The First Peoples’ Centre at Canadore College expanding learning opportunities
Jun 10, 2021
The First Peoples’ Centre at Canadore College will expand opportunities to more Indigenous learners and educators in remote communities. The Kikandaaswiwin Mookisin STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) program has received a grant of $157,800 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Promoscience program, and it will support the Kikandaaswiwin Mookisin STEAM Library and Wiidokwananig waasa wenjibawad Mentorhsip Program.
“Wiidokwananing waasa wenjibawad in the Ojibway languages translates to ‘we help those from far away’,” said Tammy Cayer-Dokis, Kikandaaswiwin Mookisin Coordinator. “The project title was chosen as it offers a much-needed resource and capacity for educators working with Indigenous learners in underserviced and remote communities.”
“The program engages Indigenous learners in STEAM pathways, opens mentorship opportunities and supports hands-on learning experiences for Indigenous learners and educators, particularly for those who face access to technology and connectivity challenges and is a response to the unique needs of remote and isolated communities,” said Cayer-Dokis.
Kikandaaswiwin Mookiisin collaborates with Actua, Canada’s leading science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) youth outreach network that consists of 41 universities and colleges, including Canadore. Actua engages with more than 35,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth in more than 200 communities through school workshops and summer camp programs.
“This work is critically important to Indigenous youth to demonstrate to them that Indigenous people have always known about STEM,” said Doug Dokis, Director of Actua’s National Youth inSTEM program. “Indigenous Knowledges continue to make significant contributions to STEM, instill pride in self and community, help Indigenous youth see themselves in STEM studies, and that they can be successful.”
“Once in a while the right partners with shared goals align providing an opportunity to have a lasting and meaningful impact on the future,” stated Shawn Chorney, Canadore Vice President Strategic Infrastructure, Indigenous and Learner Services. “The ongoing collaboration between Actua and Canadore recognizes that Indigenous ways of knowing are integral to getting the future right and we thank NSERC for this important investment.”
The Kikandaaswiwin Mookiisin STEAM program is offered through the First Peoples’ Centre at Canadore College. It is a land-based experiential learning program grounded in Indigenous educational practices and draws on the rich languages, histories, and cultural traditions of Indigenous peoples.
“Canadore College has made a commitment to Indigenous communities to reach learners where they live creating greater community capacity,” said President and CEO George Burton. “This project funding is helping Canadore keep that promise.”
“The Wiidkwananing waasa wenjibawad project is important to the Kikandaaswiwin Mookiisin mandate,” says Cayer-Dokis. “It is inclusive of remote and isolated Indigenous communities. It provides opportunities for learners and educators to engage in Indigenous STEAM knowledges and practices that are culturally responsive to support communities with the tools and resources to build their own capacity in STEAM. “
Canadore College trains people through applied learning, leadership and innovation. It provides access to over 80 full-time quality programs, has outstanding faculty and provides success services to students from nearly 400 Canadian communities and 15 international countries. The College, its students, and alumni add $369 million to the Nipissing Parry Sound service area economy. Approximately 1,000 students graduate from Canadore each year, and they join 47,000 alumni working across the globe. Canadore receives less than 50 per cent of its traditional funding from the provincial Ministry of Colleges and Universities and relies on its own innovation and entrepreneurial endeavours and generous donors for the balance.
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC): The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada is the country’s largest supporter of discovery and innovation. NSERC’s PromoScience Program offers financial support for organizations working with young Canadians to promote an understanding of science and engineering (including mathematics and technology). PromoScience supports hands-on learning experiences for young students and their teachers.
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