Cross-Cultural Learning

Located on the site of the former Shingwauk Indian Residential School, Algoma University offers a unique and historically rich setting for cross-cultural learning, where Anishinaabe (First Nations, Métis and Inuit), Canadian, and international students and faculty learn from each other in a spirit of friendship and respect.

Algoma University is committed to respecting the history of its campus as a former Indian Residential School, and honouring its former students, as well as their families and communities. Algoma U is committed to providing an educational environment for Anishinaabe students that is respectful, inclusive, and welcoming. In 2006, Algoma University honoured and acknowledged this commitment by signing a Covenant with the Shingwauk Education Trust (SET). This Covenant, witnessed by then National Chief Phil Fontaine, among others, articulates a promise by Algoma University to support the creation of Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig (SKG), a sister-institution, which shares the campus and provides unique educational programming from an Anishinaabe world-view.

In 2008, the Ontario provincial government passed the Algoma University Act, which established Algoma University as an independent degree-granting institution. The Act stipulates that the University has a special mission:

  1. To be a teaching-orientated 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
  2. To cultivate cross-cultural learning between Aboriginal communities and other communities, in keeping with the history of Algoma University and its geographic site.

Algoma University fulfills this mission and commitment in many ways. Anishinaabe people are represented throughout the University in governance, staff, and faculty. The Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre (SRSC) was established as a joint initiative of Algoma University and the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association (CSAA). Algoma U has a high Anishinaabe student population, with 13 percent of its students identifying as Anishinaabe, First Nations, Métis, or Inuit. There is an active Shingwauk Anishinaabe Students’ Association (SASA) on campus, as well as an Anishinaabe Student Life Centre. The Anishinaabe Initiatives Division (AID) provides academic and cultural support to Algoma U’s students. In 2011, Algoma University began the process of installing bilingual signs in Anishinaabemowin and English. Furthermore, Algoma U aspires to have some Anishinaabe content in all courses.

For More Information

The Anishinaabe Student Handbook (PDF) is a resource for students that have relocated to Sault Ste. Marie to attend university.