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March 7, 2016

Colleges and institutes support reconciliation and indigenous education

Following the call to action launched by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Educators, administrators, Indigenous representatives and elders from across Canada gathered in Whitehorse, Yukon for CICan’s 2016 Indigenous Education Symposium. This was a great opportunity to reflect on the essential role of education as participants discussed this year’s theme “Supporting Reconciliation through the Indigenous Education Protocol”.

Hosted by Yukon College, February 24-25, on the traditional territories of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council, this timely symposium was an opportunity to take a close look at the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which emphasized the role of education in fostering reconciliation and CICan’s Indigenous Education Protocol. The Protocol is an aspirational document containing seven principles that institutions commit to work towards. Currently, 44 member institutions from across Canada have signed the Protocol.

Over the course of two days, Symposium participants had the opportunity to hear what member institutions are doing to advance reconciliation through the Protocol. Roundtable discussions and dialogues allowed for an exchange of ideas between institutions who had signed the Protocol and those who have yet to do so, on best practices, challenges and solutions to implementing the Protocol.  The Protocol and the recommendations of the TRC have many synergies, from the need to develop culturally appropriate curricula and learning approaches to the need make Indigenous Education an institutional priority.

“What we’re seeing is the start of a welcome national conversation about the many aspects of reconciliation”, said Denise Amyot, President and CEO of CICan. “Colleges and institutes are well placed to contribute to reconciliation. They have a long-standing commitment to indigenous education and the many innovative programs they offer reflect that.”

One innovative example of collaboration is a project between two Ontario-based institutions, Confederation College and George Brown College. It is designed to increase understanding and reciprocity among Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. On paper, they are unlikely partners; Confederation College is a medium-sized, rural and remote campus in Thunder Bay, northern Ontario; George Brown is a large, urban college in downtown Toronto. Yet, these differences are what makes their collaboration work. The results of their collaboration has led to Confederation taking their Indigenous Studies program to George Brown and George Brown taking their Assaulted Women and Children’s Counsellor/Advocate Program north. Students and faculty alike on both campuses benefit from this partnership.

Chantel Buffalo, a presenter at the Symposium shared her inspirational success story of her journey through education. Buffalo, a student at Saskatchewan Polytechnic said of the Symposium, “I’ve learned that there are so many people out there willing to help aboriginal students excel and advance throughout our education, which is often something we forget or miss. It’s so nice to know that we have that guidance and support from all corners of Canada.”

The Symposium comes at a time when the newly-elected federal government has indicated that it wishes to reset the relationship with indigenous peoples and has committed to implement the recommendations of the Commission. As Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett, indicated in her opening remarks, colleges and institutes “get it!” and have a key role to play in this process. Those were encouraging words that show that, when it comes to supporting Indigenous education, colleges and institutes are on the right track.

New Canada Express Study Program in Vietnam


Canada Express Study Program (CES) is a new pilot program that will facilitate visa processing for Vietnamese students wishing to study at participating colleges in Canada. Announced by the Consulate General of Canada in Ho Chi Minh City, the Embassy of Canada in Hanoi, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), in cooperation with Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan), the program began on March 1, 2016 and runs for 18 months, with possible extension and expansion.

The CES program streamlines the process for students who are preparing to study in Canada by improving the Study Permit application checklist, which helps students ensure they have all the necessary documentation to apply to study in Canada. Only students accepted to a participating college or institute and wishing to study full-time in Canada will qualify for CES.

Thirty-seven CICan members have already signed up to be a part of this program and are listed on the IRCC website. Following the 18 month pilot phase of the program, it may open to other colleges, universities and language schools.

The Canada Express Study Program is supported by Scotiabank, which has agreed to provide eligible students with the opportunity to purchase a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) that will satisfy the financial statement requirements of the Canada Express Study program.

For more information on the CES, please visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Mark's Commercial offers 20% discount to college and institute employees

Marks Commercial

CICan is pleased to announce a new corporate alliance partnership with Mark’s Commercial, a division of Mark’s and one of Canada’s top suppliers of industrial and safety footwear, clothing and logoed apparel. To mark this partnership, all employees of CICan member institutions will enjoy a 20% discount at all Mark’s retail stores across Canada from March 15-21, 2016.

