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Innovative Learning Partnership for Indigenous Youth to be Announced at Vancouver Island University

Innovative Learning Partnership for Indigenous Youth to be Announced at Vancouver Island University

Vancouver Island University, Yukon College, Rideau Hall Foundation and Mastercard Foundation kick off two days of community celebrations

Nanaimo, British Columbia In the spirit of Canada’s national reconciliation movement, Indigenous community leaders, educators, and students from Vancouver Island University (VIU) will join representatives of Yukon College and two national charitable foundations to announce an innovative new learning partnership in support of Indigenous youth education.

Through a model of co-creation and collaboration, the learning partnership for Indigenous youth, led by Indigenous Elders, educators and youth at Vancouver Island University and Yukon College with the support of Rideau Hall Foundation and Mastercard Foundation, creates opportunities for Indigenous

youth to be full partners in their education. The partnership aims to double the enrollment and completion

rates of Indigenous learners through the provision of cultural and leadership programming, mentorship, and transition support services.

VIU will kick off two days of celebration in Nanaimo and Cowichan (British Columbia), followed by

Whitehorse and Carcross (Yukon) to mark the new partnership.

Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Time: 10 am 12:30 pm;
Location: Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo Campus, Shq’apthut, A Gathering Place, Nanaimo, B.C.
Media parking passes are available at the Welcome Centre, Bldg 300 take exit 5 off of Fifth Street (
A call-in number will be available to journalists unable to attend in person:
Number: 1-866-792-1316
Access Code: log in 6171881

Who: Indigenous students, Elders, Vancouver Island University students, staff and faculty, officials, political leaders, industry partners, school board representatives and others are expected to attend the unique event.

What: The announcement will include Indigenous cultural protocol and performances, a celebration of the new learning partnership, an opportunity to learn more about it, and

other activities involving VIU community members including students, and representatives of the Rideau Hall Foundation and the Mastercard Foundation.

Celebrations are open to media. Journalists can register by contacting Dale Steeves at

Elders, youth, educators and representatives of VIU, Yukon College, Rideau Hall Foundation and

Mastercard Foundation will be available for media interviews following the announcement.


Vancouver Island University

Known as a centre of excellence for teaching, applied research and learning, Vancouver Island University (VIU) offers programs that include graduate and undergraduate degrees, vocational programs and trades, as well as access programs. With roots that date back to 1936, VIU is today a dynamic, internationally known university supporting a student population of 16,000 learners, including 1,900 international students and 2,000 Indigenous students. VIU is deeply connected to coastal and First Nations

communities and works closely with those communities to create a supportive, culturally relevant

learning environment for Indigenous learners – this is one of the University’s core values. As well, VIU is focused on providing access to quality post-secondary education for non-traditional learners who face a variety of barriers. For example, in 2013, VIU became the first BC post-secondary institution to offer a tuition waiver program for former youth in care. Learn how you can matter here:

Yukon College

Yukon College is grounded in northern expertise and strong partnerships with the 14 Yukon First Nations. With over 50 programs, including undergraduate degrees, trades and vocational training and post-secondary access programs, Yukon’s only post-secondary institution offers a pathway for every learner. The future home of Yukon University is a leader in education on Indigenous self-determination, climate change adaptation and sustainable resource development. Our 13 campuses contribute to the development of a healthy and prosperous north through relevant, innovative and inclusive education and applied research.

Rideau Hall Foundation

The Rideau Hall Foundation was established to amplify and extend the reach of the Office of Governor General in its goals to connect, honour and inspire Canadians. Signature programs fall within four programmatic areas: learning, leadership, innovation, and giving. We work with partners on initiatives that strengthen our national identity, build capacity and promote the advancement of a smart and caring nation. To learn more visit

Mastercard Foundation

The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Africa. As one of the largest private foundations, its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by Mastercard when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more information and to sign up for the Foundation’s newsletter, please visit Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn on Twitter.


Dale Steeves


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