McGill’s School of Continuing Studies will receive a multi-year grant totalling over $1.2 million from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) to continue designing and delivering education programs for indigenous people. The AANDC accepted two proposals that are part of the School’s Online Courses for Northern Aboriginals in Canada project.
“We were absolutely ecstatic when we heard the news,” says Dr. Carmen Sicilia, Associate Dean and Director of Career and Professional Development at the School of Continuing Studies. “Ecstatic, as well as relieved. It means we can continue our working partnership with communities such as the Cree Nation of Chisasibi, and provide indigenous populations with the opportunity to access educational programs at McGill University.”
The McGill School of Continuing Studies currently offers online courses in Business Management and Entrepreneurship for Indigenous People, and will launch an Online Certificate in Information Systems in fall 2015. The School’s Career and Professional Development unit has been working closely with 10 communities in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory, and the Cree Nation of Chisasibi has been one of their strongest partners.
“This program is exactly what I was looking for,” says student Stephanie Jonah, who grew up in the Cree community of Waskaganish in the Eeyou Istchee territory. “It’s very practical, and it’s given me more confidence to suggest ideas, go after promotions and challenge myself at my present workplace.”
The Online Courses for Northern Aboriginals in Canada project consists of McGill credit courses tailored specifically for First Nations, Inuit and Métis people living in remote areas of Quebec and Northern Canada. Online courses in Business Management and Entrepreneurship for Indigenous People include topics such as accounting, public administration, communications, project management, and organizational behavior. The Online Certificate in Information System includes courses in programming techniques, database design, and information systems security; all classes are delivered in a flexible online format.
The School works closely with a local coordinator to oversee program administration, while Band Councils, local economic development offices, indigenous Nations and governments provide local resources such as computers and classrooms.
Learn more about the School of Continuing Studies’ online programming.