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The Indigenous Advanced Education and Skills Councils is a Quality Assurance Organization

Mission: IAESC promotes Indigenous-controlled and governed education and training by:


  • Creating Indigenous-centred and transferable standards for quality assurance 
  • Using IAESC’s standards and benchmarks to review and approve stand-alone programs delivered by Indigenous Institutes 
  • Promoting high-quality education and training opportunities for Indigenous students 
  • Using its legislated mandate to make recommendations to the Government of Ontario 
Black and white rocks balanced on top of eachother

Rocks are our Grandfathers

Rocks have held our teachings since time immemorial. Rocks are resilient, forged by the elements over generations and reflect strength, integrity and diversity. Rocks’ strength represents the strength of Indigenous languages, cultures, knowledge, communities and partners, forming the foundation and future of Indigenous post-secondary education and training. The asymmetrical and varied layers that make up the rock demonstrate the diversity in approaches to education and supports to students on their life-long learning journeys.

Indigenous Institutes Act, 2017


The Indigenous Institutes Act, 2017 received royal assent on December 14, 2017. This legislation recognizes Indigenous Institutes as a third pillar of Ontario’s post-secondary education and training system. Ontario Regulation 239/18 recognizes the Indigenous Advanced Education and Skills Council (IAESC) as the “Council”, and nine Indigenous Institutes for the purposes of the Act.  

As recognized in the regulation, IAESC may: 

  • Approve Indigenous Institutes to grant diplomas, certificates and degrees; 
  • Establish a quality assessment board and the quality assurance standards the Council must apply in assessing Indigenous Institutes; 
  • Establish and maintain standards regarding student interest at Indigenous Institutes; 
  • Make recommendations to the Ontario government regarding which Indigenous Institutes should be included to receive operating funding; and, 
  • Approve Indigenous Institutes to use the term “university.”


For more information on the Indigenous Institutes Act, see our Library

The IAESC Quality Assurance Process

IAESC ensures quality and continuous improvement at Indigenous Institutes, as recognized by the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities, and through a process that is steered by IAESC’s Indigenous Institutes Quality Assessment Board (IIQAB). IAESC’s quality assurance framework is rooted in Indigenous control of Indigenous education and respects the autonomy of Indigenous worldviews and approaches in academic programming.

Organization Review Process Overview

Organization Review Process Flowchart

Program Review Process Overview

Program Review Process Flowchart

Our Team

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    Board of Directors

    IAESC’s Board of Directors is committed to advancing higher learning in Indigenous Institutes and provides strategic direction for programs and services within its mandate, as aligned with IAESC’s values, mission, By-laws, and policies. The Board ensures that IAESC serves its constituency with a high level of quality by monitoring and ensuring the effective and efficient use of resources. Board of Directors members bring wisdom, experience, and Indigenous worldviews, cultural traditions and language to IAESC. Board members may be Indigenous knowledge keepers, academics, researchers and community leaders who reflect the Council’s principles of independence, impartiality, transparency and accountability.

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    The Indigenous Institutes Quality Assessment Board (IIQAB)

    IIQAB assists in the Quality Assurance process by making recommendations to IAESC staff and its Board of Directors, with respect to IAESC standards and benchmarks and applications from Indigenous Institutes. IIQAB ensures that its recommendations are fair, transparent, and based on objective criteria, consistent with high ethical and procedural standards that respect and promote the diverse worldviews, knowledge, cultures, languages and traditions of Indigenous communities. The interests of Indigenous students and their communities are prioritized. IIQAB members are post-secondary sector experts and knowledge keepers, representing the diversity of Indigenous communities and Nations across Ontario. IIQAB is composed of three to seven members.

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    IAESC Staff

    IAESC staff perform a wide range of duties related to the success of a not-for-profit corporation. Primarily, IAESC staff work directly with Indigenous Institutes to quality assure their applications for Organization and Program Reviews, before they are reviewed by IIQAB, external panelists and the Board of Directors. Staff also arrange and administer quality assurance activities and personnel, and communicate decisions and all relevant quality assurance information to Institutes and the Government of Ontario’ Ministry of Colleges and Universities.