Living, Learning...Inviting Opportunities!

Niibin Giigdowin

Summer Communique 2019

Board Governance

The Board of Directors had a regular meeting on July 25th. As well, the Annual General Meeting was held on this same day in the afternoon. At the regular meeting, motions were passed on the financial variance report, the Audited statements by MNP, the Executive Director’s Report, that annual performance evaluation for the Executive Director and policy recommendations.  At the AGM, students shared their experience of training and their future employment outlook. Approximately 35 attendees came out to the AGM that commenced at 2:00 p.m.  

August 24-25th was the Board retreat held in Niagara Falls with professional development by Dr. K. Absolon of WLU and R. Mclean of McLean Consulting. The board of directors
retreat passed Phase I of the organizational restructuring in place commencing September 1, 2019. Phase II and Phase III will be further reviewed in January 2020. Pending governance board restructuring is expected to take place by 2023 in response to Education Transformation (ISC) and the Indigenous Institutes Act of 2017. Kenjgewin Teg will work closely with the communities to move forward in a way that supports community and the advancement of an exclusive training mandate.

Anishinabek Youth Ambassadors 2019

The 2019 iteration of AYA was again popular and productive. A full compliment of 25 youth engaged in programming in two streams. Cultural Stream Ambassadors engaged in programming which integrated language, ceremony, leadership and healthy living. This included students obtaining Paddle Canada Tandem Canoe Instructor Certification. New this year Trades Stream students engaged in the building of a Birch Bark Canoe as well as learning welding techniques while earning a Manufacturing Technology credit toward there OSSD!

Mshiigaade Miikan Program

Participants in the Mshiigaade Miikan program have acquired numerous employability skills this past Summer. In June, Josh Eshkawkogan joined the Mshiigaade Miikan team for a day of Birch Bark Basket making. He taught participants the cultural significance behind birch bark baskets for Anishinabek peoples; as well as the step by step process to making their own baskets. Participants acquired new knowledge and skills that they will be able to practice and pass on to future generations.

In July, Mshiigaade Miikan participants were able to take part in Safe Food Handling and Smart Serve training. The training provided participants with the opportunity to have certifications typically required to work within Manitoulin Island’s tourism industry. Additionally, participants had the opportunity to explore their creative side once again by attending a watercolour painting workshop with Lauren Sotak from 4elements Living Arts. Participants were taught watercolour techniques and given the opportunity to experiment with the various techniques. They walked away with not only new skills, but multiple art projects displayed in the Pathway room. Overall, community members continue to attain new traditional knowledge and skills through the Mshiigaade Miikan program at Kenjgewin Teg.

Graduation 2019

On June 27th, there was a total of 55 graduates at Kenjgewin Teg.  The ceremony was held adjacent to the new Anishinabek Skills Innovation and Research Centre.  
Ontario Secondary School Diploma – Kenjgewin Teg
Drew Burrowes
Phil DeBruin
Cordell White

General Education Diploma (GED) – Kenjgewin Teg
Alisha Butt-LeDain

Construction Estimator – Canadore College Certificate Program
Shawn Corbiere
William Cranston
Elijah Manitowabi
William Moroz
Jacinta Shawanda
Laura Shigwadja
Amber Talbot
David Wilson
Ronald Wouthuis

Trades Fundamentals – Canadore College Certificate Program
Preston Eshkawkogan
Tristan McGregor
Niihge McLeod
Terri Roy

Mechanical Techniques: Welder Fitter – Canadore College Certificate Program
James Atkinson
Kaden Cook
Dean Hare

Adult Educator – Canadore College Certificate Program
Steven Debassige
Melanie Francis
Wanda Kimewon
Lanell Mejaki
William Moroz
Christine Sarbu
Jacinta Shawanda
Gordon Soplet
Shari Sprack
Madeline Wemigwans
William Whitehawk

Personal Support Worker –Canadore College Certificate Program
Jason Forrest
Hailey Paibomsai-McGregor
Gabrielle Parent
Frances Taylor

Early Childhood Education - Anishinaabemowin – Canadore College Diploma Program
Ernestine Debassige
Tiffany McGregor
Natalie Osawamick-Mishibinijima
Jasmine Roy
Norma Solomon

Decolonizing Education – Laurier University Certificate Program
Melanie Francis

Teaching Ojibwe Additional Qualification (AQ) – Ontario College of Teachers
Alexandra Darnay

