Springing into Summer with Ontario’s Indigenous Institutes

The past few months have been ripe with opportunities for Ontario’s Indigenous learners. Many investments in Indigenous education through our partner, Indspire, have paved the way for future generations to access their full potential. Throughout June, Indigenous history was honoured as Six Nations Polytechnic’s knowledge centre Deyohahá:ge contributed to a new Heritage Minute about Tom Longboat.

Keep reading to see what’s happening at our Indigenous Institutes.

ACESS offers Akwesasne youth intro to trades programs

The Akwesasne Career and Employment Support Services (ACESS) recently wrapped up an Introduction to ATV Maintenance Program at Iohahi:io. ACESS offered this in a series of programs to introduce Akwesasne youth to a possible career in trades. This session featured professional technician Jay Francis teaching eight students aged 14- to 18-year-old on what’s involved in being a mechanic.

Read more about the program: https://www.indiantime.net/story/2022/06/02/news/acess-offers-akwesasne-youth-intro-to-trades-programs/39865.html 

iA Financial Group Donates One Million Dollars in Bursaries for Indigenous Students

“Indspire is proud to be working in partnership with iA Financial Group on this very important program, not only does it represent a significant new opportunity for Indigenous learners across the country, it is also a tangible sign of reconciliation in action.” – Mike DeGagné, President and CEO of Indspire.

Read more: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/ia-financial-group-donates-one-million-dollars-in-bursaries-for-indigenous-students-869870684.html

Heritage Minute features Tom Longboat

Tom Longboat’s story is one of dedication and triumph. From residential school systems and identity theft to a war hero and Olympian; he’s an inspiration for all of Turtle Island.

On this production, Historica Canada consulted with the senior co-ordinator of Deyohahá:ge – Indigenous Knowledge Centre at Six Nations Polytechnic, among other professors, researchers, scholars, authors and historians.

Read more: https://tworowtimes.com/news/local/heritage-minute-features-tom-longboat/

Six Nations students combine dance and education

Students from the STEAM program (a combined high school/college diploma program) at Six Nations Polytechnic combined dance and learning during an intensive two-week training program that included six hours of daily choreography training through the innovative Outside Looking In program.

Read more: https://tworowtimes.com/news/local/six-nations-students-combine-dance-and-education/

Mars Canada and Inspire Announce New Partnership to Drive Educational Opportunities for Indigenous Students

Through a three-year partnership, Mars Canada will directly support Indspire’s annual Soaring and Building Brighter Futures programs, advancing career development opportunities and offering needs-based bursaries to Indigenous students to further their education.

Read more: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/mars-canada-and-indspire-announce-new-partnership-to-drive-educational-opportunities-for-indigenous-students-862407612.html


Setting the Foundation for Indigenous Learners and Healthcare

This spring, the IIC’s members and partners have received several significant investments and scholarships which will empower Indigenous learners. These ongoing investments from the government into culturally-responsive education and healthcare will create a better future for Indigenous communities across Ontario. Read on to learn more about these crucial investments.

Oshki-Wenjack launches the Goyce Kakegamic student bursary

“Goyce Kakegamic was a champion of our Institute, and we miss his words of encouragement and gentle wealth of advice he instilled over the years. The bursary will help support our students and the potential he truly believed in as they work toward a brighter future for themselves and their families.” – Jonathan Kakegamic , eldest son of Goyce and educator

Full story: https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2022/04/14/2423130/0/en/Oshki-Wenjack-Launches-the-Goyce-Kakegamic-Student-Bursary.html 

Six Nations Polytechnic gets funding to train nurses, PSWs

“Indigenous institutes have unique capacities to provide pathways to health-care education that link our learners to community health care employers. This funding is critically important as we collectively work to recover from a global pandemic while continuing to create positive paths forward from our collective experience of inter-generational trauma and loss of language and culture.” – Rebecca Jamieson, president and CEO of Six Nations Polytechnic and chair of the IIC

Read more: https://www.theobserver.ca/news/six-nations-polytechnic-get-funding-to-train-nurses-psws

Fedeli hands out major funding to Anishinabek Educational Institute

“This investment will help Anishinabek Educational Institute expand existing programs or create new ones to support the training of approximately 101 practical nurses and 30 PSWs over four years. This will include additional lab and classroom space, and course materials like hospital beds, simulation manikins and patient lifts to support the larger cohort of students.”

