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Mohawk expansion to include Sheridan College Diane Baltaz/Pathways Mohawk College’s Aboriginal Education and Student Services (AESS) is expanding to include another college in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The second office will be at Sherdian College, which serves Mississauga, Brampton and other communities in Peel Region. Ron (Deganadus) McLester, manager of Mohawk’s current Aboriginal Education and Student Services Office and a special advisor to the vice president of Student Services, says that the college’s Aboriginal Council approved the idea “in principle”. A one-year pilot initiative to promote Aboriginal initiatives at Sheridan College, which currently has no program, said McLester. The restructuring means that special initiatives such as guest speakers, powwows, special performers would

be coordinated for both campuses. Sheridan would develop the special Aboriginal services which are currently used by students at Mohawk, said McLester. These include aboriginal peer tutoring, an on-campus elder for students to consult with, luncheons, bursary assistance, job fairs, and college recruitment services. Current workshops feature topics such as study skills, resume writing, interviewing skills, and general, cultural enhancement. The main campus, at Fennel, has an Aboriginal Student Lounge for students to study in or just hang out, Students Association with a plethora of social events. At present, Sheridan College is one of the few colleges that lack an aboriginal centre. The March 15, 2013 minutes of Sheridan College Council meeting, held at the Mississauga Campus, states in the president’s report that

“a relationship has been established with Mohawk College. The government is looking for colleges to support each other.” The minutes continue to explain that to date, “most of the relationships that now exist are between a college and a university. The relationship between Mohawk and Sheridan would be one of the first between two colleges.” In regards to Mohawk expanding Aboriginal Services to Sheridan, the minutes state, “Working with Mohawk to define how to best develop good quality support services would be beneficial. All of this is still at the idea stage.” During the pilot project period, McLester will serve as the special advisor and director of the combined offices, while positions for operations mangers at both campuses, and other staff will be posted presently. “Therefore the team and initiatives will be

expanding.” Last year, Mohawk College had 399 students who selfidentified as Aboriginal. Sheridan has approximately 180 self-identified students, said McLester. The campus’s Aboriginal Students’ Association has other First Nations students who drop into the centre. Aboriginal students are enrolled in a broad spectrum of the campus’s multiple programs in human services, science, technology, nursing and health services, and many trade and apprenticeship programs. The Mohawk AESS webpage encourages prospective students to fill out an Aboriginal selfidentification form when they apply so that they can receive information on upcoming Aboriginal Students Association special events, luncheons, full or part-time employment opportunities and the newsletter, “Smoke Signals.”

Book your space before September 15 and receive 20% off regular posted rates for the Fall / Winter Edition of Pathways Magazine Published September 25, 2014. Deadline is September 20, 2014 Call Marshall Lank at 519-753-0077, fax 519-756-0011 or email


PATHWAYS | Spring / Summer 2013

Dave Levac, MPP Brant

May 8, 2013 Dear Six Nations and Mississaugas of the New Credit Students, As a long time teacher and principal in elementary schools I believe that lifelong education is the surest path to happiness and fulfillment. Most of you reading this excellent Pathways publication will be in the process of considering and deciding on the educational pathway you will take after you graduate from secondary school. I would encourage you to consider this to be a very important decision for two reasons. First, education gives basic knowledge about the world and how everything works. Education teaches you how to gather, learn, and apply knowledge. Without education, we are in a closed room and with education we are in a room with all its doors open towards the outside world. Second, education is the best path to employment and the more education you get, the more money you can earn. Higher education has become a basic requirement for most employers. The more years of education you’ve completed, the more doors are open to you. It’s that simple. Completing increasingly advanced levels of education shows that you have a drive and commitment to learn and apply information, ideas, theories, and formulas to achieve a variety of tasks and goals. Education is one, if not the best investment you can make for your future. Not only will you learn imperative skills for life and the work place, you will also be able to network with classmates, find out about career opportunities and increase your job prospects. I firmly believe lifelong education is one of life’s most important pathways and I encourage everyone to follow that path! Respectfully,

Dave Levac, MPP Brant 96 Nelson Street, Unit 101, Brantford, ON N3T 2N1 • T - (519) 759-0361 F - (519) 6439 E -


PATHWAYS | Spring / Summer 2013




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PATHWAYS | Spring / Summer 2013

Nia:wen to our teaching faculty for another great year: Faculty: Dr. Dawn Martin-Hill, Professor; Hayden King, Lecturer; Dr. Rick Monture, Assistant Professor; Ali Darnay, Lecturer; Amber Skye, Lecturer; Ima Johnson Visiting Elder/Lecturer; Wendy Hill, Lecturer; Leroy Hill, Lecturer; Vanessa Watts, Lecturer; Rick Hill, Lecturer.

For up to information on upcoming events please visit our website at: Follow us on twitter @MACIndigenous and facebook at Indigenous @ McMaster


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GRAND ERIE... Your choice in Education • Strong Values • Academic Excellence • More Programs, More Choices • Safe and Inclusive Environments • Great Extra-Curricular Activities

Find out more about how we’re making a difference for students on their path to success... visit Rita Collver, Chair


PATHWAYS | Spring / Summer 2013

John C. Forbeck, Director

Ten ways Canadian students are going green By Steve Matyas (NC)—You often hear young people described as “green” by older generations to reference the fact they're inexperienced or “don't know any better.” Well when it comes to environmental stewardship, they know the importance of sustainability better than anyone. Staples Canada learned this through the recent Recycle for Education contest where students across the country are taking charge and leading their communities in rising to the eco-challenge. Here are 10 ways Canadian schools are going green:

“Today's Learners, Tomorrow's Leaders” A group of Grade 3 classmates at Campus View Elementary School in Victoria formed the Green Team, which has been instrumental in setting up EarthFest, an annual event that encourages students and families to respect the planet through educational stations and ecofriendly arts, crafts and games. This year, they have enlisted University of Victoria professor – and Nobel Prize winner – Andrew Weaver to speak about climate change and intergenerational equity.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world” Members of the Leadership Program at Windermere Community Secondary School in Vancouver certainly live by Margaret Mead's words. They plan large-scale events throughout the year, including the Climate Change Conference, a one-day symposium with workshops and presentations focusing on social responsibility, environmental stewardship and community engagement.


