Ottawa, June 20, 2017 – In honour of National Aboriginal Day, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) signed Colleges and Institutes Canada’s (CICan) Indigenous Education Protocol yesterday in Vancouver, BC. This is a momentous occasion, marking the 50th institution that has adopted the principles of this groundbreaking document.
Launched in December 2014, the CICan Indigenous Education Protocol provides a vision of how colleges and institutes can strive to improve their practices and better serve Indigenous peoples. It is based on seven principles that underscore the importance of structures and approaches to address Indigenous peoples’ learning needs and support self-determination and socio-economic development of Indigenous communities. They include ensuring that governance structures recognize and respect Indigenous peoples, reviewing curriculums to include Indigenous intellectual and cultural traditions and supporting students and employees to increase understanding and reciprocity.
The Indigenous Education Protocol was developed by CICan’s Indigenous Education Committee, comprising college and institute representatives from across the provinces and territories. It was based on consultations with members and Indigenous partners held at the Serving Indigenous Learners and Communities Symposium in December 2013, and the CICan annual conferences in 2013 and 2014. It has since been endorsed by colleges and institutes across the country, as well as many of their partners from Indigenous communities.
“As we prepare to celebrate National Aboriginal Day, it is fitting that our members reaffirm their commitment to the Indigenous Education Protocol and we couldn’t be happier to welcome BCIT into this extraordinary group. The CICan Indigenous Education Protocol is an ambitious document that has only become more relevant since its inception. Following the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the national dialogue it has launched, the need for post-secondary education institutions to play a leadership role in reconciliation is clear. We are proud to answer this call, in collaboration with our members.”
Denise Amyot, President and CEO, Colleges and Institutes Canada
“In signing the Indigenous Education Protocol, BCIT commits to further enriching our Institute with Indigenous wisdom, knowledge, and traditions. It is not a commitment we undertake lightly. Reconciliation is the work of all post-secondary institutions, indeed of all Canadians, and while we are proud of the partnerships we have cultivated and the frameworks we have built, we also acknowledge the work yet to be done. As we empower our students to meet the challenges of a complex world, we work alongside CICan and our partners on continuing to fulfil the promise of a richer educational journey for everyone in our community.”
Kathy Kinloch, President, BCIT,
Culture is a manifestation of the human spirit. Infusing indigenous knowledge into our curriculum gives us the opportunity to reflect on our practices vis-a-vis the cultural heritage of this land. It fosters diversity and creates a sense of place. Ultimately, it becomes a bulwark against emerging nationalism and bigotry.
Tom Roemer, Vice-President, Academic, BCIT
“I am proud to attend a school that recognizes the importance of signing the Indigenous Education Protocol. To give people the support, the resources, and the knowledge about Indigenous people, we are able to build a stronger community.”
Madison Powers, BCIT Marketing Diploma student
Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is the voice of Canada’s publicly-supported colleges, institutes, cegeps and polytechnics, as well as an international leader on applied education and innovation, with ongoing programs in over 25 countries. Working in close collaboration with industry and community partners, CICan’s members offer more than 8000 programs at campuses serving urban, rural, remote, and northern communities all over Canada, contributing to inclusive economic growth.
For over 50 years, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) has been a leader among Canadian post-secondary institutions. We offer a unique education model that blends academic learning with hands-on training—a balance that ensures our students graduate with the skills and confidence to succeed. BCIT is one of BC’s largest post-secondary institutes, with five campuses, 300 programs, and more than 48,000 students each year. BCIT’s credentials range from certificates and diplomas to bachelor’s and master’s degrees in areas such as Applied and Natural Sciences, Business and Media, Computing and IT, Engineering, Health Sciences, and Trades and Apprenticeships.
For more information:
Senior Strategic Communications Officer
Colleges and Institutes Canada
613-746-2222 ext. 3131
Twitter : @CollegeCan
Media & Communications Specialist
British Columbia Institute of Technology