Colleges and Institutes are key providers of applied postsecondary education for Indigenous communities across Canada. They are often the only postsecondary institution present in remote northern communities and many of them have been working actively to create curriculums that respect indigenous values and cultures.
Colleges and institutes respect and recognize that Indigenous people include First Nation, Métis and Inuit people, having distinct cultures, languages, histories and contemporary perspectives.
They recognize that indigenous education emanates from the intellectual and cultural traditions of Indigenous peoples in Canada. They also believe that Indigenous education will strengthen colleges’ and institutes’ contribution to improving the lives of learners and communities.
In order to reaffirm the importance of Indigenous education, Colleges and Institutes Canada, in consultation with its members and partners in indigenous communities has developed an Indigenous Education Protocol. This important document underscores the importance of structures and approaches required to address Indigenous peoples’ learning needs and support self-determination and socio-economic development of Indigenous communities.
This protocol is founded on seven principles that aim to guide the institutions who will agree to sign on to this aspirational document.
Signatory institutions agree to:
1. Commit to making Indigenous education a priority.
2. Ensure governance structures recognize and respect Indigenous peoples.
3. Implement intellectual and cultural traditions of Indigenous peoples through curriculum and learning approaches relevant to learners and communities.
4. Support students and employees to increase understanding and reciprocity among Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
5. Commit to increasing the number of Indigenous employees with ongoing appointments throughout the institution, including Indigenous senior administrators.
6. Establish Indigenous-centred holistic services and learning environments for learner success.
7. Build relationships and be accountable to Indigenous communities in support of self-determination through education, training and applied research.