CMU recommits to Indigenous education

by ahnationtalk on April 17, 2023168 Views

April 17, 2023

Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) joined nine other education partners in a landmark signing of the Manitoba Collaborative Indigenous Education Blueprint on April 14 at the RRC Polytech downtown campus.

Working together in unprecedented fashion, seven participating institutions developed and committed to the Blueprint in December 2015, acting upon the recommendations the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released earlier that year. This year’s event marked a renewed commitment to helping Indigenous people succeed in all levels of Manitoba’s education system.

Three new partners participated in this year’s signing, which include Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre and the Manitoba Government Departments of Advanced Education and Training and Early Childhood Learning.

The Blueprint commits the participating partners to 10 concrete practices to help support First Nations, Inuit, and Métis residents navigate through all levels of the education system, through 10 key commitments.

The Blueprint also aims to educate both Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals in Manitoba about the history of the education system, including the former residential school system and other systems that subjected Indigenous people and communities to adverse experiences for many years.

CMU President Cheryl Pauls participated in the signing ceremony on behalf of the university.

“CMU’s mission statement places significant importance on reconciliation in our church and society,” Pauls said. “Through education, reconciliation can be fostered, understood, and turned into a new reality. We are proud to be a part of this historic commitment.”

By signing the Blueprint, CMU and other signatories commit to:

  1. Engaging with Indigenous peoples in respectful and reciprocal relationships and to realize the right to self-determination, and to advance reconciliation, language and culture through education, research and skill development;
  2. Bringing Indigenous knowledge, languages and intellectual traditions, models and approaches into curriculum and pedagogy;
  3. Promoting research and learning that reflects the history and contemporary context of the lives of Indigenous peoples;
  4. Increasing access to services, programs, and supports to Indigenous students, to ensure a learning environment is established that fosters learner success;
  5. Collaborating to increase student mobility to better serve the needs of Indigenous students;
  6. Building school and campus communities that are free of racism, value diversity and foster cultural safety;
  7. Increasing and measuring Indigenous school and post-secondary participation and success rates;
  8. Showcasing successes of Indigenous students and educators;
  9. Reflecting the diversity of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis cultures in Manitoba through institutional governance and staffing policies and practices; and
  10. Engaging governments and the private and public sectors to increase labour market opportunities for Indigenous graduates.

In addition to CMU, the educational partners that signed the Blueprint include: University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg, Brandon University, Université de Saint-Boniface, University College of the North, Red River College Polytech, Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology, Assiniboine Community College, and Manitoba School Boards Association, Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre Manitoba Advanced Education and Training, and Manitoba Early Childhood Learning.

Learn more about the Manitoba Collaborative Indigenous Education Blueprint at mcieb.ca.

NT5

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