Belleville, Ontario, March 8, 2018 – Every college in Ontario is incorporating Indigenous knowledge into its programs and services, says a new report to the provincial government on the colleges’ response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
There is a dedicated counsellor for Indigenous students and an Indigenous education council advisory group at every one of the 24 colleges. As well, most colleges have implemented courses and learning modules specifically devoted to Indigenous issues.
“Incorporating Indigenous language, culture, identity and community in education is a key step towards reconciliation,” said Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development. “I want to thank colleges for joining us in supporting greater access to lifelong learning opportunities for Indigenous people.”
“We’re helping more Indigenous students successfully acquire a post-secondary education that will lead to a rewarding career,” said Loyalist College President & CEO Ann Marie Vaughan. “Providing more opportunities for Indigenous students continues to be a priority at our College and throughout the province.”
There are more than 10,000 Indigenous students enrolled in Ontario’s colleges. The report to government, Addressing Truth and Reconciliation: Summary report of Ontario’s colleges, describes the findings of a 2017 survey of colleges on the programs and supports available to those students.
The survey was developed by Colleges Ontario, the advocacy organization for the colleges, and the Indigenous People’s Education Circle, a committee of college educators, counsellors and administrators. Other highlights from the survey include:
- All colleges are supporting student success through initiatives such as dedicated campus spaces for Indigenous students, cultural activities, workshops and more.
- More than 90 percent of colleges have incorporated Indigenous ceremonial practices such as smudging ceremonies and powwows into campus life.
- About 60 percent of colleges have developed stand-alone education strategies or plans in collaboration with their Indigenous communities.
The report says it will take years to fully develop policies and programs through engagement with Indigenous communities and stakeholders. The colleges will be releasing an annual report on their progress.
“Loyalist College continues to proactively support the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Call to Action by establishing and maintaining respectful relationships with collective and individual Indigenous communities,” said Paul Latchford, Manager of Indigenous Services at Loyalist College.
About Loyalist College
Located on more than 200 acres in the beautiful Bay of Quinte region, Loyalist College is a close-knit community where students and their success come first. Loyalist provides personalized attention in small classes, rewarding field placements and superior student services. To prepare students for in-demand careers, Loyalist offers more than 65 full-time programs; apprenticeships; and hundreds of online, distance and in-class courses, as well as opportunities for continuing education through more than 70 university transfer agreements. The College’s wide selection of advanced diplomas, diplomas and certificates aligns with market-driven disciplines including applied sciences, biosciences, building sciences, business and management studies, health sciences, human studies, justice studies, media studies, and skills and technology. In Ontario, the College’s new Digital Media Centre and The Bay of Quinte Skills Centre, which is LEED® Silver certified, are training centres of choice for students, as well as College business and industry partners. The College is a key driver of the social and economic health and prosperity of the area and contributes 5.4 percent to the Gross Regional Product. This represents an overall effect on the regional economy of $530 million annually – based on a 2014 Report by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI). For more information on the College’s Belleville and Bancroft campuses and Port Hope satellite location, visit loyalistcollege.com.
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