Full story: https://www.baytoday.ca/local-news/fedeli-hands-out-major-funding-to-anishinabek-educational-institute-5157716

Ontario training more health care workers at Indigenous Institutes – Government providing culturally responsive education for learners close to home

“Six Indigenous Institutes will receive funding to increase enrolment in their nursing and PSW programs: Anishinabek Educational Institute, First Nations Technical Institute, Kenjgewin Teg, Oshki-Pimache-O-Win: The Wenjack Education Institute, Seven Generations Education Institute and Six Nations Polytechnic. Since 2018, enrolment at Indigenous Institutes has increased by 43 per cent.”

Full story: https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1001679/ontario-training-more-health-care-workers-at-indigenous-institutes

$4.5M Investment will support training of more PSWs and practical nurses

“You receive more individual feedback at Kenjgewin Teg, so you know which areas you excel at and which areas you need to enhance. As a result of the support offered by Kenjgewin Teg, I am very confident about my education”. – Practical Nursing student at Kenjgewin Teg

Green Shield Canada and Indspire announce partnership

“Contributions like this one have an impact that goes far beyond the individual receiving the scholarship, as Indigenous learners reinvest the benefits of their education back into their communities. We see this trend regularly, and it is particularly pronounced and especially impactful in the context of health care initiatives like this one supported by GSC.” – Mike DeGagné, president and CEO of Indspire

Read more: https://tworowtimes.com/news/local/green-shield-canada-and-indspire-announce-partnership/https://t.co/X20rJR0rNk

Hyundai Canada donates $50,000 to Indspire, funding post-secondary bursary to drive Indigenous youth forward

“The Hyundai Canada Bursary represents a bright new opportunity for Indigenous learners to pursue their dreams of a career in the automotive or business administration fields. We are very pleased to be working with Hyundai Canada on this important initiative – and, with the creation of this Bursary, to be laying good groundwork for further collaborations which will empower Indigenous learners.” –  Mike DeGagné, president & CEO of Indspire

Read more: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/hyundai-canada-donates-50-000-to-indspire-funding-post-secondary-bursary-to-drive-indigenous-youth-forward-812607646.html

Deloitte commits over half a million dollars to Indigenous educational charity

“We’re happy to work with Deloitte as they continue to take a leadership role in corporate Canada towards reconciliation, their support will have a significant impact for Indigenous students and communities by allowing us to build educational capacity, help strengthen Indigenous youth identity, and in the long term, increase economic sustainability and prosperity.” – Dr. Mike DeGagné, president and CEO of Indspire

Full story: https://www.consulting.ca/news/2762/deloitte-commits-over-half-a-million-dollars-to-indigenous-educational-charity

New Beginnings and Championing Indigenous Control over Indigenous Education at Ontario’s Indigenous Institutes

A new year signals new beginnings, and Ontario’s Indigenous Institutes have continued to contribute to some exciting milestones in Indigenous education. From achievements in accreditation to the wider-accessibility of Indigenous knowledge, the past few months have paved the way for a brighter future for Indigenous and non-Indigenous learners alike. We look forward to seeing what the rest of 2022 has in store for us.

Manitoulin Island Educational Institute Receives Accreditation

Kenjgewin Teg has been striving for this for many years, facing many uphill challenges for being an Indigenous-led institution. It’s something they’ve been doing for many years and to achieve this accreditation, in our view, is about time.” – Chief Linda Debassige via CTV News.

KT and Queen’s University Expand Indigenous Studies Courses Offered

“The new courses will provide students with the opportunity to enhance their awareness of Indigenous perspectives on a diverse range of subjects, from climate change, the connection between language and identity and the arts. Building awareness of the perspectives and knowledge of Indigenous peoples is a key part of the reconciliation process.” – Stephanie Roy, President, Kenjgewin Teg via The Manitoulin Expositor

Work On Proposed Mental Health and Addictions Research and Training Institute Continues

“I walked the halls of Shingwauk Hall and there is something very special you feel when you are in that facility. When you are in that institution you can feel the history in that building and you can feel a lot of the pain and suffering in that building. That’s why it was important to bring Algoma University and Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig into the plan.” – Ross Romano, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie and Ontario’s minister of Government and Consumer Services

Read more.

Optimistic Outlook as Rural Township Looks to Rename Derogatory Road Sign

“You have to find that meaning behind what you are teaching to inspire students. A lot of our courses are related to empowerment, our culture and making change. The best way to gain that empowerment is by experiencing it. And experiencing that you have the power to make change. And that these things really matter.” – Joanne Morrison instructor of the Native Identity Development course that is part of the Anishinabek Educational Institute (AEI) Native Community Worker Program

Full story here.

