|Back to Home||Feature Article - February 2, 2012|
Northern Connections partners with Shabot Obaadjiwan and LDSBby Julie Druker
Photo: Chief Doreen Davis, Penny Tryon and Joyce Bigelow at the Open House at Northern Connections in Sharbot Lake on Jan. 28
An open house was held at the Northern Connections Adult Learning Centre in Sharbot Lake on Jan. 28 to celebrate the center's recent partnering with the Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation (SOFN) and the Limestone District School Board (LDSB) at Sharbot Lake High School.
The partnership aims to combine academic and cultural/traditional teachings with a vision towards offering all members of the community a chance to achieve their own personal goals. Members and elders of the SOFN will now be offering workshops at the center on various subjects to all members of the community.
Along with the regular classes Northern Connections currently offers in computer training, upgrading, literacy, credits and equivalents, basic employment and life skills, the new partnership with the LDSB will allow the center to offer all members of the community assistance in high school credit correspondence courses through a teacher from the Sharbot Lake High School, who will be available at Northern Connections on Tuesday and Friday mornings.
Chief Doreen Davis of the Shabot Obaadjiwan, who attended the open house along with Penny Tryon, assistant coordinator of events and programming at the SOFN, explained how the partnership will benefit members of the SOFN and the community as a whole. “What we're trying to do in this partnership is to bring our cultural knowledge and teachings to the curriculum provided here at the center as well as to help our people upgrade and reach their own personal goals by accessing all of the classes offered here at the center. This partnership is something that we have been hoping for for a long time and we are very pleased that the center can now be a one stop shop for our people to come to learn and to share, which is really what the partnership is all about.”
Joyce Bigelow, executive director at Northern Connections, explained the aim of the partnership further. “Our organization has felt for years that we needed to have more cultural material and more of an input from the Algonquin people as to what materials of learning are necessary in the community. Our goal is to have an adult learning center that combines the knowledge of all members of the community. Along with the workshops offered by members of the Algonquin community we will also be bringing in special culturally appropriate learning materials for members of the Aboriginal community. We have received some funding from the Ministry of Training/Colleges and Universities to look at various resources that we can purchase for the center along those lines. Another benefit the partnership offers is that we will now be able to make inter-referrals with less duplication and I think that the combination of our different areas of expertise will definitely benefit all members of the community.”
The first in a series of workshops that will take place at Northern Connections is a Fan Making Workshop scheduled for Feb. 18 & 19. Other upcoming workshops will include hide tanning and many more. For more information about the workshops contact Penny Tryon at 613-329-0765 or Laurie Watson at 613-279-2499. For more information about other regular classes offered at the center call 613-279-2499. The Northern Connection learning Centre is located at 24719 Hwy 7 west of Road 38.