Innovative Learning Partnership for Indigenous Youth

Learning PartnershipBuilding on the knowledge of Elders and the aspirations of Indigenous youth, Yukon College has joined Vancouver Island University (VIU) in a collaboration that creates opportunities for Indigenous learners to be full partners in their education. This new learning partnership is supported by the Rideau Hall Foundation and Mastercard Foundation.

300+ new Indigenous post-secondary students

Beginning fall 2017 and over five years, $4.6-million in new funding will assist current students as well as over 300 new Indigenous students to access post-secondary and achieve their education and life goals.

All Indigenous learners at Yukon College will benefit from expanded support services on campus and within their communities. The overall aim is to build a strong collaborative network of community and institutional partners who support Indigenous youths’ education and life goals.

New and enhanced supports for Indigenous youth

Re-envisioning access to and success in post-secondary education

Yukon College will enhance existing supports for Yukon First Nations students and youth and create new opportunities to increase access and remove barriers to post-secondary education. Credentialed programming will allow Yukon College to build and present university-level credential courses in rural communities.

Academic Support Worker and Education, Career, and Life-Planning Mentor

The Academic Support Worker will help community campus students access academic supports.

The Education, Career and Life-Planning Mentor will assist students through all non-academic barriers to success.

Transition Worker

The Transition Worker will assist students and potential students from facilities such as the Whitehorse Correctional Centre, government-run group homes, and treatment programs into post-secondary education.

Yukon Youth University

Yukon Youth University will offer a variety of programs to engage Yukon youth in educational opportunities, helping to build a vision of themselves as connected to, and successful in, post-secondary education.


Co-creating this learning partnership: collaborative listening and learning


Yukon College invited to discuss initiatives in place for Indigenous students with Rideau Hall  Foundation.

MARCH 2017

Rideau Hall Foundation invites executives, Elders and students from Yukon College and Vancouver Island University to a two-day co-creation planning meeting
hosted at the Mastercard Foundation’s office in Toronto.

APRIL 2017 

Yukon College and Vancouver Island University draw upon existing knowledge of needs and fresh engagement with community and First Nations partners to envision the supports this new learning partnership might provide.

MAY 2017

A second co-creation planning meeting is held in Nanaimo, BC including youth and Elders from local Indigenous communities and Yukon.

AUGUST  2017

The learning partnership is formalized with an initial $22.5 million of funding supporting five years of programming at Vancouver Island University and Yukon College. Both institutions begin hiring additional faculty and staff and actualizing expanded supports for students.


The partnership is launched in Nanaimo, BC and Carcross, Yukon. The launch attracts positive media coverage nationally and regionally – The Globe & Mail, CBC (TV, radio and web), University Affairs, as well as local print and commercial radio outlets. The four partners embark on a series of meetings with an external consultant to co-create multiple measures of success for supports available through this learning partnership.

Partner logos