Our Special Mission’s commitment to cross-cultural learning between Anishinaabe communities and the world infuses every aspect of campus life.
The land on which Algoma University now sits was provided by Chief Shingwauk and his community for the express purpose of educating the Anishinaabe people in the way of the European people that came to this territory, while teaching the newcomers how to live in harmony with the Anishinaabe people and all of creation.
As part of the transformational efforts we are undertaking to move the Nation’s priority of healing and reconciliation forward, we will use our history and stories to teach the truth about the residential schools history in Canada while at the same time, moving forward with Chief Shingwauk’s original vision for education on this site to be one of cross-cultural learning and teaching.
Algoma University is committed to being a welcoming, inclusive, safe, and respectful learning community; one that values the opportunities to learn from and with students, staff and visitors from all parts of the world. This is what makes Algoma University such a special place.
Chief Shingwaukonse, also known as Shingwauk (The Pine) (1773-1854), after much fasting and consultation, develops the idea of a “Kinoomaage Gamig” (Teaching Wigwam) for the Anishinaabek
Shingwauk, his son Augustine (1800-1890) and two other Band members journey to York (Toronto) – “We went in canoes as far as Penetanguishene, and then we landed and walked the rest of the way.” (Augustine, 1872) -- to petition Governor John Colborne and Bishop Charles Stewart for a Missionary/Teacher for his people. St. John’s Mission to the Ojibway is founded, and Rev. William McMurray arrives in the fall
McMurray and Shingwaukonse’s Band build the new one room Church and School, the first “Shingwauk School” in Sault Ste. Marie at the top of Pim Hill
McMurray and his wife Charlotte ‘Ogenebugoquay’ (The Woman of the Wild Rose) leave the Sault, and Shingwaukonse’s Band relocates to Garden River
Shingwaukonse and regional Chiefs negotiate the Robinson Huron and Superior Treaties
Rev. James Chance (1829-1897) meets Shingwaukonse just before the Chief passes. He and his wife Hannah Foukes (1824-1904) and the Band build a new St. John’s Church, Rectory and the second “Shingwauk School” on the Garden River Reserve
Rev. Edward Wilson (1844-1915) visits Garden River and after meeting Chief Augustine Shingwauk and his brother Chief Henry Buhkwujjenene (1811-1900) he and his wife Fanny Spooner replace the Chances after he raises funds touring Southern Ontario with Augustine in 1871 and England with Buhkwujjenene in 1872
Wilson and the Garden River Band build a much expanded third “Shingwauk Home” (100 feet long and two stories high), an industrial boarding school. Consumed by fire six days after opening, with the loss of the Wilson’s six month old daughter, Laurie, the Church establishes its first Missionary Diocese in Canada in Algoma under Bishop Frederick Fauquier, who is eager to assist in rebuilding
Wilson and the Shingwauks raise sufficient funds to build a new stone fourth “Shingwauk Industrial Home” on 90.5 acres along “the bank of the broad Ste. Marie River… a mile and half from the village,” cornerstone laid July 31 by the Earl of Dufferin, Governor General of Canada
In February Wilson deeds the land and new building to Bishop Fauquier ‘in trust … strictly to the use of the said “Shingwauk Industrial Home”’ (The Shingwauk Trust), and on August 2nd the new Home is formally opened by the Bishop of Huron and the Bishop of Algoma
A five-acre site is purchased for the new Wawanosh Home for girls, with 10 acres of farmland added later. Construction begins in 1877 and the Home opens in August 1879
Mrs. Fauquier dies followed by her husband Bishop Fauquier. Wilson fundraises for a Memorial Chapel at Shingwauk which, built with the students’ help, opens in 1883
Legal challenges regarding the Shingwauk Trust begin over the attempted sale by the Algoma Diocese of a southeast piece of the Shingwauk site to a private business and an attempt by AUC to prevent it by a counter purchase
A girls wing is added to the Shingwauk site and the separate Wawanosh Home site is closed.
Shingwauk Hall, the existing main brick building is built on the Shingwauk site to replace the original stone building
Sir James Dunn Secondary and Anna McCrea Primary Schools are constructed on 22 acres of the Shingwauk site by the Sault Ste.Marie Board of Education to implement new integrated classroom policies of the Federal Government. Shingwauk Indian Residential School main building is gradually turned into a dormitory and offices for support of Indigenous students.
Five acres of the Shingwauk site added to Anna McCrea for an expanded playground for area and Shingwauk students.
