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Expanding Indigenous education and research in Canada with the First Nations Technical Institute

Expanding Indigenous education and research in Canada with the First Nations Technical Institute


(Tyendinaga, ON) January 18, 2019 – the First Nations Technical Institute (FNTI) is expanding its programming and capacity for the 2019/20 academic year as Indigenous-centred education grows in Ontario.


On Monday, January 14, Member of Parliament for Hastings, Lennox and Addington Mike Bossio, on behalf of the Honourable Kristy Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced that FNTI will receive a National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) grant. FNTI will receive $50,000 for research in the fields of agriculture, food security, and sustainability, including a focus on decolonization, Indigenous knowledge, elders, and knowledge-keepers.  


"We are excited to have federal support to build our capacity to conduct food systems research in a culturally-relevant way,” Keith Williams, FNTI Special Projects Advisor, said. “We hope that this is just the beginning of a broader research program at FNTI that will address community priorities and serve as a model for other researchers in Indigenous contexts."


“We are thrilled to see the government investing in projects that support Indigenous research to improve the lives of Indigenous peoples in Canada,” said Suzanne Brant, FNTI’s president. “Grants like these help FNTI be a leader in Indigenous education.”


In upcoming academic years, FNTI will expand degrees and diplomas in a variety of fields including agriculture, social and community justice, midwifery, technology and sustainability.


FNTI’s unique approach offers students responsive and supportive education. FNTI’s mandate is to share unique educational experiences, rooted in Indigenous knowledge, thereby enhancing the strength of learners and communities. The learner-centered environment respects Indigenous learning outcomes and each program has a cultural advisor and student success facilitator to help guide and support faculty and students, understanding the unique challenges their students may face.


FNTI delivers programs all over Ontario in First Nations, urban centers, and in small communities in what is known as IPM – Intense Professional Mode, a one-week intense session per month. The post-secondary institute has served 100 of the 133 indigenous communities in Ontario and continues to grow each year.


The Government of Canada is currently co-developing legislation on Indigenous Child and Family Services with Indigenous partners. This legislation is being developed to fully implement all orders of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, and reform child and family services.


“With this legislation, there will be a greater demand than ever before for Indigenous education,” Brant said. “FNTI is ready to meet these increased needs.”


Individuals interested in applying to FNTI can look on FNTI’s website for a full list of programs and application instructions.


“We look forward to meeting a new cohort of students ready to transform themselves and their communities,” Brant concluded.



FNTI is an Indigenous institute offering unique educational opportunities aimed at enhancing the capacity and strength of learners and communities. FNTI delivers culturally-rich post-secondary programs in partnership with several Ontario colleges and universities. Courses often offered in an intensive mode allows learners to learn while they continue to work and participate in their communities across Canada. FNTI is also located in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. For more information visit www.fnti.net, Facebook @firstnationstechnicalinstitute or Twitter @FNTInews.


For more information or to book an interview, please contact:

Rita Rahmati