Partners in Success: The Simon Fraser University and Secwepemc First Nations Studies Program

Chief Ron Ignace, Marianne Boelscher Ignace, Monique Layton, Hari Sharma, J. Colin Yerbury

Abstract


An unusual and ambitious program constitutes Simon Fraser University's response to a 1987 initiative of the Chiefs of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council and the Secwepemc Cultural Education Society to gain control over the education and training of their people. Offered as an extension program, it leads to a number of academic credentials and is specifically designed to enhance Native students' knowledge of their history, language, and culture, while providing a solid foundation in the social sciences. With a focus on the British Columbia Interior, the program is entirely offered in Kamloops, B.C., with some provision for distance education. As well as being a successful example of a collaboration between clients aware of their academic needs and objectives and a university capable of fulfilling them and willing to do so, the program is also an academic success in terms of its adaptability. Without sacrificing any of its scholarly requirements, it has adjusted to local circumstances and opportunities.

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