About two dozen people sit around a fire pit outside the Indigenous Resource Centre at Georgian's Barrie Campus. A teepee is in the background.


Indigenization refers to the infusion of Indigenous ideas, values, peoples, symbols, esthetics, procedures and an authentic history into an organization so that it is a product of Indigenous imaginations and aspirations. Georgian College has made Indigenization a priority and aims to enrich our college community with as much Indigenous culture and knowledge as possible.

Indigenization in action

John Rice, Indigenous story teller

The craft of woodworking

John Rice, a drum maker and story teller from Wasauksing First Nation, spoke to a Cabinetmaking Techniques class about the craft of woodworking and appreciating that the trees each have their own spirit.

Seven Grandfather Teachings, creating a link between positive communications skills and traditional Indigenous culture

The Seven Grandfather Teachings

Professor Kim Reid has incorporated the Seven Grandfather Teachings into her Communication Essentials course. Enthusiastic to include Indigenization in her teaching, she worked with Georgian’s Indigenization Specialist for guidance.

Several orange shirts hung on a clothes line between two trees

Orange Shirt Day

Georgian recognized Orange Shirt Day during the week leading up to Sept. 30. Events were held at four campuses with over 100 people taking part to support the initiative. We plan to continue Orange Shirt Day in the years to come.

Indigenization goals at Georgian College

Georgian’s Indigenization goals include:

  • enhanced Indigenization of curricula by 2021
  • increased Indigenous knowledge-sharing opportunities
  • physical campus enhancements with an Indigenous focus
  • increased Indigenous-focused campus activities
  • increased number of Indigenous students and alumni
Elder Lorraine McRae and President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes unveil the Land Acknowledgment plaque on a stone outside at the Barrie Campus
Elder Lorraine McRae and past President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes unveil the Land Acknowledgment plaque at the Barrie Campus.

Land acknowledgement

Georgian College acknowledges that all campuses are situated on the traditional land of the Anishnaabeg people. The Anishnaabeg include the Odawa, Ojibwe, and Pottawatomi nations, collectively known as the Three Fires Confederacy. Georgian College is dedicated to honouring Indigenous history and culture and committed to moving forward in the spirit of reconciliation and respect with all First Nation, Métis and Inuit people.

Watch the video to learn about the origins of this acknowledgement.

Indigenous education protocol

In 2015, Georgian College signed the Colleges and Institutes Canada, Indigenous Education Protocol recognizing and affirming our responsibility and obligation to Indigenous education.

In signing this protocol Georgian agreed to:

  1. commit to making Indigenous education a priority.
  2. ensure governance structures recognize and respect Indigenous peoples.
  3. implement intellectual and cultural traditions of Indigenous peoples through curriculum and learning approaches relevant to learners and communities.
  4. supporting students and employees to increase understanding and reciprocity among Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
  5. commit to increasing the number of Indigenous employees with ongoing appointments, throughout the institution, including Indigenous senior administrators.
  6. establish Indigenous-centered holistic services and learning environments for learner success.
  7. build relationships and be accountable to Indigenous communities in support of self-determination through education, training, and applied research.
President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes and AETC Chair Kevin Wassegijig sitting at a table signing the Indigenous Education Protocol
President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes and Anishinaabe Education and Training Circle Chair Kevin Wassegijig

Indigenous Education Excellence Award

Georgian is extremely proud to be the gold winner of the 2022 Indigenous Education Excellence Award, presented by Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan).

The Indigenous Education Excellence Award recognizes a college or institute that has a demonstrated commitment to Indigenous education through innovative approaches and dedicated structures, curriculum, holistic support services and community partnerships that contribute to learner success, as well as socio-economic development and reconciliation within communities.

Watch a video to learn more about Indigenous initiatives at Georgian, and see the many ways students experience not only academic success, but also personal growth and development for their future lives.

Elders Advisory Circle

The Elders Advisory Circle was founded in 2009 and is an important part of the college community. Indigenous Services holds an Elders Advisory Circle twice a year to share progress and receive advice and insights to better the Indigenous Services offered at Georgian College.

Pictured from left to right are, seated: Shirley John, Emily Norton and Pat Strong. Second row: Pat Whittington, Ernestine Baldwin, Kaila McCormick, Mercedes Jacko, Lorraine McRae, Jennifer Linklater. Back row: Greg McGregor, Terry Sahanatien, Roland St Germain and Verna Porter-Brunelle. Missing: Berdina Johnston , Loretta McDonald, Austen Mixemong

13 members of the Indigenous Services staff and Georgian's Elder's Advisory Circle

Anishnaabe Education and Training Circle

The Anishinaabe Education and Training Circle (AETC) is a community advisory committee that has undertaken a number of initiatives in partnership with Georgian College since its formation in 1992.

The overall goal of the partnership focuses on increasing the attraction, retention and graduation of students of Indigenous ancestry (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) in the post secondary environment.

AETC logo - medicine wheel with a symbol in each quadrant.

The AETC is a co-operative initiative among regional Indigenous communities and organizations in the Georgian College catchment area.

The membership currently includes:


Want to learn more about Indigenization at Georgian?

An Indigenous drum, eagle feather and medicine wheel

Contact information

Emma Greenfield
Indigenization Specialist

Email Emma