How can Okanagan College enhance support for Indigenous students stepping into co-op work terms with employers? And in turn, how can OC better assist employers looking to hire students and set them up for success during their time in the workforce? These are just two of many questions inspiring Jewell Gillies as they consulted with students, employers, other post-secondary institutions, and Indigenous community members in the region and beyond as part of an 18-month long research project. “This project delves into many aspects of co-operative education or work-integrated learning, with the goal of better understanding Indigenous students’ experiences, what their questions and concerns are,” they explain. Indigenous identity in 2021 in Canada is complex and thoughtful intentions are required; we need to be proactive with the resources, care, and opportunity we provide to Indigenous learners. This project was to help address some of those questions from a co-op perspective in Higher Education. 

Key Learning Objectives: 

  • Understand the complexity of Indigenous student 
  • Identity Some best practice tips for engaging with Indigenous Community
  • Best practice tips for recruitment and retention of Indigenous students into WIL opportunities.
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