More than 350 participants from across Canada, the United States and as far away as New Zealand will gather at Camosun College’s Lansdowne campus this week to participate in the third iteration of the college’s Indigenous adult education conference.
S’TEṈISTOLW̱ 2017 runs from Aug. 23 to 25 at Camosun’s Lansdowne and is billed as an international gathering for educators, scholars and knowledge keepers working in Indigenous adult education.
“I’m proud to say Camosun has been a provincial leader in post-secondary Indigenous education, programming and services for over 25 years and we have a deep college commitment to Indigenization,” says Camosun College President Sherri Bell. “Increasing access to and developing culturally-relevant programs, encouraging student retention and completion, enhancing educational partnerships, moving forward with our Truth and Reconciliation initiatives, strengthening community ties and our relationships with local Elders, educating allies and exploring Indigenous research are all highly important areas of action for Camosun and our educational community.”
Hosted by Eyēʔ Sqậ’lewen, the Centre for Indigenous Education and Community Connections, the goal of S’TEṈISTOLW̱ 2017 is to explore relationships, understanding, and to share knowledge and ideas to help the college move forward in the field of Indigenous education. The emphasis is on building relationships and networks of reciprocity—to share, learn and exchange with each other.
“We’re trying to transform what Indigenous education looks like in a post-secondary context—locally, provincially and internationally,” says Todd Ormiston, Chair of Indigenous Education at Camosun’s Centre for Indigenous Education & Community Connections. “We’re bringing together Indigenous and non-indigenous scholars, community members, educators and students to build relationships amongst each other and move forward Indigenous post-secondary education.”
Camosun is a leader amongst Canadian colleges in the field of Indigenous education and is committed to moving forward on the federal Truth and Reconciliation calls for action. Over 1,100 indigenous students are currently enrolled at Camosun in a variety of programs, the college has an established Indigenous Advisory Council, 60 courses and programs integrate Indigenous content, and partnerships with local Elders and Indigenous groups are essential to Camosun’s vision.