Current Indigenous Top Ten

September 22, 2021

ACC, BrandonU, Campus Manitoba collaborate to launch Indigenization foundation guide

Assiniboine Community College, Brandon University, and Campus Manitoba have collaborated to launch an Indigenization foundation guide called the Pulling Together Foundations Manitoba Foundations Guide (Brandon Edition). The guide, which was originally created in British Columbia, is regionally specific and will give those living in the prairie more information to help them understand Canada’s colonial legacy. “This guide is an excellent resource for educators and for anyone who wants an introduction to the Indigenous Peoples in our area, as well as the history and effects of colonialism and steps that we can take to decolonize,” said Chris Lagimodiere, Director, Indigenous Peoples’ Centre and Aboriginal Initiatives at BrandonU. BrandonU | ACC (MB)

Art pieces installed in Ecole Argyle Secondary, UNBC

New art pieces have been installed in Ecole Argyle Secondary in North Vancouver and at the University of Northern British Columbia. A 5.5 metre Coast Salish Welcome Figure has been put in the front entrance of Ecole Argyle Secondary. The figure is carved from a red cedar log that is estimated to be around 200 years old. Coast Salish artist Sinámkin (Jody Broomfield) prepared the project off-site before bringing it to the school so that students could help with the carving and painting while learning Indigenous history and stories. UNBC has unveiled the Cedar Plank Project that was carved and painted by Cree/Dakelh artist Clayton Gauthier. The project, which was launched by UNBC’s first Nations Centre, aims to honour and thank some of the First Nations served by UNBC. It is on display at UNBC’s Prince George campus in Lhuhuhwhezdel: Gathering Place. “Each nation within each territory holds stories of the land,” said Gauthier. “Many different art forms, many different animals, stories and teachings.” Nation Talk | Vancouver Is Awesome | UNBC (BC)

Prince George school board leaders resign after report verifying racism, culture of fear

Two Prince George school board leaders have resigned after a report found systemic anti-Indigenous racism and a “substantial culture of fear” in the district. Board of education chair Trent Derrick stated that his voice as an Indigenous person was not heard and explained that graduation rates for Indigenous students has stayed low in the last 15 years with no attempts for improvements being successful. “As for Indigenous voices, they need to be heard,” said Derrick. “It is their land, their voice. Real change will happen once they have an equitable say at the table. If truth and reconciliation was truly important, the local First Nations need to be part of the solution in a truly meaningful way.” Vice-chair Shuirose Valimohamed also resigned, explaining that she felt “muzzled” and unsafe as a minority. “I can no longer be part of a system that doesn’t do right by Indigenous students,” said Valimohamed. “It’s the residential schools all over again in 2021, except the system is doing it openly under policies procedures and Roberts rules.” Castanet | CBC (BC)

Nunavut Arctic College, NV, MITC partner to strengthen Inuktut teacher training

Nunavut Arctic College and the Government of Nunavut have partnered with the Makigiaqta Inuit Training Corporation (MITC) to strengthen Inuktut teacher training. The $12.4M partnership will provide additional investments to support around 170 students and expand the Nunavut Teacher Education Program (NTEP) into more Nunavut communities. It will also support NTEP Bachelor of Education curriculum development, including the Uqariuqsatittijiit Language Specialist Diploma, and enhance recruitment and retention of students through wrap-around supports. “The Government of Nunavut is committed to working towards a bilingual education system in Nunavut,” said NV Minister and Makigiaqta Board Member David Joanasie. “This is a milestone that is a direct result of the various levels of representation taking action on their commitment to strengthen learning in Inuktut.” Nation Talk (NV)

MB First Nations schools adapt to help students catch up on missed time due to pandemic

First Nations in Manitoba that had to cancel school during the last school year are adapting to help students catch up and return to school. Several schools faced extenuating circumstances and were not able to complete the previous year: Kisemattawa Kiskinwahamakew Kamik School was shut down after a COVID-19 outbreak in the community, and Shamattawa First Nation Chief Eric Redhead said that students were unable to learn virtually because of the lack of internet connection and devices. Three schools at Cross Lake Cree Nation had a shutdown in the last school year, and students fell behind because there was no reliable internet or in-class learning. Students from the schools will use a dual curriculum plan for 2021-22 in which they will repeat the previous grade’s curriculum in the first part of the year before going on to the current grade’s curriculum in the latter part of the year. Garden Hill First Nation’s education department is discussing whether to go ahead with plans that were made in May to hold students back due to the pandemic’s impact on their learning. CBC (MB)

