“I just feel that’s really important for anybody who is struggling, trying to move forward in their life, that they see there is a place for them,” Fox said, describing how you can feel and see the “vibrant community within” such schools compared to the isolation students may experience in non-Indigenous settings.
Several said it was an honour to be part of charting the path forward for Indigenous education, with IAESC’s mandate to set quality assurance standards followed by its Quality Assessment Board while reviewing each organization and program.
Noodin Niimebin Shawanda, an Anishnaabe Studies student at Shingwauk said there is a long way to go before postsecondary education and training is completely controlled by the Indigenous nations.
“One thing I want to see is full control of Indian education,” he said, noting some people think it is there is already, but that’s not true. “Where it stands today … we don’t have full control, it seems like it … but the way I see it, we can’t develop our own curriculum. We have all these hoops we have to jump through.”
Shawanda said doing things in parallel with the mainstream doesn’t do enough.