Cambrian College in Sudbury is in the national spotlight for its commitment to Indigenous education.
Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) presented a silver Indigenous Education Award of Excellence to the college at a gala on May 1 in Ottawa. This marks the second year in a row that Cambrian has received the accolade.
Rick Ouellet, director of Cambrian’s Wabnode Centre for Aboriginal Services; Glen Retty, vice-chair of the college’s Board of Governors; and Ron Sarazin, committee chair of the Circle for Indigenous Education, accepted the award on behalf of the college.
This year, Cambrian was recognized for forging a new partnership with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba; for signing a memorandum of understanding with Atikameksheng Anishnawbek First Nation; and for its relationships with industry, community, and academic partners. In each case, the agreements and partnerships aim to enhance socio-economic development in Indigenous communities and the student experience at Cambrian.
Cambrian President Bill Best recognized the leadership and commitment demonstrated by members of the College community, including Board members, staff, faculty and students, as well as the staff at Cambrian’s Wabnode Centre for Aboriginal Students as a driving force behind these accomplishments.
“I am proud that Cambrian has been honoured once again for the important role that Rick and his team at Wabnode have played in advancing and improving the academic and cultural experience for not just Indigenous students, but all students at the College,” said Best.
“To win, for the second year in a row, is a testament to our dedication to the teachings, traditions and celebration of Indigenous culture and our responsiveness to community and partner needs.
“We are pleased that our commitment to Indigenous education, as outlined in our Strategic Plan, has enabled us to make tremendous progress in key areas as we continue to build upon our goals.”
“This award is a great honour, and I am humbled that our work is being recognized on a national level,” said Ouellet. “With support from our partners, we are on a continuing journey to build relationships through the truth and reconciliation process; and through it, we’re participating in a national movement that will shape a brighter future for Indigenous people and for all Canadians.”
CICan also recognized the positive and measurable impact that Cambrian’s programs, student supports, and agreements with key partners have had on increasing Indigenous student engagement and academic success.