Algoma University has been given a very Special Mission, one that connects to its place on this historical site.
The land on which Algoma University now sits was provided by Chief Shingwauk and his community for the express purpose of educating the Anishinaabe people in the way of the European people that came to this territory, while teaching the newcomers how to live in harmony with the Anishinaabe people and all of creation.
As part of the transformational efforts we are undertaking to move the Nation’s priority of healing and reconciliation forward, we will use our history and stories to teach the truth about the residential schools history in Canada while at the same time, moving forward with Chief Shingwauk’s original vision for education on this site to be one of cross-cultural learning and teaching.
Algoma University is committed to being a welcoming, inclusive, safe, and respectful learning community; one that values the opportunities to learn from and with students, staff and visitors from all parts of the world. This is what makes Algoma University such a special place.
Chief Shingwauk (1773 – 1854) develops the idea of a “teaching Wigwam” for the Anishinaabek
First “Shingwauk” mission school built in Sault Ste. Marie
Shingwauk’s sons Chief Augustin Shingwauk and Chief Henry Buhkwuijenene, along with missionary Edward Wilson, start Shingwauk Home for Native children at Garden River; building burns down six days later
School rebuilt on 90 acres of land purchased by Wilson (AU and SKG’s current site)
Wilson deeds land to Anglican Church under condition that it is held in permanent trust for the education of Native youth
Wawanosh Home for Girls opens north of the village centre; some years later the girls are relocated to the Shingwauk Home
Existing main brick building constructed on Shingwauk site to replace original stone building
Anna McCrea Public School opens on Shingwauk property
Sir James Dunn Secondary School opens on Shingwauk property
Algoma University College gains affiliation with Laurentian University
AUC offers first classes in several buildings on the Cambrian College Campus (now Sault College of Applied Arts and Technology)
Keewatinung Anishinaabek Institute opens as a centre for culture, education and research
Shingwauk closes as a residential school
AUC and Keewatinung Institute move to Shingwauk property
Principles of Association agreed upon by University and Keewatinung Institute
Anglican Diocese sells 35 acres of the Shingwauk site to AU
Keewatinung Institute close
Shingwauk Project is founded
AUC accepts the Thunderbird Flag as a gift from the Anishinaabek community
First Anishinaabek representative is added to AUC’s Board of Governors
First Shingwauk Residential School reunion
AUC Board sets up committee to study implications of applying for independent charter
Board increases its composition to three Anishinaabek representatives
First Nations request name change to Shingwauk University; Senate and Board of Governors pass supportive resolutions
Second Shingwauk Residential School Reunion: “The Future of the Shingwauk as a First Nations/Canadian Education and Research Centre.”
Garden River First Nation files $10 million lawsuit against Anglican Church for 90 acres of land, including AUC land
Full-time Ojibway language professor hired
Formal independence charter application for Shingwauk University sent to Minister of Education and Training; charter application not granted
Formal independence charter application for Shingwauk University sent to Minister of Education and Training; charter application not granted
Lawsuit settled; Shingwauk Education Trust gains title of 20 acres of land plus $772,000 for loss of 35 acres AUC Campus
Aboriginal University Education Needs Assessment completed; program planning for a BA in Aboriginal Studies
The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) issues its report and the Aboriginal Healing Foundation is established
Introduction of a Certificate in Interdisciplinary Aboriginal Studies
Third Shingwauk Reunion; Formalization of Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association and “Declaration of Shingwauk Reunion 1996”
AUC Senate and Board call for establishment of Shingwauk University Development Task Force
Introduction of a 3-year BA in Anishinaabemowin
First meeting, Shingwauk University Development Task Force 2001 Establishment of Joint Working Group with Shingwauk Education Trust 2001 Introduction of 4-year BA in Community Economic and Social Development (Northern and Aboriginal focus)
The Shingwauk site is used as a pilot for Alternative Dispute Resolution through the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association by Indian Residential School Resolution Canada. Founding of the National Residential School Survivors Society, housed first at SET and later at Batchewana First Nation.
