On August 17th, the Manitoba Industry-Academia Partnership (MI-AP) in collaboration with Manitoba Collaborative Indigenous Education Blueprint (MCIEB), held an event to launch a new digital resource of supports for Indigenous post-secondary students. The Horizon Showcase took place at Manitou a bi Bii daziigae – Red River College Polytech’s newest building at the downtown campus.
The Showcase included messages from Prairies Canada, Manitoba’s Office of Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration, Red River College Polytech, and the Manitoba Collaborative Indigenous Education Blueprint (MCIEB). Denise Tardiff, Manager at MCIEB and a key player in the creation of this resource, gave a demonstration of Horizon. She provided the rationale for the creation of the resource and how it is different from existing supports.
The main goal of the Horizon ecosystem map is to create a central resource with multiple search pathways. Featured programs or services can be found under the organization that provides them. Horizon also allows users to search all resources from any source according to their need. This radically simplifies the process of locating appropriate supports. Horizon removes a barrier for non-Indigenous students’ access to services, particularly valuable for students from remote communities where poor internet connectivity has limited their ability to become proficient at navigating large institutional processes that rely heavily on online communication.
Attendees at the Horizon Showcase heard from an Indigenous post-secondary student, a student support worker, and the Director of the Manitoba School Boards, all sharing perspectives about how this resource will benefit students and service providers. After the event, an attendee reached out to share her gratitude and hope for this new resource with a poignant personal story. Jenelle Manitowabi, Project Coordinator at UM Indigenous Engagement & Communication said, “When I went to college, I moved 12 hours away with five other students I grew up with and by fall break I was the only one left. I believe that if something like this had existed it would have been an absolute game changer.”
The Horizon Ecosystem Map is an important step in fulfilling the commitment of Manitoba’s Post-Secondary Institutions to the Manitoba Collaborative Indigenous Education Blueprint (MCIEB) to accelerate opportunities for Indigenous post-secondary students and the continued commitment to advancing the TRC Calls to Action.
Denise Tardiff states, “Predicated on a strong foundation of Reconciliation we hope that Horizon will play a part in truly achieving substantive equality for Indigenous students in the Manitoba academic, industrial, and economic landscape and that those who use this resource – our students, the career developers that assist our students – will find it to be an invaluable tool for the Indigenous community.”
Visit Horizon at: https://horizon.miap.ca