Six Nations Polytechnic Celebrates Accreditation

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BRANTFORD A two-year celebration took place Friday at the Brantford campus of Six Nations Polytechnic.

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In early 2020, SNP obtained organizational accreditation through the Aboriginal Higher Education and Skills Council for a period of 10 years, allowing the educational institution to award degrees, diplomas and certificates with the same weight as those of colleges and universities.

“SNP has a clear track record of commitment to quality Indigenous education,” said President and CEO Rebecca Jamieson. “It starts with quality assurance strategies to ensure that our programs maintain the integrity of authentic Indigenous knowledge. This requires ongoing engagement with knowledge holders in the community.

Jamieson said the accreditation expands learning opportunities — informed by Indigenous knowledge, values ​​and ways of knowing and being — including an honors Bachelor of Arts degree in Ogwehoweh languages ​​that is slated for the fall 2022.

“When the SNP was created, we accepted the responsibility to help revitalize our languages ​​and knowledge system, and the culture associated with it,” Jamieson said, noting that the listing is also open to non-Aboriginal students.

“When people from different backgrounds learn together in an environment supported by culture, knowledge, skills and understanding that can nurture positive relationships and partnerships develop,” she said. “These ties can be maintained for generations to come, so that together we can tackle global challenges such as pandemic recovery and climate change, while preserving our distinct cultures. In this way, we are also actively engaged in reconciliation.

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SNP also holds “Training Delivery Organization” status for apprenticeships in three trades and is an approved provider of “Additional Qualification” courses with the Ontario College of Teachers, offering courses for teaching First Nations, Métis and Inuit children, and languages ​​such as Mohawk. and Cayuga.

SNP has been offering post-secondary and vocational training courses and programs for nearly 30 years from Ohsweken. In 2021, SNP purchased the former Mohawk College on Elgin Street in Brantford after renting space since 2015.

After taking a number of language courses since 2012, SNP student Kaniehtenhawi Deer from Six Nations of the Grand River returned to work to earn a degree in Ogwehoweh languages.

“I feel really lucky for all the opportunities I’ve had since I started learning a language,” Deer said. “It has been inspiring to see the progress SNP has made in getting our languages ​​recognized and accredited.”

Tehakanere Henhawk, a Mohawk from Six Nations, said there are many opportunities for those who have learned an Indigenous language, describing the work as important and fun.

“If he wasn’t able to learn my language, I don’t know where I would be,” he said. “We are lucky to have language programs in our community. There are so many opportunities.

Henhawk was hired by SNP as a language teacher after completing his language lessons.

“You are recognized for your commitment to the preservation and revitalization of Indigenous languages ​​and the transfer of Indigenous knowledge to the next generation,” said Shawn Batise, deputy minister in the province’s Ministry of Indigenous Affairs. “This event marks the impressive strides you have made as a respected Indigenous education institution in quality assurance.

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Batise, who studied at Indigenous and non-Indigenous post-secondary institutions, said the difference “is like night and day.”

“The things you learn, the way you are taught, the way you learn together makes all the difference,” he said. “The fact that Six Nations Polytechnic can offer this to non-Indigenous students, I think, is an important bridge between cultures, a better way of understanding and a step towards reconciliation.

SNP holds provincial and international accreditation at the program and institutional levels. Additionally, the institution partners with many publicly funded colleges and universities across Ontario.

SNP is joined by eight other Aboriginal institutions in Ontario.

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