Home > News > New Pathways to Success for Indigenous Students in Post-Secondary Education

New Pathways to Success for Indigenous Students in Post-Secondary Education


OTTAWA (Ontario), Tuesday, March 15, 2022 – Saint Paul University (SPU) is proud to collaborate with three Northern Ontario institutions on an innovative new partnership that aims to build capacity for wellness and mental health services in Indigenous communities.

SPU has worked with Oshki-Pimache-O-Win: The Wenjack Education Institute (OSHKI), Canadore College and Sault College to establish a credit transfer agreement that will allow college graduates to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Human Relations in just two years.

Students who participate in this educational pathway will be perfectly equipped to enter SPU’s Master’s in Counselling and Spirituality to become certified psychotherapists to support Indigenous communities.

As part of this partnership, students enrolled at SPU will also be able to take courses and gain hands-on community experience from the partner colleges. Through this exchange, SPU students will gain specialized education about Indigenous culture and worldviews in order to better serve Indigenous communities.

This educational pathway is an innovative approach to increase capacity for sustainable and culturally appropriate mental health and wellness services in Indigenous communities, including the 49 First Nation communities of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN).


“We recognized the increased need for specially trained mental health and wellness professionals serving Indigenous communities in the north and we are happy to fill this need with this unique program pathway. The hands-on experiences gained by students is valuable to improve positive health outcomes for the communities we serve across Nishnawbe Aski Nation.”
Lorrie Deschamps, President of Oshki-Pimache-O-Win: The Wenjack Education Institute

“Canadore College is pleased to be a part of this initiative. We have a proud commitment to Indigenous education, offering culturally sensitive and appropriate programs and services. This new pathway will improve access to additional educational opportunities for Indigenous learners, and allow them to eventually provide much-needed mental health services in their communities.”
– George Burton, President and CEO, Canadore College

“This new transfer agreement is another significant milestone for Sault College and our learners. Through this collaboration, learners will have expanded options for furthering their education and the opportunity to build upon the foundational knowledge and skills gained through Sault College’s two year Social Service Worker – Indigenous Specialization program. This partnership combines the strengths of both institutions and offers learners a holistic educational experience that will greatly benefit them in their future career paths. Sault College is honoured to work with Saint Paul University and we look forward to realizing the benefits of this exciting collaboration.”
– Dr. Ron Common, President, Sault College

“We are very proud to be part of this exciting new educational pathway! The exchange of knowledge and experiences between our institutions will make for a richer education experience that will help our students to support sustainable, culturally-appropriate wellness services for Indigenous communities.”
Dr. Chantal Beauvais, Rector, Saint Paul University

About Canadore College

Canadore College trains people through applied learning, leadership and innovation. It provides access to over 80 full-time quality programs, outstanding faculty, and success services to students from nearly 400 Canadian communities and 25 international countries. Approximately 1,000 students graduate from Canadore each year, and they join 48,000 alumni working across the globe.

About Oshki-Pimache-O-Win: The Wenjack Education Institute

Founded in 1996 by the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), Oshki-Wenjack is an Indigenous post-secondary Institute committed to increasing access to accredited post-secondary education in our 49 First Nation communities, as well as Indigenous learners from across Ontario. Oshki-Wenjack’s focus is on creating a learning environment that is designed for Indigenous learners, and feels welcoming at every step along the learning journey.

About Sault College

Sault College strives to make society a better place by providing a transformative life experience through empowering those who study with us to think and learn in progressive, innovative ways, including those we have not yet imagined. With enthusiastic staff, small class sizes and a student-to-faculty ratio lower than the provincial average, Sault College students learn in a supportive environment.

About Saint Paul University

Founded in 1848, Saint Paul University is an institution steeped in tradition with values focused on creating a more just and humane future. With programs specialized in human and social sciences, Saint Paul University seeks to drive positive social change and empower communities through research and innovation. For more information, please visit ustpaul.ca.

For more information, please contact:
Julie Bourassa
Communications Officer, Saint Paul University
613-236-1393, ext. 2310

Other articles you may be interested in