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Collaborating for Indigenous Student Success, Algonquin Scholarship Program, Author, A Path Forward, Mikan E'niigaanimok, Continuous Improvement through an Indigenous Lens

Dwight Powless

Dwight was born on the Six Nations Reserve and attended the Mohawk Institute Residential School for several years. After completing high school, he joined the RCAF, and then enrolled at Fanshawe College where he earned a post-secondary education diploma.  

 

Dwight retired from Canada Post after 34 years, during which his career included work in Technical Services, Human Resources, and Legislated Programs, culminating in the Corporation’s first Aboriginal Relations Manager.  He was instrumental in Canada Post becoming the only federal Crown Corporation achieving the Gold Hallmark level for Progressive Aboriginal Relations from the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.

 

After retirement in 2009, Dwight was recruited by Algonquin College in Ottawa to enhance and increase the platform for the Aboriginal community within the college. In collaboration with Tim Hortons, he created the DevelopMentor program for employment of Aboriginal students at the college. In 2014, Algonquin College was awarded the Chairman’s Award from the International Partnership Network for the DevelopMentor Program. He has mentored and consulted with academic and Indigenous organizations to create environments for successful educational and employment outcomes for Indigenous persons.

 

Dwight also committed hundreds of hours of volunteer time as Product Development Manager for Spirit of Aboriginal Youth (SAY) Magazine from 2007-2015, with the aim to inspire youth to achieve by promoting role models within the Aboriginal community.

Having retired from Algonquin College in 2018, Dwight began a new chapter of support for Indigenous success, this time in collaboration with CultureScapes Consulting and Training, through a series of workshops, trainings and ultimately a book. In 2021, he co-authored A Path Forward | Mikan E’niigaanimok: Continuous Improvement through an Indigenous Lens with Linda M. Manning, Ph.D. was published. A second book is forthcoming, titled A Path Through: Identity and Culture through an Indigenous Lens. Dwight is also a co-author on Your Creativity Sprint, along with Edwin Garro, Ruth Stanley, and Tim Ragan.

 

In keeping with his continued commitment to Indigenous student success, Dwight and his wife founded the Dwight and Christine Powless Indigenous Achievement Award at Algonquin College. The first scholarship award will be granted in the upcoming 2023 Algonquin College commencement ceremony.

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