Biidaaban Community Service-Learning (BCSL)

Biidaaban Community Service-Learning Page Header Photo

Sunrise over lake Nipissing

COVID-19 Update: Fall 2020

In response to the ongoing pandemic, Nipissing University will continue to offer courses virtually for the Fall 2020 term. Our team is working with community partners and faculty to develop virtual Community Service-Learning activities, in substitution for in-person placements. At the present time, and until further notice, no in-person placements will be considered for Community Service-Learning. Please stay tuned for further updates. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Christine Benoit at (705) 358-1172 or at

For the latest information on COVID-19, please visit our Nipissing University Updates on Coronavirus webpage

Biidaaban Community Service-Learning (BCSL) symbolizes the beginning of new partnerships designed to enhance the lives of students and communities.

Pronounced bee-daw-bun, Biidaaban is an Anishinaabe term, meaning: ‘the point at which the light touches the earth at the break of dawn.’

Community Service-Learning (CSL) is a form of experiential learning that addresses community needs. Faculty incorporate CSL opportunities in their courses for students to support community organisations in many ways. This interactive, reciprocal and community-engaged approach to education is followed by meaningful reflection to help consolidate notions learned in class and in community.

A reciprocal relationship between faculty, community partners and students is central to CSL. Keep reading to learn more about how our office can support the CSL process.

    Community Service-Learning Reciprocal Relationships Diagram

    Enji giigdoyang, the Office of Indigenous Initiatives (OII), offers Faculty a number of administrative and logistical supports for the creation and delivery of experiential learning opportunities for their students via the Biidaaban Community Service-Learning program.

    Creating a CSL experience

    CSL activities address specific community needs. For example: housing, food security, health, advocacy, education, etc. They align with community partner mandates, goals and objectives, and enhance. 

    To help build your CSL activity, ask yourself the following questions:

    • What are the goals and learning outcomes of my course?
    • Where, or how, could my students gain a greater understanding of these notions outside of the classroom?
    • What kind of experiential learning will benefit students in my course?  
    • Which community partner(s) might be a good fit for my course?
    • How does this relate to the organization's mandate?
    • What process will I require from my students to integrate placements? (interviews, training, etc.)
    • How many hours should I assign to this activity, 10 hours, 20 hours, 40 hours?
    • How will I assess student learning?
    • How will I connect their experiences to theory in the course? 
    • How will students record or share their experiences?
    • How will this benefit students, community partner(s), Indigenous community, myself?
    • What reflective assignment will follow the experience?

    Once your activity has been developed, include the following in your syllabus:

    • CSL activity (marketing products, research, communication plan, outreach strategy, translation, fund raising ideas, etc.)
    • Name of community partner 
    • Corresponding reflective assignment (journal, year end presentation, essay, in-class discussion, etc.)
    • Grade (20 hours for 20%, 10 hours minimum for 5%, etc.)
    • Biidaaban Learning Series: BCSL offers a series of free training workshops for students entering CSL placements at Nipissing University in FA/WI 20/21. The workshops series will take place throughout the last week of September 2020 and include micro-aggression and anti-racism workshops, understanding non-profits 101, mental health first aid, suicide prevention workshops, first aid offered at a lower rate, and more.  
    • Timeline (due dates, deliverables, etc.)
    • Roles and responsibilities (Faculty, student or student team lead, community partner, CSL Officer, etc.)

    CSL can be an optional, or required assignment for students in your class.

    The CSL Officer is available to meet with you to plan and brainstorm. We are also available to provide in-class presentations to introduce CSL at the start of the term.

    Why incorporate CSL into my course?

