Natoonikew Aansaamb

Searching Together for Learning and Resurgence



The Professional Project Administrator Program (PPA) is an employment-focused online program offered in partnership with Indigenous communities in Western Canada. Based on the findings from the research conducted after the program completion, we discuss two key components that contributed to a meaningful learning experience and to the success of the program: wrap-around support and cultural learning. Through métissage, an arts-based approach to knowledge sharing, we present Natoonikew Aansaamb (searching together), where we have woven together different voices and stories that offer a glimpse of the learning experience. Greater inquiry and engagement with diverse Indigenous perspectives is the way for educators to design, implement, and assess learning for all students with intention and in a good way.

Author Biographies

Valeria Cortes, Royal Roads University

As a culturally and linguistically diverse educator, I have some understanding of the intersections that I share with many learners, and of the issues they may be facing. I draw from my lived experiences as a newcomer to Canada, completing an online degree while working full-time, starting a family while in school, and navigating my identity as Mexican and mestiza. For this reason, intercultural learning and indigenization are very important to me, and socio-cultural conversations and explorations are a feature of my teaching. I am grateful to RRU’s Indigenous Education Advisor who guided me in redesigning and co-facilitating the Collective Leadership course.

Kelly Loffler, Royal Roads University

My name is Kelly, I am a proud Métis citizen currently residing in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Treaty 1 Territory, the lands of the Anishinaabe (Ojibway), Ininew (Cree), Oji-Cree, Dene, and Dakota ancestors and families, and birthplace of the Métis Nation.

I began my Royal Roads journey in 2020 as a student in the Professional Project Administrator (PPA) program and have continued as a research assistant on the Project Connect research project. Through this project we explore the impacts of the PPA program on those involved with it, with the intention of continually improving the program for future cohorts. I am grateful and proud to be part of this good work!

Tim Brigham

As a university-educated male of settler descent employed at a post-secondary institution for over 17 years, I recognize I am in a position of privilege. I am fortunate to be able to use this privilege in pursuing opportunities to ‘bring the university to the community’. In practice, this has meant responding to community demands for accessible, community-driven programming that expands opportunities for our learners.