M’CHIGEENG FIRST NATION, ON (Thursday, June 29, 2017) – In the first agreement of its kind in Ontario, Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute and Canadore College have established a memorandum of understanding to strengthen Indigenous-Anishinabek post-secondary education through a student-centred approach.

These two higher places of learning have affirmed their commitment to bridge institutional perspectives by developing and practicing shared intent and purpose, vision, as well as values and principles. Kenjgewin Teg and Canadore have also committed to building mutual relationship promises that will be reviewed and renewed annually over four years.

“Creating meaningful and respectful relationships in Indigenous education is critical now in our history; when we reflect back on this day many years from now, it may be one of those critical moments which represented one small step but significant enough to make a tremendous difference in Indigenous education for the next generation,” said Stephanie Roy, executive director of Kenjgewin Teg. “Creating even more depth and meaning to our work is the face that this relationship agreement today is purely voluntary and demonstrates our shared commitment and vision for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in our respective education communities.”

The agreement’s foundational purpose is rooted in recognizing truths, encouraging reconciliation and strengthening relationships, trust, respect and accountability. The organizations will strive to provide enhanced culturally-relevant learning for Indigenous-Anishinabek learners; assert a student-centred approach and solutions; support stakeholders in increasing cross-understanding and reciprocity among Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples; create and implement intellectual and cultural traditions of Indigenous-Anishinabek peoples through community-led post-secondary education and on-campus curriculum; and learning approaches that are relevant and appropriate and support reconciliation.

“Our shared desire to lead and support Canada’s First Peoples and non-Indigenous Canadians through its healing and reconciliation journey,” said George Burton, president and CEO of Canadore College “We will work together to ensure that Indigenous-Anishinabek perspectives and traditions take their rightful place in education. Our organizations are each creative and innovative, which creates tremendous combined ways of knowing to achieve this multi-faceted goal.”

Principles included in the voluntary agreement include community rights and ownership of intellectual property and traditional Indigenous-Anishinabek knowledges, histories, cultures, traditions, perspectives and languages; program design and delivery models; educational pathways; program quality assurance standards; and Indigenous pedagogy.

The MOU was signed in M’Chigeeng First Nation in conjunction with Kenjgewin Teg’s graduation ceremonies, a time when the new teaching lodge nears its opening celebration.

Kenjgewin Teg is a recognized Aboriginal Institute in Ontario providing post-secondary education to Indigenous students on Mnidoo Mnising (Manitoulin Island, Ont.). It is an Anishinabe controlled and directed education organization that strives to provide a comprehensive, qualitative, cultural and holistic approach to First Nations based education, training and services. Kenjgewin Teg strives for educational autonomy utilizing a progressive and community-based approach to support lifelong learning for individuals, community and Nationhood of the Anishinabek.

Canadore College trains people through applied learning, leadership and innovation. It provides access to over 75 full-time quality programs and has outstanding faculty and student services. The College and its students add nearly $290 million to the regions of Nipissing and Parry Sound. Approximately 1,000 students graduate from Canadore each year, and they join 44,000 alumni working across the globe. Nearly 20 percent of Canadore’s total student population is of Ojibway, Oji-Cree, Cree Algonquin, Mohawk, Inuit or Métis descent from Ontario, Québec and nation-wide, one of the highest representations in the provincial college system.