M’CHIGEENG FN – Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute is 20 years closer to achieving its goal of providing life-long learning to Anishinabek Nation citizens.
“The place of knowledge” based in M’Chigeeng First Nation celebrated its 20th anniversary on May 29, 2014.
“Our vision is to inspire students to find their gifts to succeed in the world,” said Stephanie Roy, KTEI executive director. “Today we train upwards of 150 students a year, whether it is full-time or part-time, post-secondary or training opportunities. We are dedicated to life-long learning by providing an Anishinaabe community-based approach to education, training and business support services and opportunities.
“Our student success means not only our communities’ success, not only Manitoulin Island’s success but our Nation’s success. We believe our children will be continuing on and holding the torch to the realization of nationhood.”
Chris Pheasant entertained over 135 participants in the celebration by facilitating a gathering full of laughter and emotion, during which current and past students shared some of their experiences at KTEI.
“I’ve been a successful student for four years and for that I would to say Chi-Miigwetch to all the staff and my mentors along the way,” said Cyndil Corbiere, a graduate of KTEI’s high school, Native Early Childhood Education, and Transitions programs.
Dante Danville, Sheshegwaning First Nation, said: “I’m not even from this community and I felt as home when coming into KTEI.”
Kristan Panamick said: “To me KTEI stands for kindness.”
And Sheldon Migwans said: “Before I wasn’t able to live and be who I wanted to be. I found out that life is a beautiful journey.”
Lewis Debassige, one of the founders on hand for the celebration, said the work to establish KTEI started as early as 1980 or 1970, noting that M’Chigeeng was home to the first band- operated school in Ontario.
“We have people good enough and qualified enough to teach our own people our way.”
Debassige was one of seven original founders who were recognized, including Herman Green, Jean McGregor-Andrews, Donald Cada, Carlene Assinewai, Marie Eshkibok, and the late Beatrice George.
“We have to shape our own education. The kind of education that our young people need,” said M’Chigeeng Chief Joe Hare. “We saw young people here today that are taking Anishinaabemowin immersion. I am so glad to be here.”
Deputy Grand Chief Glen Hare brought congratulations from the Anishinabek Nation.
“To the youth – utilize this – use our education places. I support anything and everything you are doing.”
Acknolwedgment was made to the current KTEI Board of Directors: Chairperson Anna-Marie Abitong (Sagamok Anishnawbek), Carlene Assinewai (Aundek Omni Kaning First Nation), Kevin Mossip (Zhiibaahaasing First Nation), Carol Aguonie (Shequiandah First Nation), Charles Shawanda (Whitefish River First Nation), Ken Neegan (Constance Lake First Nation), Tammy Hardwick (Sheshegwaning First Nation) and Charlene Corbiere (M’Chigeeng First Nation).
Additional 20th anniversary celebration activities included raising the flag, creation of a KTEI family tree, facility tour and a celebratory round dance.
- See more at: http://anishinabeknews.ca/2014/06/12/ktei-completes-first-20-years/#sthash.u5ukOJoY.dpuf