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Developing and Implementing a Distance Education Secondary School Program for Isolated First Nation Communities in Northwestern Ontario
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Developing and Implementing a Distance Education Secondary School Program for Isolated First Nation Communities in Northwestern Ontario

Abstract

The Wahsa Distance Education Centre is operated by the Northern Nishnawbe Education Council (NNEC) for Cree and Oji-Cree secondary students living in the 23 remote communities of Sioux Lookout District in northwestern Ontario. Although most communities have locally controlled K-8 schools, very few communities offer secondary education. The NNEC, a Native-run organization, has been mandated by the 23 tribal leaders of Sioux Lookout District to serve the needs of secondary and postsecondary students. In 1990, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada agreed to fund a distance education program that would allow Native students to remain in their communities and attend high school. An advisory board composed of representatives from NNEC, Wawatay Native Communications Society, tribal councils, and four First Nations met regularly to work on program development. Wawatay Native Communications Society agreed to deliver Wahsa's distance education program over its radio network. Communities donated buildings to be used for learning centers, and community members offered to be distance education coordinators and tutors for the program. The program provides radio and correspondence courses for students in grades 9-11, including required subjects and courses in Native culture and language. This paper also discusses effective program delivery methods; areas for program improvement; and plans for program expansion to encompass educational television, increased programming for 12th-grade students, adult education classes, and teacher education courses. (LP)

Citation

Fiddler, M. Developing and Implementing a Distance Education Secondary School Program for Isolated First Nation Communities in Northwestern Ontario. Presented at Developing and Implementing a Distance Education Secondary School Program for Isolated First Nation Communities in Northwestern Ontario. Retrieved February 21, 2020 from .

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