For over 30 years, Sault College has been committed to advancing Indigenous education in Ontario as part of the institution’s vision to make society better by providing a transformative life experience that empowers its students to think and learn progressively and innovatively. The faculty, support staff and administration at Sault College’s School of Indigenous Studies and Academic Upgrading has over 100 years of combined experience working in Indigenous education.
As representatives of the local First Nations communities, the staff at the School of Indigenous Studies believes that academic learning and cultural understanding can be effectively combined. Sault College’s commitment to Indigenous learners is also woven into the school’s governance, with Indigenous Education identified as one of Sault College’s Strategic Mandate’s three pillars and embedded in the 2016-20 Strategic Plan.
Sault College reserves at least one seat on its Board of Governors for an Indigenous representative and encourages more Indigenous representation on its Board The College’s administrators were also required to read the Truth and Reconciliation Report and a sub-committee to address the report’s Calls to Action is in the works.
Two Elders-in-Residence enhance the college’s environment of social inclusion by consulting with senior administrators on program and policy development, cultural competency training, and engaging with faculty, staff, and students. Meanwhile the physical space of Sault College, such as the Sacred Fire Arbor, Sweat Lodge, and commemorative wall display for missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada, has been designed to create a safe and inspiring space to address barriers to education, encourage new ways of learning and allow opportunities for cross-cultural engagement.
Sault College’s commitment to Indigenous learners extends well beyond its signing of the CICan Indigenous Education Protocol to Indigenous-specific programming, integration of language and cultural practices, and partnership with local Indigenous education institutes and organizations.