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22 GEORGIANVIEW 2021 SPRING INDIGENOUS CONNECTION CALL HER NOOKOMIS Ernestine Baldwin When Ernestine Baldwin first became a Visiting Elder at the Indigenous Resource Centre on the Barrie Campus in 2010, she couldn't figure out why students wouldn't come to talk with her. People are naturally drawn to Ernestine's soft voice, easygoing personality and sense of humour, but when she is in her official capacity as an Elder, it can be intimidating for some students to approach her. "Finally, after a couple of semesters, I thought, I'm just going to tell them not to think of me as an Elder, but think of me as a grandmother," she recalls. "I said, 'you can call me Nookomis, which means grandmother.' It was more inviting for the students." As a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great- great-grandmother, Ernestine uses her warmth to connect with people and especially the students she sees at the Indigenous Resource Centre. They know they are valued, as if they were part of her family. "Sometimes they come to me for traditional teachings they 1992 to 1996 THE GROWTH OF INDIGENOUS STUDIES AND SERVICES AT GEORGIAN • 1992 - Community Advisory group formed, Anishnaabe Education and Training Circle (AETC) • 1994 - First three staff are hired • 1995 - First program Shkii Miikan (New Roads) – one-year certificate delivered • 1995 - Niwijiagan (peer mentor) program starts • 1996 - First Indigenous Resource Centre opens at Barrie Campus (A building) • 1996 - Visiting Elder program and Elders Advisory Circle established • 1996 - First diploma program Native Community and Social Development – two-year diploma delivered • 2001 - Orillia Campus Resource Centre opens • Indigenous student enrolment continues to grow • 2005 - First Annual Traditional Pow Wow For almost 30 years, Georgian has partnered with Indigenous communities and leaders to offer programming and support services for Indigenous students at the college. Georgian has Indigenous Resource Centres at the Barrie, Midland, Orillia and Owen Sound campuses, which provide a culturally supportive and comfortable environment where students can study, socialize and access a wide range of resources. Have a look at the expansion of Indigenous studies and services over the last 29 years. 1997 to 2006 Drum circle at the original Indigenous Resource Centre on the Barrie Campus.

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