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June 4, 2018

Students from Confederation College’s Aboriginal Community Advocacy program gather in the teepee on campus for Indigenous teachings and storytelling.

Improving Indigenous education outcomes through community partnerships

Every year in June, Canada celebrates National Indigenous History Month and recognizes the summer solstice, June 21, as National Indigenous Peoples Day with the goal of preserving and celebrating Indigenous histories, cultural traditions and knowledge! In many cases, education is the key to keeping Indigenous cultures alive and strong.

Canada’s colleges and institutes are committed to improving Indigenous education outcomes across the country and are often the best positioned post-secondary institutions to respond to the needs of Indigenous students.

Did you know that CICan has six Indigenous member institutions?  Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute (KTEI), First Nations Technical Institute (FNTI), Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT), Dumont Technical Institute (DTI), Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT), and Native Education College, as well as many other colleges and institutes across the country, offer programs and services that incorporate Indigenous cultures and traditions, guided by and developed in close partnership with Indigenous communities.

In honour of Indigenous History Month, we want to take a closer look at the extensive partnerships colleges and institutes have forged with local Indigenous communities in support of Indigenous student success across the country.

  • Confederation College’s Centre for Policy and Research in Indigenous Learning (CPRIL) is the first and only college-based Indigenous education policy and research centre in Canada, and works closely the Negahneewin Council to facilitate inclusive dialogue on Indigenous learning and develop evidence-based policy to support Indigenous students. The college also trains students in social, legal, and political issues affecting Indigenous populations through the Aboriginal Community Advocacy
  • Yukon College’s Institute of Indigenous Self-Determination, for example, works closely with all of the fourteen Yukon First Nations and offers the opportunity for students to learn from Indigenous leaders and professionals while also connecting researchers with Indigenous communities to help find solutions to northern challenges. The college also recently launched – in partnership with Vancouver Island University, The Rideau Hall Foundation, and The Mastercard Foundation – an Innovative Learning Partnership for Indigenous Youth, which aims to improve access to post-secondary education for more than 300 Indigenous youth.
  • Native Education College has established strategic partnerships with First Nations and Indigenous agencies throughout British Columbia to deliver accredited post-secondary and adult-upgrading programs developed with Indigenous content and teaching methods while allowing the learners to remain in their communities.
  • Within Quebec, the Committee for Indigenous Student Success (Comité sur la réussite des étudiants autochtones au collégial), created by the Fédération des cégeps in 2016 brings together Indigenous initiatives from cegeps across the province in a unified effort to increase access to post-secondary education for Indigenous students.
  • The Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) has worked with a number of local First Nations community partners to identify and help coordinate culturally sensitive Indigenous programming that responds to the unique educational needs of the community, and now incorporates Indigenous teaching methods in its programs, including talking circles and regular classroom visits from local Elders.

These are just a few examples of the relationships, structures, and partnerships that make colleges and institutes the key providers of post-secondary education for Canada’s Indigenous populations, and that form the basis of CICan’s Indigenous Education Protocol – which currently has more than 55 signatories!

We are also excited to announce the date of our next  Indigenous Education Symposium,  October 14-16, 2018, in Wendake, Quebec that will gather leaders and experts from colleges and institutes, Indigenous communities, and industry to share and explore strategies to better serve Indigenous learners and communities, and thus the goals of reconciliation in Canada. Don’t miss this important event – register now!

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Register for CICan’s Leadership Institute for Applied Research and Innovation!

Over the past 15 years, colleges and institutes have seen an exponential increase in their applied research activity, with corresponding infrastructure changes, new sources of funding, greater faculty and student involvement, and a dramatic increase in industry and community engagement. The intensive program of CICan’s Leadership Institute for Applied Research and Innovation will focus on the current and emerging requirements of the role of Applied Research Leaders in colleges and institutes and will explore the leadership profile and skills essential for success.

This Leadership Institute will take place from July 28th – August 2nd in Vancouver, BC.

This institute is designed for those in the role of manager or new director in applied research offices who seek leadership development for their current position, research division staff, and individuals from other areas of the institution who aspire to leadership positions in applied research or are interested in learning how to better lead their department and institution in applied research and innovation initiatives.

