Canadians to Attend U.S. Program on Indigenous Education Training for Remote and Disadvantaged Communities

July 31, 2018

For Immediate Release


OTTAWA – Canadian professionals in the field of Indigenous education will visit Washington, D.C., and other U.S. cities from August 4-15 as participants in an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). The participants will examine initiatives that promote increased participation of Indigenous and rural youth in the education system and workforce. The program is organized by the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

The program will examine how communities that lack digital, financial, and human resources successfully identify and mitigate achievement gaps. The participants will learn about programs and public-private partnerships for underserved communities that facilitate access to highly skilled jobs, including jobs in STEM fields, and they will build a network of American and Canadian counterparts working on Indigenous education.

Participants in the program are:

  • André-Yanne Parent, Senior Director of Operations and Philanthropy, First Nations and Inuit communities, Youth Fusion (Montreal, QC)
  • Brenda Etienne, Member of the Mohawks of Kanesatake, Kanien’kehaka Language Instructor (Montreal, QC)
  • Charlene Lafreniere, Director, Institutional Advancement, University College of the North (Thompson, MB)
  • Kimberley Puhach, Director, Human Resources and Indigenous Inclusion, Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (Winnipeg, MB)
  • Sabrina Cheezo, Kindergarden teacher in Algonquin language at Amikobi elementary school of Lac Simon with Conseil de la Nation Anishnabe de Lac Simon (Lac Simon, QC)

The IVLP enables Canadians who are emerging leaders in their professional field to observe U.S. institutions, practices, and culture first-hand, and to meet with professional counterparts to explore issues of common interest. Founded in 1940, the IVLP has given hundreds of thousands of emerging leaders — including more than 1,200 Canadians — the opportunity to observe and interact with American culture and society on a personal level. For more information, visit

Participants will be available for interviews after the program, upon request.