Sunchild E-Learning Community

The Sunchild E-Learning community was created in 2000 by members of the Sunchild First Nation in response to the lack of education within their community and a belief that alternative methods for learning were needed for their youth. To overcome these unique challenges and tackle the lower than average high school completion, an E-Learning program was initiated. The Sunchild E-Learning community provides a range of courses from grade 7 to grade 12 including adult learning courses. Overall the program has been a success with over 80% of the students enrolled graduating and many continuing on to post-secondary institutions. Nickerson (2005) believes that the program’s success can be attributed to the implementation of focusing on the specific learning requirements of the Aboriginal youth including, “sense of time and relationships, and personal and family factors which might interrupt the learning process” (p. 7). In addition the courses do not require the need for high-speed internet taking into consideration the lack of internet access in many of Canada’s Aboriginal communities. Nickerson (2005) also points out that E-Learning allows for Aboriginal children to remain in their communities (unlike residential schools) to participate in cultural activities and strengthening family bonds.

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