“We are the change we want to see in the world” Through community support, Hillview Elementary School in Edmonton purchased resources and literature on conservation, the environment and energy, encouraging students to get informed and involved. Hillview also added artistic programs to their curriculum, including the creation of original green-themed songs, resulting in a five-concert tour with Juno award-winning singer/songwriter Peter Puffin.

“Do the right thing” A few years ago, M.E. LaZerte High School in Edmonton joined the UNESCO Associated Schools Network, mandated to provide education on sustainable development, and expanded the scope of its green efforts. After introducing a number of environmental projects, including a paper-recycling program, composting and a batterydisposal initiative, the school was presented with the Zero-Waste Award by the Recycling Council of Alberta.

“Encourage people to do what they can, one step at a time” Students and staff at École Saint-Avila in Winnipeg turned part of their school grounds into an expansive rain garden by planting native trees and plants to help improve water quality. This initiative garnered so much attention that the principal and the parent committee coauthored a guide book on how to improve school grounds, and shared it with every school in Manitoba.

“Reduce, reuse, recycle” Serving some of Hamilton Ontario's most disadvantaged youth, Parkview Secondary School teaches self-sufficiency by using its greenhouse to grow herbs

PATHWAYS | Spring / Summer 2013

and vegetables that are used to prepare lunches. Another great example of living the 3R principle is the school's “Excyte” program, in which students use an environmental business model to create products such as furniture and jewelry from recycled resources.

“Good planets are hard to find” The passion and commitment of students and staff at E.L. Crossley Secondary School in Fonthill, Ont. to make the world a greener place comes through in the numerous environmental programs they have implemented, which led them to join the Global Ozone Project – becoming the second Canadian school to participate in this international effort aimed at collecting data to establish a global ground-level ozone bank.

“Taking the environment to heart” As a school for students with severe behavioural and/ or developmental learning disabilities, Hélène-de-Champlain Secondary School in Longueuil, Que. has introduced a number of initiatives, including horticulture classes, rain water collection, and using solar panels to power its sprinkler system. The efforts of staff and students have earned the school the “Coup de

Coeur” Award from the Quebec Federation for the environment in 2012.

“Environmental initiatives just make sense” When it came to planting trees for their school grounds, students at Notre-Dame-de-Liesse in SaintEugène-de-Guigues, Que. chose fruit trees so that once they bear fruit, the students can prepare healthy snacks and desserts for the school. The school also established a garbage-reduction campaign called “Occupe-toi de ta boîte!” in which they minimized the amount of garbage disposed of by the school by more than 60%.

“A little does a lot” Inspired by a former student who was involved in the Copenhagen Climate Summit, students at Holy Name of Mary Academy in Lawn, Nfld., decided to take action. They formed the Eco-Kids group, whose activities include organizing walk or biketo-school days, as well as the distribution of LED light bulbs to homes in the community. In a rural town, the Eco-Kids group is a way for students not only to learn about climate change, but also to travel and share their knowledge.


Gai hon nya ni: Amos Key Jr. Learning Institute Diane Baltaz/Pathways Aboriginal students who loathe leaving their communities to complete their high school diploma have a promising alternative – they can attend real classes from home. Gai hon nya ni: Amos Key Jr. Learning Institute offers a fully-certified, Ontario secondary school diploma program that emphasizes an Aboriginal perspective on education. Opening in 2010, the first graduation class received their diplomas in 2011. These, and successive students live up to the meaning of the school’s name, Gai hon nya ni, which is Cayuga for “They are learning”, says executive director Audra Maloney. The school’s name honours activist and linguist Amos Key Jr., a faithkeeper from the Mohawk Turtle Clan at Six Nations on the Grand. Amos has long advocated for more cultural immersion of First Nations families. Additional support came from the Niagara Peninsula Aboriginal Area Management Board (NPAAB), which partnered with the Ministry of Education in order to offer Ontario secondary school credits. Approximately 70 full and part-time students are enrolled, including adults who want to complete their high school diploma. While teaching traditional courses ranging from math, history, geography, science, information technology, civics and career studies, the program highlights Aboriginal poets and writers, and courses in Mohawk, Cayuga and Ojibway. The school intents to introduce courses in Oneida for Grades 9 to 12 this September, says Maloney. ”We are virtual but we have students everywhere. What we do that is different is incorporate First Peoples authors, playwrights and videos. You go to a mainstream school and you get Shakespeare –it’s not that we are excluding these subjects but we bring in First Nations authors. This way, students are inspired and able to relate to the curriculum.” This Aboriginal cultural priority is part of the school’s goal of offering what Maloney calls “a


holistic education.” The teachers develop students’ cultural identity, in addition to giving them an Ontario secondary school diploma. “The social interaction (between students) still happens with each other on a daily basis

via the (web) chat back and forth. That is not much different to being right next to each other. Texting each other in the classroom, which happens pretty often,” said Maloney.” A lot of students who go off reserve and mainstream have to deal with

racism. That is the fact and then there are the long bus rides. Virtual school cuts driving time and the drop out rate by students being bullied.” “What we are really hoping Continued on page 10

This is First Peoples Control of First Peoples Education

Why E-Learning? Our experienced teachers have a passion for teaching high school classes for First Nation students and facilitate the teaching via online synchronous classes, which allows for direct interaction between students and teachers. Our students will become knowledgeable in Emotional Intelligence. EQ-I is embedded in our courses and also offered as a component in Grade 9 and Grade 10 Learning Strategies. Are you, or do you know someone interested in completing or obtaining their Grade 12 Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)?