    • Supports community
    • Creates connections between community partners, faculty and students
    • Students gain volunteer experience
    • Students are more engaged in class
    • It is proven to enhance student experience and further learning
    • Students integrate classroom theory and experience
    • Facilitates a dynamic learning environment 
    • Opportunity for meaningful reflection 

    Administrative supports for Faculty

    Enji giigdoyang, the Office of indigenous Initiatives (OII), offers Faculty a number of administrative and logistical supports for the creation and delivery of a CSL experiential learning opportunity in the following ways:

    • Finding placement/volunteer opportunities for students
    • Liaising with community partners
    • Registering your students' CSL volunteer activities in the Record of Student Development (RSD) database
    • Ensuring students get their Police Vulnerable Sector Checks (PVSC)
    • Providing students with agreement forms to bring to their placement
    • Providing students with time sheets
    • Checking in with community partner
    • Aiding with travel plans, itineraries, and bookings (ex.: booking bus to Dokis First Nation) 
    • Getting students to complete online Health and Safety training
    • Room bookings
    • Smudge requests
    • Printing
    • In-class presentations
    • Conducting student interviews
    • Conducting student surveys
    • Attending in-class discussions and final project presentations


    A number of free training opportunities are offered to students entering CSL experiences.

    This training takes place synchronously* and asynchronously the week of September 28th to October 2nd.

    Faculty may ask that their students participate in one, some, or all workshops. All are welcome to join and must RSVP. Register with Carrie Demers, Student Placement Coordinator, at, for more information and for links to join workshops virtually.

    Training Schedule (full description of workshops below schedule)

    Asynchronous workshops (available starting Monday, September 28th) 

    • Virtual Fundraising 101: Taking Your Fundraising Online (recording)
    • Duty to Report (recording)

    Synchronous workshops

    Monday, September 28th

    • 10am - 11:30pm / Medicine Wheel Wellness  
    • 1:30pm - 3pm / Reconciliation and Racism

    Tuesday, September 29th

    • 9am - 10:30am / Setting Healthy Boundaries     
    • 11am - 12 pm / Coping Strategies to Deal with Transition to Online Learning & Placement
    • 1pm - 2:30pm / Nurturing Effective Self-Learners - Helping Students Not Need Us 

    Wednesday, September 30th

    • 10am - 11:30am / How to Animate Virtual Programming For Maximum Student Engagement (grades K-6) (Will not be recorded)
    • 1pm - 2:30pm / How to Animate Virtual Programming For Maximum Student Engagement (grades 7-12) (Will not be recorded) 

    Thursday, September 1st

    • 10am - 11am / Using the Rumie App - Breaking Down Barriers of Distance Learning 
    • 1pm - 1:30pm / Duty to Report Drop-In Question period (See Duty to Report video which will be posted here on September 28th or learn more online prior to this session)

    Friday, September 2nd 

    • 9am - 10 am / Non-Profits 101
    • 1pm - 2:30pm / Sexual Violence Prevention Training (Will not be recorded) 

    *Although most sessions will be recorded and available at a later date, we highly encourage students to participate in synchronous sessions, where possible, to engage with the workshop host and other attendees. A half hour is added to each synchronous session, to allow for questions and discussion. This portion of the workshop will not be recorded. 


    Workshop descriptions and presenter biographies

    Asynchronous workshops

    Virtual Fundraising 101: Taking Your Fundraising Online

    Fundraising takes round-the-clock effort in the not-for-profit world at any given time! But with social distancing measures in place and everything moving online, your fundraising efforts might be facing entirely new and seemingly insurmountable challenges. Fear not! Learn from a panel of fundraising experts and tech-driven creatives that have been pushing the envelope of virtual fundraising. They will share lessons learned, discuss new and emerging approaches, and make sure you’re equipped with practical tips and insights that will help ease your fears.

    About the host: Lisa Peters is the owner of Eye Inspire Events and TV Host and Community Producer of Talk of the Town at Access Communications. Lisa is also a seasoned community development professional with over 30 years of experience building events that both raise much-needed funds and generate heightened awareness while entertaining people. Lisa and her team of event planners are the creative spark behind some of Regina’s most successful premium and charity events, helping companies support their community and enhance their brand and bottom line.


