On Thursday, November 4th, Nogdawindamin Family and Community Services (NFSC) hosted representatives from Sault College at Garden River First Nation’s Teaching Lodge to hold a ceremony and formalize a collaboration agreement between the two organizations through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU will allow for increased Indigenous-specific experiential learning for Sault College students, enhance engagement opportunities for youth transitioning out of care to promote Sault College as a viable post-secondary option or work with Employment Solutions to support their success through employment. The partnership will also allow for the development of certificate/diploma and micro-credential/upskilling programs to meet the hiring needs of Nogdawindamin.
“We are pleased to enter this new relationship with Sault College. As our agency continues to grow and serve our communities along the north shore, we recognize the need for suitable and culturally aware workers for the families we work with at Nogdawindamin. With this partnership, we will enhance our complement of staff who are recent graduates of Sault College, knowing the College will provide them with the education that directly reflects the field they will be working within, such as Indigenous Agencies like Nogdawindamin,” said Chief Executive Officer Kerry Francis.
Sault College recognizes that community building is critical to the advancement of Indigenous education and is committed to the provision of culturally relevant learning opportunities that enhance the quality, accessibility, and relevance of programs and services for Indigenous learners, organizations, and communities. The College continues to identify Indigenous education and labour market participation as a critical priority for the institution with a strong focus and mandate for Indigenous learner success and inclusion.
“We are excited to establish this new relationship with Nogdawindamin Family and Community Services. Through this collaboration, we are able to leverage the strengths of both the College and Nogdawindamin to create opportunities that will benefit the communities we serve and have positive and lasting impacts. From training and education to the post-graduate career opportunities, this MOU encompasses the learning cycle and opens up possibilities that will further strengthen our commitment to Indigenous education,” said Dr. Ron Common, President, Sault College. “Additionally, with Indigenous youth engagement and well-being a priority for both organizations, this partnership will provide a foundation for us to strengthen and build on the work needed to ensure that our youth achieve their fullest potential – now and in the future.”
Through this MOU, Nogdawindamin and Sault College hope to create and support further collaborative opportunities for the benefit of Indigenous learners and communities and will establish a basis for a long-term relationship founded upon mutual trust, respect, and understanding.