Algoma University, the Shingwauk Education Trust (SET), and Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig (SKG) reaffirmed their partnership and mutual understanding by signing an addendum to their 2006 Covenant agreement in a special ceremony held Thursday afternoon on the University’s campus.
“This addendum solidifies the University’s partnership with the Shingwauk Education Trust and Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig and re-affirms the special mission bestowed on us by the Province of Ontario to cultivate cross-cultural learning,” said University President and Vice-Chancellor, Asima Vezina.
On 19 May 2006, then Algoma University College and SET entered into a formal agreement, by signing the original Covenant. Modelled after the Two Row Wampum Treaty, the Covenant demonstrates how the University and SET work in partnership, helping each institution grow and fulfill their mission and the vision of Chief Shingwauk’s teaching wigwam. The Covenant also demonstrates the interconnectedness of the institutions to support the education and development needs of their students.
“This is an important occasion for Shingwauk Education Trust, it has been twelve years since we created Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig to achieve our goal of realizing Chief Shingwauk’s vision. To see how much we have accomplished is so rewarding for me both as President of the Trust and as a survivor of the Shingwauk Indian Residential School,” stated Susie Jones, SET President. “Through the growth of Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, and through culture based education, we will find the healing that is needed in our communities.”
Much has changed in the period since the original Covenant was formalized. Algoma gained its independence and now delivers undergraduate programming in Sault Ste. Marie, Brampton and Timmins. Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig was established in 2007 and accredited by the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium and by the Ontario government as one of nine legally recognized Indigenous Institutes of higher learning.
“The signing of this addendum is significant for all involved. This addendum affirms our commitment to each other, and our collective commitment to realizing Chief Shingwauk’s Vision,” stated Lyle Sayers, SKG Board Chair.
Signing the addendum to the Covenant reinforces the strong commitment by all parties to work closely together to provide quality education to Anishinaabe students and to students of all cultural backgrounds while working in partnership to serve as leaders during this time dedicated by Canada as a period of healing, truth and reconciliation.