We teach Cayuga, Ojibway and Mohawk languages. If you have internet, you can access our classes. We are Eco-friendly! Students: Administrators:

call Principal Gary Donovan, ext. 1 call Executive Director Audra Sewell Maloney, ext. 8

Working together to create our leaders for tomorrow.

PATHWAYS | Spring / Summer 2013

877 695 2557

Northern College

Northern College above the provincial average Diane Baltaz/pathways A community college in Northeastern Ontario prides itself on promoting respect and inclusivity. One of the strategic directions from Northern College’s 2013-2016 focuses on Aboriginal Perspectives and is largely centered on collaboration with Aboriginal learners and First Nation communities to develop programming and services geared to support student success. Northern College actively embeds Aboriginal content into much its diverse curriculum, celebrating the contributions of Aboriginal peoples. Fifteen per cent of this college’s studentbase is Aboriginal, which reflects the demographics of the communities Northern College serves. College statistics indicate that 37% are First Generation Learners, meaning that their parents did not attend college or university. Moreover, the strategic direction of Aboriginal Perspectives recognizes traditional practices, values, wisdom and experience as a core pillar to ensure quality, accessible education and services for all of their students studying at any one of their four campuses or by distance learning. Under the guidance of Northern’s Aboriginal Council

on Education, the college has developed initiatives to promote holistic education including an Elders on Campus initiative which gives students, staff, faculty and community members the opportunity to engage Elders to share their wisdom and contribute to students’ academic and personal success. Elders value education, support students in learning, and inspire an enriched environment of cultural understanding and diversity. “We recognize the significant role of traditional knowledge and the importance of passing such teachings to future generations,” says Fred Gibbons, President of Northern College. Elders are available at Northern’s four campuses located in Kirkland Lake, Haileybury, Timmins (Porcupine) and Moosonee. Northern’s campus in Timmins is now home to a new, permanent tipi which hosts cultural events such as smudging, Aboriginal teachings, ceremonies and classes that use traditional ways of learning such as sharing circles and storytelling. Both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students can retreat to the tipi for personal and spiritual reflection. Prior to its construction in 2012, Elders blessed the ground it was to be built upon and held a pipe ceremony as part of a

cleansing tradition. “It is a place where both Aboriginal and nonAboriginal people can gather to share, heal and learn from one another, building a more culturally vibrant Northeastern Ontario,” said Gibbons. The college is steadfast in its effort to respond to the changing needs of communities and employers and sees collaboration as a major driver of any successful initiative. Northern has developed strategic partnerships that support social and economic success and community development throughout the North. The college works with employers and industry and has developed training programs based on their collective needs. Northern’s 10-week Surface Diamond Driller Assistant Common Core program was established with industry partners to train workers to meet the needs of diamond mining companies throughout Northern Canada. One of the 2009-2010 program intakes boasted a 100 per cent employment rate for its graduates. Statistics supplied by Northern College state that the college serves over 65 communities and 17 First Nations within its catchment area; the latter range from the Attawapiskat First Nation to the Chapleau Cree and Ojibway First Nations to Weenusk First Nation.

Northern also focuses on distance learning and offers more than 800 web-based programs and courses. In addition to its four campuses, the college also has a distance learning classroom on Moose Factory Island. The website states that the college provides flexible programs and learning options, often based on the unique needs of their students’ individual needs. A low teacher-student ratio and a comprehensive range of support services promote student success. Consequently, the provincial Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) indicated a 97.2% employer satisfaction rate with Northern College grads (the second highest in the province) and a graduate employment rate of 87%, nearly 4% above the provincial average. The KPI survey is an annual survey by the Ontario college system that measures the satisfaction of students, graduates and employers. “Northern College sets itself apart by being large enough to offer a wide range of programs and services but small enough to offer a unique experience and personalized attention. We keep in close contact with the learners, employers and communities we serve,” said Gibbons. To learn more visit northernc.

Contact North

Contact North partners with colleges and universities Pathways/Baltaz Imagine getting a university or college degree without leaving your home. Or having access to more than 18,000 online courses and 1000 programs. As Ontario’s distance education and training network, Contact North links students with the province’s 44 publicly-funded colleges and universities, enabling them to participate in education and training opportunities without leaving their own communities. “We partner with Ontario’s colleges and universities,” says


Shane Altenstad, director of recruitment and services for the organization’s Southwestern Region. “We help people get access to their courses and programs so that they don’t have to leave their communities. They can still be a student at say, Queen’s (University) in Kingston or at Trent (University) in Peterborough.” The provincial government started Contact North in 1986 to provide residents of Northern Ontario with fully bilingual access to courses offered by Ontario’s 44 publicly-funded colleges and

PATHWAYS | Spring / Summer 2013

universities. In 2007, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities launched a distance education network to provide post-secondary training opportunities for residents of small and rural communities in Southern Ontario. Today Contact North has 112 learning centres across the province; they are funded by the Ministry. Two of these centres are located at the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation and at Six Nations. Suzy Burning coordinates both offices, which are located at Six Nations Polytechnic Institute

and in the New Credit’s band office complex. “Although the primary focus of the two offices is to serve the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nations and Six Nations, Burning’s actual catchment area includes all of Haldimand, Norfolk and Brant Counties”, said Altenstad. Burning and Altenstad said that “the local community” expressed a need for a learning centre at their respective reserve. Because Aboriginal communities are an Continued on page 12