Chylene Day
Amy Debassige
Nicole Fox
Tiffany Gagan
Deidrie Gardner
Marjolaine Lapointe (non-OCT)
Giselle McGregor
Lissa McGregor
Falcon McLeod
Valerie (Hoy) O’Leary
Ninaatig Staats-Pangowish (
Nancy Peltier (non-OCT)


Workplace Skills Developments

Upon request and general interest, our team organized the following workplace development training sessions:
  • May 2, 2019 - Workplace and Teams; MFN Daycare; 17 participants
  • May 14, 2019 – Working at Heights – 12 participants  
  • Jun 26, 2019 - Working at Heights – 12 students

Additional Qualifications: Outdoor Experiential Education

This summer 11educators from the Manitoulin area and surrounding communities participated in our 2-week program lead by instructor Sarah Early, which focused on connecting to self, each other and the land. Some highlights from the participants’ two weeks together include: starting mornings in community with Nokomis in the teaching lodge; smudging, singing, drumming, and sharing gratitude. Together with Elder Josh Eshawkogan they created their own medicine bundles and harvested porcupine quills. They also learned about the water teachings and created their own copper pots. On their last day together, all participated in sweat lodge. The entire curriculum took place outdoors with engagement through making tie dye from vegetables, creating woodpecker noses from natural materials, making up songs from the perspective of an animal, picking sweet grass and spending time at Dreamer's Rock receiving teachings from our Aadziwin Facilitaor Wayne Trudeau and paddling the birch bark canoe made by our Anishinaabek Youth Ambassadors. The group of educators also had the opportunity to participate in the powerful Kairos Blanket Exercise which brought forth emotion and rich conversation. Over the course of the program the participants built their relationships learning from one another; sharing tears and lots of laughs! The fun continues as the 11 participants reunite in September during a weekend camp to share their independent project of choice; an assignment where they will teach one another new skills that connect them back to the land.
" We face many challenges on our road to Education, remember who you are they cannot take that anyway from you believe in your inner spirit, your fire and walk proudly on Mother Earth as she is our biggest teacher towards a better Education."

~Anonymous (feedback provided on student evaluation)


Additional Qualifications: Teaching First Nations Metis, and Inuit Children

This summer 4 educators from various Manitoulin and off-island communities participated in our 3-week program lead by instructor Kimberley Debassige, Hon. B.A., B. Ed, OCT, which focused on culture based, land based and experiential learning processes. Each day of the program started with ceremony engaging with the United Chiefs and Council of Mnidoo Mnising Preamble, offerings of gratitude and thanks, medicines and song. Time was spent on building relationship among participants, listening to each other’s stories of origin, who they are and where they are going in teaching children with their inherent gifts and skills. It was in taking this time to build a circle amongst peers which helped engagement with the course content focusing away from the dominant thought paradigms based on deficit theory but centering around identity as an Anishinaabek Nation and building relationships with allies. Spending time as a class by the waters set the stage for a visit with Dr. Pamela Tolouse who reminds that “As Indigenous people, as Anishinaabek, we have to remember that our ways of knowing and understanding reach beyond the curriculum guidelines.”  Will Morin from the University of Sudbury lead a journey of how Anishinaabemowin does just that. He wrote one word in Anishinaabemowin and gave it life, a story, a thought provoking meaning that inspired memory in each of the teachers. Language learning was a priority within the program and with language experts and storytellers, Jean Debassige and Rhonda Hopkins, a solid foundation in the meaning and purpose of Anishinaabemowin moved the educators through the rest of the course. Miigwech to Eria Bebonang (Re-telling of the Creation Story as told by Jim Dumont), Wayne Trudeau and Josh Eshkawkagon for their teahcings and wisdoms. Many moments were spent together as a group to re-visit relationship with Shkakamik-Kwe, the land, the waters, the medicines, the animals, with peers; becoming the overarching impetus to shifting thought paradigms.
" What does worldview mean to our First Nation, Metis and Inuit Children in the school system? We will support our children success towards their cultural identity as they continue to follow their dreams and their well-being. As we continue to speak Anishinaabemowin we are that much closer being connected to our inner spirit and the Land is our biggest teacher which is knowledge beyond curriculum.”

~Danette (participant of


Three Fires Confederacy

On Thursday August 8th Maamwi Naadmmadaa Integrated Service held the event for the Three Fires Confederacy at the Aundeck Omni Kaning Pow Wow grounds. The Three Fires Confederacy and Nationhood was presented by Gordon Waindubence at the Sunrise Ceremony it was wonderful with many people in participation.

