The Shingwauk Education Trust has launched a research project to identify the need for Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe language) speakers across multiple economic sectors in Northern Ontario. The project, funded by the Ontario Human Capital Research and Innovation Fund of the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities will assist in identifying labour market gaps where various agencies and businesses require employees who are proficient in Anishinaabemowin to work with Indigenous clients and patrons.
In turn, the research will help adapt the Anishinaabemowin General B.A. program offered jointly between Algoma University and Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig (SKG), the Centre of Excellence in Anishinaabe Education administered by SET.
The research will also shed light on future career prospects for prospective graduates of the Anishinaabemowin degree program.
Past research and community consultations by Algoma University and SET have identified community demand for Anishinaabemowin education. The research currently being undertaken, however, is the first of its kind to focus specifically on labour market demand.
Researchers Deb Pine and Sean Meades will spearhead the project, supported by staff at SET and the NORDIK Institute.
Surveys have been distributed to past graduates of the program to highlight where there degrees have taken them, while Pine will begin a series of focus groups with employers next week. The first focus group will take place in Thunder Bay on December 7th, 2015 from 12 to 3 p.m. at the Valhalla Inn. Future focus groups will take place, reaching out to Anishinaabe communities and employers across the Algoma, Sudbury, and Manitoulin Districts. Employers wishing to participate but unable to attend focus groups will be interviewed either in person or by phone.
The geographic scope of the study focuses on the areas covered by the Robinson-Huron, Robinson-Superior, and Manitoulin treaties, reflecting the areas where most of the program’s students originate. Any employers from outside of those areas wishing to participate are nonetheless encouraged to contact the research team to have their needs recorded in the final report, scheduled to be issued at the end of March, 2016. Anyone wishing to participate is encouraged to contact Sean Meades by phoning 705-942-5069, extension 104, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.