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University, colleges partner on Indigenous student supports

Lakehead University, Confederation College and Canadore College look to strengthen retention of Indigenous transfer students
Lakehead University entrance sign
(TBNewsWatch file photo)

A trio of Northern Ontario postsecondary schools is partnering to offer Indigenous students an enhanced educational experience.

Lakehead University and Confederation College in Thunder Bay, along with North Bay’s Canadore College, announced they will work together in providing cultural supports for Indigenous students who transfer into the three institutions.

By supporting those students, and removing barriers to their success, the schools hope to strengthen their rate of retention of Indigenous transfer students.

On Feb. 12, presidents from each of the schools signed a five-year memorandum of understanding (MOU), which lays the foundation for this work.

“Lakehead University’s commitment to social responsibility recognizes the importance

of our role as a regional university in making a difference to all the communities we

serve," said Dr. Moira McPherson, Lakehead’s president and vice-chancellor, in a news release.

"This MOU further demonstrates our continuing and collective commitment to encouraging and facilitating education opportunities for Indigenous learners."

Inspiration for the move comes following a recent collaboration on recent projects funded by the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT) exploring the enhancement of wraparound supports for Indigenous transfer students.

In the preliminary stages, the schools said they would establish internal and external working groups to start the discussion on the principles of the MOU.