About MWC

History

The Mi'kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre opened its doors at UNB in 1981, celebrating the graduation of the first class in the Bachelor of Education program for First Nations students. From the beginning, MWC has welcomed First Nations students from all parts of the Atlantic region — from Conne River, NF, to Maria, QC, from Eskasoni, NS, to Tobique, NB, and Lennox Island, PEI.

MWC and UNB have taken their lead from the First Nations communities. The need for First Nations teachers became urgent in the 1970's, and UNB responded by creating the BEd for First Nations students, in 1977. When the first graduates began teaching in the early 1980's, their expertise helped First Nations communities take control of their own schools.

MWC assisted in this phase as well, with educational planning and professional development for schools and school committees. The centre was founded by Professor W. D. Hamilton, who served as director until 1992, when he was succeeded by Robert M. Leavitt until June 2006, and currently Dr. Lynda Doige.

By 1990, First Nations communities had identified a number of other areas in which First Nations professionals were urgently needed—especially in administration, social services, health professions, research, and environment.

MWC introduced the Bridging Year program to help prepare the growing number of First Nations students interested in pursuing a university degree outside the field of Education. New initiatives at MWC include a new mentorship program for Bridging Year students, and our newest program, the First Nations Governance and Leadership Certificate.

Mi'kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre's Journey

Listening to First Nations
1977
  • Initiates campus-based "Indian Students' Teacher Education" degree program in response to First Nations 
1980
  • Intakes second cohort of education students-campus and community-based at Eskasoni First Nation, NS
1981
  • Becomes an institute
1991
  • Begins Bridging Year to increase post-secondary access for First Nations
Hearing First Nations' Voice
1999
  • Begins Summer Science Camps
  • Enables any UNB BEd student to complete up to 50% of internship in a First Nations school
2000
  • Becomes academic unit of UNB
First Nations Speaking Through MWC
2006
  • Initiates community-based First Nations BEd (FNTEP)
  • Initiates community-based First Nations Business Certificate Program (off-campus delivery)
2009
  • Flourishing Bridging Year program
  • First Nations Business Administration Certificate - campus/ community-based
  • Bachelor of Education-campus/community-based
  • Science Outreach
    • Summer camps
    • Weekend camps
    • School workshops
    • Senior high school conference