Indigenous Education Protocol

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.

Committee Members

This protocol is founded on seven principles that aim to guide the institutions who will agree to sign on to this aspirational document.

Exemplary practices for implementing this principle include:
Embed the mandate to serve Indigenous learners and communities in colleges’ and institutes’ strategic plans to ensure Indigenous learner needs are considered in institutional planning and decision-making.

Exemplary practices for implementing this principle include:
Ensure Indigenous representation on college and institute Boards of Governors, Program Advisory Committees, Student Associations through delegated seats for First Nation, Métis and Inuit leaders, and allow for parallel Indigenous Advisory Councils and Elder/Métis Senator Councils.

Exemplary practices for implementing this principle include:

Transition and upgrading programs:

  • Build linkages and partnerships between K-12 and post-secondary education systems, including the availability of dual-credit options between colleges/institutes and high schools;
  • Integrate Indigenous-focused upgrading programs or modules into standard provincial upgrading programs;
  • Offer flexibility in the delivery of transition programs to allow adult learners to pause and restart programs as required due to family, community or work obligations; and
  • Use culturally relevant assessment tools, which may differ for First Nation, Métis and Inuit learners.

College and institute curriculum:

  • Capture and reflect history, including oral history, as understood by Indigenous peoples, across curriculum;
  • Promote and support the preservation of Indigenous languages;
  • Embed intellectual and cultural traditions of Indigenous peoples;
  • Combine educational pedagogy and epistemology infused with Elder/Métis Senator knowledge;
  • Confront the legacy of residential schools, recognizing the challenge of institutional settings and supporting healing and reconciliation; and
  • Recognize that Indigenous knowledge can benefit all learners (e.g. environment, justice) and have processes for two-way sharing (e.g. both scientific and traditional ways).

Learning Approaches:

  • Offer flexibility in program and course delivery and allow for stop-out and start-up options;
  • Develop and deliver community-based education and training programs that are aligned with the economic, social development and labour market needs of Indigenous communities, recognizing that First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples are distinct and that their communities will differ in terms of the education programs required;
  • Legitimize traditional knowledge by giving post-secondary credits for this knowledge, as for other skills and areas of expertise.

Exemplary practices for implementing this principle include :

  • Acknowledge the territory and land on which colleges and institutes are located and serve and integrate the use of Indigenous language at events, ceremonies and meetings.
  • Include traditional ways of doing and being in the processes associated with institutional functioning (e.g. Elder/Métis Senator opening words/prayers, feasts, drum dancing, healing circles / sharing circles, storytelling).
  • Create an environment where everyone has responsibility for Indigenous issues by adopting a cross-accountability rather than a silo structure.
  • Offer staff and faculty training on Indigenous history, inter-cultural training for all (faculty, administration, support staff, facilities), including experiential, hands-on learning activities, and land and place-based learning. 

Exemplary practices for implementing this principle include :

  • Improve frontline services for Indigenous students by allocating resources to ensure regular access to services from Elders/Métis Senators from the community or in residence.
  • Establish targets for hiring First Nation, Métis and Inuit employees at colleges and institutes, at all levels.
  • Ensure institutional hiring and human resource development strategies identify goals and approaches for increasing the number of Indigenous staff and faculty.

Exemplary practices for implementing this principle include :

  • Initiate recruitment with Indigenous students earlier than grades 7 to 10 to expose youth to college/institute programs and related career opportunities, and link them to prerequisites they need in high school.
  • Offer culturally relevant assessment services :
    • prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR) services to recognize traditional knowledge base and life experience of learners;
    • English/French and math skills assessments must recognize the English or French gap for Indigenous language speakers, and allow more time to complete to support success.
  • Change the symbolism that exists throughout the institution so that it is more respectful and inclusive of Indigenous ways and increases visibility of Indigenous culture through gathering spaces, gardens, signage, art work and ceremonies.
  • Move from a safe space to a safe campus approach by ensuring that culture, language and Elder/Métis Senator involvement is not compartmentalized and is visible and viable across all aspects of the institution and students’ experiences.
  • Offer Indigenous-centred support services to address the needs of learners holistically and guided by the wisdom and leadership of Elders/Métis Senators, including:
    • Elder/Métis Senator services from the community or in residence;
    • housing, childcare and transportation;
    • tutoring and learning supports;
    • health care and mental health counselling;
    • mentorships and role models from alumni and graduating students;
    • career and employment counselling; and
    • activities structured around family.
  • Ensure support services are multi-pronged to meet the diverse needs of Indigenous people: urban, rural, Status, Non-Status, First Nation, Métis and Inuit.
  • Integrate systems and provisions to eliminate financial barriers for Indigenous students including:
    • sponsored seats;
    • funds for participation in upgrading programs;
    • financial assistance, including bursaries and scholarships;
    • partnership funding to host visits, meetings and events;
    • base funding allocation by the institution to minimize dependency on soft funding;
    • waive tuition for children in care;
    • differentiated funding models within institutions to account for smaller enrolment.

