Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute (KTEI) on Manitoulin Island has achieved accreditation in the province of Ontario, a first step in giving the school authority to grant certificates, diplomas, and degrees.
KTEI announced on Jan. 14 it has earned accreditation through the Indigenous Advanced Education and Skills Council (IAESC), which oversees the process for all Indigenous educational institutes in the province.
Stephanie Roy, Kenjgewin Teg's president, called it a "historic day” for the school and the communities it serves. Building Kenjgewin Teg into a stand-alone Anishinaabe place of learning has been a long-standing goal for the board and participating communities, she noted.
“The next generation of Anishinaabe leaders will be able to walk in two worlds. They will be strong in our Anishinaabe language, culture, and connection to the land, and they will also have the education, skills, and training to support community growth and healing,” Roy said in a Jan. 14 virtual announcement.
“Supporting Indigenous students in achieving culturally relevant higher education is at the heart of what we do.”
Launched in 1991 in the community of M'Chigeeng First Nation, Kenjgewin Teg is one of nine Indigenous Institutes in Ontario providing education and training programs grounded in the Anishinaabe worldview.
Kenjgewin Teg recently acquired more than 50 Indigenous studies courses from the University of Sudbury and is in the process of using them as the base for a standalone Indigenous studies program focused on Anishinabemowin (the Ojibway language), land-based learning, governance, community development, and reconciliation with its new credential-granting authority.
As a next step, Kenjgewin Teg will now submit individual programs to the IAESC for approval.
Work has also begun on the development of new programs and curriculum.
One example is a new bachelor of arts degree and certificates, which will be delivered in Sudbury, something Roy called “much needed for our students in the North.”