Kengewin Teg offers practical nurse training

Stephanie Roy, president of Kenjgewin Teg, signs the official partnership between the M’Chigeeng educational institute and Fleming College that will see a practical nursing program offered in M’Chigeeng.

M’CHIGEENG—Fleming College is pleased to partner with Kenjgewin Teg to offer practical nursing training to learners on Manitoulin Island. The two institutions recently signed a five-year agreement to offer Fleming’s practical nursing program through Kenjgewin Teg, an educational institute on Manitoulin that provides Indigenous culturally relevant learning.

“Fleming College is committed to Truth and Reconciliation and as a post-secondary institution, we have an opportunity and an obligation to incorporate Indigenous knowledge into our curriculum,” said Maureen Adamson, Fleming College president. “Fleming College is honoured to partner with Kenjgewin Teg and support the principles of Truth and Reconciliation that will create positive change in healthcare.”

Kenjgewin Teg will act as the service provider to offer Fleming’s practical nursing program, tentatively scheduled to start in spring 2021. Theory curriculum will be delivered virtually, while clinical learning will be on-site at other key local partner locations including Manitoulin Health Centre, St. Joseph’s General Hospital Elliot Lake, Mnaamodzawin Health Services Inc. and Noojmowin Teg Health Centre.

Students who successfully complete the five-semester diploma program are then eligible to write the national examinations with the College of Nurses of Ontario and become registered to practice in Ontario as a registered practical nurse.

“Going forward, our local Mnidoo Mnising and surrounding communities will continue to see more opportunities in health and wellness programs at Kenjgewin Teg as we continue working together with valued partners like Fleming College and other Indigenous institutes who support culturally relevant training and education hosted closer to home,” said Stephanie Roy, president of Kenjgewin Teg.

“Manitoulin Health Centre is excited to support a locally grown practical nursing program,” said Paula Fields, vice president of clinical services and chief of nursing officer at Manitoulin Health Centre. “Recently, due to COVID-19 and additional opportunities for nurses, we have found a shortage of local nursing staff. It is beneficial to offer a program locally as graduates will have ties to the Island and be aware of the unique diversity of the patients that we serve, resulting in positive outcomes for patients. It is really a win-win for the students and our Manitoulin Island communities.”

“Especially, and even more so at this time during a global pandemic, this new partnership will allow us to provide ongoing support and help meet the ever-growing needs of not only our local and regional First Nation health sector organizations, but will also help Ontario’s health sector too by supporting goals of hiring diversity of both Indigenous people and Indigenous perspectives in healthcare,” said Natasha Abotossaway, Kenjgewin Teg’s health and wellness programs co-ordinator.

In 2015, Fleming College signed the Indigenous Education Protocol for Colleges and Institutes Canada. This partnership highlights Fleming’s commitment to underscoring and prioritizing the importance of structures and approaches required to address Indigenous peoples’ learning needs and support self-determination and socio-economic development of Indigenous communities.

Kenjgewin Teg is one of seven members of the Indigenous Institutes Consortium in Ontario recognized under the Indigenous Institutes Act, 2017. Kenjgewin Teg is dedicated to lifelong learning by providing an Anishinabewin community-based approach to education, training and business support services and opportunities.

Ms. Adamson and Ms. Roy are both pleased to see a new agreement officially come into effect. Additional team members who were instrumental in bringing this to fruition from Kenjgewin Teg include Beverley Roy, director of quality assurance, Ms. Abotossaway and elder Josh Eshkawkogan. The team members from Fleming College are elder Shirley Williams, Elizabeth Stone, academic chair of Indigenous Studies, Nick Stone, chair of Fleming School of Health and Wellness, and Molly Westland, dean of Fleming School of Health and Wellness.