Exemplary practices for implementing this principle include :

  • Formalize college and institute partnerships with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities, Indigenous institutes of higher learning and Indigenous organizations such as Friendship Centres and Métis Community Councils, recognizing the equal partnership status.
  • Identify community needs in an open and genuine consultation approach including :
    • how the community wants to work with the college/institute;
    • the content of the education and training programs; and
    • delivery approaches and locations.
  • Ensure college/institute partnerships with Indigenous communities are responsive to economic development and labour market needs by:
    • Fostering opportunities for community-college-industry engagement and joint projects; and
    • Supporting entrepreneurship and business development in Indigenous communities.
  • Develop and share curriculum on governance of Indigenous communities and build a deeper knowledge, understanding and appreciation around self-governance and self-determination.
  • Support Indigenous community sustainability by offering community-based programs that address industry and environmental concerns.

View Signatories

FAQs

  • The Indigenous Education Protocol was developed by the Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) Indigenous Education Committee, comprising the following college and institute representatives:
    • Ken Tourand – Committee Chair, President, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
    • Angela Acott-Smith, Associate Vice-President, Student Development, New Brunswick Community College
    • Karen Barnes, President, Yukon College
    • Paula Burns, President & CEO, Lethbridge College
    • Eric Corneau, Nunatta Campus Dean, Nunavut Arctic College
    • Kim Fraser-Saddleback, Vice-President Academics & Student Services, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies
    • Diane Gauvin, Dean, Social Science and Business Technologies, Dawson College
    • Carolyn Hepburn, Director, Native Education, Sault College
    • Wayne Poirier, Vice-President, Student Services, Mohawk College
    • Larry Rosia, President & CEO, Saskatchewan Polytechnic
    • Brenda Small, Vice-President, Centre for Policy in Aboriginal Learning, Confederation College
    • Laureen Styles, Vice President, Academic, Justice Institute of British Columbia
    • Kory Wilson, Director, Aboriginal Education & Services, Vancouver Community College
  • The Committee led consultations on how the Protocol should be developed and what should be included in the Protocol. These consultations took place at two CICan annual conferences (2013 and 2014), and at the Serving Indigenous Learners and Communities Symposium in December 2013.
  • A draft of the Protocol was also shared with national Indigenous organizations: the Assembly of First Nations, the Métis National Council and Inuit Tapiirit Kanatami
  • The CICan Board of Directors approved the Indigenous Education Protocol on September 26,  2014.
  • CICan has developed the Indigenous Education Protocol for Colleges and Institutes to support members’ commitment to improving and better serving Indigenous education. The spirit of the Protocol is to support colleges’ and institutes’ commitment to Indigenous education and provide a vision of how they can strive to improve and better serve Indigenous peoples.

  • CICan members are invited to participate in the signature ceremony at the Symposium.
  • After the official launch, The Protocol will be available on the CICan website, along with the number and list of signatories.
  • The Protocol will be shared with national Indigenous organizations and they will be invited to participate in the launch.

Member institutions are encouraged to sign the Protocol however there is no set timeline.

  • The intent of the protocol is to be aspirational.
  • Member institutions must assess their level of comfort with the principles and their commitment to serving Indigenous learners and communities. There is no requirement that all structures, policies and programs be in place upon signature.
  • For colleges and institutes that may not be in a position to endorse and sign the Protocol at the time of the launch, CICan will facilitate the sharing of exemplary practices by structuring future CICan Indigenous symposia and streams at the CICan annual conference according to the seven principles of the Protocol.

