Across Canada, colleges and institutes are committed to improving indigenous education outcomes. Our member institutions are pro-active in recruiting First Nations, Metis and Inuit youth by consistently developing programs and initiatives to promote and nurture Indigenous culture and education. Programs are also developed in consultation with First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities in order to address specific learning needs. Here are examples of the outstanding services and programs that our member institutions provide to indigenous learners.
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Native Education College
At Native Education College in Vancouver, British Columbia, learners experience a learning environment that respects and reflects the diversity of Aboriginal culture. This video, titled “Elevating Minds to Infinite”, showcases the integration of Indigenous culture on campus, through art, classes, ceremonies, and celebrations. Native Education College’s programs are developed to encourage students to pursue work in Aboriginal organizations as well as the mainstream community.
Michelle Bourke and Robert Voudrach are two students at Aurora College in the Northwest Territories. Both of them are enrolled in Academic Upgrading/Access programs, which is designed for students who do not meet the entrance requirements to a specific set of programs offered at the college. This initiative allows them to obtain their high school diplomas, and provides them with the knowledge and skills necessary to apply for and enter these specific programs.
Watch Michelle talk about the benefits of the Social Work Access program and Robert talk about the Business Administration Access program:
College of the Rockies
College of the Rockies in Cranbrook, British Columbia recently opened the campus’ Aboriginal Gathering Place. The Gathering Place is located on the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa Nation, and will create a welcoming, safe and supportive learning environment for Aboriginal students attending the college.
In Fort McMurray, Alberta, Keyano College has developed an Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program to help individuals working in Aboriginal business settings cultivate business skills and knowledge. The program’s objectives include meeting the needs of current entrepreneurs or individuals who wish to become entrepreneurs, and delivering training in an Aboriginal context.
As part of their Social Sciences program, Collège Ahuntsic in Montreal, Quebec offers a program called « Rencontres Autochtones » (Indigenous Encounters). Students at the institution have the opportunity to have a pedagogical stay in an Aboriginal community, where they get to create links with community members by meeting with elders, discussing with youth, and familiarise themselves with the traditional atikamewkw culture. This project opens up a research component that respects and considers the needs and concerns of the people of Opitciwan, a First Nations reserve and village in the Mauricie region.