Elisha Sidlar Monroe.

Elisha Sidlar Monroe.

Contact North | Contact Nord, Ontario’s Distance Education & Training Network, has released their document 21 Success Stories of Aboriginal Learners Using Online Learning To Get Their Degrees, Diplomas, Certificates or Upgrade Their Skills. The document highlights the success of Aboriginal learners in Ontario who fulfilled their education and training goals using online learning.

These 21 Aboriginal learners each completed their programs and courses through online learning supported by one of the 28 local Contact North | Contact Nord online learning centres located in Aboriginal communities across Ontario. The collaboration between community, students and local Contact North | Contact Nord online learning centres is apparent in these stories and stands as a model for building capacity within Indigenous communities around the world.

“As it enters its 4th decade of operations, Contact North | Contact Nord remains committed to working with Aboriginal communities across Ontario to ensure members do not have to leave their community to access the education and training they need for success” stated Paul Taillefer, Chair of the Board of Directors, Contact North | Contact Nord. “Each of our 28 online learning centres in Aboriginal communities, partners with the local community to help its members get their degrees, diplomas, certificates or upgrade their skills through online learning with personalized support in the community.”

One of the students featured in the document is Elisha Sidlar Monroe who is completing her Native Early Childhood Education Diploma online with Anishnabek Educational Institute. As a single mother of a young son and caregiver for an elderly father, finding the support of the Contact North | Contact Nord online learning centre in her home community of M’Chigeeng First Nation meant she could attend school.

“I shopped around for a program that could marry with the skills I have,” said Elisha, who is an accomplished theatre artist. What she likes about taking the Native Early Childhood Education Diploma Program is how it also helps her to be a better mother to her son.

Elisha was homeschooled as a young girl and does not fit into the mainstream learning environment. Finding an opportunity to learn as an adult in an online learning environment is ideal.

“I wanted the program to be through an Indigenous institution, which led me to Anishinabek Educational Institute. The partnership with Contact North allows me to stay in my community. It is very, very important for me to stay home and take care of my son and elderly father,” said Elisha.

She likes the option of working at the local Contact North | Contact Nord online learning centre located in the Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute to get away from distractions at home. Yet, when she needs to be home, she has that choice as well. “I have never done online learning before and I am finding it very convenient,” Elisha said.

She is looking forward to graduating in 2016 and embarking on a new career.

Visit studyonline.ca to learn more about the programs and courses available to online learners in Ontario.