Terry, LeBlanc, Executive Director of NAIITS, was encouraged by the emergence of concrete steps that would build on the work NAIITS is already doing in cooperation with CHEC members.
This article was written for ChristianWeek
by the Indigenous leadership of the North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies
: Terry LeBlanc
(Mi'kmaq/Acadian), Adrian Jacobs (Cayuga), Wendy Peterson (Metis) Shari Russell (Saulteaux), Ray Aldred (Cree), Richard Twiss (Lakota), Randy Woodley (Keetoowah) and Andrea Smith (Cherokee).
"The partnership created with this agreement will focus on the delivery of Theological education for Native North Americans and other indigenous peoples using instructional approaches and materials developed by NAIITS," said Terry LeBlanc, founding chair, now Executive Director of NAIITS.
The first offering in the new partnership will be an MA specializing in intercultural studies that is slated to begin January 2011.
, a Mi'kmaq from Canada, made it clear that the program features several innovative approaches to theological education and leadership development stating, "The program is deeply rooted in Native thought and reflects Native concerns."
Ray and Terry
were integral in the creation of the study program framework with contributions to the finished work coming from Randy Woodley and Richard Twiss.
Asked what further plans NAIITS
has for Native North American education, Terry LeBlanc
referenced conversations with several other institutions of higher education - both North American and European - which, if brought to the same conclusion as the Fox agreement, would provide NAIITS the ability to offer undergraduate, graduate and doctoral studies programs of various types in partnership with a variety of institutions.
According to LeBlanc
, the NAIITS community is interested in filling a long-standing void for biblical, theological and missiological education delivered in cultural and social context that is clearly evangelical while simultaneously committed to holistic mission with Native North American and other indigenous peoples.
Student applications for the new MA program will be available upon final approvals with links on both websites (http://www.georgefox.edu/admission/index.html and http://www.naiits.com).
For more information about this new degree offering, contact Anita Keith, NAIITS coordinator, at Suite 428, 35 - 2855 Pembina Highway, Winnipeg MB R3T 2H5 (email@example.com, www.naiits.com) or Terry LeBlanc, Executive Director, North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies (firstname.lastname@example.org).