Cape Breton University recently celebrated the first cohort of staff and faculty to complete a new Indigenous learning experience, “Learning About the L’nu Way.” This learning experience provides staff and faculty of CBU an opportunity for professional development that addresses some of the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report of Canada, as they relate to post-secondary education and institutions of higher learning.
“Learning About the L’nu Way” is a multifaceted learning experience that provides foundational knowledge of who the L’nu are, their history, and their culture. The learning experience also includes a Mi’kmaw cultural component that sees participants attend a cultural event or workshop in or hosted by a local L’nu community. Some of the cultural components that CBU employees participated in ranged from attending a powwow or mawiomi, to taking part in workshops using traditional beading techniques making earrings or dream catchers, among others.
“In early 2019, CBU adopted its five-year strategic plan. Two of its five strategic directions are to ‘Indigenize the L’nu Way’ and ‘Empower Staff and Faculty’. This learning experience is one way that CBU is, in part, contributing to both of those strategic areas,” says David C. Dingwall, President and Vice-Chancellor of Cape Breton University. “CBU has a more than 40-year history of Indigenous post-secondary education and partnerships with local Mi’kmaq communities and we want to continue leading in Indigenous post-secondary education and this experience is just one of the many initiatives that do just that.”
“Learning About the L’nu Way” was developed under the leadership of Stephen Augustine Hereditary Chief and Associate Vice President, Indigenous Affairs and Unama’ki College and Dr. Tanya Brann-Barrett, Associate Vice-President, Academic and Research, along with their teams in Unama’ki College and the Centre for Teaching and Learning. The first cohort saw 115 employees earn their certificates of completion.
This second cohort of “Learning About the L’nu Way” is now open for remaining faculty and staff that wish to complete the learning experience. While participation in the experience is not mandatory, all faculty and staff are encouraged to participate.