PATHWAYS | Spring / Summer 2013

Loyalist College

Money draws students to Loyalist College Diane Baltaz/Pathways With nearly 11 per cent of Loyalist College’s student population sporting Aboriginal blood, Paul Latchford, Coordinator of Aboriginal Services, happily boasts about the reasons which draw them there. One of them is money. Latchford actively convinces the college’s approximately 350 selfdeclared Aboriginal students to apply for Loyalist College grants and Aboriginal training bursaries. Latchford invites students into

the Belleville campus’s Aboriginal Student Lounge for casual meetings, and then help them apply for bursaries, complete with follow up assistance from staff. It works. At an awards ceremony in March, 60% of the Loyalist students who won $59,925 of bursary funds were Aboriginal, said Latchford. “We actually bring them in and ask them to stay for 15 minutes and get them to apply for bursaries,” said Latchford. “Normally they assume that they won’t get them so they don’t apply.” Latchford described a former nursing student who applied for a skills and training bursary even though it was “not in her area of study” and she won it simply because she lived within the geographic range for which that bursary was targeted. Another student, a single mother who also had problems clarifying her status, was described as “brilliant” by her professors, but she almost dropped out due to lack of


funding; besides convincing her to seek a bursary, staff helped her with her legal status problem. “What this shows is that we ask you to please apply -- and don’t disqualify yourself,” said Latchford. “We ask students to apply for bursaries. For example, we have lots of single parents here and they need to make a go of it. We can’t take it (the right for a funded education) away from you,” explained Latchford. “We have 350 Aboriginal students here, which is a lot. It’s about 11 percent of the general student population at Loyalist.” Loyalist’s Belleville campus and other satellite sites have other attractions. Recently, the main campus’s 15,000 square foot Aboriginal Students ‘ Lounge obtained six new, high-tech MacIntosh computers which he says “are worth $20,000 a piece”. The centre’s lending library has six laptops for student use, and free long-distance telephone service for students wanting to call home. Then there are peer tutors, elders, an aboriginal student success officer, craft days and multiple social and educational events . A ‘walk-in boot camp officer” is so successful in coaching struggling students that even non-native students come in for help, said Latchford.

Latchford, who previously worked at an urban, Aboriginal Friendship Centre, models the student lounge after the friendship centre pattern, including hiring students to keep it open for extended hours, starting from 7:45 a.m., to late at night. “We have extended hours because we know that if they go home, often nothing else gets done in terms of homework. “

PATHWAYS | Spring / Summer 2013

The centre has a unique, semi-circular design that differs so much from the standard college room that Latchford says that students sometimes walk in thinking that they came to the wrong place. Because it has a large, stainless steel refrigerator, a large convection oven, a commercial-sized dishwasher, the centre hosts weekly luncheons with venison stew and corn soup. “We have big cookers like the kind used for powwows. It’s nothing if 150 students show up for lunch,” said Latchford. The centre attracts non-native students, said Latchford. “The

study groups are all coming in. Others come in to find out who the native kids are. We service our own, but we are open to everybody. That is one of the positives of this centre. It generates a hub of activity as we told the board of governors. We are more like a walk in friendship centre where you just walk in.” Although many students hail from the nearby Tyendenaga reserve, others come from many other regions. Some enroll in health and construction skills programs in communities further north, such as Curve Lake and Bancroft.

Fall 2013 Programs Native University Program Ogwehoweh Language Diploma Program- Mohawk or Cayuga Year 2 Police Foundations Office Administration—General (part-time)

Future Programs—Fall 2014 Practical Nursing with Aboriginal Communities Ogwehoweh Language Diploma Program- Mohawk or Cayuga Year 1 Ogwehoweh Language Degree Indigenous Sustainability

Special Programs and Services Six Nations Achievement Centre - academic related assessments, Pre-GED, one-to-one tutoring, career and college preparation sessions, online learning, computer training for adults Homework Support - Grades 5 to 12, Sep to June Principals of First Nation Schools - July 8-19, 2013 Directors of First Nation Communities - July 22-26, 2013 Workshops and Seminars, Contract Training Services, Cultural Diversity, Home-Based Child Care Program, Language, Haudenosaunee Leadership Values and Traditions, Policy Governance SNP Bursaries and Scholarships Deyohah-:ge: - Indigenous Knowledge Centre Ask about our facility rentals— a great location in southern Ontario for your next big event.


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Fanshawe College

Love of outdoors can be turned into a career Diane Baltaz/Pathways Do you dream of sharing your love of nature with others? And making a living from it? If so, Fanshawe College’s James N. Allan Campus in Simcoe offers an Ontario College Diploma program that qualifies graduates to work in the growing ecotourism industry. In September, 2013, the Simcoe campus is offering the Adventure Expeditions And Interpretive Leadership Program, which enables graduates to work as Interpretive Naturalist Leaders, locally, provincially and internationally. This program works in an accelerated format, with four continuous semesters, enabling students to graduate 16

months later in the following December. It involves both classroom theory and a co-op work term that provides students with participatory, hands-on experience. Program courses include marketing, media strategies, sustainability and ecological practices, identification of flora and fauna, geology, guiding, natural heritage management, cartography , GPS, legislation and protection Acts, interpretative techniques and wilderness first aid. The training features “expeditions” to spots in the Carolinian life zone that surrounds Simcoe in order to further cultivate respect for ecological principles. Another expedition involves winter camping


Gai hon nya ni Continued from page 5 to do is not just to reach out into the immediate community but in the far north where families have to outsource their education by sending students off the reserve to billet with strangers in homes. This is a viable solution to the problem so that students can stay in their homes and be engaged in their community without the outside pressures of bullying, drugs, alcohol and those long bus rides. They get a quality education as we have quality teachers.” Maloney said that students put on a head set, and log into a virtual classroom complete with their teacher and fellow students. This scheduled, simultaneous class time makes the courses different from the standard independent learning format where students work independently and then e-mail their assignments, she added. “You are online with your fellow students; you work through the language together. The nice thing is that the whole class is recorded, so when you


go home you can go back to the classroom and have your parents listen in to what you learned that day. Or you can go back to review it as many times as you want. If you miss a class due to a dentist appointment, you can go back.” The school’s board of directors provide what Maloney calls a “moral compass”. Each month the virtual school features a different Aboriginal value, such as respect. When the students log in each day, the students see the value to reflect on. The teachers also reflect upon the monthly value. Students get Fridays off in order that the teaching staff, who live across Ontario, can hold their weekly staff meeting, said Maloney. The staff is currently developing a program that is independent of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma program, said Maloney. The proposed Aboriginal Youth Leadership certificate will present short modules for youth to listen to; these modules will focus upon what Maloney calls “healthy relationships and positive values”.

