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A step forward for Indigenous education

By Costa Maragos Posted: October 5, 2016 6:00 a.m.

Dr. Angelina Weenie, Indigenous Education Coordinator at First Nations University, prepared the proposal that opened the door for a masters program that will “provide important insights into Indigenous worldviews.”
Dr. Angelina Weenie, Indigenous Education Coordinator at First Nations University, prepared the proposal that opened the door for a masters program that will “provide important insights into Indigenous worldviews.” Photo by Rae Graham – U of R Photography.

New opportunities are on the way for Education graduates wishing to further their Indigenous Education.

The University of Regina, in collaboration with First Nations University of Canada, are now offering a Masters of Indigenous Education Program.   

“I am very happy we are able to move forward with this program,” says Dr. Angelina Weenie, Indigenous Education Coordinator at First Nations University. “This program provides important insights into Indigenous worldviews, philosophy and knowledge.”

Weenie wrote and researched the proposal. She says the program came about in part because of demand from students.

Treaty Camp
The Culture Camp, held at Sturgeon Lake First Nation, takes Education students out of the classroom and immerses them into First Nations culture.

“This program is intended for students to be leaders in First Nations communities and in Indigenous Education.,”says Weenie, who is from the Sweetgrass First Nation, west of North Battleford.

Up to 40 students will be accepted into the masters program.

"This partnership is important to us at it reflects the Faculty's commitment to improving the educational experiences of Aboriginal students in schools throughout Saskatchewan,” says Dr. Jennifer Tupper, Dean of the Faculty of Education.

The goal is to provide the tools to support graduates in better meeting the needs of Indigenous learners in Saskatchewan schools.
 
This will include the ability to conduct research with Indigenous peoples and integrate Indigenous knowledge into school curricula.

Dr. Lynn Wells, Vice-President Academic at First Nations University of Canada, says this new program will strengthen Indigenous education in the province.  

“The Master’s in Indigenous Education will contribute to the professional development of teachers working with and in First Nations and other Indigenous communities.  In turn, the benefits for Indigenous students in the K-12 system will be tremendous.”

The program proposal was examined by external reviewers from the University of Sydney and the University of Hawaii.

“I applaud the University of Regina and First Nations University of Canada for taking up this task. It (the masters program) is of crucial importance to the social and economic fabrics of society,” says Professor Michelle Write, professor of Indigenous Education at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia.

The deadline to apply for Masters of Indigenous Education Program is October 15. For more information please contact the Faculty of Education.