This is meant to reflect the strong relationships colleges and institutes have with all the communities they serve, and their role in supporting social and economic development. When institutions design and deliver community-based programming, they are being responsive and accountable to the needs of communities. The companion document, Approaches and Exemplary Practices to Guide Implementation, provides examples of how colleges and institutes can support self-determination of Indigenous communities including:

  • Formalize college and institute partnerships with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities, Indigenous institutes of higher learning and Indigenous organizations such as Friendship Centres and Métis Community Councils, recognizing the equal partnership status.
  • Identify community needs in an open and genuine consultative approach including:
    • how the community wants to work with the college/institute;
    • the content of the education and training programs; and
    • delivery approaches and locations.
  • Ensure college/institute partnerships with Indigenous communities are responsive to economic development and labour market needs by:
    • Fostering opportunities for community-college-industry engagement and joint projects; and
    • Supporting entrepreneurship and business development in Indigenous communities.
  • Develop and share curriculum on governance of Indigenous communities and build a deeper knowledge, understanding and appreciation around self-governance and self-determination.
  • Support Indigenous community sustainability by offering programs in their communities that address industry and environmental concerns.

The right to self-determination is articulated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Articles 3, 4 and 5 as follows:

Article 3
Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

Article 4
Indigenous peoples, in exercising their right to self-determination, have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs, as well as ways and means for financing their autonomous functions.

Article 5
Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions, while retaining their right to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the State.1
1 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. October 2, 2007. Pg. 4.

  • The exemplary practices are only suggestions and new exemplary practices will be added through workshops and sessions at the CICan Serving Indigenous Learners and Communities Symposium and annual conferences. For this reason, this is considered a living document that will be updated annually.
  • The purpose of this document is to provide examples of how colleges and institutes can apply the principles at their institutions. The intent of the Protocol is to be aspirational. In recognition that colleges and institutes are organized and structured differently to meet the needs of Indigenous learners and communities, there is no requirement that institutions have all these practices in place in order to sign the Protocol.

  • It was recommended during consultations with CICan members that an Institutional Partnerships Signature page be included should institutions’ Indigenous community partners wish to co-sign the Protocol. There is no obligation to have Indigenous partners sign the Protocol. However, should be encouraged where possible as an act that can build or maintain positive relationships with Indigenous partners.
  • Colleges and institutes are encouraged to hold public signing ceremonies where local Indigenous partners and communities are invited to participate. CICan would appreciate receiving copies of photos of public signing ceremonies that could be featured on the CICan website.

Download Protocol

Keyword:
Topic:
Type:
Page
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... Read more
News Release
n honour of National Aboriginal Day, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) signed Colleges and Institutes Canada’s (CICan) Indigenous Education Protocol yesterday in Vancouver,... Read more
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Quebec City, October 27, 2022 – Earlier this week, nearly 150 educational leaders gathered during Colleges and Institutes Canada’s national Indigenous Education Symposium to discuss... Read more
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BCIT becomes 50th institution to sign the CICan Indigenous Education Protocol

Ottawa, June 20, 2017 – In honour of National Aboriginal Day, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) signed Colleges and Institutes Canada’s (CICan) Indigenous Education Protocol yesterday in Vancouver, BC. This is a momentous occasion, marking the 50th institution that has adopted the principles of this groundbreaking document.

Launched in December 2014, the CICan Indigenous Education Protocol provides a vision of how colleges and institutes can strive to improve their practices and better serve Indigenous peoples. It is based on seven principles that underscore the importance of structures and approaches to address Indigenous peoples’ learning needs and support self-determination and socio-economic development of Indigenous communities. They include ensuring that governance structures recognize and respect Indigenous peoples, reviewing curriculums to include Indigenous intellectual and cultural traditions and supporting students and employees to increase understanding and reciprocity.

The Indigenous Education Protocol was developed by CICan’s Indigenous Education Committee, comprising college and institute representatives from across the provinces and territories. It was based on consultations with members and Indigenous partners held at the Serving Indigenous Learners and Communities Symposium in December 2013, and the CICan annual conferences in 2013 and 2014. It has since been endorsed by colleges and institutes across the country, as well as many of their partners from Indigenous communities.

For more information about the CICan Indigenous Education and Protocol and its signatories.

Quotes:

“As we prepare to celebrate National Aboriginal Day, it is fitting that our members reaffirm their commitment to the Indigenous Education Protocol and we couldn’t be happier to welcome BCIT into this extraordinary group. The CICan Indigenous Education Protocol is an ambitious document that has only become more relevant since its inception. Following the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the national dialogue it has launched, the need for post-secondary education institutions to play a leadership role in reconciliation is clear. We are proud to answer this call, in collaboration with our members.”