    Nowshad (Shad) Ali, CFRE is President of On Purpose Leadership and an experienced professional in Fundraising, Leadership Development, Organization Growth, and Talent Management. He has experience with leading social impact agencies and for-profit corporations. Shad served on the board of the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy Canada, he lead the What Canadian Donors Want Study, and has spoken extensively on Donor Motivations and Fundraising Effectiveness. He is a sought-after executive coach, facilitator, and community-builder.

    Sharon Lechner is the founder and CEO of Events by Sharon. She worked for many years in the not-for-profit sector as CEO of the Elgin-St. Thomas United Way and District Manager for the Canadian Red Cross. In 2011, Sharon struck out on her own as a full-time event planner. She specializes in fundraising events, including online auction software, and is now working with existing clients in moving their events to hybrid and virtual platforms.

    Kayla Thompson is the founder and owner of Blue Street Media. After a rewarding 15 years in the corporate digital world, Kayla started Blue Street Media to help local businesses find growth in digital advertising. Working within constantly-changing advertising and technology sectors, Kayla specializes in building client trust by working hand-in-hand to establish needs and wants, develop a solid advertising platform, and maintain and grow customer audiences.

    Duty to Report

    Marcella Nabigon Guerin, Spirit name Mukwa Kwe (Bear Woman) belongs to the (Maang N’dodem) Loon Clan. She has over 20 years experience working with Indigenous, children, families and communities. She is an alumni of the Indigenous SSW program at Canadore College and possess a BSW from Ryerson University and an MSW from Wilfrid Laurier University in the Indigenous Field of Study. Marcella is also a Registered Social Worker. She is a wholistic Indigenous practitioner and believes in using Indigenous healing modalities, cultural practices, ceremonies, teachings and medicines as a means of healing and helping people to restore balance in their lives. Marcella is also bilingual and speaks French and English. Marcella enjoys travelling, cooking, spending time with her family, playing golf and being out on the water.

    Synchronous workshops

    Medicine Wheel Wellness

    About the host: Dorothy Beaucage-Kennedy is an Ojibway Elder residing on Nipissing First Nation. Dot lives her life as an Anishnabe Kwe using the Seven Grandfather teachings. She is very knowledgeable in the Ojibway traditions and has supported Indigenous post-secondary students, youth, and families in her work through sharing circles and ceremony.

    Reconciliation and Racism

    Description: All Canadian governments and most of this country's citizens have expressed support for the findings and 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission -- a seven-year inquiry designed to redress the legacy of Indian Residential Schools and improve the relationship between Canadians and Indigenous Peoples. Canadians must know the Truth of their country's past before they can build Reconciliation in the future.

    About the host: Maurice Switzer, Bnesi, is a citizen of the Mississaugas of Alderville First Nation. At various times in his life he has been the publisher of the Winnipeg Free Press, communications director for the Assembly of First Nations and Union of Ontario Indians, adjunct professor of Indigenous Studies on the Laurentian University campus, and a member of the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Maurice lives in North Bay, and currently serves on the board of the North Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre and as a member of Nipissing University's Indigenous Council on Education.

    Setting Healthy Boundaries

    Description: This session will begin with an overview of what boundaries are, beginning more generally then moving to more specific professional boundaries. You will learn tips and tricks on how to set and maintain boundaries in a way that fits with both your own personal values and the expectations of your workplace. Boundaries can be difficult to implement and maintain, so we’ll talk about some of the personal limits as well as external barriers so that you can plan for them and be supported accordingly. Lastly, we’ll do some brief practice in communicating boundaries and you’ll leave with an individualized boundary plan so that you can continue checking in with yourself beyond today’s session.

    About the host: Danielle Morrow, MSc, RP, RMFT Registered Psychotherapist, Student Counselling ServicesDanielle loves the outdoors and is on the lake any chance she gets! Born and raised in North Bay, she feels very grateful and honoured to live and work on the territory of Nipissing First Nations. She is said to be talkative, easy-going, and friendly – mixing in humour whenever she can! She is passionate about collaborating with students to find ways that will enhance their wellness in a way that fits for them!

