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North West College, SIIT and Saskatchewan Polytechnic sign indigenous education protocol


May 19, 2015 - North West College, the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) and Saskatchewan Polytechnic signed an indigenous education protocol today. This aspirational document reaffirms their commitment to indigenous education and provides a vision for how they can better serve indigenous peoples. The three post-secondary institutions are members of Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan), the organization that developed the protocol.

"North West College is proud to serve a rich and diverse population," says Tavia Laliberte, North West College president and CEO. "With the signing of this protocol today, we will continue to acknowledge and respect indigenous education."

The Indigenous Education Protocol outlines seven principles, or responsibilities. These include implementing intellectual and cultural traditions of indigenous peoples through curriculum, increasing the number of indigenous employees, and establishing indigenous-centred holistic services and learning environments.

"The principles of the Indigenous Education Protocol are consistent with our vision and principles as a First Nations educational institute," says Riel Bellegarde, SIIT president and CEO. "The signing of this protocol marks our continued commitment to be First Nations-focused, collaborative and strategic in creating pathways for success for our current and future learners."

"This is a momentous day for Saskatchewan Polytechnic," says Dr. Larry Rosia, Saskatchewan Polytechnic president and CEO. "It has been a long-standing priority for our organization to reduce barriers to Aboriginal student recruitment and program completion. We are committed to helping Aboriginal students succeed at the same rate as non-Aboriginal students. Signing this protocol reinforces this commitment."

The Indigenous Education Protocol was developed by CICan's Indigenous Education Committee, comprising college and institute representatives from across the provinces and territories, as well as through consultations at the Serving Indigenous Learners and Communities Symposium in December 2013, and at CICan annual conferences in 2013 and 2014.

North West College (NWC) is one of Saskatchewan's seven regional colleges. It provides adult basic education, skills training and university programs throughout the province's northwest region. North West College has been delivering training and education for 40 years since its establishment in 1975.

The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) is one of four credit granting academic and training institutions within the Province of Saskatchewan. Governed by First Nations leaders and representatives from across the province, SIIT has been delivering training and education programs to Aboriginal adult learners since 1976.

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Printable media release (pdf)

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