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CHEC & NAIITS Symposium Held at Providence

On May 27, over 25 people from nine institutions took part in a follow-up session at Providence University College to an initial symposium that took place at Booth University College in May 2013. This second event, sponsored by Christian Higher Education Canada (CHEC) and An Indigenous Learning Community (NAIITS), focused on the development of cooperative ways of supporting Indigenous students in their pursuit of distinctive, Biblically sound, and academically rigorous programs of study, respectful of Indigenous worldviews.

 Highlights from the symposium include a commitment to

  • Develop a vision statement guiding efforts at greater Indigenization on CHEC campus
  • Create a web-based platform for sharing online courses and other resources with an Indigenous focus; and
  • Explore the creation of a Circle for Indigenous Studies to benefit joint programs being developed by NAIITS in cooperation with CHEC schools and other campuses.

“I am happy with the conference,” says Providence’s President, Dr. David Johnson. “First it continued to raise awareness of the values the indigenous community brings to Christian Higher Education in Canada. Second, it determined some concrete steps forward in providing opportunities for indigenous Canadians to participate in this vital work.”

CHEC’s Executive Director, Dr. Justin Cooper, expressed appreciation for the cooperative spirit present during the meetings as well as the commitment to move forward in cooperative efforts in Indigenous education. Terry, LeBlanc, Executive Director of NAIITS, was also encouraged, specifically by the emergence of concrete steps that would build on the work NAIITS is already doing in cooperation with CHEC members. 


CHEC includes 35 accredited Christian colleges, universities and seminaries across Canada, serving over 17,500 students.

NAIITS currently offers three graduate programs with an Indigenous focus in cooperation with existing Christian institutions: an MAIS with George Fox University and Seminary, an MTS (I) with Tyndale University College & Seminary, and a PhD with William Carey University. Also under development are two new programs in asset-based community development with an Indigenous focus: a BA program with Providence University College, and an MA program with Acadia University and Divinity College.

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