Six Nations Polytechnic president Rebecca Jamieson (BA '76, Hon. LLD '17) has established herself as a leader in Indigenous education and language preservation.
Her leadership in those fields began with with an undergraduate degree earned at Laurier.
"There were two reasons I decided to attend Laurier," Jamieson says. "The first was the size. I wasn’t really comfortable going to a huge university and Laurier was smaller. There was also more availability of courses on weekends, so I could work full-time and still attend school.
"I later enrolled in teacher education courses when the federal government launched pilot programs for (Indigenous) teacher education."
After earning an undergraduate degree in psychology and philosophy at Laurier, Jamieson went on to attain a master’s degree in education from the University of Toronto.
– Rebecca Jamieson
Today, she leads Six Nations Polytechnic, an Indigenous post-secondary institution based at Six Nations of the Grand River that partners with colleges and universities, including Laurier, to offer degree programs and apprenticeships, as well as certificate and diploma programs.
Jamieson’s career has been hallmarked by awards and recognition, including appointment to the Order of Canada and Order of Ontario, as well as honorary degrees from Laurier and Western University.
"Education can produce powerful and positive impacts," Jamieson said upon receiving her honorary degree from Laurier in 2017. "Laurier is one of our longest-standing partners and together our institutions have played a significant role in the lives of many Indigenous students.
"Who could have imagined that Six Nations would go from having one of the most infamous residential schools – the Mohawk Institute – to having its own post-secondary institute, Six Nations Polytechnic, now working in partnership with Laurier and many other universities and colleges to build a better future."
Jamieson has also been involved in post-secondary education more broadly, serving as the first executive director of Ontario's College Standards and Accreditation Council and on the board of governors for several Ontario universities and Mohawk College.