College introduces indigenous program

Press Release

To help support a growing need for education focused on working with indigenous communities, Confederation College has established a new Indigenous Governance and Public Administration program.
“Confederation College is committed to acting upon the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, and in working with indigenous communities to provide opportunities in education and training leading to employment,” said Don Bernosky, Vice-President, Workforce Development at Confederation College.
“With the support of the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, we have developed a unique leadership program that utilizes technology to enhance the learning experience and provide access to those across our region,” he noted.
“The well-being of a community relies on effective, efficient and inclusive governance,” Bernosky stressed.
“The IGPA program will develop the skill set of our future leaders and support them in building relationships across communities that will be of benefit to all.”
A one-year Ontario College Graduate Certificate program for post-graduate students who want to expand their skill set in this highly-specialized area, both full- and part-time study options are available.
The program will prepare graduates for future leadership and policy-making roles, teaching how to build, manage, and sustain effective partnerships involving indigenous communities and organizations, public-sector organizations, business and industry, and educational institutions.
“As an indigenous woman who works daily in areas of governance, I have personally advocated for this type of program to happen,” said Wendy Landry, the mayor of the Township of Shuniah and a 1986 graduate of the college’s Law and Security program.
“In the reality of dealing with transparency, industry consultation, and other aspects of the business world, it is important that we, as First People, prepare our communities, our leaders, and our future for effective and strong governance going forward.
“This program is essential,” Landry stressed. “There has been extensive consultation and negotiation in the curriculum development, as well as a lot of input from communities.
“I am confident that this program will offer our communities something of value.”
Students in the program also may have an opportunity to complete a six- to nine-month work internship within a provincial government ministry or other organization.
Program funding and work internship support is being provided by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.
“I am very pleased Confederation College is launching a new certificate program in Indigenous Governance and Public Administration,” said Northern Development and Mines minister Michael Gravelle, who also is the MPP for Thunder Bay-Superior North.
“Post-secondary programs with a focus on indigenous education are essential for building stronger indigenous communities and a better future for all of Ontario,” he noted.
“The leadership skills that will be fostered by this program will help shape the people who will lead this region into the future.”
Part-time studies begin in September but there still is time to apply.
Full-time studies will begin in January.
Applicants should have a degree or diploma from an accredited university or college.
For more information or to apply, visit