The Bishkaa program supports first year Indigenous students in their transition to Fleming College!
Bishkaa: Anishnaabemowin For "Rise Up"
The Bishkaa program starts as a summer orientation for new students and continues as a mentorship program, with upper-year students, throughout their first year.
The program is culturally centred and personalized to create a community of support before you start your journey at Fleming College.
APPLY TO THE BISHKAA PROGRAM
BISHKAA SUMMER ORIENTATION AUGUST 26TH – 30TH, 2019
There are 20 spots available this year for the program.
You must complete and submit an application to attend Bishkaa Summer Orientation 2019.
Participants will be selected in the order that applications are submitted.
Bishkaa Summer Orientation 2019
Thank you for your interest in the Bishkaa program, please send your completed application to:
Indigenous Student Transitions Advisor, Mary MacLeod-Beaver
705-749-5530 ext. 1013
Student Mentor Testimonials
Ecosystem Management Technologist student
Taykwa Tagamou Nation, Treaty 9
“From my previous year as a Bishkaa mentee, I realized the importance in support and resources that help students like myself. Bishkaa provides a safe space for Indigenous students, by giving them positive involvement in a community. The Bishkaa program connects us to our Indigenous roots and it helps ground ourselves into our new surroundings. To me, being a part of Bishkaa and taking on this leadership role is important because I want to create a meaningful experience for these Indigenous students. Through traditional teachings, elders, and workshops, I hope to make their first year a welcoming one. I would like to see them connect and create good memories in the time spent together."
Ojibway Curve Lake
“I wanted to be a Bishkaa mentor because I wanted to be able to help my fellow students, be culturally aware, immerse myself in my culture, and integrate what I have learned in the Paralegal program and the Indigenous gen eds I have taken. I believe there is more we can do in reconciliation and more we can do to grow, so being able to grow as an individual and as a community.”
General Arts and Science – University Transfer
Aamjiwnaang First Nation, Treaty 29.
“I took the opportunity to be a Bishkaa mentor to help students get a step ahead, because it helped me when I was a mentee. And whether that step is friendship, academic, community… whatever that ‘step ahead’ is to each student, it helps. And for me personally, taking on a leadership role will help me prepare for my future.”
What to Expect
The Bishkaa program started at Fleming College in 2016. We provided the students with many cultural experiences such as; a trip to the Petroglyphs Provincial Park, the Canadian Canoe Museum, the black oak savannah in Alderville, and wild rice processing.
The students also had regular meetings with ambassadors throughout the year; helping to alleviate some of the stress that come with first year. The students were able to get a jump start on September; learning to navigate Fleming just prior to when the rush started. Through Bishkaa the students felt more integrated into the Fleming community, which in turn helped make their first year a success. This year we will have a short orientation right before school starts.
Students will have an opportunity to get to know the Fleming College community. There will be some fun programming during the orientation, and throughout the year, this gives Indigenous students a chance to build relationships with one another, with more senior year students, with staff, Elders and the local community.