2018 Education Guide

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Eeyou Istchee

For those who want to stay in the communities while honing their skills for a new career, the Cree School Board and Cree Human Resources Development work together to offer a wide variety of vocational courses that meet Ministry of Education guidelines for students to be certified in their field of choice.

The following is an overview of Sabtuan training programs on offer within the territory between now and the month of June.


Customer Service

New to the roster of community courses, Chisasibi will be offering a Customer Service program. This 540-hour course begins in Winter 2018. 


Chisasibi also offers a Construction course to keep up with the construction boom in the north. This 1350-hour course is slated to begin January 29 and can lead to a very versatile career.


For all those who like counting beans, a new Accounting course starts February 26 and runs for 1350 hours. If you are thinking of starting your own business and keeping your own books, or hoping to become an accountant for a local business, or taking a course to augment your regular administrative job, all of these reasons are good ones to sign up for this course.

Pharmacy Technical Assistance

For those interested in working with patients and their medication to ensure they get the right drugs and to assist a pharmacist, a new Pharmacy Technical Assistance course will be launched in Chisasibi March 26. This course runs 1320 hours. 

Hotel Reception

As the economy of the north expands, so does its need for a local labour force. Running 735 hours, this new Hotel Reception course is ideal for those looking to work in the hotel industry and be a front-desk superstar. The course starts on March 19 in Chisasibi.

Bus Driving

With the rapidly growing Cree population, the need for bus drivers to safely drive the little ones to school is in high demand. This is why more bus-driving courses are being offered throughout the communities. This 210-hour program will begin January 29 in Chisasibi. 

Starting a Business

For those who are free-spirited and would rather work for themselves, Chisasibi will be offering a Starting a Business program sometime this winter. This 330-hour course offers the basics to get you up-and-running so your dreams can take off.


Bus Driving

Over at the Regional Vocational Training Centre, a bus-driving course will be offered for those inland residents who want to drive those large yellow vehicles filled with children. The course is slated to start sometime this winter.


Waswanipi is offering a General Welding course that starts on January 22 for those who enjoy the fine art of welding – and some really do!


Trucking Class III

The Eastmain community will be offering a Trucking Class III program that will last 330 hours this winter for anyone looking to become a truck driver in the north. With a fast-growing population and lots of development, this is a position that will always be in demand.



When it comes to those final touches right before painting, a plasterer will soften all the rough edges. Fortunately for those Mistissini residents who are looking to go into this field, a brand-new cohort is starting February 19. The 810-hour course will be producing workers essential to the construction industry.


Computer Graphics

Over in Nemaska, a new Computer Graphics course is opening up this spring for all of those burgeoning graphic designers in Eeyou Istchee who want to learn the trade. This 1800-hour course is the perfect program for those who feel digitally creative.


Computing Support

Waskaganish is offering a Computing Support program for those who are computer savvy and want to help others who aren’t. Support techs are always in high demand when you need to your computer to work properly. This program will run 1800 hours. Schedule to be announced.

Trucking Class III

Waskaganish will also be offering Trucking Class III, but they are not sure when.


Over at the Sabtuan Regional Vocational Training Centre in Waswanipi, a wide number of courses are opening up between now and June.

Landscaping Operations

First up is the relatively new Landscaping Operations course, which runs 1035 hours and is set to start in the spring. While it may not seem like an obvious course to offer in the north, as it is a land known for its natural beauty, tweaking that beauty could be the cherry on the sundae.

Northern Heavy Equipment Operations

For those looking to get in on all of the natural resource development that’s part of the Plan Nord, Northern Heavy Equipment Operations is just the ticket. Starting May 22, this 900-hour course will train you to be tackle your job with confidence.

Recreation Leadership

If you like to plan events and sport activities for youth and families in the communities, a new cohort of Recreation Leadership will start their studies this spring. It is the perfect job for the upbeat person who wants to get bodies moving, games going and fun happening for everybody. This course runs 1290 hours.

Trucking Class I

Interested in a trucking career, then keep an eye open for the Trucking Class I course that will start sometime this winter. This 615-hour course is very important because it’s about learning how to manoeuvre a truck.

Automobile Aesthetics

Interested in jazzing up your ride and kicking it up a notch, an Automobile Aesthetics course is being offered this spring if all those who want to learn this highly artistic and commercial trade. Running 570 hours, you will be able to trick out all kinds of rides after taking this course.

Machine Operations, Mineral and Metal Processing

For those looking to get in on the mining boom in the north, a new cohort of Machine Operations, Mineral and Metal Processing will be opening up this spring. This versatile 900-hour course deals with a variety of minerals and mining techniques.

