Province announces $2.25 million investment for Seven Generations Education Institute, benefiting local learners
Tim Brody - Editor
Seven Generations Education Institute is receiving $2.25 million through the Provincial Government’s Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) program for its Connected Classroom project.
The project will allow students to study close to home in a culturally sensitive environment and will reduce barriers they may face in obtaining future employment by providing them with easier access to post-secondary education. Another goal of the project, the Government of Ontario shared in its news release, “is to address the demand for more Indigenous professionals working in the health-care field.”
“The institute is using provincial funding to digitally connect students from its four campuses - Dryden, Fort Frances, Kenora and Sioux Lookout - with Lakehead University's main campus in Thunder Bay. This will be done by purchasing and installing telepresence immersive technology videoconferencing equipment to administer programs such as the nine-month All Nations Nursing Entry Program and a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.
“Telepresence immersive technology is a video experience designed to deliver the feeling that participants in two or more locations are in the same room. When using a telepresence system, all participants are visible in life-size high-definition and no view is blocked by other participants. Presentations or other visual material can also be easily viewed,” the Government of Ontario news release stated.
“Our government's support for post-secondary education in rural Northern Ontario is creating good jobs and building prosperity and a better quality of life for northerners,” said Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines Greg Rickford, who announced the funding. “We recognize the importance and benefits of helping people access higher learning in their local communities.”
“The support from NOHFC will enable our students to access diverse programming not typically offered in our area,” says Brent Tookenay, CEO of Seven Generations Education Institute. “The connected classroom technology we are investing in will provide an immersive and collaborative classroom experience and remove travel as a significant barrier for our students.”
Seven Generations Education Institute is an Indigenous-owned not-for-profit institution that provides educational programming to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students at the secondary, post-secondary and vocational levels.
NOHFC promotes and supports economic development across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects that stimulate growth, job creation and develop a skilled workforce.
The news release further stated, “Ontario is working to develop new NOHFC programs that:
make it easier for more people and businesses to apply
support more projects
in rural northern
target both existing
and emerging market
provide more work opportunities for Indigenous people
address the skilled labour shortage in
“We have heard from northerners who want NOHFC programs to be open to a broader range of businesses and workers so that the unique needs of Northern Ontario communities are met,” said Minister Rickford. “Through these proposed changes, Ontario's government will continue to build strong and resilient communities while supporting an environment where businesses can thrive, grow and create good jobs.”