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University of Sudbury transfers Indigenous Studies to Kenjgewin Teg institute

Formerly federated university says it’s fulfilling promise to find solution ‘by, for and with’ area Indigenous population
From left are Serge Miville, University of Sudbury President and Vice-Chancellor, Paul Laverdure, Interim Director, Finance & Administration/Director of Library and Archives for the University of Sudbury, and Stephanie Roy, President of Kenjgewin Teg.

The University of Sudbury has announced it has transferred its intellectual property for certain Indigenous Studies online courses to Kenjgewin Teg.

Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute is an Aboriginal-owned and controlled post-secondary institution at M'Chigeeng First Nation, on Mnidoo Mnising (Manitoulin Island). In the Ojibwe language, Kenjgewin Teg means a "place of knowledge."

The University Sudbury said in making the transfer, it is fulfilling a commitment by its board of governors March 11 to find a solution “by, for and with” the Indigenous population of Northeastern Ontario regarding Indigenous Studies.

All of this is happening in the wake of Laurentian University’s insolvency and restructuring, which, among other aspects, involved the severing of the federation agreement with the three federated universities operating on campus.

Those federated universities, the University of Sudbury, Thorneloe University and Huntington University, offered courses that counted toward Laurentian degrees. 

But Laurentian has now cut off that agreement, saying it will educate these students in-house, as it needs the money they bring in.

As it deals with the impacts of Laurentian’s restructuring decisions, the University of Sudbury announced last March it is transforming itself into a Francophone institution, although it has yet to get that project off the ground.

The University of Sudbury is also known for its Indigenous Studies program, thus the promise to find a solution regarding the program “by, for and with” the Indigenous population of Northeastern Ontario.

A press release from the University of Sudbury said Kenjgewin Teg intends to provide northern students and communities with a high-quality education in Indigenous studies that is managed by and for Indigenous peoples. 

To do so, Kenjgewin Teg intends to develop Indigenous studies programming and to open a campus at the University of Sudbury.

"This is a historic gesture of reconciliation and empowerment, which respects the autonomy of Indigenous peoples,” said University of Sudbury president Serge Miville, in a press release. “That is why we are proud of our agreement with Kenjgewin Teg.”

"This agreement is a gesture of reconciliation by the University of Sudbury with Indigenous peoples,” said Kenjgewin Teg president Stephanie Roy.

“It is a concrete, constructive and bold action that goes beyond symbolic gestures and words and recognizes the legitimacy of our communities to manage our education.”

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