Enji giigdoyang – Office of Indigenous Initiatives

The Office of Indigenous Initiatives offers a number of experiences for Indigenous children and youth, on campus and in community, including summer camps, tutoring programs and youth gatherings. 

Biidaaban Academic Support (BAS)

Tutoring program for Indigenous youth ages 5-17.

Biidaaban Youth Group (BYG)

After school homework program for Indigenous youth ages 5-12.

Debwendizon Indigenous Youth Education Gathering

Indigenous youth from northern secondary schools visit campus to learn about university life from students, faculty and staff. 

NUScience Explorations

A summer camp for children ages 8-12.

Wiidooktaadwin Indigenous Mentorship Initiative (WIMI)

A mentorship program for Indigenous youth ages 13-17 led by university students. 

Youth Experience Camp

A summer camp for children ages 3-8.

Nipissing University is located in the traditional lands of Nipissing First Nation, an Anishnaabek community along the shores of Lake Nipissing, with several First Nations located within a 100 km radius. James Bay Cree, Algonquin and Métis peoples also live, go to school and work in North Bay. The University has built respectful and reciprocal relationships with Indigenous communities regionally through the Nipissing University Indigenous Council on Education (NUICE) which includes representation from regional First Nations, as well as Metis and urban Indigenous service organizations. They meet two or more times per year to provide guidance and advice to Nipissing University and have representation on the Nipissing University Board of Governors and Academic Senate. A representative of Nipissing First Nation is a member of the Board of Governors.

Enji giigdoyang, the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, is committed to supporting students and community on and off campus.  

Nipissing University Academic Programs

Our Schulich School of Education has offered its Indigenous Education Programs for over thirty-five years, with well over 700 graduates across Ontario. The Indigenous Teacher Education Program, Teacher of Indigenous Languages as a Second Language, and Indigenous Classroom Assistant Diploma programs allow students to return to their home communities for placement while they complete their studies. The Schulich School of Education is currently partnering with Bimose Tribal Council and Oshki-Pimace-O-Win: The Wenjack Education Institute for community-based delivery of the programs.

Our Faculty of Arts and Science offers a Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Studies with an Anishnaabe focus and supports transition to university for Indigenous students through the Indigenous Foundations Program and the Summer Indigenous Institute. Innovative aspects of the Indigenous Foundations Program and the Summer Indigenous Institute include the ample holistic support provided by the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, a peer model, and experiential learning opportunities through Indigenous pedagogies and land-based learning.

Biidaaban Community Service-Learning (BCSL)

Your organisation supports Indigenous community? Find out how a University student volunteer can enhance your capacity to carry-out the important work you do. 

Biidaaban Academic Support (BAS)

Tutoring supports for Indigenous youth.

Biidaaban Youth Group (BYG)

After school homework program for Indigenous youth. 

Wiidoooktaadwin Indigenous Mentorship Programs

A mentorship program for Indigenous youth in six local secondary schools.

Indigenous Student Success

Enji giigdoyang, the Office of Indigenous Initiatives continues to support Indigenous Student Success through academic, personal, and cultural programs and services on campus and in the community. We offer ongoing volunteer opportunities, experiential learning, cultural activities, academic workshops, financial support, tutoring, peer mentorship and dedicated Student Success Coordinators who support Indigenous students as they navigate the university. Additionally, the university offers the support of the Dibaadan Student Counsellor on campus.

Research with Indigenous Peoples and Communities

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Partnerships

Nipissing University partners with First Nations, tribal councils, urban Indigenous service organizations, and community organizations locally and regionally on events, workshops, and initiatives. 

