Connie John of Oshweken, seeking a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mohawk studies through SNP, said she experienced many positives from the conference.
“I am bringing home hope and I’m going home with enlightenment,” she said at the closing dinner.
Laurie Robinson, IAESC chairwoman and executive director, told the students there is a lot of work to do and this was a good place to start the process.
“I felt it was really important to gather learners, a diverse group of learners of Indigenous Institutes … everybody has something to give because this community represents the community this Council has to try and serve.”
Robinson said the values and suggestions shared by the students will be compiled in a report and will inform the work of IAESC.
“Here’s what the students of today are saying: They all want their communities to be better. They are working hard to make themselves better by establishing their own identities, they are working to make a difference for future generations. These are their goals and our principles, our standards have to reflect that.”
Robinson said the process for setting the standards and implementing them is in the early stages.
“I can only do this with your help … and we’re on a good path.”