New Contact North I Contact Nord Online Learning Centre in Attawapiskat Brings Education Opportunities Directly to Local Residents

“The opening of the Contact North | Contact Nord online learning centre will bring new education and training opportunities to the residents of Attawapiskat. It’s so important that people young and old have access to these tools without having to leave their community.”

Honourable Chris Bentley
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs

“The Contact North | Contact Nord online learning centre in Attawapiskat is a great example of how we can work together to ensure that we meet the education and training needs of Aboriginal communities across Ontario and take advantage of new economic and emerging opportunities. The partnership formed between the Attawapiskat First Nation and Contact North | Contact Nord is a model that can be successfully replicated in other Aboriginal communities to meet their unique needs.”

Honourable John Milloy
Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities

December 13, 2012

THUNDER BAY – A new online learning centre has opened its doors in the First Nation community of Attawapiskat. The centre is operated by Contact North ǀ Contact Nord, Ontario’s Distance Education & Training Network with space donated by the Attawapiskat First Nation. Contact North ǀ Contact Nord operates 112 online learning centres across the province – 26 of them in First Nation communities.

“There is a significant need for training and skills development options for the people of Attawapiskat First Nation to take advantage of emerging economic opportunities,” said Chief Theresa Spence, Attawapiskat First Nation. “Through our partnership with
Contact North | Contact Nord in establishing this local online learning centre, our residents can get culturally appropriate and relevant training and skills they need for current and future jobs right here in Attawapiskat.”
The Honourable Chris Bentley, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, officially opened the centre which is located within Marc Guevremont Training Centre in Attawapiskat. The online learning centre is a partnership between the Attawapiskat First Nation and
Contact North | Contact Nord to provide local access to education and training opportunities.

Through the use of audioconferencing, videoconferencing, web conferencing and the Internet, residents now have local access to over 18,000 online and distance courses and over 1,000 online and distance programs from Ontario’s public colleges, universities, school boards, literacy and basic skills and other training providers.

The online learning centre is equipped with the learning technologies, high-speed Internet access and computer workstations and is staffed by a local centre coordinator who provides technical support, assistance with information on available courses and programs, assistance with the registration process and other support services.

Attawapiskat First Nation and Contact North | Contact Nord are working together to identify the specific education and training needs of local residents and find solutions to meet these needs.

As a first step in meeting the needs of the community, in November 2012, Attawapiskat First Nation Ontario Works, Contact North I Contact Nord’s Centre of Excellence in Aboriginal distance Education and Online Learning, and Sioux Hudson Literacy Council (a public provider of literacy and basic skills training) completed a memorandum of understanding to, among other initiatives, explore opportunities for online and distance delivery of education and training programs and courses to support Attawapiskat First Nation Ontario Works clients. It is estimated that this initiative will assist some 400 individuals in the community.