PATHWAYS | Spring / Summer 2013

techniques. Program partners who are working with students include the UN-recognized World Biosphere Reserve at Long Point, Bird Studies Canada, and Long Point Eco-Adventures. Other locations are planned for training in skills such as canoeing, kayaking, mountain bike guiding and snow shoeing. “We are very fortunate to have so many natural wonders right at our doorstep, making Norfolk County the perfect setting in which to offer the new Adventure Expeditions and Interpretive Leadership program,” said Donna Gates, Chair of the James N. Allan Campus. “Given the projected growth in the eco-tourism and naturalist fields, we can’t wait to show people how their love of the outdoors can be turned into a successful and rewarding career.” Program information sent out by Deborah McEwan, manager of the James N. Allan campus,

predicts that the worldwide growth rate for “active” tourism such as eco and adventure tourism is expected to rise at approximately 10% per annum. Employers will find that the graduates are versed for job descriptions in the field of natural history which involve developing and managing resorts, trails, nature activities, and interpretive attractions and programs. Graduates can also seek full careers in Environmental Research and Attraction Development. The minimal requirement to apply for the program is a Grade 12 diploma, including a minimum final grade of 60% for any Grade 11 mathematics course. For more information, go to or call (519) 426-8260. The James N. Allan campus also hosts an open house every Thursday at 3 p.m.


A compliment to traditional Aboriginal values A young leader from the Six Nations of the Grand community proves that a postsecondary education can complement – and deepen -- traditional Aboriginal values. Krista Miller, 23, an Onondaga from the Wolf Clan, is in her fourth year of Health Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, Brantford campus. Immersed in her studies, and spends time studying with friends at Laurier Brantford’s Aboriginal Students’ Centre, Krista admits that her family upbringing shaped her current self. “I have a strong family orientation,” says Krista. “They taught me how we are supposed to be as People of the Longhouse – my aunties and uncles and grandparents were all part of this influence. Krista came from a family of 12 children. She spent much time with her approximately 40 cousins. Both parents hailed from large families, which she describes as “close knit”. Krista’s aunties helped, the younger ones providing companionship, while the older ones served as sympathetic adults to confide in. As the eldest of her mother’s children, Krista became a caregiver. “I always had a thing for helping people, even people I’ve never known.” Krista grew up in a rural corner of Six Nations near the Grand River, where she developed a preference for life on the land. Her family practices the

Longhouse tradition, giving her facility with the traditional values such as patience, respect and reversing ”negativity” by cynics into positive outlooks. “I am a bit sad as I don’t know the language (fluently) and there are not many people to speak it with. The ceremonies are based on our language. I am glad that people are learning it now,” she said. Her grandparents enhanced her Onondaga values. Krista, like some of her cousins, spent her days with their grandparents when their parents were at work. “I ate there and they said that I could do the dishes. There is not anything wrong with doing dishes, but they showed that we should be helping each other. And they taught me that I could be mad at my cousins, but if anything goes wrong, you’re there to help.” Krista had health issues as a child, even going for six surgeries. But her grandfather, a retired iron worker, moved her into becoming interested in studying the medical system. He became the first relative to develop diabetes, a condition that later impacted her mother and even Krista by her late teens. She says that her grandpa developed many complications, including a kidney transplant, triple bypass surgery, and dialysis. “Seeing him go through all that made me think,” confesses Krista. She adds that few diabetes information and prevention programs existed then, even though Aboriginal communities endure a disproportionate share of the disease. When her own blood sugar stabilized, Krista studied nutrition at Canador College, North Bay. After returning to Six Nations she “shadowed” a friend who was studying health at Six Nations Polytechnic Institute, which has a special arrangement for first year program students with Laurier Brantford. “I wanted to see how university is like, even though I hate city life,” said Krista. She enrolled as a full-time student, while doing casual part time work in nursing homes in Brantford and Ohsweken.

This woman assumed some leadership roles among the 60 self-identified Aboriginal students at Laurier Brantford and other students. She spent a year working at the Aboriginal Student Centre in downtown Brantford, organizing seminars, assisting guest speakers and the planning of other events. Laurier aboriginal recruitment and retention officer Kandice Baptiste sees her as a natural leader. “Krista has a path that most students can identify with — she found her way. Krista is a warm, welcoming woman, a good person, engaged, involved, inspiring, bright, bubbly, willing to sit down and have a tea with someone… In the office she was organized, involved and professional, took initiative and got things done – the very core of her is passionate.” Laurier’s health studies inform Krista about the social determinants upon personal and community health, such as education and poverty levels, and ageism. Then one day, during a contemporary studies class on gender and privilege, she learned that Aboriginal peoples are considered “underprivileged” in comparison to the dominant society. Saying that she “did not feel underprivileged,” she consulted her grandfather. “He told me, ‘Think of everything we have – a car, TV. These are material things. But we also have family.’ It is like when he gets sick, he wouldn’t tell anyone, but his family knew. And then there is the Longhouse.” Krista is discerning her future path. Heath administration is one route the professors suggest, she says. But her Longhouse values prompts her to consider health promotion in northern communities. Her experience of studying in North Bay returns here. “I loved it out there. The school is in the bush. The only worries we had were bears and deer!” “You have your language, cultural, songs, what foods you should eat, hunt, fish, how to plant. I have learned all that but I am not afraid to try out anything. I have my goals and I know how to get there.” /aboriginalinitiatives

Grand River Post Secondary Education Office (GRPSEO)

