Biidaaban Academic Support - Volunteer

Biidaaban Academic Support (BAS) is a tutoring program for Indigenous youth with a focus on mathematics and literacy. Nipissing University student volunteers offer one-on-one support during school hours in local schools. All resources are provided by classroom teachers. 

On average, students tutor for 1-3 hours per week for 15 weeks throughout the school year. The Office of Indigenous Initiatives offers training and learning opportunities for interested tutors before they start. 

Tutor registration

Contact Christine Benoit, Biidaaban Community Service-Learning (BCSL) Officer. Visit in person at the Office of Indigenous Initiatives (F215-D), call 705-474-3450 ext. 4586 or email

You will need to: 

    1. Book an interview 
    2. Complete online Workplace Health and Safety trainingThis training is a one time transferable certification valid for all volunteering opportunities offered at Nipissing University. 
    3. Provide a valid Police Vulnerable Sector Check (PVSC)If you currently live in North Bay or Callander, go to North Bay Police. If you currently live anywhere else in Ontario, visit Ontario Provincial Police. You will need to provide them with a letter of request which you can obtain from the BCSL Officer.
    4.  Attend mandatory Biidaaban Volunteer Training Day on September 28, 2019, which focuses on cultural safety and professional development.

    Important dates

    • Interview / September 9th to 27th, 2019
    • Biidaaban Volunteer Training Day / September 28th, 2019
    • Meet and greet with school / Week of October 7th, 2019
    • Tutoring / October 2019 to March 2020. *Schedules are flexible and vary based on student availability. You are a student first and foremost, and a tutor second. Please be mindful of your course and workload. You are not required to tutor during exams, Reading Weeks, and mid-terms. 
    • Debriefs / 3 times a year, tutor luncheon and meet and greet. (Optional) Dates TBD 
    • Year-end program celebration "Niminowaazmin" / March 29th, 2020


    Biidaaban Academic Support is offered in the following schools in North Bay and at Nipissing First Nation. Tutors may indicate their preferred location during the interview process:

    Nipissing First Nation

    • Nbisiing Secondary School

    Near North District School Board

    • Silver Birches Public School
    • Sunset Park Public School
    • W.J. Fricker Intermediate
    • White Woods Public School
    • Woodlands Public School

    Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board

    • Mother St. Brides Catholic Elementary School
    • Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Elementary School
    • Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Elementary School
    • St. Alexander Catholic Elementary School
    • St. Joseph Scollard Hall Catholic Secondary School

    Benefits of becoming a Tutor

    Support Community

    • Connect with real people, share in their experiences, learn from them
    • Provide human resources where there is a need
    • Enhance social awareness and sense of responsibility
    • Get to know your community beyond the campus

    Professional Development

    • Meet people and network
    • Learn from experience  
    • Develop skills and broaden knowledge (critical thinking, problem-solving, leadership, communication)

    Personal Growth

    • Gain perspective
    • Assess your strengths, motivations and passions
    • Increase understanding of concepts learned in class
    • Get to know yourself in different contexts and in relation to others


    A number of training opportunities are offered free of charge to tutors who volunteer for a minimum of 10 hours, including First Aid and CPR, ASIST training, StraightTalk, SafeTalk, Tattered Teddies, Mental Health First Aid, and more.

    Students may suggest other training opportunities. Each requests must be submitted for approval by the Biidaaban Community Service-Learning Officer. 

    Regardless of the the number of hours a student expects to tutor, interested tutors must attend the MANDATORY Biidaaban Volunteer Training Day on Saturday, September 28th, 2019, from 9am to 4pm. This training is recognised via the Record of Student Development.

    Community impact

    In order for us to measure the impact of collective tutoring supports on Indigenous youth, it is important for tutors to record their work by submitting daily reports online. 

    Submit Daily Report


    The Office of Indigenous Initiatives recognizes the work of students in community and provides certification. This opportunity is also recognized through the Record of Student Development.  

    Niminowaazmin (Year-end celebration)

    Niminowaazmin is an Ojibwe (Anishinaabe) word that means "we are celebrating".

    Niminowaazmin is the Office of Indigenous Initiatives' year-end celebration for Biidaaban youth programs including Biidaaban Academic Support and Biidaaban Youth Group, honouring the successes of student volunteers, youth and their families. 

    Activities include a luncheon, traditional teachings, cultural and artistic activities, a professional portrait booth, games, door prizes and giveaways. 

    When: Sunday, March 29, 2020 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm

    Where: Main Cafeteria, Nipissing University, 100 College Drive

    Parking is free. 

    RSVP by March 24th, 2020. Contact April Gardiner, Student Placement Coordinator, 705-474-3450 x4684 or


    Biidaaban Academic Support is presented in partnership with the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, the Near North District School Board and the Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board.