Kenjgewin Teg Participates in Annual Walk for Wenjack Day

“Our Kenjgewin Teg team raised $1,300 in this our first year taking part in the walk. We received really good support from people who donated to our team. Not everyone took part (from Kenjgewin Teg) but the many who walked home after work. We hope to be able to increase participation in future years.” – Andrew Gerhard, Kenjgewin Teg staff member via The Manitoulin Expositor

NAN Mourns Passing of Educator, Artist Goyce Kakagemic

“Goyce was passionate about education and the well-being of youth and their families. He was determined to close the significant gap experienced by students in our communities compared with those in urban centres. He led tremendous work to ensure that our youth received quality education opportunities and took every opportunity to encourage and support them throughout their academic careers.” – NAN deputy chief Bobby Narcisse

Read more.

“There’s a lot of troubling findings”: McMaster Professor Awarded International Water Prize for Work at Six Nations

“It’s led and shaped by the community, Indigenous science and ways of knowing [and looks at] everything from turtle tagging to a mental health app” for youth struggling with climate change and water insecurity.” – Dawn Martin-Hill, the first Indigenous cultural anthropologist in Canada and recipient of the 2022 University of Oklahoma International Water Prize.

Find out how SNP’s STEAM Academy is making a difference here.

Recognizing the Momentum for Indigenous Education

It’s been an exciting fall for our member Indigenous Institutes. In addition to each institutes’ journey towards accreditation, historic firsts in course development, holistic learning and new degree programs have been keeping the Institutes busy and making leaps and bounds for Indigenous education.

Earlier this fall, the University of Sudbury transferred its intellectual property in certain Indigenous Studies online courses to Kenjgewin Teg. These courses were previously offered by the University of Sudbury’s Indigenous Studies Department. This historic gesture respects the autonomy and empowerment of Indigenous peoples.

Six Nations Polytechnic’s Virtual Reality Asynchronous Learning Experience was highlighted in Ontario’s Virtual Learning Strategy and will facilitate the intergenerational transfer of Indigenous knowledge and language, while strengthening Indigenous technological capacity and accessibility.

Read on for more news stories about how our Indigenous Institutes are making their mark for Indigenous education across Ontario.

University of Sudbury and Kenjgewin Teg Announce Agreement

“By, for and with” Indigenous peoples – “This agreement is a gesture of reconciliation by the University of Sudbury with Indigenous peoples. It is a concrete, constructive and bold action that goes beyond symbolic gestures and words and recognizes the legitimacy of our communities to manage our education.” Learn more. You can also find more coverage on the CBC, CTV, Anishinabek News, the Manitoulin Expositor and The Sudbury Star.

Volunteers Gather to Build the Batchewana First Nation Teaching Lodge

“Visually, spiritually, emotionally. You’ll get a connection that you’ll find in no other educational institute,” Chief Dean Sayers of Batchewana First Nation told CTV News.

Six Nations Polytechnic Launches New Honours Degree Program

“[The new program] advances (our) vision to achieve international distinction for excellence in Indigenous education, Indigenous language revitalization and continuance of Indigenous knowledge,” says Rebecca Jamieson, president and CEO of Six Nations Polytechnic. Learn more.

What It Takes To Become an Underwater Welder

“Having the [women in trades] program so close to home was wonderful. It was awesome to go to school in a place where everyone pretty much knows me. Looking back, I think it definitely helped me push through the program. I felt like I was somebody. Everyone genuinely wanted me to do my best. I especially bonded with my welding teacher, Richard Green. I remember struggling with vertical welding, but he was always so patient, walked me through every single step and reminded me that I can do it—it’s just about practice. He kind of felt like a father figure to me, which I never really had. We stay in touch to this day,” Shelsea Hill tells Maclean’s Magazine.

Orange Shirt Day recognized at former Shingwauk site

“To acknowledge that we, as Indigenous people are being oppressed, even currently, from the genocide, from the past – and it’s still ongoing…They have to help bring that to an end, the systemic racism. That’s what this day is to me,” Algoma University psychology student and member of Constance Lake First Nation Mallory Solomon, told Soo Today.

Shining a Light on Six Nations Literacy

“Literacy is not just about teaching hard skills like English and math. It’s also about what people might need on a daily basis that might apply to running something like a small Indigenous-owned business, time management, how to study. Those kinds of soft skills are important too…Being literate on Indigenous knowledge is important too; knowledge, sustainability, food, spirituality.” Read educator and co-ordinator at the Achievement Centre, Nancy Gallo’s full interview in the Two Row Times.

