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Aboriginal Education Centre – UWindsor

UWindsor Aboriginal Education Centre joins campaign to promote postsecondary education

Aboriginal Education Centre at the University of Windsor will host an event to help launch the “Let’s Take Our Future Further” campaign on Wednesday, February 3, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the CAW Student Centre. The drop-in event will feature traditional singing and drumming.

The campaign, launched today by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) on behalf of the University of Windsor and the province’s other publicly funded universities, aims to celebrate the achievements of Aboriginal learners currently studying at Ontario universities, along with Aboriginal university graduates, who make a daily difference in their communities.

As part of the Let’s Take Our Future Further campaign, COU has created the website, featuring profiles and videos from 13 role models who are studying at, or have recently graduated from, Ontario universities.

The University of Windsor’s Aboriginal Student Ambassador and role model is Shayenna Nolan, a biology student who plans to study medicine. Russell Nahdee, coordinator of the UWindsor Aboriginal Education Centre, called her an obvious choice.

“We first met when she was a high school student, participating in our outreach activities like the Turtle Island summer camp,” he said. Now, in addition to her formal studies, Nolan volunteers for the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research “This gives us a chance to profile what a great student she is.”

University of Windsor President Alan Wildeman expressed support for the campaign.

“The future of Canada must be one in which people of First Nations can more easily pursue their education goals,” he said. “This campaign is all about shining a spotlight on Aboriginal learners who are inspiring others to succeed.”

Resource kits for Aboriginal learners transitioning into or considering attending an Ontario university will be distributed widely. Next week, an online video contest will launch on Twitter and Facebook asking Aboriginal learners currently enrolled in university to tell their story about how university education has taken their future further, and has also enriched the future of their communities.

The COU campaign comes just months after a report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which put a spotlight on the need to ensure equitable access to postsecondary education for Aboriginal students.

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