$5 Million for Anishinabek Educational Institute to Train More Heath Care WorkersMarch 14, 2022
Government Providing Culturally Responsive Education for Learners Close to Home
NORTH BAY – Vic Fedeli, MPP for Nipissing is pleased to announce that the Ontario government is providing over $5,000,000 in financial support to the Anishinabek Educational Institute to increase enrolment in its nursing and personal support worker (PSW) programs over the next 4 years. Funding will support the Institute to provide culturally responsive education and training pathways for learners to prepare for careers as registered practical nurses or PSWs.
“By investing in PSW and nursing programs at Anishinabek Educational Institute our government is providing more culturally responsive education and training pathways for local learners,” said Vic Fedeli, MPP for Nipissing. “This support will allow the Institute to offer more education and training programs that directly respond to community demands and needs of the local labour market.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the need for healthcare professionals everywhere; however, the need for Indigenous health professionals has always been present within Anishinabek First Nations. Lack of access to adequate training and funding resources has detrimentally impacted our citizen’s ability to enrol and study in healthcare professional programs. We hope this funding will enable and encourage First Nation students to pursue and succeed in healthcare careers. The Anishinabek Educational Institute prides itself in going above and beyond to support our students in this step of their lifelong journey,” said Regional Deputy Grand Council Chief James Marsden.
“By expanding enrolment in PSW and nursing programs at Indigenous Institutes, our government is ensuring learners continue to have access to culturally relevant, high-calibre education, training and supports,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “Providing additional pathways to health care education close to home will also result in more nurses and PSWs who are training, working and staying in their communities.”
This investment will help Anishinabek Educational Institute expand existing programs or create new ones to support the training of approximately 101 practical nurses and 30 PSWs over four years. This will include additional lab and classroom space, and course materials like hospital beds, simulation manikins and patient lifts to support the larger cohort of students.
The funding is part of an investment of $34 million over four years to increase enrolment in nursing and PSW programs at six Indigenous Institutes. Funding will directly support:
- Development of new programs or expansion of existing programs to support enrolment increase for nursing and PSW students.
- Student subsidies for those enrolled in nursing or PSW programs at their Indigenous Institute, which may include tuition, textbooks, childcare and costs related to clinical education. This includes a one-time subsidy for students who previously enrolled but are still in the program as of January 1, 2022.
- Enhancement of Indigenous knowledge and language in student learning.
- Six Indigenous Institutes will receive funding to increase enrolment in their nursing and PSW programs: Anishinabek Educational Institute, First Nations Technical Institute, Kenjgewin Teg, Oshki-Pimache-O-Win: The Wenjack Education Institute, Seven Generations Education Institute and Six Nations Polytechnic.
- Since 2018, enrolment at Indigenous Institutes has increased by 43 per cent.
- The Ontario government expanded the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) for eligible programs at Indigenous Institutes in 2021.
- Investing in nursing education supports the government’s plan to fix long-term care and the Long-Term Care Staffing Plan. At the centre of this plan, the hours of direct care for residents in long-term care will be increased to an average of four hours per day by 2024-25 to meet the complex, diverse needs of long-term care residents, including Indigenous peoples across Ontario. To implement this initiative, the government is making overall investments of $1.9 billion annually by 2024-25.
- To strengthen the health and long-term care workforce, Ontario is investing $342 million, beginning in 2021-22, to add over 5,000 new and upskilled registered nurses and registered practical nurses as well as 8,000 personal support workers. In addition, Ontario is investing $57.6 million, beginning in 2022–23, to hire 225 nurse practitioners in the long-term care sector.
- Ontario is investing $35 million to increase enrolment in nursing education programs in publicly-assisted colleges and universities across the province
- Ontario is providing $86 million to help train up to 8,000 PSWs through private career colleges and district school boards