Denise Amyot, President and CEO, Colleges and Institutes Canada

“In signing the Indigenous Education Protocol, BCIT commits to further enriching our Institute with Indigenous wisdom, knowledge, and traditions. It is not a commitment we undertake lightly. Reconciliation is the work of all post-secondary institutions, indeed of all Canadians, and while we are proud of the partnerships we have cultivated and the frameworks we have built, we also acknowledge the work yet to be done. As we empower our students to meet the challenges of a complex world, we work alongside CICan and our partners on continuing to fulfil the promise of a richer educational journey for everyone in our community.”

Kathy Kinloch, President, BCIT

 

About CICan:

Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is the voice of Canada’s publicly-supported colleges, institutes, cegeps and polytechnics, as well as an international leader on applied education and innovation, with ongoing programs in over 25 countries. Working in close collaboration with industry and community partners, CICan’s members offer more than 8000 programs at campuses serving urban, rural, remote, and northern communities all over Canada, contributing to inclusive economic growth.

About BCIT:

For over 50 years, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) has been a leader among Canadian post-secondary institutions. We offer a unique education model that blends academic learning with hands-on training—a balance that ensures our students graduate with the skills and confidence to succeed. BCIT is one of BC’s largest post-secondary institutes, with five campuses, 300 programs, and more than 48,000 students each year. BCIT’s credentials range from certificates and diplomas to bachelor’s and master’s degrees in areas such as Applied and Natural Sciences, Business and Media, Computing and IT, Engineering, Health Sciences, and Trades and Apprenticeships.

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For more information:

Julien Abord-Babin
Senior Strategic Communications Officer
Colleges and Institutes Canada
jabord-babin@collegesinstitutes.ca
Tel. : 613-746-2222 ext. 3131
Twitter : @CollegeCan

Keyword:
Topic:
Type:
Page
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... Read more
News Release
n honour of National Aboriginal Day, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) signed Colleges and Institutes Canada’s (CICan) Indigenous Education Protocol yesterday in Vancouver,... Read more
News Release
Quebec City, October 27, 2022 – Earlier this week, nearly 150 educational leaders gathered during Colleges and Institutes Canada’s national Indigenous Education Symposium to discuss... Read more
Blog Post
Astronomically speaking, the summer solstice marks the day of the year that the North Pole is tilted closest to the Sun on Earth’s axis. In... Read more
News Release
On National Indigenous Peoples Day Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) joins all Canadians in recognizing and celebrating the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding contributions... Read more
News Release
Celebrating Outstanding Achievements in Canada’s College and Institute Sector Calgary, April 30, 2024 – Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) proudly announces its 2024 Awards of... Read more
Blog Post
Dear friends, colleagues and members of the CICan community, Today, I stand on the threshold of a new chapter in my life, and I am... Read more
Blog Post
Join us in this special podcast episode as we sit down with Denise Amyot, the visionary leader who has shaped the path of Colleges and... Read more
Blog Post
Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, observed on September 30th, is a day of profound significance. It represents our shared commitment as a country... Read more
Blog Post
June is a unique month dedicated to celebrating diversity and promoting true inclusivity. It marks the convergence of two periods of recognition: Pride Month and... Read more

CICan’s national Indigenous Education Symposium highlights the importance of collective action in advancing truth and reconciliation.

Quebec City, October 27, 2022 – Earlier this week, nearly 150 educational leaders gathered during Colleges and Institutes Canada’s national Indigenous Education Symposium to discuss and reflect on shared visions and responsibilities when it comes to advancing truth and reconciliation.

This was CICan’s 12th national Indigenous Education Symposium, the first in three years due to the pandemic, taking place in Québec City on the unceded territory of the Huron-Wendat Nation. The event engaged participants in a dialogue around the importance of education and collective action in creating lasting reconciliation with Indigenous communities. Leaders touched on developing programs that meet the learning needs of Indigenous students; supporting their well-being, participation, engagement, and achievements on campus; and valuing Indigenous knowledge, culture and language in post-secondary education.

Knowledge was shared by guests from across the country, including Commissioner Marie Wilson, TRC Canada, 2009-2015; Grand Chief Vincent, Huron-Wendat Nation; Richard Kistabish, President, UNESCO Canadian Commission; Kelly Lendsay, president and founder of Indigenous Works and Luminary; Jean-François Rochon, UNESCO Chair in the Transmission of First Peoples’ Culture to Foster Well-Being and Empowerment; and Mike Metatawabin, former Deputy Grand Chief at Nishnabe Aski Nation, poet, and advocate for truth and reconciliation.

