College announces new programs, positions to advance Indigenous education in Manitoba

RRC Indigenous EducationRed River College has announced new and enhanced programs — and more supports for Indigenous learners than ever before — as part of its strategic plan to grow its student population and chart a bold, new path forward for Indigenous Education.

“Red River College is proud to be a key signatory to the Manitoba Collaborative Indigenous Education Blueprint, and we are fully committed to providing the student-centred and culturally relevant supports necessary to help aspiring students successfully transition from community to classroom to career,” says Rebecca Chartrand, RRC’s Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy.

“Over the last year, we have been working to create better access to programs, new training opportunities, and more pathways to post-secondary education for our Indigenous learners. We have taken important steps forward as a College community to grow and provide our students with the wrap-around supports and services they need to succeed.”

This fall, the College will launch five new programs for Indigenous learners:

  • ACCESS Health Pathway Program
  • ACCESS Engineering Pathway Program
  • Social Enterprise Diploma Program
  • Indigenous Languages Certificate Program
  • Indigenous Culinary Skills Certificate Program

ACCESS programs provide learners with preparatory, exploratory and transitional experience, while the remaining three programs aim to grow Indigenous representation within their respective sectors. The culinary program, for example, will provide courses aimed at developing fundamental culinary and business skills, and will include a cultural component and land-based curriculum. The social enterprise program will focus on the principles of economic reconciliation and how it relates to the Canadian social economy. It will help students address and solve challenges in urban or rural communities.

The College also worked very closely in consultation with internal and community stakeholders to create an infrastructure that reflects the growth of Indigenous Education at RRC, and is more agile and responsive to the needs of learners. This has resulted in the development of 12 new positions, including two Navigators, Academic and Enrollment Coaches, a Transition to Employment Coach, and a Truth and Reconciliation and Community Engagement Manager.

“Everything we do as a College is ultimately about the success of our students. As Manitoba’s largest institute of applied learning, we are taking the lead to create more pathways to post-secondary education, deliver innovative and relevant programming, and ultimately, increase graduation rates among Indigenous students,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

These new programs and supports for Indigenous students build on the many positive initiatives and milestones Red River College has celebrated in the last year, including:

  • Opening the College’s first Sweat Lodge at the Notre Dame Campus.
  • Opening a new Indigenous Student Support Centre at the Roblin Centre to better support those studying at the Exchange District Campus.
  • Creating two new Anishinaabemowin language courses to support the growth of Indigenous language revitalization in Manitoba schools and advance reconciliation efforts in our province.
  • Taking training outside of the traditional classroom and offering two new community-based skilled trades programs to students in Lake Manitoba and Sagkeeng First Nations.

Redeveloping and expanding our ACCESS programs to better meet the needs of students, and to provide opportunities to enrol in a wider range of offerings including new streams in Health and Engineering.