KTEI and Wilfrid Laurier University partner to offer Masters of Social Work

M’CHIGEENG—Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute (KTEI) is pleased to announce a partnership with Wilfrid Laurier to deliver a Masters of Social Work program at its M’Chigeeng campus.

“We are extremely excited to have our very first graduate level program offered by KTEI be with Wilfrid Laurier University’s Aboriginal Field of Studies Masters of Social Work (MSW) program—a program which is nationally renowned for its cultural inclusiveness and indigenous pedagogy. I am so excited for this tremendous opportunity,” said Stephanie Roy, KTEI executive director.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to especially support our current social work professionals working for our First Nation communities on Mnidoo Mnising using indigenous and holistic ways of knowing and learning, and it definitely aligns with KTEI’s beliefs and goals in student learning—this MSW program offers all of what we believe in as an Anishinabek place of learning,” Ms. Roy added,

Since February 2013, KTEI’s adult education officer Tricia Beaudin and Beverley Roy, director of business and training, have been meeting with Laurier’s Faculty of Social Work to secure this opportunity on Manitoulin Island. This part-time Master of Social Work is set to begin in September 2014, and is a program rooted in a holistic indigenous worldview and contemporary social work practice. This unique program includes the use of First Nations elders, a traditional circle process, and First Nation ceremonies, a press release from KTEI states. The program begins with cultural camps with the goal of fully immersing students in aboriginal holistic healing practices and is where students begin to engage in indigenous healing practices and demonstrate a capacity to practice within this worldview and epistemology.

The curriculum, expectations regarding assignments, student development and performance, and activity is exactly the same as the full-time on-campus program. Classes are taught using a combination of circle processes, dialogue, presentations, video and audio aids and of course will integrate Mnidoo Mnising’s valuable resource knowledge of Anishinabek elders of this territory.

In preparation for the newly secured fall 2014 start date, a student information session has been scheduled for January 21 at KTEI. There will be two sessions: one in the afternoon at 1 pm and later in the evening at 5 pm. A recruitment representative from Laurier’s MSW Indigenous Field of Study plus two Islanders and alumni of the MSW program, Craig Abotossaway and Dan Garcia, will also be on hand to give students first-hand insight of what the program is like and what to expect for the next two years. (It is worth special note that both Mr. Abotossaway and Mr. Garcia regularly travelled from Manitoulin to the Wilfrid Laurier Faculty of Social Work Kitchener campus for their classes on a weekly and monthly basis for two years before such opportunities and new partnerships with KTEI were in place). Employers who may have several employees interested in the program are also encouraged to come out as well to find out more on how the program is intended to balance and deliver a programs that supports both working students and their employers.

This informal session is a great opportunity for interested students to ask both specific and general is questions about the application process and admission requirements.

“For new graduate students out there who are not familiar with application and admission requirements at this level of study, I strongly encourage you to come out to this session on January 21 because there is certainly much work ahead in terms of getting all the necessary admission paperwork to the university by April 1 in order to be considered and have your application reviewed,” Ms. Roy explained. As is the case with most graduate level programs, students of this program must seriously take the time now to diligently and eloquently prepare their personal statements, secure their academic references, seek employer support (employed professionals), as well as many other logistical and academic requirements as part of the admissions process.

For more information on the MSW program hosted by KTEI, call Tricia Beaudin at 705-377-4342.