Student Life  

Aboriginal Applicants

Tuition deposit waived for Aboriginal learners

Self-identified Aboriginal learners are not required to provide a tuition deposit for degree, diploma or certificate programs. Tuition deposits can create financial barriers to post-secondary for Aboriginal applicants. By waiving the tuition deposit*, NAIT can support applicants in pursuing their education goals and achieving their polytechnic potential.   

This means that an initial deposit is not required to complete your application. Instead, after receiving an offer of admission to a degree, diploma or certificate program, a seat in your program of choice will be secured for you. 

*this is not applicable to apprenticeship training or courses and programs offered through Continuing Education.

Aboriginal admissions pathways

We offer admissions pathways for Aboriginal applicants to help you pursue your education goals and achieve your potential at NAIT. If you meet the eligibility requirements detailed below and the minimum entrance requirements for a program, the pathways allow you to gain admission to a NAIT program with a competitive entrance and/or program interview requirement.

This admissions policy offers equitable access to programs and celebrates our culturally diverse NAIT community. You’ll find information below about the 2 admissions pathways for Aboriginal applicants. We encourage you to review your program page to see if your program is competitive or if an interview process is a part of the application. You can check by reviewing the entrance requirements under the Admission Requirements tab.

NAIT programs that currently accept this admissions pathway include:

Competitive entrance programs

If you are an Aboriginal applicant and meet the minimum entrance requirements for a competitive program, but have not met the program’s competitive entrance requirements, you will be considered for direct admission according to the date your application was completed.

Any unfilled designated seats will be released on March 1 to the remaining applicant pool. After March 1, qualified Aboriginal applicants are placed on a waitlist according to the date their application is completed.

Competitive programs with an admissions interview

For programs with an interview requirement, Aboriginal applicants who meet the minimum entrance requirements do not need to participate in a program interview or meet the competitive academic average required for high school courses.

Instead, applicants will be invited by the program to share their personal story with a small NAIT committee, which includes an Aboriginal community member from NAIT. Your story can be provided as a written or oral submission. It’s your opportunity to answer a series of questions that provide insight into the things that are important to you, any challenges you have overcome, and what you have learned through your experiences. We encourage you to be true to yourself and provide specific examples.

A small committee will read or watch your story. This committee will then invite you to join them for a  conversation so they can learn more about you and your experiences.

For programs with a fall start, personal story and committee conversation invitations may be offered two times a year – in December and May. The personal story conversations for winter intakes may take place in September and April. The timing of your invitations will be based on when your completed application was submitted. 

Apply early as these competitive programs fill quickly. If the program has closed, please contact the Nîsôhkamâtotân Centre for next steps.

Prefer a program interview?

You have the option to complete a standard program interview, instead of a personal story submission. Once Admissions has processed your application, you can choose a program interview by following the steps outlined in your personal story To-Do list item in your MyNAIT portal (Open self service > Admissions). You will be placed in a personal story submission unless you follow these steps.

How do I qualify?

You are considered an Aboriginal applicant if you are a First Nation - Status/First Nations, Non-Status, Métis or Inuit person of Canada.

To qualify for this admissions pathway, you must:

  1. Self-declare as an Aboriginal applicant when completing your application
  2. Meet the definition of an Aboriginal applicant above
  3. Submit documentation to verify your Aboriginal identity
  4. Meet the minimum entrance requirements for each program

All eligible Aboriginal applicants will be considered for the Aboriginal admissions pathway.

What documentation to submit

After submitting your application to NAIT, you must submit documentation to verify your Aboriginal identity. Failing to submit this documentation in your MyNAIT portal by the posted deadline may result in qualified applicants needing to complete a standard program interview (instead of a personal story submission).

NAIT accepts the following documents to verify your Aboriginal status:

First Nations – Status

Status Card, issued by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC). Older Status cards may still be used, but if the “valid to” date has passed, students are encouraged to order a new card.

  • Letter from a government registered First Nations community verifying the student is a member of that First Nation.

First Nations – Non status

First Nations members who do not have Status can provide a letter from their First Nation on appropriate letterhead and signed by a First Nations Administrator.

  • Non-status individuals with a Status parent or grandparent, may provide a long-form birth certificate with supporting documents of Indigenous identity from a parent or grandparent.


