Vic Fedeli handed out more than $5 million in funding which will support the Anishinabek Educational Institute.
The financial boost was announced during a media conference Monday morning in downtown North Bay. The funding is expected to allow the institute to provide culturally responsive education and training pathways for students to prepare for careers as registered practical nurses or PSW's as part of its nursing and person support worker programs over the next four years.
“By investing in PSW and nursing programs at Anishinabek Educational Institute our government is providing more culturally responsive education and training pathways for local learners,” said Vic Fedeli, MPP for Nipissing.
“This support will allow the Institute to offer more education and training programs that directly respond to community demands and needs of the local labour market.”
Regional Deputy Grand Council Chief James Marsden says the Anishinabek Educational Institute prides itself in going above and beyond to support students in this step of their lifelong journey
Marsden, who was at the Monday media conference at Fedeli's constituency office, hopes the funding will both enable and encourage First Nation students to pursue and succeed in health care careers.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the need for healthcare professionals everywhere; however, the need for Indigenous health professionals has always been present within Anishinabek First Nations. Lack of access to adequate training and funding resources has detrimentally impacted our citizen’s ability to enrol and study in healthcare professional programs," he said in a release.
"It will allow us to bring in extra teachers as needed. It is going to be welcome just to have that extra space," added Marsden about the campus located in Nipissing First Nation.
This investment will help Anishinabek Educational Institute expand existing programs or create new ones to support the training of approximately 101 practical nurses and 30 PSWs over four years. This will include additional lab and classroom space, and course materials like hospital beds, simulation manikins and patient lifts to support the larger cohort of students.
The funding is part of an investment of $34 million over four years to increase enrolment in nursing and PSW programs at six Indigenous Institutes.