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Sault College president says Anishinabek Educational Institute should be a university

Ron Common joins 25th anniversary celebration at Indigenous institution
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Ron Common, Sault College president. Darren Taylor/SooToday

The Anishinabek Educational Institute (AEI) opened its doors in 1994, having graduated thousands of students over the last 25 years.

Approximately 100 people, including AEI staff, founders, former students, Indigenous chiefs and other citizens celebrated AEI’s 25th anniversary in London, Ontario Nov. 5.

Among them was Sault College President Ron Common.

Common is one of AEI’s founding members.  

“The Anishinabek Educational Institute offered the first Anishinaabe course for principals. We were also the first institute to have a satellite office,” Common said.

“Where do we go next with AEI? It should become a university with provincially-recognized degrees.”

AEI delivers post-secondary level programs approved by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, its curriculum adapted to meet the needs of Indigenous learners.

Common said AEI’s success can be attributed to what he called “a family spirit” at the school.

There are currently over 100 students enrolled at AEI’s Nipissing and Munsee Delaware campuses.

Current diploma programs offered at AEI include Native Community Worker – Traditional Healing Methods, Binoojiingyag Kinoomaadwin – Early Childhood Education, Practical Nursing and Social Service Worker.  

Certificate programs include Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, First Nation Child Welfare Advocate, Personal Support Worker and Pre-Health Sciences.




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