Strengthening Connections (SC) is an Indigenous collective whose mandate is to plan and participate in events that provide Indigenous Peoples and communities with educational and vocational opportunities. We highlight Indigenous student services, support, and funding. We also explore employment and career opportunities to encourage Indigenous Peoples to pursue higher education and employment.
Strengthening Connections was formed in 2006 with a core group of Indigenous recruiters and advisors from several BC post-secondary institutions with the mandate to provide Indigenous Peoples in BC with the information they need to successfully pursue post-secondary education.
Since then Strengthening Connections has grown to include all major universities in BC along with a number of colleges. Although Strengthening Connections members hail from individual institutions throughout BC, we work as a team across institutional lines to assist those we serve in finding the best options for them.
We are first and foremost an Indigenous organization at the service of Indigenous Peoples. Understanding and attending to the history, current challenges, protocol, and cultural practices of each community we visit, each individual, and each SC member we interact with is vital to doing our work in a good way.
As institutional representatives, we are guests on the territories and in the communities of those we visit. As such, we believe that humility, attention to protocol, and kindness are at the core of building and maintaining good relationships within the community, as well as the SC community.
Community and Relationships
Our goal is to provide opportunities, not to compete with one another. We believe that student interest is the priority and we must work with one another to help the students find the right educational and vocational path through which to pursue their goals.
Having conversations within the environment of a school, and conversations concerning future education and careers can create an emotional response in students and community members. It is important to recognize that each individual is on their own journey and we must be compassionate and sensitive to the emotional wellness of the students, community members, school staff, and other SC members with whom we work.
The overall intent of Strengthening Connections is to increase the number of Indigenous learners making successful transitions to post‐secondary education. We strive to have fun, engaging, positive, and meaningful interactions with prospective students to empower Indigenous learners to attend post‐secondary.
Below is a list of Strengthening Connections member institutions and organizations that often join us at events. Click on the icons or names to be taken to the institution’s website.