 

Director

Staff

Administrator

If you need assistance or have any questions please contact one of the Office of Indigenous Initiatives staff listed below:​​​

Spaces & Requests

Treaty Learning Centre (L334)

The purpose of the Treaty Learning Centre is to acknowledge the significant history of treaty-making between First Nations and the Crown in Canada. The statement that “We are all treaty people” acknowledges treaty-making as a foundational relationship in Canada. The Treaty Learning Centre is activated through materials and resources and knowledge shared through talks and traditional cultural teachings. It is a place of learning that values traditional cultural knowledge and oral histories of treaty-making equally with historical understandings of treaty. The Treaty Learning Centre is a space to learn about the continued significance of treaty today.

The Treaty Learning Centre is a shared space that is managed collaboratively by Enji giigdgoyang, the Office of Indigenous Initiatives at Nipissing University and the First Peoples Centre at Canadore College. 

The Treaty Learning Center can be utilized for sharing circles, thesis defenses, teachings, research talks, and educational sessions by the campus community and invited guests.  Events can be booked by contacting the Secretary to the Director of Indigenous Initiatives at (705) 474-3450 ext. 4899. Smudging may take place in the Treaty Learning Center with prior request (72 hours) to the Secretary. Please also see the smudging policy.

Please respect the shared space and do not remove any materials or items. Please leave the furniture as it is configured.   

Tipi (Courtyard by the Sideways Stairs)

Traditionally a home, the tipi is a gathering place for an intergenerational community -- students and their families, Elders and community – to be together and learn.

There are specific teachings about the symbolism and meaning of the tipi for Anishnaabe, Cree and other Indigenous peoples. The tipi’s structure is a symbolic representation of the core principles of the practice and approach of Enji giigdoyang, the Office of Indigenous Initiatives’ reciprocal, balanced and responsible relationships with students, families and communities.

The tipi is a place for experiential learning, especially in relation to Indigenous knowledge, which includes learning from Elders and Indigenous knowledge holders. It is also an alternative classroom space. Sharing circles, educational activities, reflection, and smudging take place in the tipi. Smudging can occur without prior permission due to the outdoor location of the tipi. The tipi is for use by the campus community and invited guests.  It will be raised each spring and lowered each winter.  

Events held in the tipi can be booked by contacting the Secretary to the Director of Indigenous Initiatives at (705) 474-3450 ext. 4899. Please discuss a fire within the tipi with the Secretary to the Director of Indigenous Initiatives, as there are specific permissions needed prior to the booking of a fire. Ten chairs are stored inside the tipi. Blankets for use in the tipi can be borrowed from the Secretary and returned after the event has concluded.  Please respect the space and do not remove any items.

Smudging Policy & Requests

Approved August, 2016 by the Nipissing University Indigenous Council on Education (NUICE).

Nipissing University recognizes that Indigenous students, faculty, staff and community engage in a variety of traditional ceremonies, including but not limited to smudging. This policy is meant to provide guidance to the university community in engaging in the traditional cultural practice of smudging on campus.

Purpose

Nipissing University supports and respects traditional cultural ceremonies and recognizes that smudging is a form of ceremony and is therefore permitted on campus.

The Tobacco Control Act, 1994, S.O. 1994, Chapter 13 recognizes that smudging and tobacco use for traditional Aboriginal cultural or spiritual purposes are exempt.

The Nipissing University Smoking Policy acknowledges this exemption: “This policy acknowledges the Tobacco Control Act, section 13, under which it makes exemption for the use of tobacco by Aboriginal people for traditional cultural purposes. Nipissing University recognizes tobacco, sage, sweetgrass and Cedar as traditional medicines for ceremonial purposes to promote unity, friendship and support. Aboriginal programming develops respect and knowledge of the sacred medicines which are essential to building an enhanced understanding of Indigenous peoples of Canada.”

Definition

Smudging is a traditional Aboriginal cultural practice involving the burning of sacred medicines including tobacco, sage, sweetgrass and cedar.

