Champlain College Saint Lambert places a high priority on embracing Onkwehón:we (The original people/Indigenous) ways of life both within and beyond the classroom. Our commitment to cultural knowledge and understanding the histories of this land demonstrates our active support for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. At Champlain, we have fostered a supportive and encouraging environment for Indigenous students. We provide academic assistance, address transitional barriers, and provide full time support with the new position of the Indigenous Student Life Counsellor.
By celebrating and incorporating the beautiful and diverse cultures of Indigenous nations across Turtle Island, we aim to strengthen the connection between Indigenous students and their heritage, while providing an opportunity for non-Indigenous community members to expand their knowledge and understandings.
The collaborative efforts of our faculty, staff, and the dynamic Community of Practice committee are instrumental in supporting our Champlain Indigenous Student Ambassadors. These ambassadors play an active role in the community by offering support to first-year students, organizing Indigenous Orientation Retreats, and establishing partnerships with Indigenous students from other Cégeps and organize a multitude of workshops with Kahnawa’kehró:non (community members of Kahnawà:ke).
One of our notable initiatives is the week-long event led by the Indigenous Student Ambassadors called “Shé:kon Kèn:’en Itewe’s” (We Are Still Here). This event focuses on sharing Indigenous histories and raising awareness about Residential Schools. It features workshops and various activities that culminate in a College-wide ceremony on National Truth and Reconciliation Day. During this time, we gather to honor the Indigenous children who never returned home and show our respect for the survivors. Additionally, the George Wallace Library hosts an expanding Truth & Reconciliation Collection, accessible through the Champlain TRC Community of Practice link on the Omnivox Portal. Throughout the remainder of the academic year, onkwehón:we workshops and guest speakers are organized to reclaim Indigenous voices and narratives in post-secondary education.
We continually incorporate new ideas and course components addressing Indigenous issues into our evolving curriculum. By doing so, we strive to cultivate students who:
- Recognize and respect diversity.
- Embrace individual differences with openness.
- Value Reconciliation and understand the significance of Truth in today’s historical context.
- Actively contribute to Reconciliation efforts by engaging in Indigenous Education and Culture.