ARCHIVED - The Kiuna Institution offers post-secondary education for First Nations
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The Kiuna Institution, situated in Odanak, Quebec, is the result of an initiative of the First Nations Education Council, which has worked for almost a decade to launch a post-secondary institution specifically intended for First Nation students.
Kiuna has three objectives:
Provide quality education in a familiar environment that promotes First Nation traditions and cultures;
Improve graduation rates and access to post-secondary studies; and
Take one more step towards the autonomy of First Nation institutions.
Transcript: The Kiuna Institution offers post-secondary education for First Nations
Kiuna Institution is located in the small community of Odanak which is an Abenaki community located in the Centre du Quebec Administrative Region.
Kiuna Institution is an initiative from the First Nations Education Council who has worked for almost a decade on the project of launching a post-secondary institution specifically destined to First Nations students.
Pierre Lainé, Coordinator, Student Affairs and Recruitment, Kiuna Institution
We have approximately 55 students who come from different Quebec communities as far away as Pakuashipi, the Attikamek region, Mohawks, Wendats, Abenakis... So we have students from many areas, and of course, we are working at having students from all communities in Quebec.
François Bastien, Teacher, Huron-Wendat Nation, Kiuna Institution
When they leave their home, of course, they don't feel that... sense of community anymore. What we're trying to do here is to build a new community for them in order for them to feel comfortable... And of course, if they feel comfortable, they can succeed much better in school.
Gabrielle Laurent Vachon, Student, Innu Community of Pessamit
What do I like here? Many things... When I joined the student committee ... I try to get to know everyone ... You know, here we are a family. We really are a very large family ... Pierre Lainé, Coordinator, Student Affairs and Recruitment, Kiuna Institution
Our program helps the students because it's built by and for Aboriginal people: our authors, our researchers, our poets, our artists... are Aboriginal...
Kiuna Institution uses cutting-edge technology. The college has every piece of electronic equipment, whether it be smart boards or multimedia... We even have a student radio for our students. So we have all the high-end technical equipment...
The Institution is important because of the program that we offer... We learn about our history, we learn about our political systems, and it helps in building self-esteem as First Nations members to know that we also did huge and important things for our Nations and society.
Guillaume Wawanolett, Student, Abenaki Community of Odanak
Since I can remember, I was really interested in politics, the kind of politics that will lead me one day, with my education here, to help my Nation, my community, grow and evolve. François Bastien, Teacher, Huron-Wendat Nation, Kiuna Institution
The success story here is young Aboriginals, leaving their communities, having the guts and the will to want to succeed and taking a risk, taking a chance coming here and giving us a shot. This is a unique chance for them, and we are extremely proud of it!