Register now!

CICan’s celebrated leadership institutes draw on the latest management concepts and experience to prepare participants to successfully lead in the college and institute system. Click here for a full list of all upcoming Leadership Institutes.

Webinar: Analyzing IRCC data on international mobility trends bringing Francophone students to Canada

Join us on June 20, 2018, for a webinar using recent data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to examine international mobility trends bringing Francophone students to Canada.

The webinar will take place on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm EST.

Subjects covered by the webinar include international student recruitment in Francophone markets, recruitment diversification and growth opportunities, and statistics on recruitment trends currently available to colleges, institutes, and cégeps.

Please note that this webinar will only be offered in French. To register, please send an email to Pam Hedderson at before June 13, 2018. For more information, click here [only available in French].

IDEaS launches first Call for Proposals for Innovation Networks

Adapting and innovating are crucial to developing and maintaining capabilities that address today’s challenges, as outlined in Canada’s defence policy. In this context, the Department of National Defence is calling on Canadians to offer innovative solutions with the  Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program, and is pleased to launch its first Call for Proposals!

This first Call for Proposals invites multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary teams, termed micro-nets, to submit research proposals on the following Innovation Challenge: Advanced Materials: Avoiding Detection and Physical Protection.

The IDEaS program will provide non-repayable contribution funding of up to $ 1.5 million over three years to selected micro-nets, with the goals of creating networks of experts, providing support and opportunities to innovators, and by facilitating the integration and of new capabilities for the Canadian Armed Forces and public safety and security communities.

The deadline for submission of Letters of Intent is July 13, 2018. For more information click here. Stay tuned for upcoming webinars!

CICan members participate in consultations on Review of Indigenous Post-Secondary Education Programs

On May 31st, 2018, CICan, along with 30 leaders in Indigenous education from 22 colleges and institutes representing almost all provinces and territories, was pleased to participate in federal consultations on the Review of Indigenous Post-Secondary Education Programs led by the Department of Indigenous Services Canada (DISC). In response to Budget 2017’s commitment to undertake a review of all current federal programs supporting Indigenous students who wish to pursue post-secondary education, the consultations focused around themes of student access, student success, and potential solutions.

Participants in the May 31st consultation raised issues including challenges related to Indigenous identity, outreach to parents and Indigenous community members, transportation, and the definition of success given the barriers that many Indigenous learners must overcome. Participants also shared best practices as potential solutions to help Indigenous learners access and succeed in post-secondary education.

As the consultation phase concludes, DISC will be moving to the design phase over the summer with policy options and recommendations presented to Cabinet by Fall 2018 for input to Budget 2019. For more information, please contact Clare Morris.

Please note that during July and August, publication of Perspectives will be reduced to once a month. Regular publication will resume in September.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that Lambton College recently took the top spot at the 2018 Enactus National Exposition in Toronto? Lambton’s team was named National Champions of the event, during which students from 47 universities and 20 colleges and institutes from across the country showcased their community outreach projects and business ventures. Lambton will now be the first team from a Canadian college to compete at the Enactus World Cup in San Jose, California. Congratulations! For more information about the exposition and to learn more about Lambton’s winning projects, click here.


Capilano University was pleased to announce that Laureen Styles will join the university as Vice President, Academic & Provost effective June 18. Styles brings extensive academic experience both teaching and leading at post-secondary institutions in British Columbia.

Camosun College was pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Richard Gale as the new Director of Camosun Innovates, the applied research arm of the college. Dr. Gale joins Camosun with many years of experience in leadership positions at post-secondary institutions.


Leadership Institutes

Registration is live for CICan’s 2018 Leadership Institutes. Click here to register.

Send Us Your News

One of our main goals at Colleges and Institutes Canada is to champion and share the innovations and awesomeness of our members. You can help! We want to hear about your new applied research, industry and community partnerships, international education, important financial investments and more. Add to your media mailing lists! We’ll share member institution News Releases and other upcoming announcements online and with our national media contacts based in Ottawa.