In order to qualify you must be a CICan member institution employee and show your ID card in-store. If you do not have an institution ID please bring your business card and photo ID.  The 20% discount will be applicable on everything in-store including already marked down prices but excluding gift cards and door crashers.

Stay tuned for more information about this promising partnership with Mark’s Commercial.

Join the Science Odyssey

Colleges and institutes across the country are invited to take part in Science Odyssey, a national celebration of science and innovation. Formerly known as the National Science and Technology Week, the event will bring together a series of fun activities across the country from Friday, May 6 to Sunday, May 15, 2016. Host your own event from science-to-the–streets celebrations, to lab visits, science fairs, talks and conferences, school field trips, encounters with researchers and scientists, museum and science centre special exhibits, online activities, and much more. This is a great opportunity for colleges and institutes to promote their contribution to Canadian innovation and showcase their research activities. Submitting an event is easy and can be done online.

New program to look at the use of open educational resources

Achieving the Dream, an American non-profit organization focused on increasing student success and completion, invites proposals from public two-year postsecondary institutions in Canada and the U.S. to participate in a three-year Open Educational Resources Degree Initiative. Up to 30 institutions may be selected to receive grants of up to $100,000 to establish one-year or two-year degree programs that use open educational resources in place of proprietary textbooks. The short term goal is to reduce costs for students and accelerate their progress through college, but an important long-term goal is to change the culture of institutions so that they create systems and structures that better connect curriculum and pedagogy to updated student learning outcomes. Applications are due April 8.  A webinar to review expectations of participating institutions will be held on Thursday March 10 at 3 pm Eastern Standard Time. Register here.

Join the open data challenge

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) recently launched the Human Dimensions Open Data Challenge, organized as part of SSHRC’s Imagining Canada’s Future initiative.

The challenge is focused on identifying solutions (systems, processes as well as use of new technologies) to human dimension issues in the natural resources and energy.  It is open to teams led by a social sciences and humanities researcher in a postsecondary institution in Canada (and may also include non-SSH researchers, graduate students, international researchers or other experts). The initiative is led in partnership by SSHRC, Compute Canada, the Ontario Centres of Excellence, and ThinkData Works.

Stephen Lewis to open the CICan conference

We are pleased to announce that Stephen Lewis will be the Opening Keynote Speaker at its annual conference on Sunday, May 29. Mr. Lewis is a founder and board chair of the Stephen Lewis Foundation and a Professor of Practice in Global Governance at the Institute for the Study of International Development at McGill University as well as a Professor of Distinction at Ryerson University in Toronto. He is also co-founder and co-director of AIDS-Free World in the United States. Stephen Lewis was named a Companion of the Order of Canada for all his humanitarian work.

For more information about CICan’s 2016 Conference or to register, please visit the conference website.

Eureka! Moment

Culinary Team NAIT 2016

Congratulations to the members of NAIT’s Culinary Team who brought home 12 medals after competing at Emirates Salon Culinaire in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The international competition ran February 21-25.

Made up of students and recent graduates, the team was involved in two cooking competitions. They won two gold, six silver and four bronze medals, while competing against professional chefs from around the world.


North Island College has named Diane Naugler as its new Dean, Business and Applied Studies. Mrs. Naugler is an experienced administrator and educator known for her collaborative and respectful leadership style and will work to strengthen the college’s community connections and oversee its business and applied studies programs.

Okanagan College has named Joan Ragsdale as its Shuswap Revelstoke Regional Dean. An experienced college administrator, she is familiar with working with an array of regional governments, First Nations, School Districts and other partners to provide access and support for post-secondary education and the regional economic development.

Collège Mathieu has announced the nomination of Nicolas Roussy as its new director of continuing education. Mr Roussy holds a masters in political science and has over 10 years experience in policy, communications and the training of public administrators.


Call for presentation at the WFCP World Congress

The WFCP has launched a call for presentations for this year’s World Congress in Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil. Proposed presentations should be aligned with the Congress’ central theme: The Role of Professional Education in the 21st Century. Presentations will need to be submitted by March 11, 2016. All CICan members benefit form the association membership to the WFCP and can take part in the Congress. For more information about the submission process, visit the WFCP website.

CICan Annual Conference

CICan’s 2016 Conference will be held in Québec City, Mat 29-31. Register now!

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