Parties also sign MOU to support establishment of Anishinaabe School of Education
(SAULT STE. MARIE, ON- February 24, 2023): Leaders from Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig (SKG) and Algoma University (AU) gathered on the SKG campus today to officially mark the next step in their long-standing partnership through the signing of a new Collaborative Agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding tied to the establishment of an Anishinaabe School of Education. The agreements serve to further advance access to education for both Anishinaabe and non-Anishinaabe learners.
The new agreement reinforces the institution’s collective efforts to fulfil their commitments to a collaborative education partnership as outlined in the Shingwauk Covenant (2006) and the Addendum to the Covenant (2018) as guided by the values and principles of the Seven Grandfather Teachings. The parties will work collaboratively to support SKG to become an accredited, autonomous and sustainable Centre of Excellence in Anishinaabe Education and an accredited Indigenous Institute while acknowledging AU’s Special Mission and its commitment to responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
“Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig – Teaching Lodge is an implementation of a promise made to Indigenous people, an obligation to Anishinaabe education,” shared Chief of Batchewana First and SKG Board Chair Dean Sayers. “We have an incredible opportunity at SKG and Algoma University, an ability to provide and give back culture and language from an Indigenous lens. Collaboration and working together is a key tool that enhances our ability to advance Indigenous Education through both mediums at Algoma University and SKG. We are fully energized to move Indigenous Education forward, to break new ground, establish new bars, and provide a worldview unlike any other. The ancestors are smiling.”
In addition to the Collaborative Agreement, the institutions also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support the establishment of an Anishinaabe School of Education. As a third pillar of Post Secondary Education, SKG recognizes there is room for further educational advancement through the provision of a unique Indigenous-focused teacher education program, which is currently being developed.
“We have been meeting over the past two years to finalize an agreement that supports and advances the vision of Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig in Anishinaabe education,” shared Mary Wabano- McKay, Vice-President Nyaagaaniid, Anishinaabe Initiatives, Equity and Student Success at Algoma University. “We are quite excited about the agreement that is reflective of our shared commitment to providing greater access and opportunities for Anishinaabe learners, rooted in Anishinaabe ways of knowing in higher education. This collaborative agreement sets the foundation in which our approach honours and recognizes SKG’s leadership in the education of Anishinaabe people.”
As part of the official signing ceremony, on behalf of the University, Joel Syrette, Director of Makwa Waakaa’igan, presented representatives from Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig with a Two Row Wampum Belt to further recognize the significance of their collective efforts to work in partnership to advance Anishinaabe education.
To learn more about SKG, visit https://shingwauku.org/
To learn more about Algoma University, visit https://algomau.ca/.