Faculty of Education at Western University will offer a post-secondary education program in partnership with Six Nation Polytechnic within Canada’s largest First Nation Community.
Six Nations Polytechnic hopes by partnering with Faculty of Education at Western University, they will be able to offer a new Master of Professional Education program that will help the community educators learn better leadership skills without leaving home.
“In trying to make sure that we meet the needs of the community members and students that potentially would be from that region, we want to offer the first one on site, fully on site. So all the summer classes, the fall and winter classes for the full two years will be fully on site at Six Nations Polytechnic,” says Dr. Brent Debassige, the Director of Aboriginal Education at Western University.
The new program is aimed to be accessible for applicants who are already working in the community but plan to further their education simultaneously.
“Obviously we are looking for people who want to work in the indigenous context and those who are wanting to take indigenous education leadership roles in their community context,” says the Director.
“So far it (admission) is looking good, it’s still early. I think we have had 5 or 6 cohorts so far. This has probably been the most successful number of applicants at this period of time. I think it’s largely due to the fact that we are partnering with the Six Nations Polytechnic, they are doing a fantastic job on their end in terms of recruiting.”
He adds that Western University is actually benefiting from partnership like this in regard to making relationships with indigenous peoples and non-indigenous peoples throughout the region.
“I think indigenous communities throughout Ontario, throughout Canada have consistently set the agenda of jurisdiction over their own education, asserting their aspects of wanting to be autonomous and self-determining as nations…These types of partnerships that are initiated really are an example of how indigenous communities taking the lead in kinds of things that they feel that they need to do.”