First Nations and Inuit Education
First Nations and Inuit Education (FNIE) operates under the auspices of the Department of Integrated Studies in Education, the largest department in McGill University’s Faculty of Education.
FNIE works in partnership with First Nations and Inuit education authorities throughout Quebec – such as the Kativik School Board (KSB), the Cree School Board, the Kahnawake and Kanehsatake education centres, and the Central Quebec School Board on behalf of the Naskapis of Kawawachikamach – to deliver community-based teacher education programs and professional development.
First Nations and Inuit Education was first established In the mid-1970s by McGill University Faculty of Education Professor Jack Cram and Ms. Hélène Beauchemin of the Kativik School Board. The purpose of this partnership was to provide teacher training for Inuttitut-speaking teachers.
The McGill-Kativik program was so successful that the Eastern Arctic Teacher Education Program, (now Nunavut Teacher Education Program), based in Iqaluit, sought the same kind of partnerhsip with the University.
Since 1989 FNIE’s partnerships have grown to include teacher education for Mi’kmaq teachers in Lustiguj and Maria (in the Gaspé), Algonquin teachers in Maniwaki and Rapid Lake (north of Ottawa), Mohawk teachers in Kahnawake and Kanesatake (south-western Quebec), and Cree and Naskapi teachers (in northern Quebec).
Each community that establishes a partnership with FNIE names an educational representative as the contact/coordinator of the McGill programs being delivered in that community. Program decisions are made collaboratively with this person. These educational representatives also sit on a Steering Committee, which meets annually to review FNIE activities and suggest new directions for program development.