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Cambrian College Earns National Recognition for Indigenous Education

Apr 25, 2023

Photo: Cambrian College is the 2023 recipient of the CICan Indigenous Education Excellence Silver Medal. Cambrian received the award today in Montreal, (left to right): Denise Amyot, president and CEO, CICan; Ghislaine Goudreau, coordinator and professor of Indigenous Studies, Cambrian College; Bradie Granger, chair of Justice and General Studies, Cambrian College; Catherine A. Décarie, Associate V-P Relationship Management, TD Insurance; Peter Devlin, board chair, CICan.

SUDBURY – Cambrian College has won a Canada-wide award for its commitment to Indigenous education.

Today in Montreal, Cambrian was presented with the Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) Silver Award for Indigenous Education Excellence. CICan is a national organization that supports and advocates for Canada’s public post-secondary colleges and institutes.

“It is an incredible honour to be recognized in this way, because providing a learning environment that celebrates and respects Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island is one of our strategic priorities, and this award validates those efforts,” explains Kristine Morrisey, incoming President of Cambrian College.

It is the second time Cambrian has won CICan’s Silver Award for Indigenous Education Excellence. The college first earned the award in 2016. Since that time – under the leadership of Janice Clarke, Dean of the School of Justice, Community Services and General Studies; Bradie Granger Chair, Justice & General Studies and Ghislaine Goudreau, Coordinator/Professor, Indigenous Studies, Cambrian has:

  • Furthered its commitment to Indigenous education by signing the CICan Indigenous Education Protocol.
  • Introduced an Indigenous Transition Program to support Indigenous student success.
  • Developed new academic programs with an Indigenous specialization (Social Services Worker, General Arts and Science).
  • Created Indigenous-themed classrooms.
  • Hired several Indigenous faculty and introduced the role of Indigenous Coordinator.
  • Displayed visual elements around the college that share the 7 Grandfather Teachings.
  • Held various professional development opportunities for employees on the theme of Truth and Reconciliation.
  • Expanded Indigenous general education electives, language courses (Cree and Ojibway), and added micro-credentials in Indigenous Studies, Cree and Ojibway that are open to students and the community.
  • Included core courses embedding Indigenous knowledge and values in several programs throughout the Schools of Health Sciences, Community Services, and Business.
  • Developed a strong Indigenous Studies program (micro-credential and electives) available to all students.
  • Created scholarships and bursaries specifically for Indigenous students.

“At Cambrian, we are including more Indigenous knowledge, culture and values into what we teach and how we teach it,” adds Dr. Paula Gouveia, Cambrian’s Vice-President Academic responsible for equity and diversity. “It’s important that we include Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and doing across our programs and across our campus, because we are committed to turning words into action and truly responding to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”

Another key to Cambrian’s success when it comes to Indigenous education are the support services offered to students. The Wabnode Centre for Indigenous Services supports Indigenous, Métis, and Inuit students in their transition to college life. Wabnode provides traditional teachings and ceremonies throughout the academic year, as well as access to Elders.

Just last year, Cambrian officially opened Wiidokaaziwin (The Gathering Place), a new multi-purpose classroom, meeting room, and community space for traditional Indigenous teachings and ceremonies.

“We have come a long way since we first won the CICan award in 2016, and there is a lot more work to do, but this year’s silver medal shows we are definitely on the right track and a leader when it comes to Indigenous education,” says Ron Sarazin, Director of Wabnode. “It is not just about teaching the right material, it is about creating an atmosphere of respect, inclusion, and acceptance so that our Indigenous students can succeed in their studies, and we’re doing that.”

Interested in learning more about Cambrian College and its Indigenous programming and services? Visit

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Cambrian College is Northern Ontario’s largest college, with more than 100 programs. Cambrian’s main campus is in Greater Sudbury, with satellite centres in Espanola and Little Current. For more information about Cambrian College, click here.

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We acknowledge and respect that we are gathered on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe People of Turtle Island and proudly recognize our local host Atikameksheng Anishnawbek. We also recognize the contributions of Wahnapitae First Nation and the Metis Nation of Ontario.

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