A university classroom will open for the first time on the James Bay Coast this September now that the University of Sudbury is about to sign a two-year agreement with the Mushkegowuk Tribal Council.
Indigenous Studies courses will be offered in Moose Factory as part of a pilot project to gauge the needs and desires of people in the coastal communities, said university president Pierre Zundel.
People there haven't had the option of credit courses before, and Zundel said the university is poised to fill the need.
"We were one of the first to do televised learning to do correspondence learning in the north," he added.
"In the last year [we] have really looked at what our niche is and one of those niches is to make education — a humanities education — accessible for whom it's hard to get."
About 25 people are lined up for the first course, which will be a mix of classroom and distance learning.
The course offering is part of a long-term project to bring university education to the James Bay Coast, Zundel said.
"There's nobody in their family who has been in university, there's no university there," he said. "So for them it seems a distant, unattainable, impossible thing. Our hope is to bring the courses there to help people attain their potential and realize this is an option for them."