First Nations Core Competency
by Tosh Southwick
October 19, 2011
I was at a meeting last week where we were discussing FNI’s initiatives on a First Nations core competency for Yukon College. One of the participants at the meeting suggested that FNI include a blog about the initiative. I thought it was a great suggestion so this week’s blog will be an introduction to the proposed core competency.
The idea of a core competency in Yukon First Nations is not a new one to the College. We have had the idea circulating for a number of years. The discussions have also occurred at the PACFNI meetings and the First Nations have often brought forth the idea of having all Yukon College grads leave the College with a basic understanding of Yukon First Nations. In fact, we already have a number of courses and programs that include a course or section on Yukon First Nations. The idea with the core competency proposal is to build on what we have and expand the knowledge to all Yukon College students. FNI proposed that the College develop a “toolbox” approach to a core competency on Yukon First Nations. Understanding that our courses and programs are varied and have different needs, we want to develop a wider means in which our students can acquire a core competency. The goal is to have a tool box that is full of different and flexible types of curriculum that will meet the needs of our various programs and students.
The first step was a proposal that went to the education and training circle (ETC) and sparked a great deal of conversation and feedback.
Title: First Nations Core Competency
Prepared by: FNI department
Presented to: ETC
Date: May 29th, 2011
Yukon College has a role to play in ensuring everyone in the Territory has a fundamental awareness of Yukon First Nations and modern day Land Claims. Our goal is to have Yukon College students graduate with an understanding and appreciation of Yukon First Nations.
In order to explore this idea we initiated a discussion at the ETC using the question below:
What challenges and opportunities could emerge by creating a core competency requirement for all Yukon College graduates related to an understanding of Yukon First Nations? The intention being that each student who leaves Yukon College will graduate with an understanding and appreciation of the history and contemporary issues of Yukon First Nations
ETC reps were asked to bring the question forward to their divisions and forward any feedback to FNI.
We propose the creation of a “tool box” approach to satisfy a core competency in developing an understanding of, and appreciation for, Yukon First Nations.
We recognize that there is no one approach that will work for all students in all programs. Given the diverse nature of programs at the College, we are proposing that the core competency be a required credit/component for all Yukon College programs that can be met in a variety of ways.
• Existing Yukon College course/activity that meets the objective (history 140, FNST, hunting trip, field school)
• A service Learning credit
• Yukon First Nation workshop held twice a year
• A PLAR process
We will establish a working group that would decide the logistics including implementation dates.
The proposal to establish a working group to design the toolbox and come up with an implementation plan was approved at the September ETC meeting. We have just had our first working group meeting (we are looking to have representation from every school on the group) and the group has been given some preliminary background information. With this information, we will start to define what the core competency should look like. I’m very excited about this project and I will try to keep an update on this and other FNI projects in our future blogs. If you have any questions or an interest in working on this project please let me know.