Mamaweswen Training Institute offers a University Access Program in partnership with AUC to an initial class of 10 students
Shingwauk Education Trust, Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig and AUC sign the Covenant, agreeing to work together on a foundation of mutual respect in pursuit of their goals to provide quality education to Anishinaabe students and to students of all cultural backgrounds.
AUC, the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association, and the National Residential School Survivors Society formalize their partnership and shared responsibility for the Shingwauk Archives.
The Anglican Diocese returns a house situated on trust land and no longer used by the Diocese to Shingwauk Education Trust.
The Ontario Legislature grants AUC its charter, including the Special Mandate for “cross-cultural education between Aboriginal communities and other communities, in keeping with the history of AUC and its geographic site.”
The Prime Minister of Canada apologizes to Indigenous people on behalf of Canada.
Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig receives accreditation through the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC)
Shingwauk Education Trust receives federal SIFF funding as well as provincial funding to construct a $12 million building on SET land, the Discovery Centre
Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig receives operating funding from the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD)
Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig establishes its own Board of Governors, separate from the Board of the Shingwauk Education Trust
It is the special mission of the University to,
- Be a teaching-oriented university that provides programs in liberal arts and sciences and professional programs, primarily at the undergraduate level, with a particular focus on the needs of Northern Ontario; and
- Cultivate cross-cultural learning between Aboriginal communities and other communities, in keeping with the history of Algoma University College and its geographic site.
Concerned for the survival and mibadziwin (well-being) of the Anishinaabe Nation, but equally conscious of the potential benefit of cross-cultural sharing and learning, Chief Shingwauk developed a strategic plan and way forward for his people.
A kinoomaage gamig (Teaching Wigwam) lay at its core.
7 Grandfather Teachings
Ojibway tradition tells of the Seven Grandfathers who were given the responsibility by the Creator to watch over the people living on earth.
They gave to the people, seven teachings that would show them the way to live in harmony, spirituality and with Mother Earth. RESPECT, to have honour for all of Creation. WISDOM, to cherish knowledge is to have wisdom. HUMILITY, to know humility is to know yourself as a sacred part of creation. BRAVERY, to be able to face the foe with integrity. HONESTY, to be honest in facing a situation. TRUTH, to have truth is to know all of these things. LOVE, to know love is to know peace.
“The Shingwauk School never closed. It just entered a new phase of development. It has to be given a chance to finish what it started. It has to put back what it took away. It will be the people who went there that will care. Bring the people together. Let them gather and they will know what to do.”
Dr. Dan Pine Sr
Grandson of Shingwaukonse, 1979
The opportunity to share and learn in a respectful way, using the Anishinaabe worldview perspective; courses that allow for experiential participation for all students.
Keeping in mind; the vision of Chief Shingwaukonse, a teaching wigwam that allows for everyone to learn from each other, to relationship build and use the sense of community to participate in ways of knowing and doing that allow all students to benefit.
Staying True to the Special Mission
Events and programming are delivered to encourage student success and help promote and celebrate Anishinaabe culture on campus.
Opportunities include Gathering at the Rapids Pow Wow, Sharing Circles, Ceremonial Feasts/Soup & Bannock Days, elders’/youth gatherings, ceremonial arbour, Anishinaabe Research Symposium, Taking Care of our Land Symposium, Akii (Land) & Environmental Stewardship certification, First Nation Social Policy and Community Development certification, SHIFT Training, and many more.
Addendum to the Covenant
November 8, 2018
The twelve years since our Covenant was entered into have been successful. It has seen the successful development of the Shingwauk Education Trust and the coming into being of the Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig as a means to provide educational opportunities and resources in living out our mutual commitment to the restoration of the original spirit and intent of Chief Shingwauk. Chief Shingwauk envisioned a teaching wigwam where people could acquire the necessary educational tools to live well in modern society, and to contribute in turn to it, without compromising the values of our respective cultures and traditions.