Colleges and institutes are the primary point of access to post-secondary education for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis learners. They offer over 300 credential programs tailored to the needs of Indigenous learners and communities. They also serve as hubs to support all learners, no matter the background or experience, to upgrade and advance their skills for labour market success.

The return to an in-person symposium also coincides with CICan’s 50th anniversary as an association, which was founded in 1972 and has long been active in Indigenous education.

In fact, CICan launched its Indigenous Education Protocol in 2014, which is both an aspirational document and a framework to improve educational outcomes for Indigenous learners and help institutions support Indigenous students. To date, 69 colleges and institutes have voluntarily signed the Protocol.

Quotes:

“This symposium is so important because it gives us the opportunity to learn from each other and to inspire each other to make more progress towards lasting reconciliation. Using the Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for collaboration, in particular SDG 4 Quality education and SDG 10 Reduced inequalities, we can contribute to positive change. Indigenous education is essential to making Canada future-proof.”

Denise Amyot, President and CEO, Colleges and Institutes Canada

“Our government recognizes the diversity and unique richness of Indigenous languages, and the urgent need for action to support their revitalization. While there’s still a lot of work to do, the recent Indigenous Languages Act is an important tool in the efforts of Indigenous peoples to reclaim, revitalize, maintain and strengthen their languages. I’m happy to see Canadian colleges and institutes’ work to play a positive and significant role in supporting Indigenous peoples and advancing reconciliation.”

The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Quebec Lieutenant

 

About Colleges and Institutes Canada:

CICan is the national and international voice of Canada’s largest post-secondary education network. It advocates, builds capacity, and drives knowledge to strengthen Canada’s publicly supported colleges, institutes, CEGEPs, and polytechnics. With more than 95% of Canadians living within 50 km of a member institution, and thanks to its extensive reach around the globe, CICan works to future-proof communities in Canada and abroad.

We respectfully acknowledge that CICan’s offices in Ottawa are located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe Nation.

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For more information:

Leah Jurkovic

Director, Communications

Colleges and Institutes Canada

Email: ljurkovic@collegesinstitutes.ca

Twitter: @CollegeCan

Keyword:
Topic:
Type:
Page
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... Read more
News Release
n honour of National Aboriginal Day, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) signed Colleges and Institutes Canada’s (CICan) Indigenous Education Protocol yesterday in Vancouver,... Read more
News Release
Quebec City, October 27, 2022 – Earlier this week, nearly 150 educational leaders gathered during Colleges and Institutes Canada’s national Indigenous Education Symposium to discuss... Read more
Blog Post
Astronomically speaking, the summer solstice marks the day of the year that the North Pole is tilted closest to the Sun on Earth’s axis. In... Read more
News Release
On National Indigenous Peoples Day Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) joins all Canadians in recognizing and celebrating the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding contributions... Read more
News Release
Celebrating Outstanding Achievements in Canada’s College and Institute Sector Calgary, April 30, 2024 – Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) proudly announces its 2024 Awards of... Read more
Blog Post
Dear friends, colleagues and members of the CICan community, Today, I stand on the threshold of a new chapter in my life, and I am... Read more
Blog Post
Join us in this special podcast episode as we sit down with Denise Amyot, the visionary leader who has shaped the path of Colleges and... Read more
Blog Post
Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, observed on September 30th, is a day of profound significance. It represents our shared commitment as a country... Read more
Blog Post
June is a unique month dedicated to celebrating diversity and promoting true inclusivity. It marks the convergence of two periods of recognition: Pride Month and... Read more

Education that reflects the learners

Astronomically speaking, the summer solstice marks the day of the year that the North Pole is tilted closest to the Sun on Earth’s axis. In the Northern Hemisphere, it’s the longest day of the year. In Canada, it’s also National Indigenous Peoples Day, celebrating the heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, and this year marks its 25th anniversary!

Did you know that, of our 135-plus members, seven are designated Indigenous institutions – meaning that they exclusively deliver culturally-relevant programs tailored to the needs of Indigenous learners and communities as a means of preserving and strengthening Indigenous cultures?

More broadly, colleges and institutes are also the primary access point to post-secondary education for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis learners, and are deeply engaged in advancing reconciliation and empowering communities. Even non-Indigenous institutions take this commitment to heart.