Beginning as a broad citizens' movement in the 1950s, the Algoma College Association was incorporated by letters patent of the Province of Ontario in 1964
Algoma University College (AUC) gains affiliation with Laurentian University
AUC offers first classes in portable buildings on the Cambrian College Campus (now Sault College of Applied Arts and Technology)
The Keewatinung Anishinabek Institute, an initiative of local and regional Indigenous students, graduates and community members, including Shingwauk Alumni and Shingwauk (Pine) Family descendants, opens as a local centre for Indigenous culture, research and education. The Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development closes the historic Shingwauk Indian Residential School.
After a year of meetings and cross-cultural collaboration the Keewatinung Institute (KI) and Algoma University College (AUC) and agree to jointly seek permission to share the use of Shingwauk Hall and site. The local Indigenous Community, Garden River First Nation and the Anglican Diocese of Algoma agree with the initiative. With the agreement of the parties, and especially indigenous use, Indian Affairs MinisterJean Chretien approves the transfer of the Shingwauk site back to the Diocese to lease to College to share with the Institute.
Principles of Association are agreed upon by AUC and the Institute. AUC accepts the Thunderbird as designed by Canadian Sculptress Dora DePedery-Hunt and explained by Keewatinung Institute Director Rolland Nadjiwon
A local “Native People’s Group” is formed to with a view to restoring the Indigenous presence to AUC and the campus. The downward spiral leads to an Ontario Human Rights Commission of Inquiry which is quickly followed by a Provincial Royal Commission into AUC Governance, and shortly thereafter by Trusteeship and possible closure.
Under pressure from AUC to consolidate its security on the site, the Anglican Diocese sells 34 acres of the Shingwauk site including the Hall to AUC, upon which AUC evicts the Institute from the site. Institute members with local Indigenous and some AUC support object to the lockout raising serious concerns in the College and local communities.
Native People’s Group becomes the Shingwauk Project with a vision of long-term cross-cultural education and development of the Shingwauk site as intended and mandated by the Founders
AUC accepts the Thunderbird Flag as a gift from the Anishinabek community, AUC Students’ Council and the Shingwauk Project
AUC governance is restored, a new Principal hired, and the Trusteeship is lifted
First Indian Residential School Reunion in North America, “Shingwauk Reunion ’81,” held at the Shingwauk site by the Shingwauk Project and Partners with 400 attending
University of Sudbury and Laurentian University approve POLI 3185 granting AUC the option of Aboriginal course content across the curriculum rather than concentrated in one Department of Native Studies
AUC Cross-Cultural Policy ratified by Senate. The Board sets up committee to study implications of applying for independent charter
Board ratifies the Cross-Cultural Policy and increases its Indigenous composition to three Anishinaabek representatives
Shingwauk Reunion ’91 is held on the theme of Shingwauk’s Vision and the development of the Shingwauk site’s Future as a First Nations / Canadian Education and Research Centre with First Nations requesting a name change to Shingwauk University, and AUC Senate and Board supporting the resolutions
Full-time Ojibway language professor hired
Lawsuit is settled in part; as Shingwauk Education Trust gains title of 20 acres of land plus $772,000 for loss of 34 acres AUC Campus
Formal independence charter application for Shingwauk University sent to Minister of Education and Training; charter application not granted
Aboriginal University Education Needs Assessment completed; program planning for a BA in Aboriginal Studies
Third Shingwauk Reunion; Formalization of Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association and “Declaration of Shingwauk Reunion 1996”
Introduction of a Certificate in Interdisciplinary Aboriginal Studies
The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) issues its report with a call for the establishment of an Aboriginal University as one of its recommendations, and the Aboriginal Healing Foundation is established
AUC Senate and Board call for establishment of Shingwauk University Development Task Force
Introduction of a 3-year BA in Anishinaabemowin
First meeting, Shingwauk University Development Task Force 2001 Establishment of Joint Working Group with Shingwauk Education Trust 2001 Introduction of 4-year BA in Community Economic and Social Development (Northern and Aboriginal focus)
Mamaweswen Training Institute offers a University Access Program in partnership with AUC to an initial class of 10 students
The Shingwauk site is used as a pilot for Alternative Dispute Resolution through the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association by Indian Residential School Resolution Canada. Founding of the National Residential School Survivors Society, housed first at SET and later at Batchewana First Nation.
Shingwauk Education Trust, Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig and AUC sign the Covenant, agreeing to work together on a foundation of mutual respect in pursuit of their goals to provide quality education to Anishinaabe students and to students of all cultural backgrounds
AUC, the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association, and the National Residential School Survivors Society formalize their partnership and shared responsibility of support for the Shingwauk Project Archives.