At the same time it has seen the successful development of Algoma University College into Algoma University with its own charter commitment to its partnership with the Shingwauk Education Trust and with Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig in a special mission to cultivate cross- cultural learning between Anishinaabe and other communities in Northern Ontario, embracing and fostering diversity while valuing differing cultural and spiritual perspectives.
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gaa-wiin wii-mii-gaa-di-wag (We will not fight each other)
After smoking our pipes, a visual record was made to show the meaning of the sacred relationship/partnership between Algoma University and Shingwauk Education Trust, and their commitment in fulfilling Shingwauk’s vision of the kinoomaage gamig (teaching lodge).
This visual record was made by Anishinabeg in ceremony as a sacred wampum belt made of wampum shells/beads to depict the agreement/understanding reached by Algoma University and Shingwauk Education Trust.
This debwewin (truth) cannot be changed or given different meaning because wampum agreements/treaties cannot be altered at all because all the shells/ beads would break.
Shingwauk Kinoomage Gamig is the realization and fulfillment of Shingwauk’s spiritual ba-waa- ji-gan (vision/dream). Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig (Teaching Lodge) represents a commitment by Algoma University and Shingwauk Education Trust to protect the middle ground, which establishes a body of intercultural scholarship that entrenches an academic alliance between both institutions.
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Waynaboozho began to sing a song. All the animals began to dance in a circle on the growing island. As he sang, they danced in an ever-widening circle. Finally, the winds ceased to blow and the waters became still. A huge island sat in the middle of the great water. (bawdwaywidun banaise)
This story echoes the generational experience of Anishinabe people and our relationship with the land. Obwandiac, Tecumtha and Shingwauk’s leadership in challenging Euroamerican colonial hegemony gives context to Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig and the middle ground.
Within Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig and the middle ground, both Algoma University and Shingwauk Education Trust see each other in the context of family either as an uncle/aunt or brother/sister. An uncle/aunt is not a dominating figure. A brother/sister is seen as an equal with an obligation to help the other.
In this Addendum we recommit ourselves to this vision of Shingwauk and to our partnership and agree to abide in good faith by the additional sub-agreements under this Addendum that we will enter into to bring its intent into being.
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mii i’i-way anishinabe i-zhi-chi-gay-win (This is the anishinabe way)
zhigo mii’iw eta-go o-way neen-gi-kayn-dahn zhigo ni-gi-noon-dah-wah (This is as much as I know and have heard)
mii i’iw (That is all)
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Universities Canada 5th Annual National Building Reconciliation Forum 2019
The significance of the Forum’s historic location and collaborative approach to programming truly made this an event not to be missed.
Algoma University is committed to providing an educational environment for Anishinaabe students that is respectful, inclusive, and welcoming.
National Chiefs’ Library & Archive at Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig
Providing a unique space for the preservation and use of Anishinaabe Knowledge, offering supports to faculty, students, and the public.
Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre
A cross-cultural research and education project which includes former students of the Residential schools, staff, descendants, family, and friends.
Ziigwang Inakamigiziwin: Ojibwe immersion and land-based learning 2019
A special spring session offering of university courses from Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig and Algoma University
Taking Care of Our Land Symposium
this symposium explores the inclusion of cultural and traditional practices of land management, planning, and use for Aboriginal communities in Northern Ontario.
Shifting Indigenous Frontline Tactics
The Shifting Indigenous Frontline Tactics (SHIFT) initiative was created by Algoma University as a customizable training program that aims to bridge the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities by fostering an environment of greater cultural understanding and sensitivity towards Indigenous peoples and communities.Learn More
Algoma University is the only university in Canada to offer a three-year undergraduate degree in Anishinaabemowin, the Ojibwe language.Learn More
Through a culture-based curriculum, students will learn Anishinaabe history, philosophy and worldview while experiencing and exploring the importance of self-knowledge, as well as interpersonal and intercultural respect.Learn More
Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association
Providing for the well-being of former students of the Shingwauk and Wawanosh Indian Residential Schools, their families, and their communities.Learn More