Portage College has a long and rich history of engagement with Indigenous communities, which has led to successful program collaborations throughout the College’s service region. This tradition continues, even during a global pandemic.
During the past few years, the College has partnered with Frog Lake First Nation (Frog Lake) to offer a variety of programs including 1st Period Carpentry, mechanics, cooking, Office Administration, Health Care Aide, Oil and Gas Administrative Assistant and Employabilities Skills to students on the Nation.
With the onset of COVID-19, Frog Lake was tasked with how to best support adult students who would no longer be able to attend face-to-face classes at the campus. Success Coach Debbie Lemieux quickly organized a meeting between Frog Lake Band Manager William Quinney, Frog Lake Social Development, Frog Lake Employment and Training, and Portage College Associate Dean Don Moore to decide how best to support students. From that meeting, Frog Lake committed to fund the purchase of laptops for those students in post-secondary training who needed them.
“It is truly fantastic to see the commitment that Frog Lake has made to these learners, and speaks to the ongoing partnership between Frog Lake and Portage College,” said Moore. “The laptop program ensures that adult learners are able to continue their studies despite being physically distanced, and allows them to continue to engage in learning.”
Students received a laptop and printer/scanner if they were still enrolled in programming with Portage College. This included students in Academic Upgrading, Continuing Education, University Transfer, Natural Resources Technology, or Community Adult Learning Programming. Until the equipment was delivered, instructors Tara Krinbill, Debra Leckie, and Dana Cogan supported students through booklet drop-offs at homes in the community and email.
Delivery of equipment was organized with the support of Chief and Council members. Students will keep the laptops until they complete their programs. The Frog Lake Careers department will then collect the laptops and use them for future distance programming.
For more information about programming in Frog Lake First Nation, contact [email protected] or call 1-866-623-5551.