Northern Quebec

For those interested in staying close to home for school, the options below also help you on your educational path.

Cégep Saint-Félicien

For a career that allows you to enjoy the great outdoors, Cégep Saint-Félicien’s main campus located near Lac Saint-Jean offers a variety of courses in French focused on tourism and wildlife. They offer the benefit of studying in a beautiful environment of forests, lakes, rivers and beaches. The Centre d’études collégiale à Chibougamau is another great option, offering college programs just an hour outside Mistissini.

All of the Cégep’s training programs offered at the Chibougamau location are recognized by the Quebec Ministry of Education and earn their graduates a college diploma.


Milieu Naturel

The “natural environment” program prepares students for a career as environmental technicians with a focus on sustainable development. Students in this program complete 18 months of general courses in the field before choosing one of four specializations: forestry, wildlife, natural heritage or environmental protection.

Soins infirmiers

Saint-Félicien’s nursing program is challenging but rewarding. A few years of intense study will prepare you for Quebec’s famously tough entry exam into l’Ordre des infirmières et des infirmiers du Québec and the demanding environment of a medical profession.


A tourism diploma prepares those with a love for travel and knack for customer service to develop and implement products and services related to the tourism industry. This a great program for those interested in sharing and exploring culture, learning a third or fourth language and branching out into the tourism sector as an employee or entrepreneur.

Cégep de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue

Cégep de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue has a campus in Val-d’Or that boasts a First Nations Student Services department that provides academic support and caters specifically to the needs of Aboriginal students. The Cégep offers a large range of full-time courses and continuing education services at its Val-d’Or, Rouyn-Noranda and Amos campuses and also gives individualized training and short programs in First Nations communities where they are in demand. Available programs include accounting, specialized education, child services education, organization management, management, marketing and customer service, community health and administration (mainly offered in French) all delivered in a First Nation and Inuit context.


Another interesting option is the Access to College program that pairs First Nations students with an academic advisor during their first semester to determine a manageable course load and develop a course plan that fits your needs and personal goals. The program aims to clarify your career choice, help you build good study habits, get the prerequisites required for the program of your choosing and ultimately improve your chances for success within the post-secondary education system. www.cegepat.qc.ca/programmes/access-to-college-first-nations/

Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue

The Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT) tailors a number of programs to Indigenous students. All of UQAT’s programs are viable options for First Nations, but some are adapted to the unique cultural and learning approaches of First Nations and Inuit. These courses use teaching styles and course material that incorporate Aboriginal perspectives and reflect Indigenous realities.

If you’re looking for university education near Eeyou Istchee, check out the variety of culturally sensitive programs that UQAT has to offer in English. UQAT offers all of the same programs with a few additional options en français.


Aboriginal Studies

  • Undergraduate Short Progam in Aboriginal Tourism Management
  • Undergraduate Short Program in Childhood-Family Intervention in Aboriginal Context (Open to admission – Fall 2018)
  • Undergraduate Short Program on Employability and Career Development in Aboriginal Context (Open to admission – Fall 2018)
  • Certificate in Aboriginal Studies (Open to admission – Fall 2018)


  • Certificate in Plastic Arts
  • Certificate in Primary Education for Substitute Teachers (Open to admission – Fall 2018)
  • Bachelor in Preschool Education and Primary Teaching


  • Certificate in Human Resources Management
  • Certificate in Administration (Open to admission – Fall 2018)
  • Certificate in Management and Regional Development (Open to admission – Fall 2018)
  • Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA)

Social Work

  • Bachelor of Social Work

Kiuna Institution

Located on the Odenak Reserve 35 minutes from Trois-Rivières, Kiuna Institution is tailored to First Nations students. Kiuna offers an orientation and integration semester followed by a transition semester that allows new students to smoothly adapt to college life. Students then have the opportunity to enrol in Kiuna’s one-of-a-kind First Nations Social Science program.

With a diversified approach, Kiuna helps develop a strong sense of Aboriginal identity, heritage, rights and traditions before students choose a career path.


Colleges in Southern Quebec and Ontario

Colleges a bit further away to the west and south may have programs that better suit students’ career choices..

Algonquin College

With its three campuses in Ottawa, Pembroke and Perth, as well as international exchange programs, Algonquin College has long been a popular choice for Cree high-school grads. The college offers over 140 pre-university programs, 260 Ontario college programs, five bachelor degree programs, and a plethora of online and apprentice programs as well as continuing education opportunities.

