Unique experiences lend an important perspective
Supporting Island Families -
Jeff Brant wants Prince Edward Island’s education system to work for every child – especially Indigenous children.
“When I came to PEI in grade 10, I was one of two indigenous people at Kensington High School,” said the former resident of Tyendinaga First Nation in southern Ontario. “I was a fidgety kid, I couldn’t sit still. Those early years influenced my perception of the education system.”
Fast forward 20 years and Brant – who is both an Islander and a Citizen of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, Tyendinaga First Nation in southern Ontario – is CEO of N2N, which provides training in fields related to business, socio-economic, human resources, and labour-market development. He works with adult learners, many of whom didn’t get their educational needs met in traditional classroom settings when they were young.
“These people didn’t get what they needed from the public education system at the time,” said Brant, who was director of socioeconomic development for the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI from 2004-2010.
“I want to see Indigenous students live up to the potential they have.”
Brant decided to apply to the Learning Partners Advisory Council through Engage PEI because he knew his unique experiences with learning could lend an important perspective.
“I saw this as an opportunity to provide a different view of how learning happens,” he said.
When he met wife Jennifer, a literacy coach with the Public Schools Branch, Jeff says he was drawn into academic life.
“I wasn’t a good student, but my wife is studious so if I wanted to hang out with her I had to be at the library,” he added.
Jeff and Jennifer decided to raise their three daughters – now ages 23, 11 and 7 – in Central Bedeque. When he isn’t working these days, he is busy coaching his daughters on the soccer field.
Engage PEI helps Islanders get involved with the provincial government by matching them with more than 70 volunteer boards that fit their interests.