    Coping Strategies to Deal with Transition to Online Learning & Placement

    Description: Cam’s Kids Foundation, along with Psychotherapist, Joelle Anderson, are working in collaboration with Nipissing University to run a workshop on “Coping Strategies to Deal with Transitions to Online Learning and Placement”. The workshop will focus on things to know when working in placement for a not-for-profit, particularly during COVID-19, and how to manage stress and anxiety related to the adjustment of online learning. Cam’s Kids and Psychotherapist, Joelle Anderson will walk students through a number of mental health exercises, followed by an opportunity for students to ask questions they might have about their placement. Cam’s Kids is excited to bring this informative workshop to the students at Nipissing University!

    About the hosts: Vanessa Morgan is the National Coordinator for Cam’s Kids Foundation and has a BSSc from the University of Ottawa, specializing in Sociology and Psychology. She has been a part of Cam’s Kids for over five years and works alongside over 400 Ambassadors at 24 Universities and Colleges across Canada. Vanessa is passionate about reducing the stigma and raising awareness of mental health!

    Joelle Anderson, MA, RP, CCC Joelle is a Registered Psychotherapist and Certified Canadian Counsellor. Joelle is an expert on Cam’s Kids “Ask the Experts” page on, where she answers questions for free that are related to anxiety and mental health. She has been practicing since 2017, treating a variety of conditions including anxiety disorders, eating disorders, mood disorders, trauma, obsessive-compulsive disorder, substance use disorder and other mental and emotional health concerns. Joelle works both with youth (11+) and adults. To learn more about Joelle, please feel free to check out or contact her at 647-880-7118 or

    Nurturing Effective Self-Learners - Helping Students Not Need Us!

    Description: This session will help to identify what skills students need to improve their self-learning skills, and what you can do to help nurture these skills. Discussion topics include goal-setting, effective praise, developing concentration skills, feedback, and learning from mistakes. We’ve all seen success when we teach students new concepts, but this session aims to help students realize successes as they learn the next concept tomorrow all on their own.

    About the host: Geoff Brown is a certified Kumon Instructor running the North Bay Kumon Centre since 2008. Kumon is the largest supplemental education program with over four million students worldwide and aims to develop self-learning skills with its math or reading curricula. Students begin studying at their own individual level regardless of age and advance at their own pace. Geoff also attained his MEd from Nipissing University where he focused his studies on motivation and self-efficacy in education.

    How to Animate Virtual Programming For Maximum Student Engagement (Part 1 and 2) 

    Description: In this age of Covid-19, people have turned en masse to virtual platforms to help stay connected with their students, their communities and the wider world. Sometimes (as students will tell you) this is done very poorly and only occasionally "really well". The aim of this workshop series is to help participants discover some of the essential secrets for engineering and hosting engaging programming online. Your Trainer for this experience has worked with Teachers, Professors and other professionals for over 2 decades to help them package their materials and messages in a way that truly garners people's attention and helps them to more powerful retain and recall what was shared. Participants will learn about how to engineer powerful "pattern interrupts"; how to generate energy and excitement and how to help people "shift" into the most powerful gears for learning across what many perceive to be a very challenging virtual medium. Each of the two sessions will introduce hands-on, experiential activities that students can then replicate on their own, but will also examine the underpinning strategies that make those activities so effective. The goal of these sessions most optimally is to help people to experience some engaging ways of sharing information while also teaching them some of the basic design principles for engineering their own activities in the future. A portion of the curriculum will be dedicated to exploring some of the variations in approach for the different audiences along the spectrum of K-12.

