A final report into a National Indigenous Identity Forum has outlined several recommendations post-secondary institutions can take to validate applicants who claim Indigenous Identity.

The forum occurred after questions arose over the identity of University of Sask. professor Carrie Bourassa, who claimed to be Metis, although her recognition came through a local Regina Metis group and not through Metis Nation-Saskatchewan vetting.

In November, Bourassa was placed on leave from the University of Saskatchewan and stepped away from her duties as scientific director of the CIHR Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health. Last week she resigned from the University.

The final report recommends that universities and colleges move beyond self-identification. Institutions should request community references and build interview questions around Indigenous knowledge and traditions. Establish policies and procedures focused on vetting the identity of Indigenous candidates. And to create a committee to validate applications.

The documents suggest that institutions should identify fake and legitimate organizations, to ensure applicants meet certain organizational requirements. Also, clearly outline consequences for fraudulent claims, including possible redress, reparations or criminal charges.

A second National Indigenous Identity Forum is expected to be held in Regina this fall.