Dechinta was created ten years ago out of a research project that identified the barriers Northern Indigenous communities were facing when trying to access post-secondary education. In response, Dechinta programming was designed by academics, Elders, community leaders, and northern students with the goal of offering accessible, holistic, and family-centered education rooted in Indigenous knowledge. Over a decade later, we continue to offer a rich educational experience that is respectful of northern expertise, culture, families, and the needs of communities, while also leading the way in securing an emerging knowledge sector in the Canadian North.
At Dechinta, we are brought together by our care for the land, each other, and our desire to revitalize and practice Indigenous ways of knowing and being. Dechinta is dedicated to creating a future of Indigenous cultural revitalization through a reconnection with the land. Through our programs, we strive to create Northern and Indigenous communities that are radically self-determining, healthy, sustainable, and connected to traditional knowledge and practices. We aim to ensure that the education we offer is accessible to all community members, including parents, youth, women, and 2SLGBTQIA+ people.
We have a mandate to serve the needs of northern Indigenous populations through education, research, and community programs. We are mandated to deliver Indigenous centered arts, culture, language and educational programming in an innovative land-based environment. We have a commitment to build educational capacity and employment opportunities for students and youth in northern Indigenous communities. We aim to increase the accessibility of land-based programming for school aged youth, young adults transitioning out of high school and into post-secondary employment, and their families.
Our continuing vision for Dechinta is threefold: (1) to offer culturally-informed Indigenous educational programming designed and developed in the North, guided by the needs of communities and a relationship to the land; (2) to create innovative training and research programs that are central to the development of an emerging northern research and knowledge economy; and to (3) work collaboratively with community members, Elder professors, and knowledge holders to offer support in creating programs that foster community well-being and cultural revitalization in the North.