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Online learning centre with thousands of courses opens in Attawapiskat

Thursday December 20, 2012

An education centre with access to over 1,000 distance education online courses from Ontario colleges and universities has opened in Attawapiskat.

The new Attawapiskat centre becomes one of 112 online learning centres across Ontario operated by Contact North, Ontario’s Distance Education and Training Network.

“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 Attawapiskat Chief Teresa Spence in a press release. “Through our partnership with Contact North, our residents can get culturally appropriate and relevant training and skills they need for current and future jobs right here in Attawapiskat.”

The centre is located in the Marc Guevremont Training Centre in Attawapiskat.

According to a Contact North press release, residents of Attawapiskat can access over 18,000 online and distance education courses at the new centre. High speed Internet access, computer workstations and other learning technologies are available for community members to use.

The online courses include college and university courses as well as literacy, basic skills and other training.

A coordinator who provides technical support, information on available courses and programs and assistance with the registration process staffs the centre.

Chris Bentley, Ontario’s minister of Aboriginal Affairs, opened the centre on Dec. 13.

“The opening of the learning centre will bring new training opportunites to the residents of Attawapiskat,” Bentley said in a release. “It’s so important that people young and old have access to these tools without having to leave their community.”

In November 2012 Attawapiskat First Nation signed a memorandum of understanding with Ontario Works, Contact North’s Centre of Excellence in Aboriginal distance education, and the Sioux Hudson Literary Council to explore opportunities for online and distance delivery of education and training programs.

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