Laurentian University School of Native Human Services and Seven Generations Education Institute
In 2005 a formal agreement was entered into between Native Human Services and members of the Seven Generations Education Institute resulting in a joint venture teaching arrangement that began delivering the Native Human Services programme to their students in 2006. In anticipation of the change in legislation by the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers requiring staff to be qualified with a Degree or a Diploma from a recognized College or University, an Aboriginal agency in the Northwestern Ontario region began preparing a pathway for their workers to meet the new rules and regulations for qualifications. The agency took a proactive stance by approaching the Seven Generations Education Institute to bring a Bachelor of Social Work programme to their community. The Seven Generations Education Institute reviewed many options and found that Laurentian University’s Native Human Services programme best met their needs.
Based in Kenora, the Seven Generations Education Institute originally started in 1985 under the name Rainy Lake Ojibway Education Authority. They changed to their new title in 1999. Ten Bands in the Rainy Lake Tribal area formed the authority. Their desire was to maintain their traditional cultural and linguistic values as well as to improve their economic, social and community position. They believed that education was a step toward achieving this. The Institute currently runs a number of programmes which includes Eco-tourism; an Indigenous Wellness and Addiction Certificate Diploma programme, a Bachelor of Arts programme amongst others.
The Native Human Services programme was first offered at Kenora in 2006. The main delivery mode is face to face and students attend an 18 hour weekend training which is held each month. Professors or Instructors from Sudbury fly in to teach and from time to time and local guest speakers are invited to share their teachings. There is an interactive video conferencing service that is available which is used for teaching. Professors use D2L Desire 2 Learn as an interactive tool keeping in touch with students through the mail and discussion boards as well as placing course materials online. Students would use this medium to submit assignments, ask questions and use the chat-room to carry out collaborative group assignments. To ensure consistent support for the students, the students can access the Post-Secondary Counsellor or the Director of Seven Generations based in Kenora. Likewise, they have access to the Partnerships Coordinator who is based at the Laurentian site. It is anticipated that these students will graduate within a six-year timeframe.
For more information:
Laurentian University Partnerships Coordinator, Lissa Lavallee firstname.lastname@example.org
Seven Generations Education Institute, HBSW Coordinator, William Perrault email@example.com