Graduating Glass: Native Classroom Assistant Diploma Program

Teachers Program

Bimose Tribal Council has established a partnership with Nipissing University to train educational assistants and teachers in our First Nation schools. Our goal is to train community members living and working in their schools, by providing accredited post-secondary teacher education training.

The Native Classroom Assistant Diploma Program (NCADP) offers candidates the opportunity to explore the role of the classroom assistant, to work within First Nation schools and the public education system. Students are introduced to the latest pedagogical understandings in working with elementary students of all academic levels in numerous subject areas. Practicum experiences allow students to connect educational theory with practical applications in the classroom and the entire school. This is a part-time program where students continue to work in their communities and return to their classrooms with newly acquired skills and knowledge, to confidently assist children in elementary classrooms.

The Aboriginal Teacher Certification Program also offered by Nipissing will expand upon the learning of a classroom assistant. This program will enable candidates to obtain additional teacher education that leads to certification with the Ontario College of Teachers and obtain a license to teach within Ontario. Teachers currently employed in our community schools who wish to obtain the Ontario Teaching Certificate are encourage to apply to this program.

Photo of 17 out of 24 students currently attending the Native Classroom Assistant Diploma Program

Indigenous Teacher Education Program

Nipissing University, in partnership with Bimose Tribal Council is proud to announce that they are providing a two-year Indigenous Teacher Education Program which began on February 9, 2019. 
The Indigenous Teach Education Program (ITEP) provides students of Indigenous ancestry the opportunity to earn a Diploma in Education or a Bachelor of Education Degree from Nipissing University and a Certificate of Qualification from the Ontario College of Teachers with qualifications to teach Primary/Junior divisions in all schools across Ontario. It builds on the Native Classroom Assistant Diploma Program which ran from December 2016 to January 2018, which provided graduates with the knowledge and skill to work with Indigenous children in elementary schools.
 “By bringing ITEP within the Bimose communities, it offers the opportunity for Anishinaabeg students to pursue post-secondary education at home.”, said Barbara Katic, Education Services Coordinator at Bimose Tribal Council.  “Further, it will help address challenges around teacher recruitment, will graduate Anishinaabeg students who are reflective of the children in our communities and who will serve as successful role models.  It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Bimose Tribal Council is providing wrap-around services for the program, including support for access to tuition and funding, and student fees. The courses will be administered at Bimose’s Gaagagekiizhik School in Kenora. 
Fundamental to the program is the integration of cultural activities and practices. 
“Training and placing Anishinaabe teachers into our schools is a fundamental means of honoring our cultural values, history and Treaties” said Katic. “When children and youth see someone from their community at the head of the class, they are comforted and better able to engage with their teacher.” 
Both sides of the partnership hope the positive impacts of the program will be felt outside of Kenora.
“The Schulich School of Education at Nipissing University has incorporated Anishinaabe and other Indigenous education programming for decades,” said Dr. Carole Richardson, Dean of the Schulich School of Education at Nipissing University. “By partnering with the Bimose Tribal Council to offer this program, we’re creating a unique opportunity to train more Anishinaabe teaching staff. The positive impacts of this partnership will be felt by Anishinaabe students, families, teaching staff and communities.”
This partnership builds on existing Native Classroom Assistant Diploma Program that was launched in 2018 which graduated 13 students.

Head Office

Niisaachewan Anishinaabe Nation,
22 Band Office Road,
Dalles, Ontario
P9N 0J2

Central Office

598 Lakeview Drive,
Kenora, Ontario
P9N 3P7


Phone: 807-468-5551

Fax: 807-468-3908

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