goals.

This gathering will provide us the opportunity to promote the Aboriginal Peer Support program, to highlight the opportunities and resources within Ryerson's community.

Furthermore, our purpose is to encourage Aboriginal students to participate.

Please contact the Aboriginal Peer support office for more information or go to our Events page to find out when our annual orientation will be taking place.

Ryerson also has a general orientation for all students and can be found here Orientation Week at Ryerson

Peer Supporters
Available: Monday to Friday
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Room: KHW-372
Telephone: 416-979-5000 ext. 6660