Nyaagaaniid: Student Success and Anishinaabe Initiatives

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Algoma University

The University

Established in 1965 as Algoma College, Algoma University was initially an affiliate of Laurentian University in Sudbury. In 1967, Algoma College began offering classes in a portable building located at the former Cambrian College site in Sault Ste. Marie, now the site of Sault College. Algoma College moved into its current location, the former Shingwauk Residential School building, in 1971. Former students of the Shingwauk Residential School formed the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Associationand have helped guide the development of education on the Shingwauk site. A provincial trust, the Shingwauk Education Trust (SET), gives ownership of a portion of the site to Anishinaabek people, and Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig (SKG) has developed as an Anishinaabek institution for university studies on the site. Algoma University signed a Covenant in 2006 with SKG and SET to provide educational opportunities and resources in living with their mutual commitment to the restoration of Chief Shingwauk’s vision of a teaching wigwam. An addendum to the Covenant was signed in 2018 reinvigorating the focus on partnership as it pertains to the University’s special mission. In 2008, Algoma University was granted its charter and with the charter, achieved full autonomous university status as Ontario’s 19th university. With three campuses in Ontario (Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, and Brampton) Algoma University now offers over 30 academic programs in a diverse range of fields through three faculties: Faculty of Science, Faculty of Social Sciences and Faculty of Humanities. Within the Faculty structure are the recently developed School of Computer Science and Technology, School of Life Sciences and the Environment, and the School of Business and Economics. The University adopts a student-centred approach to learning and is committed to being a welcoming, inclusive, safe, and respectful learning community; one that values the opportunities to learn from and with students, staff and visitors from all parts of the world. The student body includes individuals from over 50 different countries, creating a vibrant cross-cultural learning and social environment for all.

Our Vision & Mission

7 Grandfather Teachings Given its special mission, members of the Algoma University community are guided by the Seven Grandfather Teachings, in their collective efforts to support and achieve the University’s vision and mission. Based on Ojibwe tradition, the Seven Grandfathers were given the responsibility by the Creator to watch over the people living on earth. They gave to the people seven teachings that would show them the way to live in harmony, spirituality and with Mother Earth. RESPECT, to have honor for all of Creation. WISDOM, to cherish knowledge is to have wisdom. HUMILITY, to know humility is to know yourself as a sacred part of creation. BRAVERY, to be able to face the foe with integrity. HONESTY, to be honest in facing a situation. TRUTH, to have truth is to know all of these things. LOVE, to know love is to know peace.

The Opportunity

The title Nyaagaaniid comes from the verb niigaanii (Anishinaabemowin) meaning to lead. For the position, the word is changed to its conjunct form for leader. Reporting to the President and Vice-Chancellor of Algoma University, the Nyaagaaniid of Student Success and Anishinaabe Initiatives is a member of the University’s Senior Executive Team, who will effectively engage faculty, staff, and students in supporting the University’s Special Mission to:

• Be a teaching-oriented university that provides programs in liberal arts and sciences and professional programs, primarily at the undergraduate level, with a particular focus on the needs of Northern Ontario; and

• Cultivate cross-cultural learning between Aboriginal communities and other communities, in keeping with the history of Algoma University and its geographic site.

The Nyaagaaniid will work with and across existing portfolios to review related structures and initiatives, and will make recommendations and move forward with implementation strategies specific to the four key areas of focus (outlined below) related to the Special Mission and Indigenous priorities of the University. This Nyaagaaniid will help to lead reconciliation, decolonization and partnership efforts with First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) peoples and communities and will continue to enhance a partnership with Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, Shingwauk Education Trust, the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association, as well as support and foster the continued relationship with the Anishinaabe Peoples’ Council, a community-based advisory committee to the President and the Board of Governors. This position will focus leadership efforts on four key areas: student-success, cultivating cross-cultural learning, special history (truth and legacy of site) and community. The Nyaagaaniid will ensure understanding across the University of the commitment to the Special Mission (agreement with the Province); Shingwauk Covenant and the Addendum to the Covenant between Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, Shingwauk Education Trust and Algoma University; and the partnership agreements between the University and the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association and the Anishinaabe Peoples’ Council. The Nyaagaaniid will provide senior leadership on the University’s strategic priority of moving forward with our commitments to the University’s Special Mission and Truth and Reconciliation by becoming a national leader in this area. With a focus on partnerships and community relationships, the Nyaagaaniid will provide senior executive level support to the work of the Shingwauk Residential School Centre and Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association. Furthermore, the Nyaagaaniid will be responsible for maintaining a focus on spirit, mind and body at Algoma University through the use of ceremony, culture and traditional knowledge. Recent nationally profiled events include: Universities Canada National Building Reconciliation Forum, Taking Care of the Land Symposium, Gathering at the Rapids Pow Wow, Reclaiming Shingwauk Hall Unveiling.

Qualifications

Minimum Qualifications:

• Candidates should possess a minimum of a Master’s degree although a PhD, EdD, or comparable terminal degree would be an asset, have significant recent experience in post-secondary administration, and have experience and understanding of community development and positive working relationships with FNMI communities

• Minimum 5 years’ leadership experience working with FNMI communities, as well as experience in diversity and equity as they relate to faculty, human resources, student experience and the workplace

• Lived experience of Indigenous worldviews, cultures and values, and superior understanding of diverse FNMI knowledge systems (and research methodologies)

• Demonstrated knowledge and practice of cross-cultural capacity-building at the academic and community level

• Knowledge of and experience with post-secondary education initiatives, programs and transformative practices in support of FNMI education, student success and community engagement

• Knowledge and experience implementing the Truth & Reconciliation recommendations and other relevant Federal and Provincial reports, programs and grant opportunities that impact the post-secondary sector

• Demonstrated accomplishments in a post-secondary (or other) administrative role

• Demonstrated teaching, research and scholarly ability

LEADERSHIP SKILLS AND STYLE:

• Deep understanding of the Medicine Wheel teachings and the concept of spirit, mind and body as they relate to ceremony, culture, traditional knowledge and teachings

• Patience, diplomacy, flexibility and resolve to deliver student support services and provide academic leadership

• Demonstrated ability to think strategically and to provide visionary leadership as it pertains to student services and programming

• A genuine interest in students and an enthusiasm for academic pursuits

• A demonstrated sense of fairness and a consistent commitment to respect and equity

• A track record of community involvement

• Demonstrated ability to listen, to take into account differing points of view, but also to make independent and difficult decisions

• Demonstrated ability to build consensus, to resolve conflict and to bring about constructive change

• Demonstrated ability to prioritize, delegate, and work in teams

• Strong oral and written communication skills and a demonstrated ability to communicate transparently

• A demonstrated high degree of technical competency in Microsoft Office and GSuite

To apply to this exciting leadership role that offers the unique opportunity to directly impact Indigenous education, please visit:

https://www.algomau.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Nyaagaaniid-Student-Success-and-Anishinaabe-Initiatives.pdf