NAN Chief’s Winter Assembly Celebrates Oshki Wenjack Milestone

Chiefs from NAN territory across much of Northwestern Ontario are gathered in Thunder Bay today through Thursday
Chiefs from NAN territory across much of Northwestern Ontario are gathered in Thunder Bay today through Thursday

Oshki Wenjack Taking Education to the Next Level

THUNDER BAY – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) today celebrated milestones for Oshki- Pimache-O-Win Education & Training Institute on the opening day of the NAN Chiefs Winter Assembly in Thunder Bay.

“I am pleased to celebrate the renaming of Oshki-Pimache-O-Win to ‘Oshki-Pimache-O-Win: The Wenjack Education Institute’ in honour of Chanie Wenjack,” said Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler. “This is a fitting and lasting tribute to Chanie and all of our youth who were lost during the Indian Residential School era. We are especially pleased that Pearl Achneepineskum and Mike Downie were able to join us today and I thank them for their continued work with Oshki.”

Delegates and educators also celebrated the recognition of the Institute under the recently passed provincial legislation. Through the Indigenous Intuitions Act, Aboriginal Institutions will be able to issue post-secondary education credentials independently. This will allow First Nation students to earn diplomas, degrees or certificates directly through Oshki and similar institutions. Students will have access to culturally rich programs closer to home.

“This is a historic step for our young people to achieve a quality education,” said Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox, who holds the education portfolio. “It is critical that every young person has the opportunity to grow to their full potential. A post-secondary education will be more accessible to our students through The Indigenous Institutes Act. I am confident that our students will be able to grow and thrive when learning in an environment that is supportive of their culture”

Founded in 1996, Oshki is an Aboriginal post-secondary education and training institute committed to increasing access to, and success in, accredited post-secondary education to the people in the forty-nine communities of Nishnawbe Aski Nation and other learners. The Institute has provided new beginnings for many NAN members through education and training programs, with more than 250 students graduating with postsecondary credentials and several hundred more in other programs and courses.

The Chiefs Winter Assembly is being held from Tuesday to Thursday in Thunder Bay.

NetNewsLedger will be providing full coverage. Added videos are coming shortly.

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