Building a Strong Fire

Indigenous Quality Assurance Standards in Ontario Colleges

This is three year pilot collaborative project by the six northern colleges funded by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities under the Targeted Initiatives Fund. 

Project Objectives

  • To explore the meaning of quality assurance in an Indigenous context
  • To create a set of cultural standards that reflect local Indigenous knowledges and experiences
  • To create a process to interface the cultural standards with the current quality assurance process (OCQAS Audit Process)
  • To provide training on and pilot the Indigenous quality assurance process at two sites

Project Team

  • Three-year collaboration of the six northern Colleges: Canadore (lead organization), Confederation, Northern, Cambrian, Sault, Collège Boréal
  • The project team was comprised of:
    • Indigenous knowledge gifters
    • Quality assurance representatives
    • Indigenous education leads
    • External consultant/lead researcher


Indigenous Quality Assurance Standards:

  • are a first in Ontario colleges
  • envisioned by Indigenous leaders and knowledge holders
  • reflect and respond to the worldviews, educational needs, and priorities of northern Ontario Indigenous peoples
    • Anishinaabe, Mushkegowuk and Métis communities
  • address quality assurance at two levels:
    • Institutional - college-wide areas and functions (e.g. indoor and outdoor space, procedures, decision-making)
    • Program - academic programs, support services, and community relationships (e.g. program development, recruitment, transition support)


Both College Boreal and Canadore College will pilot the IQA Standards in the coming months. A final report will be made available upon completion of the pilots.  To learn more about this project and the Indigenous Quality Assurance Standards see the attached Building A Strong Fire.