A Brief History

Portage College was originally formed as Alberta NewStart in 1968, a federal government initiative to research basic adult education. In 1970 the federal government ended funding for NewStart Programs in Canada. In response, a group of Indigenous leaders then staged a 26-day sit-in. The group was successful and funding was restored. Subsequently the funding was assumed by the Province of Alberta. It was then that the Indigenous leaders involved gave a new Cree name to the College: Pe-Ta-Pun, meaning New Dawn.

It is from this humble beginning that the College nurtured and has been blessed with Wahkohtowin, a spirit of collaboration and partnership with the First Nation and Métis people in our region. The Cree word Wahkohtowin reminds us of the Indigenous world view of the interconnected nature of relationships, communities and natural systems.

A People's Success

The College has steadily grown to the successful institution it is today.

Portage College offers over thirty certificate and diploma programs and has campuses or learning locations in communities in the northeast region of Alberta.

We acknowledge that Portage College’s service region is on the traditional lands of First Nation Peoples, the owners of Treaty 6, 8 and 10, which are also homelands to the Métis people. We honour the history and culture of all people who first lived and gathered in these lands.
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