    About the host: Tony Cox is a pathfinder and provocative thought leader who has prided himself on consistently taking the “road less traveled” in his Life. His presentations powerfully motivate audiences to consider how they can choose to make bold and liberating choices in their own lives and to consistently move in the direction of their dreams. He is an Entrepreneur and expert Trainer who speaks animatedly about Leadership, Innovation, Bravery, Artful Communication and the importance of re-defining personal Success. He is a seasoned facilitator and regular presenter at education conferences, Universities and national gatherings. His style is highly interactive and his stories garnered from decades of experience in the wilderness, conflict zones, classrooms and board rooms are inescapably captivating. He deftly connects the D.N.A. of his stories with important life lessons that resonate powerfully with audiences everywhere.

    Using the Rumie App - Breaking Down Barriers of Distance Learning

    Description: Even before the coronavirus pandemic, 60% of adolescents faced barriers to quality learning and 54% of adults lacked skills training to adapt to a changing job market. Now the need is greater than ever. Rumie makes learning resources available to learners for free, wherever they are. This workshop will teach participants how to access and even create tools and resources accessible through any browser or the Rumie App, online and offline.  

    About the host: Mair Greenfield is the Indigenous Education Lead at the Rumie Initiative. She works with Indigenous communities and partners to support community voiced projects by pinpointing and collecting resources that are already found on the Internet. Mair works on projects relating to language preservation, culturally relevant teaching resources, self-care, reconciliation and curriculum support for learners and teachers. Mair is a member of Kebaowek First Nation.

    Duty to Report Question Drop-In (See Duty to Report video which will be posted here on September 28th or learn more online prior to this session)

    Non-Profits 101

    Description: This presentation is a quick overview/guide that will address what a non-profit organization is and the different kinds of non-profit organizations that exist. It will also touch on what you as a student may experience while completing your Community Service-Learning placement with a non-profit organization.

    About the host: Dennis Chippa, Dr. (Ltt.) Order of Ontario. Born in Sault, fifth child of seven. His more than twenty year, award winning television career involved more than fifteen years at MCTV Television in North Bay, as a reporter, anchor and editor. Following two years at Cogeco, he switched careers, moving to the AIDS Committee of North Bay and Area as an HIV Educator. For the past five years he has served as Executive Director of the Gathering Place, North Bay’s Community Soup Kitchen and food distribution center. His lengthy volunteer career included spending time coaching Special Olympics, and has also included stops with Community Living North Bay, The Youth Justice Program, the North Bay Anti-Drug Focus, and Literacy Nipissing. He is currently a volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross in its disaster management team, as well as a qualified First Aid and Psychological First Aid Instructor. He has launched numerous programs, including No Thanks I’m Driving to promote designated driver programs, Alarmed for Life, which encouraged installation of smoke alarms in homes where people could not afford them, to lending support to numerous fundraising initiatives. Seven winters ago, he was one of the driving forces behind the opening of North Bay’s Warming Centre, bringing homeless individuals in from the cold during winter months. He is also the author of three children’s books, all relating to North Bay and Christmas, with all financial benefits going to Literacy Nipissing, to help adults who are having trouble with reading, writing and computer literacy. He has won regional, provincial and national awards for his television work over the years, as well as being recognized for his community leadership. In 2016, he was named to the Order of Ontario, the highest honour for volunteerism in Ontario, for his work with North Bay’s vulnerable population.

    Sexual Violence Prevention Training - Gender 101

    Description: Gender 101 introduces participants to discussions about gender roles, gender identity and expression. Workshop facilitators will connect our understanding of gender issues to issues of gender based violence and harassment in our communities. The workshop will provide strategies on how to recognize violence when it is happening and how to intervene. Gender 101 combines awareness with engaging activities to provide participants with opportunities to learn and put knowledge into practice.

    About the host: "My name is Stephanie Vennard and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am a Nipissing Alumni having received a B.A. honours in history and biology, as well as my Bachelor of Education. I am currently a Masters of Education student focusing on alternative learning and assessment. I am passionate about learning to become a better ally, which involves unlearning at times. I strive to help create a community of consent and prosocial bystanders at Nipissing U! Some fun things about me include that I have two cats who love to interrupt video sessions, and I am planning a wedding during the pandemic, and am loving the planning process."