RMC welcomes 18 Indigenous students into ALOY program

The Royal Military College has welcomed 18 students into the Aboriginal Leadership Opportunity Year (ALOY) program. The program teaches students the skills they need to succeed in the military or as civilians, and students have the opportunity to enter the RMC as officer cadets after they complete the program or to pursue another path. Students in the program will spend the year learning about their own culture, Indigenous cultures across Canada, and the military. Students have already participated in physical training, orientation, building a teepee on campus, and cultural and team-building events. “I’m really excited about the cultural aspect (of ALOY),” said student Shane Vincent. “We get to do smudges every week, and I’m a big fan of learning about my culture. Growing up, I wasn’t really into my culture, so this is a great opportunity to learn more about it as well as get a paid education. The Whig (ON)

Police service responds to altercation at Manitoulin Secondary School

The Ontario Provincial Police and the United Chiefs and Councils of Manitoulin Police Service responded to an altercation at Manitoulin Secondary School earlier this month. The Sudbury Star reports that police were called to the school after a conflict broke out between several students on school grounds. Three youth, including one from M’Chigeeng First Nation and two from Sheguiandah First Nation, were arrested on charges such as assault and possession of a weapon. The Mnidoo Mnising Crisis Response Team was joined on site by members of the Rainbow District School Board Mental Health Team, school board administrators, and local First Nations representatives who gathered to support students and staff affected by this incident. “On behalf of Rainbow District School Board, I would like to thank our community partners for working together,” said RDSB Director of Education Bruce Bourget. “This is truly a partnership and a collaborative effort.” Manitoulin Expositor (1) | Manitoulin Expositor (2) | Sudbury Star | Manitoulin Expositor (3) (ON)

Langara, AFOA Canada, AFOA British Columbia partner to deliver Indigenous Financial Management certificate

Langara College has partnered with AFOA Canada and AFOA British Columbia on a program that will support a cohort of AFOA Canada’s Indigenous Financial Management Certificate. The goal of the pilot program is to provide students with a certificate program that will enable them to support their communities and Indigenous governments in self-determination. The program will see students who are from Indigenous communities or working in Indigenous governments completing both accredited postsecondary accounting courses and AFOA Canada’s Indigenous content courses. “At Langara College we are committed to supporting Indigenous students,” said Langara President Dr Lane Trotter. “We are honoured to participate in this unique initiative supporting Indigenous students throughout BC in obtaining critical financial management education.” Nation Talk (BC)

Indigenous education, childcare centers open in SK, ON

New Indigenous education or childcare centres have recently opened in Saskatchewan and Ontario. Carry the Kettle First Nation has opened a new education centre that will provide education to people who have not completed Grade 12. Chief Long Lodge Education Centre will ensure that the community gets education they need for jobs or to attend postsecondary education, as well as cultural education including traditional ceremonies, Nakota language education, and opportunities to learn about spirituality. In Ontario, the Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre (SOAHAC) has opened the Nshwaasnangong Child Care and Family Centre. The Centre is Indigenous-led, and will provide culturally relevant programming for up to 88 infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children. It also addresses the need for safe, affordable, Indigenous-led childcare. “In this space we hope to share regeneration healing, regeneration learning, regeneration love, with humility, truth, honesty, courage, love wisdom and respect,” said Nshwaasnangong staff member Emmaline Beauchamp. CTV News (SK) | CTV News (ON) (SK | ON)

CNC opens Nahoonai-a student housing facility

The College of New Caledonia has opened the new Nahoonai-a student housing facility at its Prince George campus. The building is fully furnished, and includes 12 units as well as a suite for an elder who can provide mentorship and act as an advisor to students. Students will have access to a shared kitchen, living area, washrooms, and laundry facility. The name, which was chosen by the daughter of Lheidli T'enneh Chief Dolleen Logan, means “to find” or “to rediscover.” “Our Nation is also honoured to have been part of the design and naming process for the new complex,” said Logan. “CNC recognizes the value in working with its First Nations partners and we salute CNC for taking this approach.” Prince George Citizen (BC)