Algonquin College launches first-of-its-kind Institute for Indigenous Entrepreneurship

Algonquin College

from the Ottawa Citizen:

Algonquin College is set to launch a $44.9-million building and renovation project on Wednesday that will include an institute for indigenous entrepreneurship, the first of its kind in an Ontario college.

The entire project, expected to be completed in the spring of 2018, will transform the outdated library in the C building of the college’s Woodroffe campus into the Algonquin College Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Centre. The state-of-the-art building will also be home to the new Institute for Indigenous Entrepreneurship.

Algonquin has one of the highest populations of indigenous students in the province’s college system — about 1,100 students in a total student body of 28,000 — while enrolment of indigenous students has increased by 12 per cent every year in the past four years, says Ron McLester, who became the college’s executive director of indigenous initiatives at Algonquin in August.

The college draws students not only from indigenous communities in Eastern Ontario, but also Cree students from Quebec and Inuit students from Ottawa’s 3,000-plus urban Inuit population.

“There is honestly something magical here,” says McLester who points out, for example, that it’s not unusual for the monthly feast at the college’s Mamidosewin Centre to attract 150 students.

Read the full story here.