  • Métis card issued by a member Nation of Métis National Council of Canada, including Métis Nation British Columbia, the Métis Nation of Alberta, Métis Nation Saskatchewan, Manitoba Métis Federation, Métis Nation of Ontario and the Northwest Territory Métis Nation.
  • Letter or membership card from one of the member Nations of the Métis Settlements General Council including Buffalo Lake, East Prairie, Elizabeth, Fishing Lake, Gift Lake, Kikino, Paddle Prairie and Peavine.


  • Inuit Beneficiary cards issued through Nunavut Trust.  
  • Letter from a government organization such as Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Nunavut Tunngavik, Makivik Corporation or Nunatsiavut in Labrador. 
  • Letter of support from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) or Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated.
  • Inuit beneficiary card.
  • Letter from a recognized First Nations community similar to that provided for a person who has Status.
  • Letter from the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) and/or one of its affiliated provincial organizations.

If the documentation mentioned above is not available or you have questions about which documentation is required, please contact the Nîsôhkamâtotân Centre for support and advice on next steps.

Not sure how to submit documents in your MyNAIT portal? Watch this video to learn how. 

Sharing your personal story

Aboriginal people are storytellers. Traditionally, responsive and transformative learnings are passed from elders through stories. Sharing your personal story allows you to share your diverse experiences, learnings and provide insight into who you are and your aspirations as a NAIT student. The personal story is only applicable to competitive programs with an admissions interview component.

Story questions

You may provide your story as a written or video submission. You will be contacted with instructions on how to complete your personal story. Take time to reflect and think about your answers to the following questions as you will be required to respond to these in your submission. We encourage you to be true to yourself and provide specific examples.


  1. Reflect on a time where you faced a difficult situation. Please provide details about the situation and what made it difficult. Finally, share with us how  you overcame the situation and what you learned. Please provide specific examples.
  2. NAIT’s healthcare programs are often intense and demanding so resiliency and well-being will play an important role in your NAIT journey. If challenges arise, what tips and strategies do you typically use to overcome them?
  3. NAIT offers a variety of services available to students, including academic support, community groups, and health and well-being resources. If you ever need support during your time at NAIT, which service would you use and why?

Community engagement and caretaking

  1. Healthcare workers play a critical role in taking care of their community. Tell us how you’ve taken on responsibilities or activities that have benefited those around you. This could be an example of how you have contributed to your community in a meaningful way.
  2. To effectively take care of others, healthcare workers must also take care of themselves. Tell us about the activities or practices you participate in that support your well-being and foster a positive mindset.


  1. Why did you choose to pursue a career in healthcare?
  2. Share a story that showcases your suitability for a career in healthcare. This could be a story of how you solved a problem in a professional manner, or how you overcame a challenge,  demonstrated bravery, etc.

How NAIT considers your story

A small committee will evaluate all story submissions and conversations with the committee. There is no correct answer as each story will be as unique as the individual behind it. This is a chance for us to learn about your journey through story-telling. It's an opportunity to tell your story as an individual and to share how your past education, educational goals, cultural knowledge, work and life experiences that will contribute to your success in the program and profession.

Based on your initial submission and committee conversation, you will be assessed with the following criteria.

Evaluation criteria Description
  • How do you persevere through difficult situations?
  • How do you learn from your experiences?
  • If challenges arise, how do you remain resilient?
  • Have you taken time to explore the supports and services available at NAIT?
  • Have you demonstrated why you want to work in the healthcare technology field?
  • What makes you suitable for this career?
Community engagement and caretaking
  • Have you demonstrated awareness and care for the needs of others?
  • How have you contributed to your community in a meaningful way?
  • How do you manage your responsibilities?
  • Do you have practices that support your own well-being?
  • Have you considered the questions and provided thoughtful and insightful responses?
  • Have you provided detailed and relevant examples to support your answers? A well-thought-out answer will provide insight into your personality, goals, and experiences.
  • Effective communication is an important component to all steps in the healthcare process. Have you answered questions in a complete, clear, and concise manner?
  • Have you provided genuine and insightful answers to the questions? Did you provide stories that were authentic and true to who you are?

After your personal story and committee conversation is evaluated, your application status in MyNAIT will be updated. If have questions about  your story submission, please contact the Nîsôhkamâtotân Centre.

Additional resources

To learn more about these admissions pathways and other opportunities available to you, please book an appointment with a NAIT recruiter or submit an inquiry through the Contact Form, selecting the topic: Aboriginal students. 

You can also learn more about the Nîsôhkamâtotân Centre, a community gathering place committed to ensuring Aboriginal student success both inside and outside of the classroom.

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