    Students who complete CSL projects or placements are eligible to receive a certificate from the Office of Indigenous Initiatives acknowledging their work in support of local community.

    Record of Student Development (RSD): our team is available to add your CSL opportunities to the RSD so they can record their experiential learning onto their RSD. 

    What types of volunteer activities can students do while on CSL placement?

    Students put theory into practice to gain a greater understanding of Indigenous community and non-profits by:  

    • Assisting with programming, projects or events
    • Creating meaningful programming to support clients and community
    • Generating content, planning and engaging with social media 
    • Attending community meetings/events, board meetings, volunteer meetings, etc. 
    • Researching grants and writing proposals
    • Planning events and supporting logistics
    • Augmenting accessibility to resources 
    • Assisting with fundraising 
    • Creating and updating print materials and communication tools
    • Tutoring
    • Creating new resources for community partners and the people they support
    • Updating websites 
    • Entering data 
    • Building awareness
    • Technical and administrative support
    • Recording stories and experiences 
    • Augmenting reach and visibility of organisation
    • Translating
    • Assisting with strategic planning
    • Drafting and conducting surveys
    • Research
    • Developing marketing tools
    • Providing creative services
    • Developing strategies in response to presented challenges 
    • Participating in outreach and public education 
    • Advocacy work

    Connecting course content to community experiences

    This can occur through class discussion, sharing circles, check-ins, weekly journaling, blogging, or other methods of sharing.

    Faculty are responsible for initiating regular and ongoing discussion about student experiences. 

    The CSL experience allows students to connect course curriculum to what they learn in community. Consider asking why they think certain things might be happening: social issues, lack of human resources, funding, need for volunteers, etc. using lived experience as the starting point for reflection.

    CSL activities must be in alignment with the community partner's mandate, goals and objectives. It must enhance their capacity. Think of your intentions for student learning. What are the goals of your course and how do they relate to the organization's mandate?

    Community partners

    You may already have a community partner in mind, or you may want to connect with partners who are familiar with this program, having hosted students in the past.

    BCSL would like to thank the following: North Bay, Nipissing First Nation, Dokis First Nation, Temagami First Nation, and surrounding area partners for supporting and providing Community Service-Learning opportunities to Nipissing University students:

    Reflective assignments

    Reflection is key to Community Service-Learning. Types of reflective assignments include: 

    • In-class discussion, discussion groups or debriefing
    • Journals
    • Essays
    • Collaborative projects
    • Oral presentations  
    • Portfolio
    • Group journal
    • Letter to self
    • Reflective interview
    • Artistic reflection

    Student assessment

    Marks may be tied to placement attendance, participation in group discussion, reflective assignments, and more. Remember, you are marking the reflection and learning that comes from placement experience, not the placement itself.

    Student learning is a combination of notions explored in community and in class. Reflective assignments and responses allow students to integrate knowledge and illustrate learning. 

    Attendance: Students may be required to complete a certain amount of hours (10, 20, 40, etc.). A time sheet helps them keep track of hours. This time sheet can be provided by the CSL team and should be signed by a placement supervisor to confirm attendance.

    The Biidaaban Community Service-Learning program connects community organizations with university students and faculty, to work on community generated projects for course credit. Read on to learn more about the various experiential learning opportunities you can create for students to support your organization. 

    In what ways can a student support my organization? 

    Students can support in a number of ways.

    They bring knowledge and skills learned in university courses to organizations, increasing their capacity to meet community needs.

