Matawa First Nations seeking $25M to reopen its schools

July 29, 2020
Matawa First Nations in Ontario has estimated that it will cost an additional $25M to safely reopen its schools after months of living under restrictions and has called on the Government of Ontario to provide funds. The Northern Ontario, James Bay, Cree, and Ojibway nations first expressed concern about the amount of money made available by the province in early July, and with students arriving in little over a month, the chiefs say urgent supplementary funding is needed to provide services during this time.

Indspire releases report on BBF program, calls for more funding for Indigenous education 

July 15, 2020

Indspire has released the Building Brighter Futures (BBF) Bursaries, Scholarships, and Awards Program Recipients’ Outcome report, which highlights the impact of BBF scholarships on recipients. Surveying over 6,500 individuals who received BBF funding in recent years, the report found that approximately 90% of recipients had graduated, 90% are employed, and nearly 50% work for an Indigenous community or an Indigenous-owned business.

Canada, provinces pledge major investments, policy shifts for Indigenous learners

July 2, 2020

The federal government and several provincial governments in Canada have made significant investments and policy shifts to support Indigenous learners this month. The Government of British Columbia has announced that $6.15M in funding will be supplied to Indigenous students in the province’s postsecondary schools. As part of its recently announced $213M Supports for Students Fund, the Government of Ontario announced that it would be investing in Indigenous education.

More Indigenous people in Canada are graduating, but improvements still critical: Globe

June 17, 2020

“More Indigenous people in Canada are graduating from high school than ever,” write the Globe and Mail Editorial Board, but “it’s still not nearly enough.” Citing Statistics Canada data from 2016, the authors indicate that the graduation rate for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Canadians is markedly below that of non-Indigenous Canadians, but that it has increased over the course of a decade. With an estimated 350,000 Indigenous children turning 15 between 2016 and 2026, governments will need to ensure improved high school graduation rates and transitions into postsecondary education.

Canadian institutions issue statements against racism 

June 3, 2020

Numerous Canadian postsecondary institutions have responded to the racial violence and discrimination that has occurred in the United States, as well as around the world, by issuing statements of solidarity. “The protests this weekend elsewhere in Canada shined a light on racism against Black and Indigenous people and intolerance in our country,” explained Memorial University President Vianne Timmons.

Iqaluit high school launches practical learning program

May 20, 2020

While Inuksuk High School in Iqaluit may not be physically open to students for the rest of the school year, a new initiative will allow students to earn credits outside of the classroom. Until mid-June, students will be able to submit activities such as hunting, beadwork, or machine maintenance that they have done outside of the classroom for possible credit as part of a new practical learning program. “We’re recognizing what happens outside of our walls,” said Steve Carter, the teacher leading the program.

MNA, RLI provides Chromebooks for K-12 Métis students for online learning

April 22, 2020

The Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA), Rupertsland Institute (RLI), and the College of Alberta School Superintendents have launched a province-wide initiative to provide Chromebook devices to help K-12 Métis students participate in virtual classrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded by the MNA, the initiative will provide 1,200 devices to students self-identified with their school as Métis, Métis citizens who are registered (or applying) with the Métis Nation of Alberta, and those whose household includes K-12 Métis students in need of help to keep up with virtual studies.

Students selected for Yellowknife Family Medical Residency Program

April 8, 2020

Two medical students have been selected as the first residents of Canada’s territorial residency program. Kasja Heyes and Thomsen D’Hont, soon to be graduates of the University of British Columbia’s medical school, were recently matched with the University of Alberta's Yellowknife Family Medical Residency Program. The placement is particularly important for D’Hont, who is Métis and grew up in in Yellowknife. His 2017 policy paper focused on increasing the number of northern doctors that were born and raised in the Northwest Territories.

Educators volunteer to provide online learning about Indigenous knowledge, storytelling 

March 25, 2020

Indigenous educators are volunteering their time to help educate students online as schools close down in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. "I wanted to offer these online Facebook, social media classes for parents who are at home with their kids, just so they can connect with their learning," said Chris Scribe, director of the University of Saskatchewan’s Indian Teacher Education Program and founder of Think Indigenous.

Algonquin launches DARE6 initiative to promote Truth, Reconciliation

March 11, 2020

Algonquin College has launched a corporate partnership initiative with PCL Constructors Canada Inc to help further the College’s commitment to Truth and Reconciliation. The DARE6 concept is based on an Indigenous governance model derived from the Iroquois, or Haudenosaunee, Confederacy. Algonquin Vice President of Truth, Reconciliation & Indigenization Ron (Deganadus) McLester described how Algonquin drew on the history of the Iroquois Confederacy in wanting to establish special partnerships between the College and half-a-dozen corporate stakeholders – hence, the DARE6 name.