NAN Education Institute unveils new name and logo and Mobile Trades Trailer to provide specialized skills and trades training to Indigenous
Oshki-Pimache-O-Win Education Institute unveiled a new name and brand identity at the Nishnawbe Aski Nation Chiefs Winter Assembly. Renamed Oshki-Pimache-O-Win The Wenjack Education Institute, the new logo encompasses a tribute to the memory of Chanie “Charlie” Wenjack. Back in October of 2016, Nishnawbe Aski Nation announced the intent to rename on the 50th anniversary of Wenjack’s tragic death.
12- year-old Chanie Wenjack froze to death on October 22, 1966 after fleeing the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in Northwestern Ontario. In 2016, Chanie’s story was broadcast to the world through a
multi-media project titled “The Secret Path”, which was led by the late Gord Downie. It included a solo album, graphic novel and animated film. Chanie’s short life has become an iconic symbol of the Residential School era in Canada. His story is one of the resilience of indigenous people and their cultural survival and renaissance. His story has also inspired Canada to do better in these days of Truth and Reconciliation.
“The renaming of the Institute and new logo will honour the memory of Chanie Wenjack and the people who attended Indian Residential Schools. The name is a lasting legacy for all Residential School survivors across NAN territory and recognition of the multi-generational impacts their experiences have had on families, communities and nations. Oshki-Pimache-O-Win The Wenjack Education Institute is a symbol of new beginnings through indigenous-centered education and training,” says Rosie Mosquito, Executive Director.
To mark new beginnings, Oshki-Pimache-O-Win, The Wenjack Education Institute also unveiled a new $3-million mobile trades trailer today. The unit creates over 1,800 square feet of classroom and lab space that can accommodate 16 students. The lab is equipped for instruction in a variety of skilled trades, such as welding, heavy equipment, machining, plumbing, electrical, millwright and carpentry. The unit also has
wireless internet and satellite.
“The Mobile Trades Trailer is a high-tech skilled trades laboratory on wheels that can be deployed anywhere to provide trades training opportunities for those who might not otherwise be able to access
specialized skills training. This new unit recognizes and respects learners’ strong ties to community and culture, and supports the need to deliver relevant education and training opportunities where our
people live. Oshki-Pimache-O-Win The Wenjack Education Institute can now bring trades training learning opportunities closer to First Nation communities across the NAN territory,” says Gordon Kakegamic, Innovations and Training Coordinator.
Founded in 1996, Oshki-Pimache-O-Win The Wenjack Education Institute has provided new beginnings through its education and training programs where about 250 students have graduated with postsecondary credentials and over 400 students other programs. With a high success rate in the
range of 80%, many students have gained meaningful careers in their communities and region.
“The new Mobile Trades Trailer further removes barriers that individuals in our communities currently face such as financial, geographical and cultural challenges. Increasing the capacity for skilled labour in our communities sets a positive foundation for personal and socio-economic growth. This new learning tool brings education directly to our people and provides a sense of security as students learn and master skills close to home,” continues Mosquito.
Oshki-Pimache-O-Win The Wenjack Education Institute is now in the process of developing a Deployment Plan to determine where the Mobile Trades Trailer will travel. Additional funding will be required to ensure program success.
Rosie Mosquito, Executive Director
“ It is building on our name and our brand. The process we were engaged in the last year was very creative and incorporated the name of Chaney Wenjack and how we could do that. It involved all of our staff, our student’s, the family and the NAN Chiefs. We are very pleased to honour the memory of Chaney”
“We can all learn from this story as Indigenous people, First Nations here and across Canada. The residential school process has not been positive for our people, it has been very traumatic, very damaging. The positive side is one of resilience and survival. We are making progress day by day by day. We haven’t been stamped out despite all of this. We are a strong people and getting stronger, creating beauty and change.”
“ This institute is created to provide innovative programming. Our mobile office announced today is the ability to provide mobile training to our people in remote communities.”
“Our trailer can create up to 800 square feet of craftsman space and there is also a supply trailer. The stations can be customized into welding, electrical, mechanical, construction and millwright.”
“ We do not receive core funding on an annual basis so it was a challenge to obtain the funding to purchase the mobile unit.”
“It makes a huge difference taking the training to the students in their communities. Our success rates and retention rates are high in this way.”
Pearl Achneepineskum is Chanie’s sister
“I’m very proud to see my brother’s name on the school. My brother was a happy child. He ran away because he couldn’t accept the new school setting. It is important to have the children stay at home as long as possible, say until Grade 12.”
“I went through the same feelings as my brother. When you are taken at 6 years old, you had to fend for yourself. Everything you went through at the school stays with you and I see the same traits in others that
went through this as well. We also imposed everything we went through on our children and our children paid the price of what we went through. It is going to take the next generation over again to get
better. You shouldn’t have to move your whole family to go to school.”