Two weeks after the National Apology, with many Indigenous accomplishments and several decades of Cross-Cultural development and support, the Ontario granted a Special Mission Charter to Algoma University
The Prime Minister of Canada apologizes to Indigenous people on behalf of Canada. The National Apology is received in Ottawa by CSAA Founding Member, AUC Alumnus and National Residential School Survivors Society President Michael Cachagee on behalf of all the Indian, Inuit and Metis Survivors of Canada
The Anglican Diocese of Algoma returns a house situated on trust land and no longer used by the Diocese to Shingwauk Education Trust
Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig receives accreditation through the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC)
Shingwauk Education Trust receives federal SIFF funding as well as provincial funding to construct a $12 million building on SET land, the Discovery Centre
Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig establishes its own Board of Governors, separate from the Board of the Shingwauk Education Trust
Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig receives operating funding from the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD)
Addendum to the Covenant signed by Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig and Algoma University
Algoma University, Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig and their Shingwauk Partners enjoy the good fortune of bringing old and new meanings and methods together into a single inclusive approach of “sharing healing and learning” based upon “the way of the circle.” The circle and the fire that keeps it informs the way forward in education. It is a gift from the hearts of the children who went to the School over many generations, and who came when “Called to Action” by Shingwauk Alumnus and Elder Dan Pine Sr. to save the School at Shingwauk Reunion ’81. They put it back on track to complete its new and sixth phase of development as a post-modern University - Kinoomaage Gamig with a truly inclusive and universal vision. With the gifts it is given, it will soon enter its seventh phase of development, the Seventh Fire and the time and place of the Bear.
Honouring Our Commitment
Algoma University acknowledges the important work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) in bringing to light a very dark period in Canada’s treatment of Indigenous people. Work began and continues as a result of the advocacy and outcry of IRS Survivors against the assimilationist and extinguishment policies of Canada.
Our Special Mission
The objects of the University are the pursuit of learning through scholarship, teaching, and research within a spirit of free enquiry and expression.
It is the Special Mission of the University to,
- Be a teaching-oriented university that provides programs in liberal arts and sciences and professional programs, primarily at the undergraduate level, with a particular focus on the needs of Northern Ontario; and
- Cultivate cross-cultural learning between Indigenous communities and other communities, in keeping with the history of Algoma University College and its geographic site.
Concerned for the survival and mibadziwin (well-being) of the Anishinaabe Nation, but equally conscious of the potential benefit of cross-cultural sharing and learning, Chief Shingwauk developed a strategic plan and way forward for his people.
A Kinoomaage Gamig (Teaching Wigwam) lay at its core.
7 Grandfather Teachings
Ojibway tradition tells of the Seven Grandfathers who were given the responsibility by the Creator to watch over the people living on earth.
They gave to the people, seven teachings that would show them the way to live in harmony, spirituality and with Mother Earth. RESPECT, to have honour for all of Creation. WISDOM, to cherish knowledge is to have wisdom. HUMILITY, to know humility is to know yourself as a sacred part of creation. BRAVERY, to be able to face the foe with integrity. HONESTY, to be honest in facing a situation. TRUTH, to have truth is to know all of these things. LOVE, to know love is to know peace.
“The Shingwauk School never closed. It just entered a new phase of development. It has to be given a chance to finish what it started. It has to put back what it took away. It will be the people who went there that will care. Bring the people together. Let them gather and they will know what to do.”
Dr. Dan Pine Sr
Grandson of Shingwaukonse, 1979
The opportunity to share and learn in a respectful way, using the Anishinaabe worldview perspective; courses that allow for experiential participation for all students.
Keeping in mind; the vision of Chief Shingwaukonse, a teaching wigwam that allows for everyone to learn from each other, to relationship build and use the sense of community to participate in ways of knowing and doing that allow all students to benefit.
Staying True to the Special Mission
Events and programming are delivered to encourage student success and help promote and celebrate Anishinaabe culture on campus.
Opportunities include Gathering at the Rapids Pow Wow, Sharing Circles, Ceremonial Feasts/Soup & Bannock Days, elders’/youth gatherings, ceremonial arbour, Anishinaabe Research Symposium, Taking Care of our Land Symposium, Akii (Land) & Environmental Stewardship certification, First Nation Social Policy and Community Development certification, SHIFT Training, and many more.
Addendum to the Covenant
November 8, 2018
The twelve years since our Covenant was entered into have been successful. It has seen the successful development of the Shingwauk Education Trust and the coming into being of the Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig as a means to provide educational opportunities and resources in living out our mutual commitment to the restoration of the original spirit and intent of Chief Shingwauk. Chief Shingwauk envisioned a teaching wigwam where people could acquire the necessary educational tools to live well in modern society, and to contribute in turn to it, without compromising the values of our respective cultures and traditions.
