All of our universities have Aboriginal Student Centres that are hubs of activity and build community on our campuses. These centres provide academic support, as well as resources to assist in the transition to campus life, to the more than 6,500 Aboriginal learners studying on our campuses.1 Ontario universities also reach out to Aboriginal communities, so they can enrich campuses with local knowledge and build lasting and respectful relationships.
The COU Reference Group on Aboriginal Education which is composed of Aboriginal members of our university community across Ontario promotes and facilitates opportunities for Ontario universities to engage one another in creating meaningful change to meet the needs of Aboriginal learners and communities.
COU’s ‘Let’s Take Our Future Further’ campaign, developed on behalf of the province’s 20 publicly funded universities, aims to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Aboriginal learners and alumni at Ontario universities, and to encourage current students to continue to pursue and complete their studies. The campaign launched February 2016, and showcased thirteen videos of Aboriginal learners who had blazed their trail at university and encouraged others to do the same.
1 MAESD. “Universities’ Multi-Year Accountability Agreement Report Back System-Wide Summary.” 2013-14. Note: Not all Indigenous students may choose to Self-ID, so we anticipate that this number is low.