Posted by Suzanne Brant on Sep 30, 2019
Today's speaker, Suzanne Brant is Mohawk from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory situated on the Bay of Quinte.  As President of First Nations Technical Institute, Suzanne is focused on ensuring that indigenous knowledge is woven through all aspects of the Institute and committed to the idea that "responsive education" remains the hallmark of her vision for FNTI.  Suzanne is a recognized Traditional Health Educator and program developer, having graduated from the Institute of Integrated Medicine as an Integrated Medical Clinician.  She attained a Master's Degree in Environmental Studies from York University.  Over the past 25 years, key to her work has been the preservation of Indigenous knowledge.  Suzanne has a broad range of educator experience including supervising programming and faculty; providing leadership for program development; serving as manager on various projects; developing curriculum and teaching courses; developing and teaching professional development workshops.
Suzanne was very pleased to present information on the FNTI, founded by her great uncle.  FNTI is an indigenous, owned and governed post-secondary institute with nearly 35 years of rich history, offering unique educational opportunities aimed at enhancing the capacity and strength of learners and communities.  The institute serves all of Ontario and their current enrolment is 369 students with 65 employees.  Students need support in the areas of their culture, language and land and FNTI provides a different learning model than other post secondary institutions.  They run a current diploma program in Mental Health and Addiction, Social Service Worker, Early Childhood Education, Community Justice Services and Community and Child Services.  They also offer a 3 year Aviation Program with 24 students enrolled from across Canada.  FNTI offers degree programs in Public Administration and Governance, Social Work (BA and Masters) and are currently working on introducing 5 new degree programs that they hope will be accredited by Christmas --  Midwifery, Indigenous Justice, Indigenous BA of Social Work, Indigenous Food Systems Program.
FNTI boasts a graduating rate of 93% and an employment rate of 98%.  They serve 103 of 129 First Nations Metis and Inuit in Ontario and 172 of 667 First Nations Metis and Inuit in Canada.  Through HIP and District 7070, Rotary has provided support through computers on campus.  FNTI is looking at a new 60,000 sq. ft. building with inviting space for all students and staff.  There is a high demand for pilots and graduates can go right into the industry once they finish the program.  A recent article in the Belleville Intelligencer recognized two female Indigenous students from FNTI who were awarded scholarships at the 11th Annual Elsie MacGill Northern Lights Gala.  The Foundation aims to be recognized as the pinnacle aviation and aerospace organization that inspires, supports and promotes women in these fields.
Suzanne was thanked by Joanne Wheeler who recognized the potential of FNTI in recruiting and placing students in their field of study.