Various traditional medicines in leather pouch

Student conference set for
Feb. 6-7

The Indigenous Advanced Education and Skills Council (IAESC) is planning a student conference for early February 2019 to help shape the future of the community-driven post-secondary education and training system in Ontario.

NOTE: See the Student Circle page on this website for the latest stories and agenda download.

The event, to be held in Toronto Feb. 6-7, is being announced as the Council marks the first anniversary of the Indigenous Institutes Act receiving royal assent Dec. 14, 2017.

“We are entering 2019 with as much momentum as 2018, which saw the formation of the IAESC board and incorporation as a federal not-for-profit organization,” said Laurie Robinson, chairwoman and executive director of IAESC. “We are adding, stone by stone, a new layer to the foundation created over decades by Indigenous educators and advocates.”

Indigenous Institutes are a pillar of Ontario’s post-secondary education and training landscape. IAESC was created through legislation as the independent quality assurance organization which will review Institutes and programs for certificate, diploma and degree-granting credentials.

The student conference, the first-ever gathering of delegates of the nine Indigenous Institutes in Ontario, will expand the decision-making circle setting standards for the future of Indigenous Institutes. Each of the nine Institutes are invited to send up to three delegates from their student body or recent graduates.

“It’s vital that every voice is involved when charting the course forward,” Robinson said, noting how veteran educators, administrators and community leaders are also involved. “Knowing what students appreciate and would like to see as part of their learning experiences is key to the continued success of Indigenous Institutes.”

The most recent addition to the Council’s Quality Assessment Board is T’hohahoken Michael Doxtator, PhD., who joins Kali Storm and Laura Horton. The founding IAESC board includes Pamela Toulouse, PhD., Delbert Horton and Bob Watts.

Institutes are located across the province, deliver programming in multiple communities and have networks around the world.

Key to the quality assurance of Indigenous Institutes is the organization and program review process, which is founded on the work of the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC). WINHEC is providing the Council use of its framework accreditation process and access to its expertise through a memorandum of understanding signed during its annual meeting held in Norway this past August.

Also unveiled is the Council’s corporate logo, with striations representing both the diversity of approaches and the multiple partners bonding to support life-long learning. The Council is registered as a federal not-for-profit corporation.

For more information or to arrange an interview with Robinson or members of the boards, please email or call 1-833-254-2372.