The event moved on with a welcoming song and opening thanksgiving, followed by a welcoming address by Chief Patsy Corbiere. Josh Manitobwai then gave his presentation on the Treaty. Even though most of the morning it was raining, we still had lots of participants come to celebrate.

During the day, all organizations had booths and activities people could participate in. Kenjgewin Teg had three booths; Making medicine pouches with Journey Together, an information booth and a lacrosse demonstration. We had a beautiful lunch catered by Gwekwaadziwin Miikan staff. They had a BBQ with fresh meats from Burt farms and each organization made a fresh salad to serve. After Lunch the Mini Pow-wow commenced with drumming from three groups and dancers of all ages. During the Pow-wow the sun came out and it was a beautiful day despite the rain all morning. The Three Fires Confederacy turnout was amazing, it was nice to see people of all ages coming to the event to learn and participate.


Summer Camps @ Kenjgewin Teg 2019

“It was amazing and so much fun”. “The hair raising activity was scary, funny and pretty neat”.  These were a couple of comments from students who described their experience in one of the summer camp programs offered by Kenjgewin Teg this summer.  Three different camps were offered this year, with two being science related and the other being related to the Skilled Trades. The first Science Camp was July 15-20 in partnership with “Elephant Thoughts”, a charitable teacher run organization based out of Collingwood, ON.

The second Science Camp was held August 6-9 and in partnership with the University of Ottawa Engineering department.  Both of these camps had a wide variety of activities which inspired youth to think about future careers in the Science field.  The camps were designed to enourage creativity, enhance problem solving skills and promote interest in technology.  Some of the activities involved creating circuit boards, robotics, making crafts, creating volcanoes, 3-D printing, coding, kite making, to name a few.

The third camp was a Skilled Trades related theme in partnership with Skilled Trades Ontario.  Students were able to gain knowledge thru a variety of hands-on workshops and presentations.  They had a chance to put their carpentry skills to work by building birdhouses and making wooden flutes.  They also enhanced their knowledge on possible careers in the electrical field thru a presentation by Ontario Hydro.  They learned of the various activities and responsibilities that hydro workers have and the importance of safety in the workplace.   Inspiring chefs had the opportunity to cook up a traditional taco dinner and of course the opportunity to dine on their own culinary creations. A new generation of scone makers is on the way.

All in all, over 70 students had the opportunity to open their eyes, expand their thinking, and just to have fun as they “laughed and awed” in their Kenjgewin Teg summer camp experience.



Dibishgaademgak Anishinaabemowin - Measuring Anishinaabe Language

Kenjgewin Teg’s language assessment titled ‘Dibishgaademgak Anishinaabemowin,’ was created to help place a learner along a defined continuum of learning the Anishinaabe language. This assessment uses a rating approach where a master rater assigns performance rating to the language learners.  Research will continue at Kenjgewin Teg in the fall of 2019 with the lead R. Hopkins.

Figure 1. Measurement scale with four proficiency levels defined by three cut-points, 17 Kenjgewin Teg Staff Participants

Pathways Celebration @ Dreamers Rock

On June 3rd, 2019,  Kenjgewin Teg’s Pathways students joined in their Year-end celebration at Dreamers Rock on the Whitefish River First Nation. A teaching was provided by our Anishinaabe knowledge keeper Gloria Oshkawbewisens on the significance of visions, fasting and finding our unique gifts. Participants offered their tobacco prior to ascending the sacred site and were provided time to reflect on their own visions and aspirations in moving forward on their life’s journey. There were a total of 15 participants who attended the event.


National Science Camp @ Trent University

Kenjgewin Teg helped to coordinate the First Nation, Inuit, Youth Employment Strategy National Science camp held at Trent University. Approximately 75 campers were able to experience things like multiple science based activities including fish and Bethic surveys, experiencing things like the Black Oak Savanna or FNTI. These group of campers from all over the country were able to experience things that are not available in many of the remote communities they were from. It proves to be an excellent experience from many of them including getting to have a Mad Scientist Dance party put on by Turtle Concepts. We even had 3 Manitoulin campers this year!