Rationale

The policy acknowledges and supports the Nipissing University Strategic Plan 2015-2020 in the pillars of The Student Experience and Community Engagement. The Nipissing University Strategic Plan 2015-2020 states that “Connections between Nipissing University and the communities we serve are vital. Our campuses each have strong connections locally, as well as to Aboriginal communities and communities of interest” (Community Engagement). Additionally, two priorities identified include: “Create bridges to success, especially for students from northern communities, and Aboriginal, first generation, and international learners” and “Encourage diversity in our student body, faculty, and staff” (The Student Experience).

The policy is in alignment with the Aboriginal Strategic Plan 2015-2019 approved January 29, 2015 by the Nipissing University Aboriginal Council on Education. The Aboriginal Strategic Plan is rooted in the Guiding Enji Giigdoyang Principles, which include the support of “the ethical inclusion of Indigenous knowledge in classrooms and curriculum” and “increased Aboriginal representation on campus within a welcoming, culturally supportive environment.”

Policy

Nipissing University supports the practice of smudging for different purposes on campus, including but not limited to cultural events, for community engagement, or engaging with Indigenous pedagogies in the classroom. Examples of events include one-on-one sessions with Elders or staff, opening/closing prayers, feasts, sacred circles, gatherings, meetings, powwows, drumming and singing.

Please contact the Secretary to the Director, Indigenous Initiatives to schedule a smudge at least 72 hours in advance at 705.474.3450 ext. 4899 or via email at biindgen@nipissingu.ca.

Nipissing University is located in the traditional lands of Nipissing First Nation, an Anishnaabek community along the shores of Lake Nipissing, with several First Nations located within a 100 km radius.

We welcome Indigenous students, their families, Elders, youth and children within inclusive programs in Enji giigdoyang, the Office of Indigenous Initiatives.

In the Nbisiing dialect of Anishnaabemwin, Enji giigdoyang means "where we come to meet, discuss and talk about things," which is the culture we hope to foster. We enhance the educational experience through a holistic approach to academic, personal, and cultural support.​ We honour one another's life experiences and invite you to connect with our campus community and guests of the university in workshops and events on campus.

Indigenous Student Success

Enji giigdoyang, the Office of Indigenous Initiatives continues to support Indigenous Student Success through academic, personal, and cultural programs and services on campus and in the community. We offer ongoing volunteer opportunities, experiential learning, cultural activities, academic workshops, financial support, tutoring, peer mentorship and dedicated Student Success Coordinators who support Indigenous students as they navigate the university. Additionally, the university offers the support of the Dibaadan Student Counsellor on campus.

Enji giigoyang, the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, organizes Indigenous Week and the Enji giigdoyang Speaker Series annually with talks, workshops, and film screenings by Indigenous knowledge holders, professionals, writers, scholars, artists, and filmmakers. Please check the Nipissing University Events Calendar or look for posters on campus and in the Enji giigoyang student lounge for upcoming events. Everyone is welcome to attend! 

Volunteer Opportunities

Indigenous Self-Identification

At Nipissing University, students of Indigenous cultural and/or ancestral background can choose to self-identify through a voluntary and confidential online process. By doing so, students connect to the on-campus Indigenous student community and have increased access to information about specialized programs and services.  

Student Employment Opportunities

There are many opportunities for on-campus employment at Nipissing University. An on-campus job can be a convenient way to gain valuable work experience and make some money while completing your degree. Explore Nipissing University's Employment Opportunities section for more information. 

Office of Indigenous Initiatives Staff Profiles

Coming soon!

Nipissing University is located in the traditional lands of Nipissing First Nation, an Anishnaabek community along the shores of Lake Nipissing, with several First Nations located within a 100 km radius.

Please consider the following resources as you plan for teaching and research annually.

Biidaaban Community Service-Learning

Find Experiential Learning opportunities for your students and support local Indigenous community. 

Territorial Acknowledgement

The Nipissing University Indigenous Council on Education (NUICE), Academic Senate and Board of Governors have passed a land acknowledgment. Please consider adding the acknowledgement to course syllabi or your email signature.