At the same time it has seen the successful development of Algoma University College into Algoma University with its own charter commitment to its partnership with the Shingwauk Education Trust and with Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig in a special mission to cultivate cross- cultural learning between Anishinaabe and other communities in Northern Ontario, embracing and fostering diversity while valuing differing cultural and spiritual perspectives.
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November 8, 2018
gaa-wiin wii-mii-gaa-di-wag (We will not fight each other)
After smoking our pipes, a visual record was made to show the meaning of the sacred relationship/partnership between Algoma University and Shingwauk Education Trust, and their commitment in fulfilling Shingwauk’s vision of the Kinoomaage Gamig (teaching lodge).
This visual record was made by Anishinabeg in ceremony as a sacred wampum belt made of wampum shells/beads to depict the agreement/understanding reached by Algoma University and Shingwauk Education Trust.
This debwewin (truth) cannot be changed or given different meaning because wampum agreements/treaties cannot be altered at all because all the shells/ beads would break.
Shingwauk Kinoomage Gamig is the realization and fulfillment of Shingwauk’s spiritual ba-waa- ji-gan (vision/dream). Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig (Teaching Lodge) represents a commitment by Algoma University and Shingwauk Education Trust to protect the middle ground, which establishes a body of intercultural scholarship that entrenches an academic alliance between both institutions.
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November 8, 2018
Waynaboozho began to sing a song. All the animals began to dance in a circle on the growing island. As he sang, they danced in an ever-widening circle. Finally, the winds ceased to blow and the waters became still. A huge island sat in the middle of the great water. (bawdwaywidun banaise)
This story echoes the generational experience of Anishinabe people and our relationship with the land. Obwandiac, Tecumtha and Shingwauk’s leadership in challenging Euroamerican colonial hegemony gives context to Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig and the middle ground.
Within Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig and the middle ground, both Algoma University and Shingwauk Education Trust see each other in the context of family either as an uncle/aunt or brother/sister. An uncle/aunt is not a dominating figure. A brother/sister is seen as an equal with an obligation to help the other.
In this Addendum we recommit ourselves to this vision of Shingwauk and to our partnership and agree to abide in good faith by the additional sub-agreements under this Addendum that we will enter into to bring its intent into being.
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November 8, 2018
mii i’i-way anishinabe i-zhi-chi-gay-win (This is the anishinabe way)
zhigo mii’iw eta-go o-way neen-gi-kayn-dahn zhigo ni-gi-noon-dah-wah (This is as much as I know and have heard)
mii i’iw (That is all)
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Algoma University is committed to providing an educational environment for Anishinaabe students that is respectful, inclusive, and welcoming.
National Chiefs’ Library & Archive at Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig
Providing a unique space for the preservation and use of Anishinaabe Knowledge, offering supports to faculty, students, and the public.
Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre
A cross-cultural research and education project which includes former students of the Residential schools, staff, descendants, family, and friends.
Universities Canada 5th Annual National Building Reconciliation Forum 2019
The significance of the Forum’s historic location and collaborative approach to programming truly made this an event not to be missed.
Taking Care of Our Land Symposium
this symposium explores the inclusion of cultural and traditional practices of land management, planning, and use for Indigenous communities in Northern Ontario.
Welcoming our future
Makwa Waakaa’igan will serve as a centre of cultural excellence for the country; a place where people of all cultures will be welcomed from around the world to share and learn from and with each other as part of the university’s commitment to creating a safe, welcoming and inclusive place for cross-cultural understanding, teaching, learning healing and reconciliation.Learn More
Honouring the Lives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People
This page serves as a guide to help locate resources about Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ in Canada. Here you will find links to books, e-books, journals, articles, theses, videos, websites and more about this topic.Learn More
Gabegendaadowin (formerly SHIFT)
Gabegendaadowin – which translates to Mutual Respect, Thoughtfulness, Care, Consideration and Awareness for others – is a training program that bridges the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. The goal of the program is to address those biases in a wholesome, intentional and collaborative fashion.Learn More
Algoma University is the only university in Canada to offer a three-year undergraduate degree in Anishinaabemowin, the Ojibwe language.Learn More
Through a culture-based curriculum, students will learn Anishinaabe history, philosophy and worldview while experiencing and exploring the importance of self-knowledge, as well as interpersonal and intercultural respect.Learn More
Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association
Providing for the well-being of former students of the Shingwauk and Wawanosh Indian Residential Schools, their families, and their communities.Learn More