In Fall 2017, Algonquin College launched the Mamidosewin Centre, an Indigenous student centre that assists Native learners in a respectful, culturally informed way.


Canadore College

Located on the territory of the Nipissing First Nation in North Bay, Ontario, Canadore College welcomes approximately 350 Indigenous students annually and offers some Indigenous specific programing. Canadore’s Indigenous student centre hosts an annual powwow, has an Elder on staff, and encourages its students to enjoy its snowshoeing trails and sweat lodge.

Canadore also prides itself on smaller classes and one-on-one attention from academic advisors and personalized education.

Interested Indigenous students are encouraged to contact Gerard Peltier, Recruitment and Retention Officer, at Gerard.Peltier@canadorecollege.ca


Champlain Regional College

An English-language Cégep with campuses located on Montreal’s South Shore (near the Longueuil métro station), the Eastern Townships (in Lennoxville) and Sainte-Foy (Quebec City), Champlain offers pre-university courses as well as technical education and training programs.

Familiar with Indigenous populations, the college has been a partner of Kahnawake’s Adult Education School Council and has adapted some of its programming for Indigenous students.


Dawson College

Located in downtown Montreal, Dawson College is one of Quebec’s largest Cégeps. Known for its theatre, photography, design and science programs, Dawson boasts a student initiative aimed at Indigenizing campus life. Among its goals is the creation of an Indigenous Studies certificate, which should launch in Fall 2018. For those worried about the language barrier, the First Peoples’ Initiative also offers French classes and tutoring.

Dawson also offers the Journeys program, a one-year transition course designed to provide First Nations, Inuit and Métis students with a welcoming, holistic, supportive and culturally relevant environment for learning at the post-secondary level.


John Abbott College

Located in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue on Montreal’s West Island, John Abbott has hosted an Indigenous Student Resource Centre since 1990. In collaboration with Indigenous communities and institutions such as the Cree School Board, the centre has developed programing and provides services that address the unique needs and perspectives of Indigenous students.

The school also offers Crossroads, a two-semester program designed to prepare Indigenous students for the expectations of college life as well as to guide them into the pre-university or career program of their choice.


Sault College

Located in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Sault College offers a wide range of technical programs that includes an award-winning aviation program. Its smaller class sizes and renowned facilities contribute to the college’s 91% employment rate within six months of graduating.

In addition to its technical programs, the college offers several full-time Indigenous Studies certificates as well as one of the few certified Indigenous language (Anishnabe) immersion programs offered in North America.

The college recognizes the unique perspective of Indigenous and Métis people and does its best to incorporate a diversity of worldviews in its programming.


Vanier College

Located in Montreal’s multi-cultural Saint-Laurent borough, Vanier is an English-language Cégep renowned for its arts, science and technical programs. Vanier offers pre-university programming that helps its students decide what post-secondary path fits them best.

The college also has its own Indigenous Circle that hosts events and supports Indigenous students socially and academically as they transition from their community to urban life in Montreal. The Circle is in the process of creating an Indigenous Studies certificate.



The institutions below were selected to highlight some of the more innovative Indigenous programs being implemented in universities across the country. And while Indigenous student unions and support systems haven’t been around for long, in many cases, they have become the standard and not the exception. So whatever field you want to study at whatever school you end up choosing, you can rest assured that there’s a support system in place and an Indigenous community there already that want to see you succeed.

And we here at the Nation know you will.

Bishop’s University

Bishop’s is an English university located in Lennoxville (in the Eastern Townships), and boasts some of the smallest class sizes in the country. 2016 marked a turning point in Bishop’s approach to reconciliation. That year, Abel Bosum gave a convocation speech to its graduates and received an Honorary Doctorate in Civil Law. Since then the university has hosted symposiums dedicated to reconciliation and decolonization, conducted community-based research and committed to creating a new way forward with Indigenous Peoples as partners.

The university offers a Minor in Indigenous Studies through its History department.


Capilano University

For those interested in film, Capilano University’s Indigenous Independent Digital Filmmaking (IIDF) program may be for you. The program is the only one of its kind in the country and teaches its all-Indigenous student body every aspect of filmmaking including screenwriting, camera and lighting techniques, editing and post-production effects.

Located in North Vancouver, BC, the school is quite far from Eeyou Istchee but the picturesque scenery and forest surrounding the campus might make up for the homesickness.


