An Educational Tradition in the Making. Kiuna - First Nations Postsecondary Institution
Kiuna Institution is an independent college educational centre (centre d’études collégiales) located in Odanak (Centre-du-Québec). Created 2011 as an initiative of the First Nations Education Council (FNEC)—therefore, by and for First Nations—the college aims at facilitating the access of Aboriginal persons to postsecondary education while validating their linguistic, cultural, and social realities. By offering, among other things, training in the humanities that cuts across fields such as history, political science, and Aboriginal literature—local and international—the institution provides for the education of individuals who will contribute to the development of their community. Kiuna also reinforces learner awareness of identity and feeling of belonging, while conveying a model of social success to learners. Today, the institution represents 22 communities from 8 different nations. It also has 69 students that have received learning support as well as various services fostering integration into the school environment, guidance, development, and brotherhood. Most of these services are provided by Aboriginal persons, which tends to consolidate team spirit and pride among students and staff alike. Out of the characteristics unveiled in this article, this just might be the key to the success of such an institution.
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