Ottawa, ON, June 19, 2014 – Denise Amyot, President and CEO of Colleges and Institutes Canada (formerly the Association of Canadian Community Colleges) released the following statement to mark National Aboriginal Day.
“National Aboriginal Day is an important opportunity for Canadians to reflect and celebrate Indigenous heritage and the many contributions made by First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in our country. For colleges and institutes across Canada, it is also a time to recognize and champion the importance of effective and culturally relevant education to support a growing number of Indigenous learners at institutions across the country.
“Canadian colleges and institutes are key to greater access to education as providers of high school equivalency programs, post-secondary education and adult upgrading for Indigenous learners across Canada. Though Indigenous education still faces significant challenges, colleges, institutes, cegeps and polytechnics are having an impact through collaboration with Aboriginal communities, educators and elders. By working together to build programs that reduce barriers and create opportunities for Indigenous students, colleges and institutes in Canada can help youth reach their full potential.
“Respect for Indigenous cultures and communities is a guiding principle at Colleges and Institutes Canada. We are currently collaborating on the development of an Indigenous Education Protocol for colleges and institutes, which will help support successful approaches for serving Indigenous learners and communities. The draft Protocol was recently presented at our 2014 annual conference in Ottawa and is expected to receive final approval from the Board of Directors of Colleges and Institutes Canada this year.
“The Protocol has been developed under the leadership of the Colleges and Institutes Canada Indigenous Education Committee comprising presidents, vice-presidents and deans from colleges, institutes, cégeps and polytechnics from across Canada, and in consultation with the Assembly of First Nations.
Colleges and Institutes Canada is the national and international voice of 95 per cent of Canada’s publicly supported colleges, institutes and polytechnics. We work with industry and social sectors to train 1.5 million learners of all ages and backgrounds at campuses serving over 3,000 urban, rural and remote communities in Canada. The Association operates in 29 countries via 13 offices around the world.
Photo: Aurora College. NWT Education Minister Jackson Lafferty with new graduates at Aurora’s Thebacha Campus in Ft. Smith.