Apply for funding well before the deadline dates By Diane Baltaz Like many First Nations in Canada, Six Nations youth and “mature students” see the value of investing in a post-secondary school education as the path to independence and self-sufficiency. But they know that rising tuition costs and their need to self-fund their education may make this goal unattainable. However, since 1992, the Grand River Post Secondary Education Office (GRPSEO) has been funding students wanting to earn college diplomas and university degrees. A quick look at GRPSEO statistics for the 2011/2012 academic year shows that the Band Council-sponsored agency funded 772 post-secondary school students, including 97 graduates. Students enter a diversity of college and university programs and levels of study that take two or more years to achieve. Some of these have been at the PhD level. The average amount of funding available to students through the Post Secondary Student Support Program (money received from Aboriginal Affairs) is $6.7 million annually, said Taina Lickers, Director of Student Services and Counseling. GRPSEO Board policy states

that “a portion of the graduates will address the identified needs and strategic directions (areas) of Oswekehonon; Onkwehon:wenne communities and society at large, including needs related to our languages, traditions and cultures.” Thus, the GRPSEO also funds students applying for priority training identified by the community, such as the Ogwehoweh Language Diploma Program at Six Nations Polytechnic, public administration and health services. A GRPSEO report entitled, “The Value of Post Secondary Investment” reveal that the resulting economic impact of investment in Six Nations post secondary education exceeds $25 million per year. Lickers stresses that the enrollment of 772 students in the past year has significant implications for the future of community health and economics, but it provides the path for sustainable employment that benefits graduates’ families and our communities. “Approximately 1200 people apply each year,” said Lickers. But limited funds mean that 42% of applicants (508 students) could not be funded. Applications are processed as they are received. They are then

sorted out and assessed by four education counselors, said Lickers. Then, each application goes to Lickers for final approval, based on the counselors’ assessment. But she adds, “We keep processing applications, based on their priority, until we run out of funding. Then we are faced with the unfortunate matter of having to turn our students away.” The 2011-2012 Annual Report notes that rising tuition costs and increasing numbers of applicants are two factors that affect the inability to approve all the applications, said Lickers. Increasing numbers of applicants is one factor. Tuition costs keep rising; for instance, according to GRPSEO’s 2011-2012 Annual Report, law school tuition rose from $5000 per year in 2006 to more than $21,000 in 2011, excluding books and other compulsory fees. While GRPSEO tries to maximize financial resources available to Six Nations students, the organization developed a funding priority system to be as fair and equitable for distributing available funds. Priority 1 is for successful continuing students; priority 2 covers recent high school graduates applying to post secondary for the first time, and so forth. A full list of the Priority

system can be found on their website. Prospective applicants are asked to apply on-line through the GRPSEO website: www.grpseo. org said Lickers. She advises them to “have a plan and apply well before the deadline dates. Get it in now (her emphasis), as soon as you know what you are doing. While there is never a guarantee of funding, we always service as many students as we can within the financial resources we are given from AANDC (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada).” The GRPSEO website advises families to set aside money for their children’s post-secondary education. The website also suggests to students some alternative funding organizations, such as OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program), Indspire and Dreamcatcher Foundation. It is also important for students to apply for bursaries and scholarships of all types. “There is a large number of available bursaries and scholarships available to our students, they just need to do the leg work to get the applications completed and submitted” said Lickers. “Never let any opportunity pass you by. The value of an education is key to the future of our First Nations communities.“

Contact North

Contact North partners with colleges and universities Continued from page 6 educational priority, the Ministry agreed, with the centres being launched in March, 2013. Currently, New Credit and Six Nations have 235 full and part-time students since studies commenced last September. The students are currently registered a total of 700plus courses, said Burning. Burning’s work is twofold: first, she meets with what she calls “influencers” throughout the catchment area to explain the organization’s goals and benefits to the community. Secondly, Burning assists prospective and enrolled students, orientating each one through Contact North’s academic database, assessing their needs,


helping them with registration and continued academic follow up. Staff at both locations assume Burning’s tasks when she is in the field. “Suzy is building community relationships and partnerships,” says Altenstad. “Suzy also wears a student recruitment hat – we are recruiting students on behalf of Ontario’s colleges and universities’ on-line programs.” Who is the typical online student? Burning’s students are often in their early 20s and 30s, sometimes fresh from high school; or they are looking to further advance their post-graduate training after finishing first year studies in arts and sciences. “At Six Nations and

PATHWAYS | Spring / Summer 2013

New Credit, they are pretty much the younger generation, as they are pretty savvy with the internet,” she said. Altenstad said that students elsewhere tend to be female, aged 35-45 years old. Often they intend to start second careers. But, he added that men are increasingly approaching Contact North centres, often by employment counsellors for retraining after losing manufacturing jobs. Staff directs everyone to the organization’s online learning portal,, which in turn connects them to the data base to begin their schooling process. “We have a ream of benefits,” explained Altenstad. “As long as

it is on line, we can help you find your program, get in the course. We manage a data base of more than 18,000 courses and 1000 online programs . You can do searches on that data base on line and check off the box or line (of the course of interest) and the data base will indicate all of the institutions that offer it on line.” The service is free, with students only having to pay tuition to their selected institution. Students are also welcome to take their on-line courses at their local Contact North centre. “We have computer with high speed internet if they want to get away from the kids and laundry. If they study from home, we still follow up on the students,” said Altenstad.

Tel: 519.445.2219 Toll Free: 1 .877.837.5180 Fax: 519.445.4296 Email:

Grand River Post Secondary Education Office P.O. Box 339 2160 4th Line Ohsweken, ON N0A 1M0



If you are a Six Nations member and you have met the entrance requirements for and been enrolled in or accepted for enrolment in an eligible post secondary program then you can apply for post secondary education assistance through the Grand River Post Secondary Education Office (GRPSEO).

Every year there isn’t enough funding for all students so all applications are considered according to their priority. The Priority System is designed to provide fair and equitable access to limited post secondary assistance funding. At the same time, the priority system contributes to the management of available funding over a period of years by building in a system whereby education assistance directly contributes to post secondary graduation and access to post secondary education.

