Coast Mountain College on International Stage for Efforts Around Indigenization
Coast Mountain College’s efforts to Indigenize curriculum, provide Indigenous student supports and respond to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission were highlighted yesterday in Saskatoon, SK at the Colleges and Institutes Canada (CiCAN) 2019 Indigenous Education Symposium.
Presentations were made by Bridie O’Brien CMTN’s Executive Director of Indigenization, Ali McDougall, Indigenous Relations and Executive Advisor to the President's Office, Sheree Ronaasen, University Credit professor and Ska’yan (Anita Davis), a Gitxsan hereditary chief.
Ska’yan has hosted the People of the Skeena Field School at the culture camp she runs on the banks of the Skeena River for more than a decade. With her support, hundreds of students have learned the importance of salmon to Gitxsan culture and get hands-on experience working with salmon and learning about the importance of place that goes back more than 10,000 years. All this, deepening their understand of Gitxsan traditions through learning in the field and from community members.
"We've learned that we have been on the right track, and we're making great progress," says Bridie O'Brien, with respect to the many services, cultural programming, cultural initiatives and spaces that span the campuses across the region that CMTN serves. "At the end of our presentation we received feedback from a Métis Elder who was very emotional and moved by seeing all that we are doing at CMTN, because coming from his personal experience, he never imagined that we could come this far."
Much of the work that has been done has involved CMTN’s First Nations Council which has representatives across the region and have been integral to provide council and critical guidance to the CMTN community.
"It is so rewarding to come to an international conference and see the great work our people are doing get acknowledged by people from around the world," says CMTN Acting President, Justin Kohlman. "I believe that speaks not only to the great work of Coast Mountain College staff, but also the efforts of so many people from across our entire region."