Indigenous Institutes are Leading Indigenous Post-Secondary Education in Virtual Learning in Partnership with eCampusOntario
Monday, May 17, 2021 (10:00AM Eastern Standard)
Originally published on Indigenous Institutes Consortium (IIC)
Thanks to collaborative, innovative funding from the province and education non-profits, member institutes of the Indigenous Institutes Consortium (IIC) will be developing and improving virtual learning in Ontario for Indigenous learners.
Following a historic $50-million investment in the Virtual Learning Strategy (VLS), the IIC formed a new partnership with eCampusOntario to advance the virtual capacity of Indigenous Institutes in Ontario through micro-credentials.
The total culminating amount granted to Indigenous Institutes for micro-credential course development is $398,340. Indigenous Institutes Kenjgewin Teg and Six Nations Polytechnic are official members of eCampus Ontario and Six Nations Polytechnic will lead in the development of these micro-credential courses, following two successful expressions of interest (EOI).
“With the continued support of eCampusOntario and the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, Kenjgewin Teg is excited to welcome more learners as the Indigenous Institutes expand their virtual programming and credibility awareness,” said Stephanie Roy, President of Kenjgewin Teg.
Intended to drive growth and advancement in virtual learning across the province’s post-secondary institutions, the $50-million investment from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) in partnership with eCampus Ontario was announced on Dec. 11, 2020.
By January 2021, EOIs were put out and IIC members secured successful submissions in the Digital Fluency stream — a development and adoption of professional resources and supports for faculty and students to improve virtual teaching and learning.
Led by Six Nations Polytechnic, the IIC members will undertake the development of two new micro-credentials focused on Indigenous e-learning assessment strategies and Hybrid-flexible (Hyflex) design in Indigenous teaching and learning throughout 2021.
“With the development of two new micro-credentials focused in ‘Indigenous e-learning assessment strategies’ and ‘Hyflex design in Indigenous teaching and learning’, the Indigenous Institutes will be positioned as leaders in Ontario for virtual learning and new Indigenous-focused micro-credentials,” said
Rebecca Jamieson, IIC Interim Chair and President/CEO of Six Nations Polytechnic.
Additionally, through advocacy of the IIC, a new position was created at eCampus Ontario for a Virtual Learning Technical advisor. This position supports all Indigenous Institutes in virtual learning support, technological expertise and future improvements to their curricula and processes.
“eCampus Ontario is very pleased to support Indigenous Institutes in realizing the benefit of virtual learning. Our partnership with the Indigenous Institutes Consortium is helping to ensure the development of high quality Indigenous-led virtual education content, while supporting increased capacity of Indigenous Institutes to continue to create and lead the development of virtual learning for the benefit of all learners,” said Robert Luke, CEO of eCampus Ontario.
“The IIC recognizes the tremendous efforts of the member Indigenous Institutes on the development of two new micro-credentials,” said Wendelyn Johnson, IIC Executive Director. “IIC plans to continue the exemplary partnership between eCampus Ontario and the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to support the global capacity, growth, and recognition of the member Indigenous Institutes.”
“Our people are wanting to get trained and educated faster. Virtual learning has become the standard at Oshki-Wenjack and the introduction of Indigenous-focused micro-credentials will enrich the learning at our Institute.”
Lorrie Deschamps, President of Oshki-Pimache-O-Win: The Wenjack Education Institute
“Since the start of the pandemic, understanding the full-time virtual learning space has been a challenge for all post-secondary Institutions. Following the completion of new micro-credential projects in Digital Fluency, the success of staff, teachers and learners at Anishinabek Educational Institute (AEI) is bound to grow.”
Mindy Taylor, Interim Education Director for Anishinabek Educational Institute
“Iohahi:io Akwesasne Education and Training Institute is proud of the successful outcomes on the virtual learning Strategy EOI submissions. IIC continues to do good work on opportunities and resources that directly benefit all of the member Indigenous Institutes.”
Norma Sunday, IIC Vice-Chair and Director at Iohahi:io Akwesasne Education and Training Institute
“Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig welcomes the further development and position of Indigenous Institutes in the post-secondary virtual learning space. Our students deserve and will receive the same high-quality education as if they were in the classroom.”
Dianne Roach, Acting Director at Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig
“Indigenous Institutes are leading virtual learning for Indigenous post-secondary education in Ontario and in partnership with eCampus Ontario we are setting the standard for good quality partnerships. This work is an example of that. Ogwehoweh Skills and Trades Training Centre will continue to innovatively support our community in their learning journeys.”
Erin Monture, Director at Ogwehoweh Skills and Trades Training Centre
Established in 1994, the Indigenous Institutes Consortium is a non-profit corporation mandated to represent the collective interest of the Indigenous Institutes with a mission to support the capacity and recognition of Indigenous Institutes. Indigenous Institutes constitute one of the Pillars of Ontario’s post-secondary education and training system that are recognized under the Indigenous Institutes Act, 2017. Indigenous Institutes are community-based post-secondary education and training Institutes that are Indigenous owned and operated, and centered on local, accessible, and culturally appropriate programming. Indigenous Institutes provide culturally responsive and safe-learning environments grounded in Indigenous ways of knowing and living that honour Indigenous traditions.
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Jake Jamieson, IIC Marketing & Communications Lead