October 3, 2017
Last week, YTC staff gathered in the Sunchild Room to meet members of the National Indigenous Accreditation Board and accept our certificate of accreditation. Two years in the making, the process of accreditation involved reporting on every aspect of our history, current operations, and future plans, as well as our values and cultural practices.
Accreditation by the National Indigenous Accreditation Board (NIAB) is incredibly meaningful for YTC, as we exist to provide an Indigenous education that is guided by culture and enables our students to walk in two worlds. NIAB's mission statement explains what the goal of Indigenous accreditation is, and why we are proud to have received it:
We, the Indigenous members of the National Indigenous Accreditation Board, as representatives of Nation-based institutions of Indigenous education, respecting and directing our own self-determination; desiring to ensure quality education to our Peoples which maintains and enhances our sovereign and collective identities, languages, and cultures; and recognizing that the validation of our education initiatives is a political process, do hereby create our own mechanism and process to accredit and certify Indigenous programs of studies and accredit institutions which meet the standards we hereafter collectively identify and describe. The primary goal is to serve Indigenous-owned and –controlled institutions. The primary service is to assess an institution or a program of study in terms of its achievements, congruence to stated goals and objectives, and affirm it is culturally relevant and accountable to the Indigenous Nation and Peoples it serves.
Our full, ten-year accreditation was granted earlier in 2017. Thank you to all staff, students, instructors, Elders, and community members whose knowledge contributed to the writing of our self-study report; to the peer review team who evaluated our report, gave detailed and invaluable feedback, and spent dozens of hours visiting the college and writing their recommendation; and to the NIAB board members for the stimulus to evaluate ourselves and for the ultimate recognition of our peers.