  • Over 95% of all Canadians and more than 86% of Indigenous people live within 50 km of a college or institute location; and colleges and institutes across the country offer over 300 credential programs tailored to the needs of Indigenous learners and communities.
  • Did you know that over 65 institutions have committed to making Indigenous education a priority, strengthening relationships with Indigenous communities, and supporting reconciliation through our Indigenous Education Protocol?

As stated in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report, education is vital to preserving and strengthening Indigenous communities. If we’re serious about celebrating and supporting Indigenous cultures in Canada, it’s important that we think about how we embrace this in every aspect of our educational efforts.

Keyword:
Topic:
Type:
Page
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... Read more
News Release
n honour of National Aboriginal Day, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) signed Colleges and Institutes Canada’s (CICan) Indigenous Education Protocol yesterday in Vancouver,... Read more
News Release
Quebec City, October 27, 2022 – Earlier this week, nearly 150 educational leaders gathered during Colleges and Institutes Canada’s national Indigenous Education Symposium to discuss... Read more
Blog Post
Astronomically speaking, the summer solstice marks the day of the year that the North Pole is tilted closest to the Sun on Earth’s axis. In... Read more
News Release
On National Indigenous Peoples Day Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) joins all Canadians in recognizing and celebrating the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding contributions... Read more
News Release
Celebrating Outstanding Achievements in Canada’s College and Institute Sector Calgary, April 30, 2024 – Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) proudly announces its 2024 Awards of... Read more
Blog Post
Dear friends, colleagues and members of the CICan community, Today, I stand on the threshold of a new chapter in my life, and I am... Read more
Blog Post
Join us in this special podcast episode as we sit down with Denise Amyot, the visionary leader who has shaped the path of Colleges and... Read more
Blog Post
Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, observed on September 30th, is a day of profound significance. It represents our shared commitment as a country... Read more
Blog Post
June is a unique month dedicated to celebrating diversity and promoting true inclusivity. It marks the convergence of two periods of recognition: Pride Month and... Read more

Celebrating and committing to Indigenous success

Ottawa, June 19, 2020 – This Sunday, on National Indigenous Peoples Day Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) joins all Canadians in recognizing and celebrating the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding contributions of Indigenous peoples!

As the primary access point to post-secondary education for First Nations, Inuit and Métis learners, with 86% living within 50 km of a college or institute, CICan members are deeply engaged in the process of reconciliation and deeply committed to empowering Indigenous students. They work in close partnership with their local Indigenous communities to remove barriers to education and promote a culture of respect and inclusion on their campuses. Indigenous spaces on campus, elder advisors, and traditional knowledge in program development help put college and institute diploma attainment for Indigenous students on par with non-Indigenous students. CICan is very proud of the support our members provide every day!

CICan stands with our seven Indigenous member institutions and the more than 65 colleges and institutes that have signed CICan’s Indigenous Education Protocol and committed to reconciliation through education, governance structures, learning environments, and being accountable to the Indigenous communities they support. In the current global climate, tailored programming for Indigenous communities in areas such as education, health, justice, language & culture, and child welfare is more important than ever.

As a part of Indigenous History Month, we are also reminded of the darker periods in Canadian history and the systemic discrimination that many Indigenous people still face. Five years after the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, we must continue to build stronger relationships with Indigenous peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership. We can and will do better.

Happy National Indigenous Peoples Day!

 

About Colleges and Institutes Canada:

Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is the voice of Canada’s publicly-supported colleges, institutes, cegeps and polytechnics, and an international leader in education for employment with ongoing programs in over 25 countries. CICan’s members add over $190B to Canada’s economy each year and contribute to inclusive economic growth by working with industry and community partners to offer more than 10,000 programs to learners in urban, rural, remote, and northern communities.