WHAT TYPE OF POST SECONDARY EDUCATION ASSISTANCE IS THERE? There is post secondary education assistance for tuition, books, Prior Learning Assessment, tutoring, and full time education allowance. For a description of each type of assistance see the web site or request the Student Policy Guide. From time to time there is assistance in the form of incentives and/or scholarships. These are available through the GRPSEO only when budget allows. In addition to the overall eligibility criteria already presented, there are specific criteria that apply to the different types of post secondary education assistance. These criteria are presented in the description of each type of assistance. Once you are approved for a specific type of education assistance, there are also certain criteria that you must continue to meet to maintain your eligibility. There are also limits of assistance within the different types of assistance.

HOW TO APPLY – GRPSEO encourages on-line applications! You need your 10 digit registry number and social insurance/social security number to apply on line. Go to and click on Application Process, click on Apply on Line Here – then follow the prompts. Be sure to apply before the deadline. All students are instructed to print and submit the Consent Form. Be sure to have your signature witnessed on the consent form. First time applicants and applicants who have not received funding for one academic year are advised to print and submit the Education Plan.

2. YOU CAN PRINT THE APPLICATION AND CONSENT FORMS FROM THE WEBSITE - THEN MAIL OR FAX THE COMPLETED FORMS Complete, sign and submit the application and consent forms with your original signature by the required deadline. Be sure to have your signature witnessed on the consent form. If you are trying to make an application deadline date, fax your completed application and consent then mail them. Faxed documents will be logged on the date received. When your original signed documents are received they will be given the same receipt date. The GRPSEO will not process facsimile or photocopies of forms without an original signature from you.



May 17 Winter Marks/Progress Reports due for all continuing students. Levels 3 & 4 provide Letter of Good Academic Standing. Application Deadline for Fall/Winter semester(s) Apply on-line! Summer course registration/timetable and detailed tuition fees due. July 1

Official Transcripts due from students with any assistance following the previous July. For fall applicants, funds will be decommitted if the transcript is not received.

Sept 17 Summer Marks/Progress Reports due for all continuing students. Levels 3 & 4 provide Letter of Good Academic Standing. Application deadline for Winter semester - Apply on-line! Fall course registration/timetable and detailed tuition fees due. Jan 17 Fall Marks/Progress Reports due for all continuing students. Levels 3 & 4 provide Letter of Good Academic Standing. Application deadline for Summer semester - Apply on-line! Winter course registration/timetable and detailed tuition fees due.


PATHWAYS | Spring / Summer 2013

Priority 2

New high school graduates

Priority 3

Withdrawals for just cause (emergency cases)

Priority 4(a)

Part time successful students applying for full time assistance

Priority 4(b)

Out of school for two or more consecutive academic semesters

Priority 5

Graduates who change programs but are not changing their level of study.

Priority 6

Students from other countries (for September starts only)

Priority 7

Previously unsuccessful students.


Students approved for funding agree to abide by the rules and guidelines for funding through the GRPSEO. Key expectations include submission of marks by scheduled dates and regular contacts with Education Counsellors.

A QUICK LOOK AT THE GRPSEO IN 2011/2012: • 97 graduates • 772 students received PSSSP funds • 56.48% of students lived off reserve • 89.5% of students were enrolled full time • 61.4% were under the age of 25 • Six Nations post secondary students are • 27% of applications (360 students) could not enrolled at all levels of study: 321 college; be funded due to lack of funds 395 university; 35 graduate degrees; 21 PhD/Dr


2006-07 125

2007-08 132

2008-09 103

2009-10 103

2010-11 76

2011-12 97

REMINDER: The GRPSEO will publish our Annual Graduate Promotion in local and regional newspapers in December 2013. If you will be a 2013 graduate and you wish to participate in this promotion, please submit the Graduate Consent Form along with your final official transcript and a recent photo to our office by October 31, 2013.



Returning/continuing successful students including continuing successful self-funded students

For more information see the Annual Report 2011/12 on our website

Complete and submit the two forms with your original signature before the required deadline. Be sure to have your signature witnessed on the consent form.

o gwehó: weh né: Ohswegehó:noh o Onkwehón:we ne: Ohswekenhro:non

Priority 1

Please note that a requirement of 12 months residence in Canada prior to the application date applies to priorities 1 to 5. LATE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE PROCESSED.



The following is an outline of the priority system. For more details contact your Education Counsellor.

June 1

Summer Office Hours: Open from 8 am to 4 pm

June 21

Office Closed: Participation in Solidarity Day

November 15 Fall Semester Contact required from all students – Check with your Counsellor

July 1

Accepting Graduate Photos for Publication


Graduate Promotion/Graduate Photo Publication

July 19

Norm’s Golf for Grads, The Greens at Renton


September 1 Back to Regular Office Hours: Open 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Office Closed: December 23, 2013 and Reopens: January 2, 2014

February 6

GRPSEO Application Information Night 2014

October 31

March 15

2014 Semester Contact required from all students – Check with your Counsellor

Deadline to Submit Graduate Photos for Publication

Please, check the local newspapers and our website at or give us a call at (519) 445-2219 for more information.



