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MFNERC’s Training Institute

MFNERC’s Training Institute provides accredited professional development required to run innovative programming in First Nations schools. Participants are mainly First Nations staff employed at either First Nations schools or MFNERC. The Institute develops and maintains partnerships with accrediting institutions, First Nations councils, education directors, participating First Nations, education directors, and the government. The Institute currently has a number of programs of study in progress.

A Master of Education in School and Applied Child Psychology program runs in partnership with the University of Calgary. Thirteen students are in year one of a three-year course of study, and participants are expected to graduate as school psychologists in May 2021. Also, through the University of Manitoba, two students enrolled in the Department of Psychology aim to graduate in 2020 as school psychologists.

The Resource Inclusive Special Education (RISE) program through the University of Manitoba recently graduated 66 resource teachers. The success of this graduating class of cohorts made history at the University of Manitoba for the high rate of successful graduates. Currently, an additional 30 First Nations teachers are enrolled in RISE. After graduating, these teachers will allow for a fully certified resource teacher in every First Nations school affiliated with MFNERC. Combining the graduates and those enrolled, that’s a total of 96 fully certified resource teachers expected within an 18 month period!

A Master of Inclusive Education in Language and Literacy through the University of Manitoba currently has 24 students enrolled. They expect to graduate in April 2020, with a goal to work as reading clinicians.

A Master of Occupational Therapy and Master of Physical Therapy through the University of Manitoba (Rady Faculty of Health Sciences) currently has five students enrolled. Four students aim to graduate as occupational therapists, and one student seeks to be a physiotherapist. One student taking prerequisites for the Masters of Physiotherapy program enters into the full program this August.

A Master of Science in Communication Disorders: Speech-Language Pathology program through Minot State University has three students enrolled. They expected to graduate in June 2020, providing three additional speech-language pathologists for our First Nations children.

The Educational Assistant Training Program through the University College of the North has students from five First Nations enrolled (Little Saskatchewan, Sapotaweyak, York Landing, Poplar River, St. Theresa Point). Currently, 149 educational assistants from these nations are in training to work at the schools. Also, a number of communities are on a waiting list for the program (Red Sucker Lake, Sandy Bay, Bloodvein, Oxford House, Keeseekoowenin, Fisher River, Chemawawin, Lake St Martin, Tootinaowaziibeeng, Little Grand). Gradu- ates of the Certified Educational Assistant Program can ladder into a bachelor of education degree program.

A program of study in development is Medical Rehabilitation Assistant through the Max Rady College of Medicine. The anticipated start date is September 2019. The program will aim to include two educational assistants from each of the First Nations affiliated with MFNERC; larger First Nations will have additional training spots due to larger numbers of students.S

The participants all had a good time playing shimmy outside, walking in snowshoes, and participating in a game called snow snakes. Everyone was having a great time learning traditional games and activities together. Norbert Mercredi summed up his work here the best: “We all have a dream to improve our communities, and one way is through our health.”