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University College of the North

The University College of the North (UCN) offers college and university programming across 14 locations throughout Manitoba. UCN is uniquely mandated to serve a culturally diverse population. The institution operates under a tri-cameral governance system consisting of a Governing Council, Learning Council and Council of Elders. UCN offers more than 40 programs and confers degrees, diplomas and certificates. Some of UCN’s programming is a result of partnering with other institutions like the Joint Baccalaureate Nursing program. UCN offers educational opportunities in a “close to home” approach through the regional centre network. UCN currently has 12 regional centres, 9 of which are in First Nations communities.

Fast Facts

  • UCN provides education close to home through two main campuses and 12 regional centres.
  • UCN focuses on providing education that is relevant to Aboriginal and northern Manitobans.
  • UCN is governed by a tri-cameral governance system that includes a Governing Council, Learning Council and a Council of Elders. Each council has representation on the other to promote collaboration.
  • Our small class sizes mean that students can enjoy more opportunities for personal interaction. They lead to better classroom discussions, to help students get the most out of their education.
  • So many of UCN’s programs provide students with unique practical training opportunities including conducting field studies in the Natural Resources Management Technology winter or fall camps.




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This is how we...

Contribute to our Community

Since 2011, the Vital Outcome Indicators for Community Engagement (VOICE) Research Project has brought together community partners, organizations and university researchers for the purpose of helping children and youth from First Nations, Metis and Inuit (FNMI) in Northern Manitoba to achieve educational and career success. Community Circles have been serving as the primary governance structures for the research. The Bunibonibee Cree Nation Community Circle has chosen two success pathways to investigate: the Parent Support Success Pathway is aimed at nuturing parent-school relationships and building confidence to support student learning; and the Educator Support Success Pathway is investigating a variety of instructional strategies and approaches to content delivery. The Pas Community Circle, represented by Kelsey School Division, is investigating Mobile Technology and the At-Risk Learner and Community Engagement. The Thompson Community Circle is comprised of a broad group of community stakeholders including the School District of Mystery Lake, Manitoba Metis Federation, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc., Vale, and Manitoba Hydro. It has adopted three success pathways: Cultural Proficiency, Land-based Education, and the Cultural, Economic, Political and Social (CEPS) Youth Leadership program. The $1M VOICE project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council is scheduled to conclude in early 2017.

Foster Student Success

Spencer Sullivan-Basic

“There’s a sense of everyone being in it together at UCN. It’s really helped me with my studies to know that my fellow students and instructors have my back and want me to succeed and be the best I can be.”

Kelly Jackson

Kelly Jackson received an award from the Adult Secondary Education Council (ASEC) of Manitoba. The Starr Writers’ contest was named in remembrance of Jocelyn Starr, a founding member of ASEC. Entrants are asked to write an essay about how “attending an Adult Learning Centre or an Adult Literacy Centre is changing (or has changed) my life”. Kelly admits that “school was not a friendly place for me. When I was younger, I often didn’t go. Because I wasn’t going, I dropped out. This was my pattern and although I would go back to school with the best intentions, I would soon drop out and I gave up when I reached Grade 10”. Kelly found a place to belong at UCN’s Adult Learning Centre and her dreams continue to grow as she is presently working towards a Bachelor of Social Work.

Partner with Business and Community


UCN has partnered with the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) to provide internship opportunities for students in UCN’s business programs through the RBC Aboriginal Summer Internship Program. This program is a unique way for RBC to provide mentorship opportunities for students, practical business experience, as well as inspiring confidence while helping to bridge the gap between school and career. The partnership arrangement first started in 2014, continued in 2015, and will be repeated again in 2016. UCN and RBC are very pleased to continue this exciting and positive partnership!


UCN has 12 regional centres that support a wide variety of education programs that allow students to remain in their home communities for some or all of an educational program. UCN’s partnerships in communities include the provision of shared public/ academic libraries in three of our regional centre locations, with ongoing efforts to develop additional library partnerships. UCN’s network of regional centres, operated in partnership with local municipalities and First Nations, helps to ensure increased accessibility to high quality education close to home.

Support Indigenous Students

UCN’s mission is “to ensure Northern communities and people will have access to educational opportunities, knowledge and skills, while being inclusive and respectful of diverse Northern and Aboriginal values and beliefs”. Aboriginal philosophies and ways of learning and teaching inform the work that we undertake. Our resident Elders in The Pas and Thompson provide counselling and support to students. The Mamawechetotan “let’s all work together and help one another” Centre on our campus in The Pas and the ininiwi kiskinwamakewin “the people’s place of learning” Centre on our Thompson campus promote Aboriginal culture and awareness as well as support the incorporation of culturally proficient practices into UCN. UCN was so pleased to be a member of the signing of the CICan Indigenous Education Protocol for Colleges and Institutes and the Indigenous Education Blueprint.

Resident (Staff) Elders

UCN is honored to provide spiritual and cultural support to our students and staff through our two resident/staff Elders located in The Pas and Thompson. Our Elders ensure that UCN and staff are doing things in a “good way” and provide advice on cultural practices and ceremonies. Learn more.

Programs & Services of Interest

Date modified: 2016-10-27