    Project-based CSL. Community organisations submit projects to be completed by university students for course credit. The work is done in class,  under the guidance of the professor, and outcomes are shared with the community partner once finished. Students can support by:  

    • Developing marketing tools 
    • Creating social media content and other communications
    • Developing community outreach strategies
    • Drafting and conducting surveys
    • Assisting with programming, projects or events
    • Creative services
    • Maintaining engagement on social media platforms
    • Augmenting organisation reach 
    • Creating meaningful programming to support clients and community
    • Entering data
    • Attending community meetings/events, board meetings, volunteer meetings, etc.
    • Support event planning and logistics
    • Administrative support
    • Researching grants and writing proposals
    • Assisting with fundraising 
    • Creating and updating print materials
    • Creating resources for community partners and the people they support
    • Hosting a Facebook live event
    • Reviewing print materials and online platform content, making recommendations
    • Participating in outreach and public education 
    • Advocacy work
    • Conducting research
    • Etc.

    Some project components must be presented virtually by the community organisation (using Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams. etc.):

    • Community organization to "visit" the class virtually at the start of the semester (September or January) to introduce the project, the organisation, and very clear expectations around timelines, roles, responsibilities, and desired outcomes.
    • Community organization to touch base with the class, or designated leads, a few times during the school term for feedback.
    • Students to present project outcomes to organisation.

    Other optional project components (virtual):

    • Students to attend staff, volunteer, or board meetings
    • Virtual tour of organisation physical spaces
    • Meet and greet with other staff, clients, or other folks as requested 
    • Sharing Circles
    • Etc.

    How do I submit a project opportunity?

    To submit an opportunity, fill in the "Project Proposal Template" below, and/or contact Christine Benoit at 705-474-3450 ext. 4586, or email We will be happy to discuss ideas and answer questions! 


    Students can provide from 10 to 20 hours of service per term. 

    • Fall term: September to November 2020 (Exams in December)
    • Winter term: January to March 2021 (Exams in April)

    Students provide, on average, 1-4 hours of service per week, spending time in class working on a project for the organisation. Some courses last one term only (4 months) and others last the entire school year (8 months). Some courses are only offered in the first term, some are only offered in the second term. 

    Community organizations can choose to work with a class for one term only, for an entire school year, or with 2 separate classes during each term. Multiple projects can be submitted and worked on by students.  

    A timeline should be developed between the community organisations and the class teacher. 

    Need a student for a single event?

    Submit event details to Christine Benoit at 705-474-3450 ext. 4586 or email We will attempt to find a student who meets your requirements. 



    Community Partners


    A number of training opportunities, which pertain to the CSL experience at hand, are offered exclusively to participating students and faculty. They are either subsidized or offered free of charge.

    Training may include:

    - Mental Health First Aid

    - First Aid and CPR training

    - Suicide prevention training (ASIST, SafeTalk, Tattered Teddies, Straight Talk)

    - Learning circles with Elders and Indigenous knowledge holders

    - Micro-aggression workshops

    - KAIROS' Blanket exercise

    - Anti-racism workshops

    - Tutoring workshops

    - Building rapport with youth workshops

    - Understanding non-profit organisations

    And more. 

    Faculty and students may suggest other training. Each requests must be submitted for approval by the Community Service-Learning Officer:


    - Biidaaban Certificate of participation: Students who completed CSL projects or placements receive a certificate acknowledging their work in support of local community.

    - Record of Student Development (RSD): These activities can also be added to your Record of Student Development.

    - Some workshops provide their own certification, such as First Aid and CPR, ASIST, Mental Health First Aid, etc. 

    Common concerns about remote or virtual CSL experiences

    "Will my virtual CSL experience be as valuable as an in-person one?"

    A virtual experience is just as legitimate as an in-person one. You need these to build up your resume and your future careers. The BCSL team makes every effort to pair up students with projects and partners that work in fields of interest to students. Committing yourself to such an experience will serve you professionally in the future. Most learned skills are transferable. From working with children, organizing a fund raiser, producing a communication plan, hosting a Facebook event, doing online outreach or creating programming, these skills will serve you across many fields and in many professional settings.

