- 1 UP
man giving speech at graduation
Home > News > Learning from the Past to Build the Future

Learning from the Past to Build the Future

For Mitch Case, attending Algoma University and Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, marked the start of what will be a lifelong journey toward reconnecting with and understanding Anishinaabe philosophy and knowledge.

Case is Métis from Sault Ste. Marie’s Métis community and Ojibway from Garden River First Nation. His great-great-grandmother attended Shingwauk Residential School, so it was important to Case to have an opportunity to learn about the history and elements of his culture that were lost during the time of the residential school.

Case graduated from Algoma U in spring 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Certificate in Anishinaabe Studies.

“By combining research skills from my history program with the critical Anishinaabe thinking approaches I learned at Shingwauk, I feel prepared to help do my part to tell the truth of my people,” says Case. “Writing my thesis in my final year and working with my supervisor, Dr. Marisha Caswell, gave me the skills needed to do more writing in the future.”

Case says he appreciated that the faculty in the history department were always supportive of his desire to incorporate traditional knowledge from his Elders into his writing.

During his time at the University, Case was part of the Shingwauk Anishinaabe Students’ Association, serving two terms as Vice-President and one as President. He also served on the University’s Board of Governors and Senate, the Anishinaabe Peoples’ Council, and several other committees.

“I found it really rewarding to support events and activities which help students learn our language and culture.”

Through Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, Case had the opportunity to learn traditional ceremonies, songs and teachings and attend events at the Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge.

“I know that my experience at Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, I would not have had anywhere else.”

He notes that among his favourite courses were those taught by Bawdwaydun, Dr. Eddie Benton-Benai. Case says it was a life-changing experience to be able to work Dr. Benton-Benai and learn from his vast Anishinaabe knowledge.

Case also particularly enjoyed the Anishinaabe law courses with Professor Dawnis Kennedy. He says, “Professor Kennedy opened my eyes up to a whole new understanding of Anishinaabe law and treaty-making processes.”

Case has built lasting relationships with friends, colleagues and faculty from whom he continues to learn even after graduation.

Case is now the Shingwauk Anishinaabe Studies Program Coordinator at Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig.

For the past four years, he has also been a member of the Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario, a member of the Métis National Council, and President of the Métis Nation of Ontario Youth Council. As well, Case is a member of the Premier’s Council on Youth Opportunities. The Premier of Ontario appointed him to serve in this role as an advisor to 18 government ministries on issues affecting youth in Ontario.

While Case is already making a great impact for young people, particularly Métis youth, he is inspired to do even more. He is now exploring Masters programs and working to further his Midewiwin education so that he can continue to teach others about the Anishinaabe culture.

“I am proud to do my part to help ensure that our traditional way of life continues on into the future.”

Written by: Melanie Nolan

Share Article