Professional Learning Services in Northwestern Ontario

In an effort to expand our professional learning services and to provide on-the-ground engagement at the local and provincial levels, Northwestern Ontario now has an Elections Canada Indigenous coordinator for education. This initiative is part of a pilot program to test a regional approach in this area. The Northwestern Ontario Indigenous education coordinator will work towards building trust, strengthening relationships, and validating new approaches for our programs with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities. In-person or virtual educational workshops are offered at no cost to educators and communities across the region.

What types of free activities are offered?

Each workshop is tailored to classroom needs and presented in a variety of environments and approaches, including:

  • Community workshops
  • Professional learning events
  • Staff or department meetings
  • Co-teaching or classroom demonstrations
  • Faculty of education workshops
  • Education conference workshops and kiosks
  • Student and community events

Our educational workshops feature Elections Canada’s learning resources. We also touch on the following topics: civic engagement, literacy skills, language learner needs, critical thinking, blended learning strategies, inquiry-based learning, global competencies, and misinformation and disinformation.

Book your next educational workshop!

Who can participate?

  • First Nations schools
  • Secondary and elementary schools
  • Community leadership
  • Community organizations
  • Instructors, teacher-candidates and student associations at faculties of education
  • School departments and teachers’ associations
  • Educators and consultants at school departments, districts or ministries of education

Elections Canada’s learning resources engage learners of all ages to better understand the electoral process and how to participate in it, if they choose to do so.

Not a resident of Northwestern Ontario? You can also attend one of our workshops across Canada or watch our free teacher support videos.

Meet our Northwestern Ontario Indigenous Education Coordinator

Picture of Ashley Nurmela

Ashley Nurmela is the Indigenous education coordinator for Elections Canada in Northwestern Ontario. She delivers learning services in the region.

Based in Nipigon, Ontario, Ashley Nurmela is a member of the Red Rock Indian Band. Actively engaged in her community, she has experience working with local First Nations communities, federal and provincial schools, organizations, students, and families.

Previously, Ashley worked as the First Nations, Métis and Inuit community liaison for Lakehead District School Board. In this role, she supported educators with respect to the cultural protocols and understanding involved in engaging with, and serving the Indigenous communities, students and families in the area. She advised and liaised on First Nations, Métis and Inuit education policy and research and supported the acquisition of a curriculum that was enhanced with Indigenous content. She collaborated on creating and implementing professional learning in cultural competency for all staff at Lakehead Public School Board.

Ashley’s extensive experience in communities and her work with First Nation, Métis and Inuit education is a real asset to Elections Canada. She is known for her collaborative nature and her dedication to community. Ashley is also guided by her teachings from Elders and Knowledge Keepers across Turtle Island.

As she takes back her own Indigeneity, she walks with love, respect, bravery, truth, honesty, humility, and wisdom in two worlds with an Indigenous lens.

For more information on her professional learning and coaching services in Northwestern Ontario, email Ashley Nurmela at