While education does not fall under the mandate of the Quebec inquiry, commissioner Jacques Viens wanted to hear from officials at Kiuna college, a unique college in the province that has a curriculum that serves Indigenous students.
Kiuna College is located in the community of Odanak and means belongs to us in Anishinaabe.
An official testified Wednesday that there was a need for the college because Quebec’s curriculum didn’t meet the needs of the students.
“There was a need for culturally adapted programs, contents, ways of teachings for our students especially at the post-secondary level,” said Prudence Hannis, associate director.
Since 2013, 76 students from different First Nations across Quebec received their college diploma from Kiuna.
William Petiquay Quoquochi, an Atikamekw student from Wemotaci dreams of becoming an interior designer one day.
“Kiuna is really different from other Quebec post-secondary colleges,” he said. “The programs in Kiuna are unique, it’s very well organized.”
According to Hannis, Kiuna not only invests a lot of energy into academic competencies, but it also provides many services.
“We can provide a holistic approach to the support needed by the students we support and take care of all the needs that the students may have we have a food bank, we have daycare services, we support them with housing,” she said.
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