I CHOSE Oshki-Pimache-O-Win
Serving 49 communities in Northern Ontario, Oskhi-Pimache-O-Win: The Wenjack Education Institute (Oshki) offers post-secondary programs that are designed to help students improve their skills and careers, and give back to their communities.
Wellness and addictions program student
It’s like a second family. When we first did orientation, I was nervous about meeting new people and wondered if I was going to click or not, but by the end of the day, we’d hit it off completely. My style of learning is small classroom sizes, and here our program is only 13 people, which makes it easier to get one-on-one learning with the instructor. The staff are really friendly, they help us out and they accommodate our life and our studies. They’re there for us.
I first graduated from the Native Social Work Program here at Oshki and worked in the field for a few years. I decided to come back and take the Indigenous Wellness Addiction Program because I felt it was the missing piece of the puzzle on my career path. I want to go into treatment centres and work with adults. Right now, in our module, we’re building a treatment facility from the ground up. It got us talking about taking it a step further and seeing if we could really develop this once we graduate, because here in the north there are no family treatment centers and we want to help our communities.
I was looking online for a business course that would help me in my career. When I saw that Oshki offered a business program I felt comfortable applying and coming here because it is run by First Nations people and we are mostly all First Nations students. The staff are very helpful. Our coordinator makes sure we’re alright, and if we are in our communities, she emails and phones us to ask us how we are doing and to see if we need anything. She’s a very caring person.
Right now, I’m working in social services and I want to know more about the financial part that goes into it. With this training I will get that knowledge and be able to speak up for my clients and help my community. If they don’t understand something, at least somebody will be there to relate on their level and provide an understanding about business, the law and their rights.
I used to work at Nishnawbe Aski Nation and had strong connections with Oshki because there is a lot of collaboration between the two on education. Oshki has a people-based feel and we support our students fully. I provide a culturally safe space for students to enter into so that no one feels out of place. I approach my students in a way that shows that I’m learning from them. It’s always a reciprocal relationship. Knowing that they have the support here acts as a bridge, and helps the students gain confidence.
Working with these students helps me in my career and my life too. It helps me build relationships in this territory. I’m from this territory, and I don’t plan on leaving, along with a lot of my students. It builds our economy and builds our relationships, and our future as Indigenous people.
Every student I have is a success. Oshki is just the beginning.
Location & Contact
Interested in exploring the
Oshki-Pimache-O-Win Education & Training Institute
14-656 City Rd.
Fort William First Nation, ON P7J 1K3
Toll Free: 866-636-7454
106 Centennial Sq., 3rd Floor
Thunder Bay, ON P7E 1H3