Our Journey Together
With Rebecca Jamieson, President of Six Nations Polytechnic
“Even before Six Nations Polytechnic (SNP) was founded in 1993, Mohawk was working with the Six Nations community to encourage Indigenous learners to attend Mohawk and that relationship continued with SNP. Our first formalized agreement came in 2002 with the creation of the Practical Nursing with Aboriginal Communities program, and since then the partnership has continued to grow.
SNP is unique. Institutions like this one that are Indigenous owned and governed aren’t very well known.This July, SNP will host the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education in Toronto, with support from Mohawk and others. Up to 5,000 people from all over the world will attend the conference. It’s a chance to show Canada and the world what is happening at Indigenous institutions like SNP and why partnerships with institutions like ours are important and why they matter, especially when it comes to reconciliation, which is a process many countries with Indigenous populations are facing.
We have a unique role, and we see it as a unique responsibility. Our community looks to us to make sure our knowledge and languages don’t disappear. Outside of our community it’s about building relationships and bringing people together.
We’re not just for Indigenous learners. Anyone can study here and there are a variety of pathways available. We also have an Indigenous Knowledge Centre. It’s a resource centre for our students, for our instructors, for our community and for anyone who wants to learn more about our story and culture.
This is a place you can come to and we’ll connect you with the knowledge holders that can answer your questions. We’re open to anyone, because reconciliation is about coming together.
Until now our relationship with Mohawk has focused primarily on health and social work. Now we’re looking at opportunities in skilled trades and technology. We’re also working with Mohawk on the Bundled Arrows Initiative.The largest initiative of its kind, Bundled Arrows is focused on creating a regional Indigenous Education Plan to accelerate Indigenous learning in Ontario.”
This article first appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of Momentum Magazine.