SNP is a progressive Indigenous-owned and controlled educational institution, recognized by the community, government, and institutions of higher learning as a Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Knowledge. Driven by community, SNP was conceived in the fall of 1991 as a community-based postsecondary education and training institute. In 1993, as the Grand River Polytechnical Institute, we offered our first programming around–employment preparation. By 1994, a University Consortium Articulation was developed and signed between SNP, McMaster University, Brock University, the University of Guelph, the University of Waterloo, and Wilfred Laurier University. This agreement enabled our students to complete the first year of their undergraduate degree in the community as Six Nations through the ‘Native University Access Program’ (now the University Consortium Year 1 Program – with an expanded partnership in 2009 to include the University of Western Ontario).
By the late 1990s, SNP had expanded educational offerings to include essential skills and literacy, professional development, and postsecondary programming in education, health, and community service fields. In 2009, our Indigenous Knowledge Centre (IKC) or Deyohahá:ge: (meaning Two Roads in the Cayuga language) was established to bring together two streams of consciousness – local ancestral Indigenous knowledge with the best of modern academic knowledge – to advance the overall well-being of all peoples. The IKC continues to preserve and nurture Indigenous Knowledge in all fields.
By 2010, SNP developed an Ogwehoweh Language Diploma offered in both Cayuga and Mohawk. By 2016, we were granted ministerial consent to provide our signature Bachelor of Arts in Ogwehoweh Languages (BAOL) – the first Indigenous language university degree in Ontario, Canada, and possibly the world.
In 2016, SNP opened a second campus and by 2017 we had expanded our formal educational offerings to include secondary programming through our SNP STEAM Academy. Modelled after IBM’s P-TECH school, SNP STEAM Academy is a grade 9-14 early college model through which we’ve seen our students flourish. In the midst of the global COVID pandemic, in 2021, we saw our first SNP STEAM Academy cohort graduate.
Today SNP is proud to deliver various formal and informal educational programs and opportunities along a lifelong learning continuum to the community at Six Nations of the Grand River and the surrounding areas. As we prepare for our 30th year anniversary in 2023, we look forward to continuing to serve our learners and local community for another 30+ years.