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For more information:

Julien Abord-Babin
Senior Strategic Communications Officer
Colleges and Institutes Canada
jabord-babin@collegesinstitutes.ca
Tel. : 613-746-2222 ext. 3131
Twitter : @CollegeCan 

Keyword:
Topic:
Type:
Page
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... Read more
News Release
n honour of National Aboriginal Day, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) signed Colleges and Institutes Canada’s (CICan) Indigenous Education Protocol yesterday in Vancouver,... Read more
News Release
Quebec City, October 27, 2022 – Earlier this week, nearly 150 educational leaders gathered during Colleges and Institutes Canada’s national Indigenous Education Symposium to discuss... Read more
Blog Post
Astronomically speaking, the summer solstice marks the day of the year that the North Pole is tilted closest to the Sun on Earth’s axis. In... Read more
News Release
On National Indigenous Peoples Day Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) joins all Canadians in recognizing and celebrating the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding contributions... Read more
News Release
Celebrating Outstanding Achievements in Canada’s College and Institute Sector Calgary, April 30, 2024 – Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) proudly announces its 2024 Awards of... Read more
Blog Post
Dear friends, colleagues and members of the CICan community, Today, I stand on the threshold of a new chapter in my life, and I am... Read more
Blog Post
Join us in this special podcast episode as we sit down with Denise Amyot, the visionary leader who has shaped the path of Colleges and... Read more
Blog Post
Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, observed on September 30th, is a day of profound significance. It represents our shared commitment as a country... Read more
Blog Post
June is a unique month dedicated to celebrating diversity and promoting true inclusivity. It marks the convergence of two periods of recognition: Pride Month and... Read more

Honouring National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: Reflect, Learn, Act 

Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, observed on September 30th, is a day of profound significance. It represents our shared commitment as a country to acknowledge and confront the historical injustices inflicted upon Indigenous peoples, especially the atrocities of the residential school system. Although Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is committed to promoting continuous reflection, learning and action throughout the year, this day offers us a unique opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to reconciliation and deepen our collective understanding of Indigenous history in Canada. 

The Role of Colleges and Institutes  

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) identifies education as one of the five key areas requiring reform to attain reconciliation. This recognition underscores the pivotal role of colleges and institutes in Canada’s reconciliation journey. We take immense pride in this role, especially given we are the primary postsecondary education providers for Indigenous learners. Over 86% of Indigenous people reside within 50km of a college campus. 

According to Statistics Canada’s 2021 Census data, colleges and institutes are making great strides. Out of the 37% of Indigenous people in Canada who hold a postsecondary credential, an impressive 75% obtained it from a college or institute. While this progress is encouraging, it’s crucial to acknowledge that disparities persist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Additionally, the fact that fewer than half of Indigenous people have attained a postsecondary credential serves as a reminder that reconciliation is a vital and ongoing effort.     

We are proud of the fact that colleges and institutes are far from idle when it comes to reconciliation. We actively engage with Indigenous communities across the country to dismantle barriers and cultivate a culture of respect and inclusion within our institutions. Here are just a few of the many ways we’re taking concrete actions to advance reconciliation: 

Learn and Reflect: 

For those seeking a deeper understanding of Indigenous history in Canada, here’s a curated list of our go-to resources: 

Take Action: 

Feeling inspired? Colleges and institutes can continue to take a proactive step by joining the 72 institutions that have signed CICan’s Indigenous Education Protocol. It underscores the importance of structures and approaches to address Indigenous peoples’ learning needs and support self-determination and socio-economic development of Indigenous communities.  

And join us for the National Indigenous Education Symposium 2023 – we hope to see you there! 

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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... Read more
News Release
n honour of National Aboriginal Day, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) signed Colleges and Institutes Canada’s (CICan) Indigenous Education Protocol yesterday in Vancouver,... Read more
News Release
Quebec City, October 27, 2022 – Earlier this week, nearly 150 educational leaders gathered during Colleges and Institutes Canada’s national Indigenous Education Symposium to discuss... Read more
Blog Post
Astronomically speaking, the summer solstice marks the day of the year that the North Pole is tilted closest to the Sun on Earth’s axis. In... Read more
News Release
On National Indigenous Peoples Day Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) joins all Canadians in recognizing and celebrating the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding contributions... Read more
News Release
Celebrating Outstanding Achievements in Canada’s College and Institute Sector Calgary, April 30, 2024 – Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) proudly announces its 2024 Awards of... Read more
Blog Post
Dear friends, colleagues and members of the CICan community, Today, I stand on the threshold of a new chapter in my life, and I am... Read more
Blog Post
Join us in this special podcast episode as we sit down with Denise Amyot, the visionary leader who has shaped the path of Colleges and... Read more
Blog Post
Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, observed on September 30th, is a day of profound significance. It represents our shared commitment as a country... Read more
Blog Post
June is a unique month dedicated to celebrating diversity and promoting true inclusivity. It marks the convergence of two periods of recognition: Pride Month and... Read more

There is no sustainability without equity (SDG 10)

June is a unique month dedicated to celebrating diversity and promoting true inclusivity. It marks the convergence of two periods of recognition: Pride Month and National Indigenous Peoples Month.  