Chiefs of Ontario Staff Retreat

On July 17th the Chiefs of Ontario came to Kenjgewin Teg for a staff retreat. During their time here we had the opportunity to educate what we do at Kenjgewin Teg. We started off with an opening circle in the outdoor teaching lodge then followed by a tour of the buildings, from there Godfrey was teaching them how to make minigan and explaining the medicinal properties behind it.  After the teaching interns, Corey and Dalton fried up some fish and we all enjoyed dinner. Following dinner, there was a medicine walk up the M’Chigeeng Hiking trail and for those who didn’t want to participate in the walk Godfrey was teaching how to make teas.  Everyone really enjoyed their time at Kenjgewin Teg and are looking forward to working with us in the future.

TPR Immersion Training August 13-15, 2019

A three (3) Day Immersion Training was held on August 13-15, 2019 called Anishinabemowin Immersion in the Classroom with approximately 15 participants.  It was intended for Language Teachers, New Immersion Teachers, Immersion Language Learners/Education Assistants; Language Carriers;  Resource Language Speakers and Second Language Learners of Anishinabemowin.  It was facilated by R. Hopkins and B. Anderson.  Participants learned:
  • Teaching Techniques using Total Physical Response (TPR)
  • Modeling Action Words
  • Animals, Commands, Vocabulary, Verbs
  • Storytelling
This workshop was first and second language learners. The Total Physical Response (TPR) is to help the students develop their comprehension skills.  This was a free workshop held at Kenjgewin Teg. 

Upcoming Programs and Events

  • Open house, “Save your Seat” in an accredited College training program for you @ August 29, 2019 for the fall semester  – Come and meet with a team member and decide on a training program that can meet your needs.  Inquire now online
  • Annual Fall Harvest, September 19, 2019 with Maamwi Naadmaada Partners of UCCMM Tribal Council.  
  • GRAND OPENING AND RIBBON CUTTING:  September 19, 2019, Grand Opening of the Anishinabek Skills Innovation Research Trades Centre at 10 am. Open Invitation to all to join the opening ceremony.
  • The Ontario Indigenous Centre of Excellence (OICOE) invites First Nation, Metis, and Inuit early years and child care educators to the: Indigenous Pedagogy in Early Years and Child Care Environments Gathering. Click Here  To be held on September 24, 25 and 26, 2019 at Kenjgewin Teg, Free, Limited Enrollment to 80 participants, Register Early to avoid disappointment

Daamnidaa Goojing: Play in Parks Program

In the Play in Parks program, we aspire to have young all children participate in activities that are fun, active, cultural, and educational. This program supports unstructured play; we believe in the importance of children playing and learning in forests, parks, meadows, and mud puddles. We aim to support indigenous and non-indigenous families to become more connected with the outdoor environment and natural elements.

We have traveled to different areas of the island to share our activities with the children, and families/educators. Some of the places we have set up at are: Mindemoya, Aundeck Omni Kaning, Little Current, Manitowaning, Sheguiandah, and Wiikemikoong. At our main site - Kenjgewin Teg site, the activites we have done were outdoor hikes, nature weaving, pinecone bird feeders, shelter building, tree piece decorating, nature rainbow scavenger hunts, and obstacle courses. The total amount of kids that have participated in play in parks were estimated at approximately 200.  Each site would have a different number of children in attendance which ranged from 5-25 children.

Daamnidaa Goojiing Summer students:
Nea Saunders
Alicia Maclean
Micheal Taite

Mnidoo Mnising Sharing & Leaning Centre for All ~ The Journey Together Program

Mnidoo Mnising Sharing & Leaning Centre for All ~ The Journey Together Program
The Mnidoo Mnising Sharing & Learning Centre for All / Journey Together Program provided a variety of workshops throughout the summer months.  Some of the programs were Land Based Learning & Exceptionalities, Circle Parenting, Mnidoo Aadziwin – Health of the Spirit, as well as attending Early On centres across the Manitoulin/Sudbury District to incorporate/implement Indigenous content. Resources and teachings were delivered on a wide variety of topics such as tobacco offerings, vision boards, traditional parenting workshops & making shakers.

The Building our Bundle Series consisted of Feather cases, Birch Bark baskets, Feast bundles, ribbon skirts, drum & shaker making.

The Akinomaage Series of programs have also been well attended with a variety of programs such as planting & offerings, sweetgrass picking and cattail harvesting – food/medicine/shelter.

