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Representatives from Mattagami First Nation and Algoma U sign MOU
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Mattagami First Nation and Algoma University Expand Access to Indigenous STEAM Community-Based Education and Training Opportunities

(TIMMINS, ON- February 8, 2023): Leaders from Algoma University recently visited Mattagami First Nation (MFN) to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) focussed on expanding access to Indigenous STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) community-based education and training opportunities. 

The MOU also serves to enhance cross-cultural understanding through the delivery of the Gabegendaadowin Training Program offered by Algoma University’s Anishinaabe Academic Resource Centre. Among those present at the signing were Chief Chad Boissoneau, MFN education department and council education portfolio members, as well as representatives from Algoma University including Asima Vezina, President and Vice-Chancellor.

“We are so excited to partner with Mattagami First Nation in the development and delivery of an Indigenous STEAM program,” shared Vice-President Nyaagaaniid, Anishinaabe Initiatives, Equity and Student Success Mary Wabano-McKay. “This program is designed for Indigenous youth in northern communities. This partnership will provide opportunities for Indigenous youth to learn traditional ways of knowing along with western teachings in the key areas of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics while earning both Ontario Secondary School and university credits at Algoma University. “

Through ceremony, the name Waawaaskonwe – Niigan (There is a Light – Ahead) was given to this program. Described by Elder Peter Beaucage, as “the way of lighting the eighth fire from which one mighty nation will emerge, that will embrace a way of life so the world will see humankind live in peace”.  Bridging Western and Indigenous ways of knowing and understanding, those participating in the program will be immersed in a blend of cross-cultural teaching and learning.

“Mattagami First Nation looks forward to this innovative partnership with Algoma University,” shared Chief Boissoneau. “This partnership will greatly benefit our youth and community and we look forward to growing STEAM and community-based training initiatives. These will provide new opportunities for our community in a number of areas, through STEAM, which also focuses on the importance of traditional ways of knowing and learning. Mattagami also looks forward to advancing cross-cultural understanding through the upcoming Gabegendaadowin Training program as it will be a relevant piece of education for community partners working with Mattagami First Nation and Treaty 9 territory.”

To learn more, contact Paul Sayers, Algoma University’s Manager of Indigenous Community Relations, Training and Development at [email protected].  

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