Both are celebratory but draw attention to the ongoing journey toward equity and reconciliation. SDG 10 challenges us to reduce inequalities within and among countries, including income inequality, political and social inclusion, discrimination, and representation. It lies at the centre of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.   

The role of colleges and institutes. 

Canada’s colleges and institutes understand their critical role in reducing inequalities. As the primary access points to postsecondary education for many equity-deserving groups, we actively engage with community partners to remove barriers to education and promote a culture of respect and inclusion in our spaces. Here are just a few of the many ways colleges and institutes are showing their support this month, and beyond: 

  • Red Deer Polytechnic, alongside its student’s association and Central Alberta Pride, has demonstrated its support to the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities through a flag-raising ceremony.  
  • Assiniboine Community College has an Indigenization strategy to instil Indigenous worldviews, knowledge, and perspectives from the diverse Indigenous cultures at every level of our organization. 
  • Cégep Heritage College has an Indigenizing Project to assist CEGEP teachers in the work of indigenizing the curriculum. 
  • Sheridan College‘s student union is hosting several community events and offering students an opportunity to take a trip to the Toronto Pride Parade with them on Sunday, June 25.   
  • Thompson River University provides its community various opportunities to learn about Indigenous people, cultures, histories, and stories of the local Secwépemc people and other Indigenous nations.   
  • George Brown College‘s Office of Anti-Racism, Equity and Human Rights Services promotes fairness, equity, accountability, and transparency year-round.
  • Cégep de l’Outaouais has a community of practice that brings together staff to share their knowledge and expertise to bring about changes in their professional practices towards greater inclusivity.  

While significant efforts are underway, we continuously seek new ways to address the need to do more. This commitment to equity goes beyond mere obligation. We consider equity an essential component of sustainability. And we are not the only ones who think so. The World Bank highlights that addressing inequalities is vital to eradicating poverty, while the World Health Organization emphasizes that equity is a fundamental determinant of health.   

The good news? Access to learning is one of the best ways to reduce inequalities, and the data shows that more and more individuals traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education recognize colleges and institutes as accessible options.  

Join us in taking action.  

Let us use the month of June as fuel to ignite greater change. Here are some of the ways you can take action: 

  • Join the 50-30 Challenge, which aims to advance equity, diversity, inclusion and economic prosperity from coast to coast to coast by ensuring everyone has a seat at the table.   
  • Sign the Indigenous Education Protocol, which 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.  
  • Commit to learning about the history of residential schools, listen to survivors’ stories and reflect on our role in creating a better, more equitable future for Indigenous peoples. Here are just a few of the many resources out there to get you started: 

            And about the diverse experiences and challenges faced by the 2SLGBTQIA+ community by checking out: 

Lastly, keep an eye on your inbox as we’ll soon announce the date for this year’s CICan Indigenous Education Symposium. 

Keyword:
Topic:
Type:
Page
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... Read more
News Release
n honour of National Aboriginal Day, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) signed Colleges and Institutes Canada’s (CICan) Indigenous Education Protocol yesterday in Vancouver,... Read more
News Release
Quebec City, October 27, 2022 – Earlier this week, nearly 150 educational leaders gathered during Colleges and Institutes Canada’s national Indigenous Education Symposium to discuss... Read more
Blog Post
Astronomically speaking, the summer solstice marks the day of the year that the North Pole is tilted closest to the Sun on Earth’s axis. In... Read more
News Release
On National Indigenous Peoples Day Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) joins all Canadians in recognizing and celebrating the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding contributions... Read more
News Release
Celebrating Outstanding Achievements in Canada’s College and Institute Sector Calgary, April 30, 2024 – Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) proudly announces its 2024 Awards of... Read more
Blog Post
Dear friends, colleagues and members of the CICan community, Today, I stand on the threshold of a new chapter in my life, and I am... Read more
Blog Post
Join us in this special podcast episode as we sit down with Denise Amyot, the visionary leader who has shaped the path of Colleges and... Read more
Blog Post
Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, observed on September 30th, is a day of profound significance. It represents our shared commitment as a country... Read more
Blog Post
June is a unique month dedicated to celebrating diversity and promoting true inclusivity. It marks the convergence of two periods of recognition: Pride Month and... Read more