The MMSLCA Team also presented at Evergreen Brickworks – The Future of School Ground Greening, sharing our insight of the importance of programming and the Indigenous lens. The presentation was very well received and have been invited to present at next years annual conference.  Some of Evergreen Brickworks staff also attended the MMSLCA/Journey Together quarterly professional development session on August 24th held at Kenjgewin Teg.   The PD session is geared towards ECE’s , Early Learning Educators from across our Manitoulin/Sudbury District. There were approximately 30 participants in attendance.  The next PD session will take place on Saturday November 2nd, 2019.

MMSLCA took part in the Rhythm of Learning in Nature hosted by York Region Nature Collaborative at Lake St. George, which consisted of creating an outdoor bush school for children and families.  A variety of teachings and workshops were shared on topics such as: Land as our First Teacher – Establishing and Maintaining Relationships out on the Land, loose parts and schema, Play helping and risky play.  The group’s reveal of the outdoor bush school was titled: Land as Our First Teacher: Earth Play Pop-Up Bush Learning Centre. The MMSCLA Staff was honored to take part in this development and look forward to incorporating and sharing what we have learned with our partners, educators & families.  

If you would like to learn more, please contact:
Melanie Francis – Early Years Coordinator Ext 221
Sophie Pheasant – Early Years Instructor Ext. 222
Nicole Abotossaway  - Early Years Team Liaison Ext. 226


The Team at Kenjgewin Teg is Growing!

There have been many new developments in the education sector over the last year and with new development comes growth and opportunities.  Kenjgewin Teg has been busy planning and forecasting the immediate human resource needs that will support students and community in achieving quality education programs and services.  We will see some changes to current staff who are taking on new roles and recruiting for additional positions.

We are pleased to announce the following staffing changes:

Stephanie Roy, currently the Executive Director, will have the title and responsibilities as President. The President’s position objective will be to focus on development and maintain relationships with local, provincial and federal entities that will support the vision, mission and strategic direction of Kenjgewin Teg.  The President will work with political leaders in lobbying efforts with Indigenous, Provincial and Federal governments to ensure fair and equitable funding opportunities
Shanna Hare, currently the Senior Administrative Officer, will be leading the post-secondary education and training sector as the Dean of Post-secondary Education effective September 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.  She will be responsible to provide strategic leadership and supervision of post-secondary programs in collaboration with employees and external partners, ensuring all students and community are provided with education and support services in a welcoming learning environment. The Dean of Post-Secondary Education will also ensure an organizational-wide marketing strategy that ensures the organization is represented in a consistent, professional manner through policies and guidelines.
Beverley Roy, currently the Director of Post-secondary and Training, will be leading quality assurance work within the organization as the Director of Quality Assurance effective September 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.  The Director of Quality Assurance ensures that organizational quality assurance policies, standards and procedures are created, aligned and balanced between the Mnidoo Mnising community, provincial and federal legislation requirements.  As a critical position supporting growth of Kenjgewin Teg as an Indigenous Institute in Ontario, appreciation and/or practice of traditional knowledge of Mnidoo Mnising and the Anishinabek Nation, and First Nation education and policy perspectives is critical.
Mark Gibeault, currently the Dean of Pathways, will be taking on a new role as Vice-President of Lifelong Learning. The Vice-President of Lifelong Learning will be responsible to provide strategic direction and leadership, in collaboration with senior management team, on all academic programs and curricula ensuring all students are provided with quality instruction and support services in a welcoming learning environment.  This position is critical in developing short and long term plans which guide and encourage students to develop and fulfill their full potential.
Michelle Taukei, who was previously seconded to M’Chigeeng First Nation as Director of Education, has returned to Kenjgewin Teg as the new Dean of Student Wellness and Student Services.  The Dean of Student Wellness and Services is responsible to provide leadership and direction to team members responsible for the emotional, spiritual, and social needs of the student population at Kenjgewin Teg.  This position’s focus is to ensure supports and services are provided to ensure the personal well-being of students in order to support student success.

Kenjgewin Teg will soon be recruiting new team members for the following positions:

  • Dean of Pathways

  • Teaching and Learning Programs Coordinator (January 2020 start date)

  • Education Policy Analyst

  • Custodian – part-time

  • Director of Education – secondment to M’Chigeeng First Nation

  • Education Navigator

  • Administrative Support/Coordinator - SLS

  • Numeracy Coach

Keep an eye on the Kenjgewin Teg website, social media and news outlets in the next few weeks for the employment postings.

374 Highway 551, Box 328
M’Chigeeng, ON P0P 1G0
T 705.377.4342  F 705.377.4379

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