As we begin this [insert event], I would like to acknowledge that we are in the territory of the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850 and that the land on which we gather is the Nipissing First Nation Traditional Territory and the traditional territory of the Anishnabek. We respect and are grateful to hold this event on these lands with all our relations

Faculty Profiles

Coming soon!

Research with Indigenous Peoples and Communities

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Resources for Faculty 

These resources have been gathered by our staff. Please feel free to access and share with your colleagues. 

Space and Smudge Requests

For more information, or to book a space or a smudge request, please see the contact us.

 

Nipissing University is located in the traditional lands of Nipissing First Nation, an Anishnaabek community along the shores of Lake Nipissing, with several First Nations located within a 100 km radius.

We welcome Indigenous students, their families, Elders, youth and children within inclusive programs in Enji giigdoyang, the Office of Indigenous Initiatives.

In the Nbisiing dialect of Anishnaabemwin, Enji giigdoyang means "where we come to meet, discuss and talk about things," which is the culture we hope to foster. We enhance the educational experience through a holistic approach to academic, personal, and cultural support.​ We honour one another's life experiences and invite you to connect with our campus community and guests of the university in workshops and events on campus.

Academic Programs

Our Schulich School of Education has offered its Indigenous Education Programs for over thirty-five years, with well over 700 graduates across Ontario. The Indigenous Teacher Education Program, Teacher of Indigenous Languages as a Second Language, and Indigenous Classroom Assistant Diploma programs allow students to return to their home communities for placement while they complete their studies. The Schulich School of Education is currently partnering with Bimose Tribal Council and Oshki-Pimace-O-Win: The Wenjack Education Institute for community-based delivery of the programs.

Our Faculty of Arts and Science offers a Bachelor of Arts in Native Studies with an Anishnaabe focus and supports transition to university for Indigenous students through the Indigenous Foundations Program and the Summer Indigenous Institute. Innovative aspects of the Indigenous Foundations Program and the Summer Indigenous Institute include the ample holistic support provided by the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, a peer model, and experiential learning opportunities through Indigenous pedagogies and land-based learning.

Admissions for Indigenous Students

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Debwendizon Indigenous Youth Education Gathering

Indigenous youth from northern secondary schools visit campus to learn about university life from students, faculty and staff. We hope that you will join us!

Indigenous Student Success

Enji giigdoyang, the Office of Indigenous Initiatives continues to support Indigenous Student Success through academic, personal, and cultural programs and services on campus and in the community. We offer ongoing volunteer opportunities, experiential learning, cultural activities, academic workshops, financial support, tutoring, peer mentorship and dedicated Student Success Coordinators who support Indigenous students as they navigate the university. Additionally, the university offers the support of the Dibaadan Student Counsellor on campus.

Enji giigoyang, the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, organizes Indigenous Week and the Enji giigdoyang Speaker Series annually with talks, workshops, and film screenings by Indigenous knowledge holders, professionals, writers, scholars, artists, and filmmakers. Please check the Nipissing University Events Calendar or look for posters on campus and in the Enji giigoyang student lounge for upcoming events. Everyone is welcome to attend! 

 

Events

Enji giigoyang, the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, organizes Indigenous Week and the Enji giigdoyang Speaker Series annually with talks, workshops, and film screenings by Indigenous knowledge holders, professionals, writers, scholars, artists, and filmmakers. We also partner with academic departments on campus and organizations in the community to co-present some events each year. Please check the Nipissing University Events Calendar or look for posters on campus and in the Enji giigdoyang student lounge for upcoming events. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Past Events

Between 2013 and 2019, Nipissing University and the Office of Indigenous Initiatives welcomed distinguished scholars, professionals, artists, and community leaders to speak on campus in partnership with multiple community organizations. Highlights include: 