Ontario Expanding High Quality Accessible Virtual Learning

“By continuing to promote innovation in the development of educational technology and virtual learning offerings, we are giving learners the flexible access to training they need to enter the workforce and obtain good jobs, regardless of their location,” says Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. Learn more.


Celebrating Indigenous Institutes, Learners, Culture and Elders

The end of summer has come and gone, and our Indigenous Institutes have been busy celebrating their graduates, scholarship recipients and the life and legacy of Garden River First Nation Elder Shirley Roach.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid a visit to Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig in July, touring the campus and participating in a prayer with the elders and a guided tour of the facilities.

In late August the Ogwehoweh Storytelling Festival took place at the Six Nations Polytechnic campus at Six Nations of the Grand River. This one-of-a-kind literary festival focused solely on Haudenosaunee storytelling. The festival featured spoken word poetry and music, panels for children’s authors, memoir writers and filmmakers.

Finally, Indigenous Institutes were featured in an article by Maclean’s. The unique position of Indigneous Institutes in Ontario is the focal point of the story. The feature supports the ongoing recognition agenda of our IIC’s Institutes.

1. Residential school survivor, Garden River First Nation Elder Shirley Roach has died

She was known as an advocate for reconciliation on the national stage, and shared her story with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his visit to the area in early July. She has also played a critical role as spiritual advisor for the Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gaming Board, and counselled Anishnaabe students at Algoma U.” Learn more.

2. Unique literary festival focuses solely on Haudenosaunee storytelling, publishing

“Native writers need to write in the way that they need to write…[That includes] language that maybe is not accessible to non-native readers, but acceptable and familiar with native readers, and we need to do that, unapologetically. Learn more.

3. How Indigenous institutes are reclaiming education

“We incorporate our culture in all our programming. Our founding vision was delivering education in the community while staying rooted in Indigenous culture, knowledge and ways of being.” Learn more.

4. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig!

“This was an opportunity for us to showcase the beautiful building that is now the home to our new Indigenous Institute offering two separate degrees in Anishinaabemowin and Anishinaabe Studies with some exciting new opportunities on the horizon.” Learn more.

5. Youth Welding Students Complete Program at Iohahi:io

Learn more.

6. Oshki Wenjack Congratulates New National Chief RoseAnne Archibald

RoseAnne Archibald is the first female Assembly of First Nations National Chief. Learn more.

7. Meet Iohahi:io’s Rose Nolan Memorial Scholarship Recipients

Learn more.

Advancing Indigenous Education and Adapting to COVID-19 at Ontario’s Indigenous Institutes

Just in time for spring, the IIC and its Indigenous Institute members have been hard at work hosting events, forming partnerships and advancing post-secondary education for Indigenous learners.

One of the biggest announcements was new funding allowing Oshki-Pimache-O-Win: The Wenjack Education Institute to continue partnering with Lakehead University and strengthen support for Indigenous post-secondary learners.

As a welcoming for the sweet water harvest season, a ceremony was held with Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig and their student’s association. This outdoor gathering provided attendees with a safe venue for some much-needed prayers, songs, and socializing.

IIC’s member Institutes have been busy improving enrichment for our learners. Here’s what’s been happening:

Lakehead University Awarded Funding to Help Reduce Barriers to Post-Secondary Education

“This project will work with northern Indigenous institutes and colleges to explore how to identify, locate and begin to disrupt colonial structures and pedagogy in post-secondary education in terms of both transfer credit pathways and transitioning students between different types of institutions.

Lakehead University is looking forward to further collaboration with Anishinabek Employment and Training Services, Confederation College, the Oshki-Pimache-O-Win: The Wenjack Education Institute, and Seven Generations Education Institute.”

Read more

Sweet Water Ceremony Kicks Off Spring Harvest with Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig

“Everyone who attended the Saturday ceremony expressed how happy they were to be able to gather together again, but with COVID restrictions, social distance had to be maintained. The circle grew and grew until it nearly took up half of the parking lot!”

Read more

Water Activism Talk with Autumn and Stephanie Peltier at Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig

Autumn is the Chief Water Commissioner for the Anishinaabek Nation and was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

She continues the work of her late Aunt Josephine Mandamin, who created the Water Walk Ceremony to bring awareness to Water access and sustainability.

