M’CHIGEENG – Kenjgewin Teg was recently welcomed as the 46th member of eCampusOntario. Founded in 2015, eCampusOntario is funded by the provincial government to promote innovation in digital learning for postsecondary education in Ontario on behalf of Ontario’s publicly-assisted institutions. Kenjgewin Teg is the first Indigenous institute to join eCampusOntario.
“We are extremely excited to share the news of Kenjgewin Teg’s recently approved new membership with a key higher education sector stakeholder, eCampusOntario,” said Dr. Stephanie Roy, Kenjgewin Teg’s president. “As a new member alongside Ontario’s colleges and universities and a legislatively-recognized Indigenous institute in Ontario, we look forward to actively participating and contributing to the goals of rethinking learning resources, rethinking recognition of learning and rethinking the learning experience—by sharing our Anishinabek lens and perspectives on teaching and learning.”
Dr. Roy said one of the aspects the Kenjgewin Teg team is most excited about is how it is continuing to forge its way into the post-secondary sector in Ontario.
Dr. Roy pointed to 2017 when Kenjgewin Teg received its diploma-degree granting status. This, “provided a springboard to allow for all the training opportunities we currently provide. It made us a player able to participate in post-secondary education in Ontario,” Dr. Roy told The Expositor. Joining eCampusOntario allows Kenjgewin Teg to further its reach with students from across Ontario now having access to all of its virtual programming.
Dr. Roy gave The Expositor the example of students looking for a personal support worker accreditation fall semester program. “There may be 10 province-wide, and now Kenjgewin Teg is one of them. It opens up opportunities for students across Ontario.”
Dr. Roy explained eCampusOntario as “one stop shopping” for students. “We’ll now be able to provide our training programs into the system so that they’re searchable,” she noted.
The Kenjgewin Teg president said COVID-19 provided a blessing in disguise for the education institute in that, “it forced us to look at what online learning is. We are a small institute that offers an average of 10 training opportunities a year that allow us to work with our sector partners. It’s exciting to think what the long term impacts can be.”
Dr. Steven Murphy, one of eCampusOntario’s co-chairs and president and vice-chancellor of Ontario Tech University, echoed Dr. Roy’s sentiments. “The Board of Directors of eCampusOntario is delighted to welcome Kenjgewin Teg to its consortium,” he said. “As an organization on the forefront of testing online learning tools to advance the use of education technology and digital learning environments, we must build a future in which we can have a more inclusive conversation on online and other forms of technology-enabled learning that are important to the diverse present and prospective faculty, staff, and students in the province of Ontario.”
Later this month, eCampusOntario will host its annual event, the Technology + Education Seminar + Showcase, a conference for Ontario’s college, university, and Indigenous institutes to discuss, celebrate and advance virtual learning, innovation and collaboration. This year will focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.
“Kenjgewin Teg joining us is a vital step forward in realizing the goals of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action in postsecondary education,” said Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan, eCampusOntario co-chair and Loyalist College president and CEO. “I look forward to learning with and from our colleagues as part of this important journey.”
Kenjgewin Teg provides an Anishinaabe community approach to eduction and training. They offer university- and college-accredited programs, which are open to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.