  • 2019 - Interactive Reading of the novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow, with author Waubgeshig Rice, Wasauksing First Nation. Keynote for the Undergraduate Research Conference
  • 2016 - “Reflections on the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 20 Years Later” with Dr. Marlene Brant-Castellano, Co-Director of Research, RCAP, Dr. Frederic Wein, Deputy Director of Research, RCAP, and with Dr. Mike DeGagné, President and Vice-Chancellor, Nipissing University
  • 2016 - “Unraveling Community in Indigenous-University Research Collaborations” by Indigenous Scholar-in-Residence, Dr. Shauneen Pete, Executive Lead of Indigenization and Faculty of Education, University of Regina, as Keynote for Centre for Interdisciplinary Collaboration in the Arts and Science series
  • 2016 - “Reading Birdie as the Letter of the Law: Canadian Fictions and Indigenous Truths” with Dr. Tracy Lindberg, author of Canada Reads 2016 Shortlisted novel, Birdie, and Faculty, University of Ottawa, as Keynote for International Women’s Week
  • 2016 - “Reconciliation in Ontario” with Maurice Switzer, member of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, and David Zimmer, the Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation for Ontario
  • 2016 - Launch of RBC Treaty Learning Centre at Nipissing University
  • 2016 - Launch of Reconciliation North Bay with June Commanda, Elder of Nipissing First Nation, Dr. Mike DeGagné, President and Vice Chancellor of Nipissing University, and Dakota Heon, student at Nipissing University
  • 2016 - “Indigenous Education and the Way Forward” with Governor General David Johnston, student speaker Autumn Varley, Dr. Katrina Srigley, and Clint Davis, Chair of the Board of Directors for the Nunatsiavut Group as part of The KaNaTa Conversations
  • 2015 - “Up Ghost River and Issues in the Independent Assessment Process” with author Edmund Metatawabin, co-sponsored by the Aboriginal Student Council and the Office of Indigenous Initiatives
  • 2015 - “Closing the Gap: A New Era for First Nations in Canada” Lecture by Perry Bellegarde, National Chief, Assembly of First Nations
  • 2014 - “Ethical Research Relationships with Indigenous Peoples” co-presented with Dr. Katrina Srigley, Nipissing University and Glenna Beaucage, Nipissing First Nation (regarding the Nipissing Warriors Project)
  • 2014 - “Ethics of Research Involving Indigenous Peoples and Communities” with Dr. Marlene Brant-Castellano, Professor Emeritus, Trent University
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Enji giigdoyang Speaker Series 

  • 2018 - “Anishinabek Child Well-Being Law Implementation” with Adrienne Pelletier
  • 2018 - “My Role in the Relationships with Ininiimowin (Cree Language) and Tipaachimowin (Story) ” with Lorraine Sutherland
  • 2017 - “She Speaks Alongside the Water: Environmental Panel” with Autumn Peltier, Dr. Carly Dokis, Paige Restoule and Stephanie Peltier with an opening by Carol Guppy for Treaties Recognition Week in Ontario 
  • 2017 - “The Significance of Treaty Today” with Fred Bellefeuille
  • 2017 - “Beyond Canada 150” with Maurice Switzer, Alderville First Nation and member of the Ontario Human Rights Commission
  • 2017 - “Curatorial Talk: Inviting Materials” with curator, Lisa Myers
  • 2017 - “Freedom Sings: Land/Bodies/Resurgence” with Dr. Leanne Simpson, Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer and artist of Alderville First Nation
  • 2017 - Dibaadan Motivational Guest Speaker Sid Bobb, Co-Artistic Director of Big Medicine Studio
  • 2017 - “BLACKBEAR” Warrant Officer Sheldon Quinn, First Nations and the Canadian Armed Forces
  • 2016 - “Anishnaabe Mino-Biimaadiziwin: A Traditional Model of Teaching and Learning in the Academy” with Dr. Renee Bedard, Nipissing University 
  • 2016 - Wampum Teachings with Maurice Switzer, Alderville First Nation and Ken Maracle, distinguished Indigenous knowledge holder
  • 2016 - “Two-eyed Seeing, Wise Practices in Indigenous Health Research and Application for Indigenization” with Dr. Cindy Peltier, Nipissing University 
  • 2014 - “Time for Reflection” with Sid Bobb, Co-Artistic Director of Big Medicine Studio 
  • 2014 - “Walking the Path” with George Couchie, retired officer of the Ontario Provincial Police and Nipissing First Nation member
  • 2014 - “Importance of Indigenous Language” with Muriel Sawyer, Deputy Chief, Nipissing First Nation 
  • 2014 - “Alive with Breath” a talk with filmmaker, Jules Koostachin 
  • 2014 - Trick or Treaty film screening with Alanis Obamsawin, master Indigenous documentary filmmaker, at the Capitol Centre. The film was introduced by the late Dr. John Long, author and advisor to the Mushkegowuk, and was followed by a Q & A with the filmmaker.

