An institute on Manitoulin Island is now accredited and working to develop and offer post-secondary education, focusing on Anishinaabe culture.
Kenjgewin Teg, based in M’Chigeeng, received accreditation on Friday from the Indigenous Advanced Education and Skills Council. That group is Indigenous-controlled and governed, and is “tasked with establishing quality assurance standards and benchmarks for programs developed by the Indigenous Institutes pillar.”
“Kenjgewin Teg is meeting the unique needs of Indigenous learners in post-secondary education and training,” Laurie Robinson, executive director of the group said.
“High quality programs ensure that learners are prepared to meet the conditions their communities face. It is a new era in Indigenous education.”
Stephanie Roy, the president of Kenjgewin Teg, said this is historic for her institution.
“Now, we’re joining the sector in being able to grant credentials as they relate to diplomas, certificates and degrees,” she said.
“What Indigenous institutions have done in Ontario for the past 30 years is partnered with mainstream institutions.”
Roy added that it’s significant that her institution is now at this stage.
“We wanted to be able to support our Indigenous students in really achieving a culturally relevant higher education,” she said.
“That’s always been at the heart of what we do. But I think now what we’re really asserting is developing those credentials that will have that authentic world view of our people.”
‘Priorities’ in the region
Roy said the next steps include planning and developing courses and programs.
“We’re going to look at creating some certificates, diplomas and degrees that are really responsive to the needs within our communities in northern Ontario,” she said.
“We just completed a five year strategic plan and our communities have really shared with us what those priorities are here in the north.”
The chairperson of the United Chiefs and Councils of Mnidoo Mnising, Patsy Corbiere, said she’s proud of this achievement.
“Ensuring that we provide the highest quality education has been our top priority,” she said.
“Receiving accreditation by the Indigenous Education and Advanced Skills Council, acknowledges our dedication to excellence in Anishinaabe education.”
Up North6:12Kenjgewin Teg receives credential granting authority