CIER Expands Learning Opportunities for Communities 

CIER is pleased to announce the creation of CIER Ecoversity, an online learning resource for Indigenous Communities across Canada. 

Over the past 25 years and in excess of 1000 projects, CIER has developed numerous Indigenous community-based tools and learning resources. “Frequently, Indigenous communities request these resources but given many of them involve in-person instruction or physical copies of toolkits, we lacked the capacity to provide the materials or instruction to many as originally delivered,” says Merrell-Ann Phare, CIER Executive Director. 

CIER Ecoversity changes this by providing more Indigenous communities access to the most requested resources that will be adapted into online learning courses.

The first CIER Ecoversity course to ‘go live’ is the Indigenous Climate Change Adaptation Program (ICCAP). The ICCAP Toolkit resource is currently active in Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation, and the positive feedback from community members has been very useful in the development of the ICCAP Ecoversity course. The next resource to be adapted to an online course is the Indigenous Watershed Planning program, coming soon.

Having broader access to comprehensive learning from a wide variety of environmental courses will help Indigenous communities develop and enhance their knowledge base and skills while building capacity as caretakers of the land, helping to create sustainable and resilient communities. 

After months of preparation and research, followed by understanding the course infrastructure of the online learning platform, CIER has been creating and implementing the courses themselves with some outside consultation as needed. With limited resources, but great effort from the Ecoversity team, CIER is pleased with the time being well spent that includes a narrated video with charts and photos for each module of the first course. Future development of the learning platform will see some courses being opened up to a broader audience with an attached registration fee to help recoup costs and also create a revenue stream for other community-based projects.

CIER greatly appreciates the generosity of the Donner Foundation for its continuing financial support on this project and many other integral CIER projects that ultimately help build sustainable Indigenous communities.