Indigenous Week Events 

  • 2019 - Traditional Teaching on Smudging by Elder Carol Guppy from Temagami
  • 2019 - “The Circle is Strong: Family, Identity, and the Child Welfare System” with Nipissing Alumnus, Autumn Varley, of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation 
  • 2019 - “Treaty Foundations: The Relevance of the Covenant Chain to the Robinson Huron Treaty” with Alan Ojiig Corbiere, M’Chigeeng First Nation
  • 2019 - “Acknowledging the Truth, Reconciling the Past, and Honouring Community Voices” with Dr. Jenny Kay Dupuis of Nipissing First Nation, a talk on her award-winning book I am Not a Number. She was accompanied by language speakers Dr. Muriel Sawyer, Geraldine McLeod, and Tory Fisher of Nipissing First Nation who shared their experiences translating the book from English to Nishnaabemwin 
  • 2018 - Holistic Support of Indigenous Students, a discussion of the Diibaadan project with Maurice Switzer, Neva Isaac, Cindy Hare and Dakota Heon facilitated by Tanya Lukin-Linklater
  • 2018 - “Maggie and Me: A Healing Dance” performed by Christine Friday of Temagami First Nation followed by an artist talk
  • 2018 - Traditional Teaching on Medicines with Perry McLeod-Shabogesic, Nipissing First Nation 
  • 2018 - Colonization Road - Film screening and talk with filmmaker, Michelle St. John. 
  • 2016 - “They are all Somebody’s Daughter,” a singing workshop and participatory performance with Peter Morin, artist and faculty at OCAD University
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  • 2016 - Curatorial talk with Jordan Wilson, award-winning co-curator of the exhibition, ćǝsnaɁǝm, the city before the city 
  • 2016 - “The Treaty Right to Vote” with Maurice Switzer, member of the Ontario Human Rights Commission
  • 2015 - “Building Relationships in Community Through Indigenous Research” with Dawn Lamothe, Urban Aboriginal Strategy Coordinator, and Paige Restoule, graduate student at Nipissing University
  • 2015 - “Reveries of a Solitary Indian” with Associate Professor Dale Turner, Dartmouth College 
  • 2015 - Traditional Teaching on Smudging with elder John Sawyer, Nipping First Nation
  • 2015 - Drum Workshop with Gerald McComb, Indigenous artist and Alumnus of Nipissing University 
  • 2015 - Beading Workshop with Brenda Lee, Indigenous artist 
  • 2015 - Traditional Singing with Tasheena Sarazin, Indigenous singer

Symposia

  •  2019 - Symposium on Indigenous Student Transition with community education panel, Indigenous student panel, a keynote by Dr. Sheila Cote-Meek and presentations by staff and administration working in Indigenous student transition 
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  • 2014 - Symposium on Indigenous Student Transition with a keynote by Dr. Marie Battiste, and panels with staff, faculty and elders working to support Indigenous student transition
  • 2014 - Maadhookiwin - Sharing Symposium regarding the Treaty Learning Centre in partnership with Anishnabek/the Union of Ontario Indians, Nipissing First Nation and Canadore College. 

 

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