UCN: Onikaniwak Summer Institute Wraps Up
July 12, 2018
University College of the North’s (UCN) Summer Institute has concluded for another year. The title of the week-long camp is “Onikaniwak – For Those Who Lead.” The land-based program began on July 6th this year and was located at Egg Lake, 70 kilometres north of The Pas, MB.
UCN partners with a number of other post-secondary institutes and organizations that allows this event to be the success it is. These include University of Saskatchewan, Brandon University, University of Winnipeg, the Manitoba Metis Federation, the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the Opaskwayak Cree Nation.
This innovative land based summer institute focuses exclusively on First Nations, Metis and Inuit history, worldviews, challenges/realities, pedigogies and culture to develop the leadership capacity for school and post-secondary leaders.
While at the summer institute, registrants heard from various Indigenous scholars, elders and cultural adisors speak on topics that relate to Indigenous education, history, treaties, contemporary reality, residential school and intergenerational effects, land based teachings and a short Cree language program. Registrants also participated in a wide range of cultural activities such as pipe ceremonies, sweat lodge building, beading, medicine walks and medicine teachings as well as recreational activities such as canoeing, fishing and nature walks.
Sharon McKay is UCN’s Executive Director of its Aboriginal Knowledge and Culture Division and heads up the annual event. She is quick to point out, though, titles won’t get you very far at this camp. “There is quite a variety of people who attend from a number of backgrounds but people just do what needs to be done. Professors take out garbage and I do the dishes.
” Ms. McKay says attending these summer events can bring about an entirely new way of seeing things. “The very title, For Those Who Lead, brings about an awareness of history, of reconciliation, of a shared history.” “It’s difficult to explain”, she says, “but lives are transformed and if you come with an open mind and an open heart, your life will change.”
Twenty-Five people were registered who came with their families from all over Manitoba, as well as 20 students from UCN. The Summer Institute opened July 6th and concluded July 12, 2018.
For more information, please contact: Jim Scott, Director Communications Department University College of the North P: 204-627-8244 E: firstname.lastname@example.org