Read more

Kenjgewin Teg Anishinaabemowin Immersion Specialist Teaches Therapy Through Storytelling at WHEAT

“I don’t necessarily instruct in storytelling because I search and bring out the storyteller in each of the students,” Rhonda Hopkins says. “However, I have shared storytelling and one of the things we have done is our mnemonic device, which was an assignment where I created a mnemonic device that would help recite a story, an event or an activity that a student had participated in. So, they’re telling me stories using this mnemonic device that they’ve created.”

Read more

Six Nations Polytechnic on Indigenous Perspectives in Post-Secondary Learning

“The learning has to relate back to your life and your world view of how everything is connected. We’re very much focused on making sure the knowledge of our people is recovered, and then revitalizing that in many ways. Some of that is in direct instruction with teachers.”

Read more

Promising Careers in Trades Begin at Ogwehoweh Skills and Trades Training Centre

“My son likes to do manual labor and work hard. He’s always been happiest when he is moving his body and hates sitting in a classroom all day. The thought of going to another four years of school after graduating makes his stomach turn. Knowing that, and seeing how his father has struggled to find good employees that know the plumbing trade, or want to work hard to learn it, has made me realize we really need to be presenting the trades as a promising career path to our kids, because they have so much to offer.”

Read more

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New Education Partnerships and Opportunities at Ontario’s Indigenous Institutes

With 2021 well underway, the IIC and its Indigenous Institute member have been making advances for post-secondary Indigenous education.

One of the biggest announcements came at the start of the year when the Government of Ontario announced that it would be expanding the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) to include learners at all Indigenous Institutes. “IIC member Institutes welcome the regulation change designating Indigenous Institutes as eligible to administer OSAP financial assistance to eligible students enrolled in accredited Indigenous Institute programs. This ensures that students enrolled in our programs have equal access to student financial assistance,” said Rebecca Jamieson, IIC Interim Chair.

During the final quarter of 2020, the IIC began a new partnership with eCampusOntario to advance the offerings of Ontario’s Indigenous Institutes and actively participating in its virtual learning strategy. The call for proposals launched in January, with support from the IIC, and through the IIC’s advocacy, a new position was created at eCampusOntario for an Indigenous Virtual Learning Support advisor. The IIC will continue to work with eCampusOntario to ensure that its virtual learning initiatives takes Indigenous learners and Institutes into account.

IIC’s member Institutes have also been busy with new initiatives and partnerships that will secure a brighter future for Indigenous learners. Here’s what’s been happening:

Kenjgewin Teg joins OntarioLearn

“We are extremely excited to share this good news about Kenjgewin Teg’s recently approved new membership with OntarioLearn which will begin April 1, 2021”, said Stephanie Roy, President. “With transitions in higher learning moving toward blended and hybrid approaches that includes the reality of virtual learning environments, membership with OntarioLearn will provide our learners who enjoy an independent, online way of learning many more opportunities as they explore their learning journeys”.

Read more

Six Nations Polytechnic becomes a new member of eCampusOntario

“We’re thrilled to increase our collective capacity for virtual learning as a new member of eCampusOntario. This past year we launched pilots with our partner institutions that recognized the trend toward micro-credentials; preparing our students for a fast-changing workplace where micro-credentials can more efficiently determine skills and competencies for hiring.” – President and CEO, Rebecca Jamieson.

Read more

Kenjgewin Teg Anishinabek Innovation and Research Centre becomes certified with the Canadian Welding Bureau

“We hope and look forward to this being the first of many certifications from the CWB that the trades centre here at Kenjgewin Teg will be doing in the future,” said Dave Hall, Manager of Kenjgewin Teg’s ASIRC programs and facility. “We work well together here with all of our instructors and students, and I wholeheartedly supported Dave as the welding instructor in pursuing us becoming an approved testing site of the CWB”.

Read more on Anishinabek News

Iohahi:io Instructor joins the Law Commission of Ontario’s Board of Governors

A persecutor and instructor at Iohahi:io Akwesasne Education and Training Institute, Neha Chugh will continue to actively promote her work with Iohahi:io saying “This is a role that I have that is near and dear to my heart.”

Read more about her work in the Law Times News

Kenjgewin Teg and Fleming College partner to offer practical nursing program on Manitoulin Island

“Going forward, our local Mnidoo Mnising and surrounding communities will continue to see more opportunities in health and wellness programs at Kenjgewin Teg as we continue working together with valued partners like Fleming College and other Indigenous institutes who support culturally relevant training and education hosted closer to home,” says Stephanie Roy, President of Kenjgewin Teg.

Read more on PTBO Canada

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