St. Leonard’s provides full service job help Diane Baltaz //Pathways Finding a summer job or permanent employment remains a challenge in the competitive Southern Ontario job market. However, Brant and Haldimand-area residents have St. Leonard’s Community Services to assist them with their job search. Funded by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and University, St. Leonard’s Community Services has three career resource centres in Brantford, Caledonia and Dunnville. According to Marilyn Kaus, Director of St. Leonard’s Employment Services, these fully-equipped centres allow people to conduct self-directed job searches, with access to fax machines, internet, job search boards, reference books and telephones . These three sites also have counsellors to help write or critique users’ resumes and cover letters, said Kaus. “And they are really good at having an opinion,” she added, laughing. Depending upon each client’s needs and goals, Kaus said that employment consultants are available to open a file to provide more individualized assistance and support. This could involve assessing one’s skills, interests, career goals, and help with seeking jobs and interview skills. These consultants also travel once a week to sites in Burford and in Paris to work with residents there. As a recognized Employment Ontario Centre, St. Leonard’s is qualified to help residents get career retraining at community colleges. But Kaus said that Second Career forms are only “part of the retraining work that we do.” People can be eligible for on-the-job training and work experience support, with some supplementary funding for interested employers or consider self-employment, said Kaus. “We try to get a person’s foot in the door,” she explained. “There is also the (government-sponsored) Self Employment Benefit for those who qualify.” To qualify for such programs, candidates must be unemployed, not be in school full time, or have part-time employment not exceeding 20 hours per week. Residents can benefit from various workshops, such as WHIMS and Smart Serve certification and resume-writing. Also offered are electronic job search coaching in order to help people navigate the web-based job sites. “A lot of people get lost, as they don’t even


have an email,” explained Kaus. Students and youth aged 15 to 30 can utilize summer employment program, said Kaus. “We are smack in the middle of the summer job search now. We are helping kids get hooked up with employers. The one condition is that they must be returning to school in September. For more information on services and programs in Brantford and Haldimand County, check their website at

Brant Employment Centre Funded by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, this Centre offers full range Employment Ontario services. We can help in a number of ways. We provide: • an assessment of your skills and experience, • information about different careers and occupations, • workshops and information sessions on a variety of topics (see our calendar for current schedule) • local labour market, employment and training opportunities, information about all Employment Ontario programs and services, including Second Career and Self Employment Benefit, as well as • advice about and referral information to other community services and support. You can learn about developing effective job search strategies including resume preparation. Depending on your particular employment needs and career goals, an Employment Consultant will determine whether you need more individualized assistance and support to help you develop your career, set goals, assess your skills and interests, and prepare you for interviews and employment. You may be eligible for on-the-job training and/or work experience support, and in some cases, additional support to help you find and keep work. 225 Fairview Drive, Brantford, ON Tel: 519-756-7665 Hours: Monday,Tuesday,Thursday & Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm. Wednesday: 8:30am to 7pm. Saturday: 9am to 12pm

PATHWAYS | Spring / Summer 2013


PATHWAYS | Spring / Summer 2013

Job tips for new college grads Though many college students dream of the day they will walk across the stage and receive their bachelor’s degree, the reality that awaits many after the last note of “Pomp and Circumstance” has been played may not be what is expected because job availability remains bleak. According to analysis of government data conducted for the Associated Press, nearly 54 percent of bachelor’s degree holders under the age of 25 were jobless or underemployed in 2011. That’s the lowest such level in more than a decade. Some analysts have begun to question the value of a college degree for recent college graduates who have student loans to pay off. But the concern should be less about the value of a degree and more about how recent graduates can find jobs in an economy where a lack of professional experience might make them more affordable, but ultimately less valuable to prospective employers. The following are a few tips recent


college grads can employ to increase their chances at finding a job. * Use the resources at your disposal. Even if it may seem you’re on your own the moment you put away that cap and gown, there are resources at your disposal. Your university’s alumni career center, for example, has helped graduates find jobs in what has proven to be a historically bad economy over the last several years. Alumni career centers often sponsor networking events and will help recent graduates craft their resumes. Graduates who went to school away from home can still tap this potentially valuable resource even if they’re no longer nearby campus. Chat online with an alumni center representatives and access online video workshops that offer anything from interviewing advice to how to write a better cover letter. Other resources may include your parents, their friends, your own friends who have already found work or anyone else who might

PATHWAYS | Spring / Summer 2013

share their experience and advice. * Look for jobs in fields that are expanding. Though it might seem as though no job fields are fertile in the current economy, that’s not true. Green jobs and jobs in the field of health, for instance, are growing and projections indicate that growth is expected to continue in the years to come. Such fields are likely to have more entry-level positions available, and entrylevel positions do not typically target experienced professionals. * Consider moving. One of the biggest advantages to being a recent college graduate is freedom to move around. Few have spouses or children to consider, and even fewer have a mortgage to pay. Having so few strings attached to you can work to your advantage -- allowing you to relocate to a stronger job market even if you don’t already have a job offer in hand. As the economy has struggled, many companies have been forced to cut back, and one of the cutbacks many

companies have made is reducing their relocation budgets. A 2009 poll from the Society of Human Resource Management found that 58 percent of companies had reduced their relocation programs, while 17 percent had eliminated such programs entirely. Simply put, companies have begun to limit their hiring to local candidates. If a particular company has caught your eye, consider moving to where that company is located. Being local might just make you a more attractive applicant. If no company has caught your eye, consider a relocation to a city with strong prospects for an unemployed person. Recent college graduates with nothing tying them down might want to consider relocating to a city where their prospects are stronger. Though there is no magic formula new college grads can employ to find a job, there are ways they can increase their chances going forward. BS127264

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18,000 online courses and over 1,000 online programs from Ontario’s public colleges, universities, school boards, literacy, and basic skills and other training organizations at your online learning centre right here













• a college or

• information on programs and courses

• live or anytime

• a diploma or degree

• at the online learning centre • at home

• your high school diploma

• the technology to take classes at a distance

• on a part-time or full-time basis

• an upgrade to your workplace skills

• information on other support services


• help to register with the educational institution of your choice


Suzy Burning Centre Coordinator Six Nations First Nation online learning centre 2160 – 4th Line Road Ohsweken, Ontario

Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation 2789 Mississauga Road RR#6, Hagersville, Ontario


905-768-0108 Visit us at ContactNorth

Follow us on Twitter @ContactNorth

Funded by the Government of Ontario

Pathways Spring 2013  

Aboriginal Education Magazine, Mohawk College, McMaster University, Grand Erie District School Board, Ogwehoweh Skills & Trades Training Cen...