CHEC and NAIITS Hold Symposium:  Develop Cooperative Ways to Support Indigenous Students  

Otterburne, Manitoba - May 27, 2014 - Over 25 people from nine institutions took part in a follow-up session to an initial symposium that took place at Booth University College in Winnipeg, MB, in May 2013. This second event was sponsored by CHEC (Christian Higher Education Canada) and NAIITS: An Indigenous Learning Community. Its focus was on the development of cooperative ways of supporting Indigenous students in their pursuit of distinctive, Biblically sound, and academically rigorous programs of study, respectful of Indigenous worldviews.

Highlights from the symposium include a commitment to

  • Develop a vision statement guiding efforts at greater Indigenization on CHEC campuse
  • Create a web-based platform for sharing online courses and other resources with an Indigenous focus; and
  • Explore the creation of a Circle for Indigenous Studies to benefit joint programs being developed by NAIITS in cooperation with CHEC schools and other campuses.

CHEC’s Executive Director, Dr. Justin Cooper, expressed appreciation for the cooperative spirit present during the meetings as well as the commitment to move forward in cooperative efforts in Indigenous education. Terry, LeBlanc, Executive Director of NAIITS, was encouraged by the emergence of concrete steps that would build on the work NAIITS is already doing in cooperation with CHEC members. 

CHEC includes 35 accredited Christian colleges, universities and seminaries across Canada, serving over 17,500 students.

NAIITS currently offers three graduate programs with an Indigenous focus in cooperation with existing Christian institutions: an MAIS with George Fox University and Seminary, an MTS (I) with Tyndale University College & Seminary, and a PhD with William Carey University. Also under development are two new programs in asset-based community development with an Indigenous focus: a BA program with Providence University College, and an MA program with Acadia University and Divinity College.

 

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For more information see http://www.checanada.ca for a symposium summary and http://www.naiits.com for an overview of these programs.