Dedicated to improving accessibility and success in higher education for Indigenous peoples, Western University has revamped its longstanding Aboriginal Education and Employment Council (AEEC) with new terms of reference and a new name.
The Indigenous Postsecondary Education Council (IPEC) reports to the Office of the President through Western’s Associate Vice President, Student Experience and serves to support Western in fulfilling its strategic goals.
“The new name and terms of reference signify Western’s revitalized vision for serving Indigenous communities,” says Natalie Fletcher, Southern First Nations Secretariat’s Education Counsellor and IPEC co-chair.
Western’s five-year Strategic Plan targets a commitment to Indigenous education and we believe that commitment is stronger than ever,” says Angie Mandich, Western’s Associate Vice President, Student Experience and IPEC co-chair.
IPEC will play a key role in the development of a multi-year Indigenous Strategic Plan for Western. The Committee has broad representation of committed participants with diverse backgrounds and a common interest in improving the outcomes in Indigenous post-secondary education; its members include Western senior administrators, leaders, local First Nations communities and organizations, Indigenous students, faculty members, and staff.
The terms of reference identify several broad level goals to increase Indigenous presence and inclusion across Western such as:
• Strengthening Indigenous access and community outreach
• Facilitating and enhancing Indigenous student representation, transition, retention, completion and advancement
• Working to increase representation of Indigenous persons among staff and faculty through equitable hiring
• Improving current academic programming and course offerings by including Indigenous content
• Supporting and expanding research on Indigenous issues in respectful and responsible ways
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