    Since many students have had limited access to work since the start of the pandemic, a virtual placement or CSL project is as close as students can get to hands on, real-life experience. This experience could land you a new reference, a community connection, new perspectives. CSL allows students to gain access and insights into organisations like no other. 

    Additionally, many organisations have satellite offices, partners in other cities, clients in other territories and countries. Learning to work and connect with people from a distance will prepare you for a future career.

    "I was hoping to network with partners but am now unsure of how to build those relationships."

    A huge part of the CSL experience is building relationships and networking with supervisors, colleagues, volunteers and clients. There will be opportunities to connect with folks via virtual team meetings, email, phone, and through your work. Positive interactions, be they virtual or in-person, do not go unnoticed. If you participate and contribute ideas, knowledge and positive energy to the CSL project, your investment will pay off. Think about ways that you can use networks like Zoom to help build relationships

    "Without in person supervision, how will I know what is expected of me?" 

    The CSL project will be planned and reviewed ahead of time, and be presented to you in class, prior to starting your virtual placement, or CSL project. A timeline, list of roles and responsibilities, agreement forms, training, and a student handbook will also be provided. Setting clear expectations is the responsibility of the community partner and faculty. If something is not clear, it is your responsibility to ask for clarification. If you do have questions, ask yourself if you know how to reach out to your community partner representative, team members, classmates, and teacher?   

    Managing change 

    Change can be stressful. Self-care, communication and flexibility will be your best assets. Every effort will be made by the BCSL team, your teacher and community organisations to inform you of any possible changes and next steps as far ahead of time as possible. A lot of students have lost jobs, and opportunities in the future seem increasingly uncertain. Your supportive role, working collaboratively and productively on projects that aid community as a whole, is valuable. Always remember that you are not alone. 

    Questions about your placement

    Still have questions about your placement? We are happy to help! Contact us:

    Christine Benoit

    Community Service-Learning Officer
    Enji giigdoyang, Office of Indigenous Initiatives
    Nipissing University
    (705) 474-3450 Ext. 4586

    Carrie Demers

    Student Placement Coordinator
    Enji giigdoyang, Office of Indigenous Initiatives
    Nipissing University
    (705) 474-3450 Ext. 4684


    Incorporating Community Service-Learning (CSL) into your courses this Fall 2020. Click here to view the recorded webinar

    When: Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020 / 12-1pm EDT


    As we gear up to offer online courses this Fall, we consider the challenges our students and community partners have been facing since the start of the pandemic. Students on CSL placements greatly enhance capacity for non-profits and other social service organisations to do their work. However, with pandemic imposed restrictions, students will not have access to the same opportunities normally presented to them. 

    How do we convert in-person placements to virtual placements or project-based CSL? This webinar will explore examples of project-based CSL by some of our very own faculty and CSL supports available on campus for faculty leading up to this Fall and beyond. 

    This webinar is for all faculty, from folks who just want to learn more about CSL, to those who regularly incorporate CSL into their course. We look forward to working with you to offer students a wide range of opportunities to engage with community and gain valuable work experience during these times. 

    Moderator: Christine Benoit, Community Service-Learning Officer
    Panelists: Dr. Manuel Litalien, Dr. Denyse Lafrance Horning, Dr. Jonathan Pitt

    Lunch and Learn webinar hosted by Biidaaban Community Service-Learning and the Office of Indigenous Initiatives

    Contact us:

    Christine Benoit

    Community Service-Learning Officer
    Enji giigdoyang, Office of Indigenous Initiatives
    Nipissing University
    (705) 474-3450 Ext. 4586

    Carrie Demers

    Student Placement Coordinator
    Enji giigdoyang, Office of Indigenous Initiatives
    Nipissing University
    (705) 474-3450 Ext. 4684

    Biidaaban works in alignment with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action, North Bay’s Urban Aboriginal Strategy, and the Office of Indigenous Initiative’s Strategic Plan to support local Indigenous community in meaningful ways.