Carleton University

Carelton is located in Ottawa and is the home of the Ojigkwanong (Algonquin for morning star) Centre and the Carleton Centre for Indigenous Initiatives. The two centres work in unison to support Indigenous students and create linkages between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. Carelton has its own school of Indigenous and Canadian Studies offering both undergrad and graduate program in the discipline.

Carleton offers the Indigenous Enriched Support Program to help Indigenous students cope with university level workloads while they take their first year courses.


Concordia University

Concordia has two campuses in Montreal – one downtown at the corner of Guy and St. Catherine, and another in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. The university has a well-established Aboriginal Students Union that’s always ready to support and assist its members. And for the budding filmmaker who wants to stay in Quebec, Concordia’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema is widely regarded as one of Canada’s best film schools.

The university also offers its own First Peoples Studies BA program with options for both a Major and Minor.


McGill University

McGill is one of the most prestigious universities in Canada and is located in the heart of Montreal. It hosts an annual powwow every September through its vibrant First Peoples’ House. The university offers a plethora of Indigenous-focused programming, including Global and Indigenous Health Nursing, Indigenous Studies, and in 2017 launched a mandatory week-long law course called Indigenous Legal Traditions. In addition, the McGill Law School is committed to becoming one of Canada’s leading faculties in Indigenous legal studies.


Mount Royal University

Located in Calgary, on Blackfoot Territory, Mount Royal University committed itself to rebuilding relationships with the Indigenous Peoples of the territory in 2013. Since then, the university has developed Indigenous-specific programing and the Inskim Centre. The centre offers programs and services to increase the engagement and success of Indigenous students and raise awareness of Indigenous peoples and cultures, while the programming incudes the Aboriginal Education Program, the Aboriginal Science and Technology Education Program, the Indigenous Housing Program, and the Medicine Trail Program.

For the creative, entrepreneurial types, the school hosts Otahpiaaki, a marketing, entrepreneurship, and social-innovation project linked to academic programs in the Bissett School of Business at Mount Royal. The program also hosts an annual Indigenous Beauty, Fashion and Design Week.


OCAD University

Billed as the largest and most comprehensive design-and-media university in the country, OCAD (formerly Ontario College of Art and Design) has the programming to build all the skills necessary for a career in the visual arts. They also host the traditionally inspired and culturally relevant, Indigenous Visual Culture program, a studio-based arts program that incorporates the culture and socio-political history of Indigenous Peoples.


Trent University

Located in Peterborough, Ontario, Trent University has incorporated an Indigenous lens in its programming for over 50 years. In fact, they were the first Canadian post-secondary institution to dedicate an academic department to Indigenous Studies. Today, Trent offers Indigenous Environmental Studies, as well as a two-year MA program in Indigenous Canadian Studies it runs in partnership with Carleton University.


 University of British Columbia (UBC)

For those interested in a career in health, UBC might be for you. Located on Musqueam territory in Vancouver, UBC’s Aboriginal admission policy set a goal in 2002 to graduate 50 Indigenous doctors by 2020. In 2015, they hit their target five years early. UBC is also home to the Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health, the Museum of Anthropology, a longhouse, and the recently erected reconciliation totem pole. The university also offers a specialization in Aboriginal Law at its Allard School of Law.


 University of Calgary

Each year at the University of Calgary, graduates from the previous academic year are honoured with a banquet and powwow, and the school is committed to creating a vibrant Indigenous community within its student body. The university’s Native Student Centre organizes events throughout the year and has several Indigenous-focused academic offerings. In addition to one-year university transition programs and Indigenous Studies degrees, U of C offers an International Indigenous Studies course that encourages both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students to increase their understanding of global Indigenous culture.


 University of Manitoba

The University of Manitoba in Winnipeg has an extensive list of Indigenous programing. From social work and health science to business and engineering, the university prides itself on its Indigenous programs and assisting Indigenous students access to any academic discipline they choose.


University of Ottawa

In 2015, the University of Ottawa adopted the TRC’s 13 principles of Indigenous education and strives to bring reconciliation into the classroom. In addition to including Indigenous content into many of its faculties and course offerings, and the university hosts the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP), a three-year community-based certificate course whereupon completion, candidates are recommended to the Ontario College of Teachers for certification and for the Ontario Certified Teacher (OCT) designation.


 University of Toronto

With campuses located in downtown Toronto and the neighbouring borough of Scarborough, the renowned U of T has been challenging McGill for the title of Canada’s most prestigious school for years. The university has a strong Indigenous presence with its Indigenous Initiatives Office, Indigenous Students Centre, Centre for Indigenous Studies, an Indigenous Law Students’ Association and a resident Elder on campus.




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