Indigenous Top Ten

May 4, 2016

BCcampus to begin province-wide indigenization process for higher ed

BCcampus has announced that beginning this spring, it will facilitate a program to indigenize curriculum and build Indigenous cultural awareness in postsecondary institutions across British Columbia. The organization will undertake this work on behalf of BC’s Ministry of Advanced Education through the new Indigenization of Curriculum and Cultural Awareness training project (ICCAT). The project’s stated goals will include the development of open educational resources that will be accessible to faculty and staff at all postsecondary institutions so that they can be better prepared to meet the needs of Indigenous students and communities. The resources will enable educators to incorporate Indigenous content, teaching methods, ceremony, and other indigenization efforts into teaching practices.


Equal education funding gets big results on MB reserve

An education experiment is being hailed as a success and is serving as a model of the benefits of equal funding. In 2010, the Waywayseecappo First Nation in Manitoba made an agreement with the federal and provincial governments that brought the community’s school within the neighbouring provincial school division and boosted funding for each student to match that of the students in provincial schools. Early literacy rates have jumped, from 0% of grade 1 students reading at the provincial level in 2010 to 44% in 2015. Similar results in other grades and subjects, better attendance, and improved teacher retention are all accredited to the agreement and funding boost. Classroom sizes have gone down and behavioural issues have subsided significantly. Students are benefitting from teachers who regularly access provincial professional development training, and provincial students now come to the Waywayseecappo school for sports, woodworking, and cosmetology programs. “Things have gotten better in a hurry,” said Principal Troy Luhowy.

Maclean’s | APTN

Canada announces $1 M to support Indigenous youth in trades in AB

Canada has said that it plans to spend more than $1 M to help Indigenous youth in Alberta train for careers in the trades. The funds will support and expand the Trade Winds to Success Training pre-apprenticeship program, which offers training over a 14- to 16-week period to Indigenous students exploring a variety of trades. The funding will triple Trade Winds’ enrolment from 135 to over 400 students and will also help the program renovate training spaces, launch new marketing campaigns, and create new outreach opportunities. “There is no other program in North America involving these unions, these industries, and Indigenous partners this way,” added Martyn A Piper with the Trade Winds to Success Training Society.

Edmonton Journal | CBC

NVIT and UBC develop new master of education program

The Nicola Valley Institute of Technology has partnered with UBC to offer a master of education program at NVIT’s Merritt campus. The MEd in Educational Administration & Leadership will be delivered on a part-time basis to accommodate working student schedules. The program is designed for faculty and staff at NVIT and other Aboriginal postsecondary institutes. Indigenous and non-Indigenous faculty from UBC’s education faculty will teach the courses, of which some will be adapted from existing programs and some will be created specifically for the new program. The BC government is contributing $350 K to the initiative as part of the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework and Action Plan.


New digital atlas to share Inuit ethnographic materials from Arctic expedition

The first phase of work has been completed on a new digital atlas that will return ethnographic information and traditional knowledge to Inuit communities. The Fifth Thule Atlas is the product of a partnership between the Kitikmeot Heritage Society, Carleton University’s Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre, and the National Museum of Denmark. The digital atlas will feature ethnographic materials collected during Danish anthropologist Knud Rasmussen’s Arctic expedition from 1921–1924; vast amounts of oral traditions, place names, linguistic information, Inuit-drawn maps, photographs, and ethnographic objects will be shared via video, 3D artifact scans, photospheres and digitized drawings, maps, and field notes. Additional regional groups and materials will be added in the future. The atlas framework is designed to operate on lower bandwidth to ensure it is accessible by Inuit communities across the North.


Saskatoon’s Catholic school board signs agreement to support Métis students

The Central Métis Urban Federation Inc (CUMFI) and Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools (GSCS) have signed the Métis Education Alliance Agreement, which will enable the two organizations to share data and information on Métis students. The agreement strengthens the existing relationship between CUMFI and GSCS, who will work together to establish a governance committee and working group focused on the education agreement. Data on everything from attendance to literacy levels will be shared between the partners, allowing for holistic and proactive planning that best supports Métis students and their families.


Cégep will now enrol Aboriginal students without high school diploma

Members of the Lac Simon Anishnabe Nation in Quebec can now apply for admission to the Val-d'Or campus of Cégep de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue, regardless of whether they have completed high school or not. The new enrolment requirements were approved by QC’s education ministry and are designed to encourage Aboriginal learners to continue their education. Students who are missing 10 units or less from their secondary level requirements will be able to complete courses towards their high school diploma while attending the Cégep and transitioning to postsecondary studies. 

Journal de Montréal (in French)

ON invests in Confederation College campuses

Ontario recently announced a $3 M investment in Confederation College’s Thunder Bay and Sioux Lookout campuses. The province will provide $2 M through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) for a Student Wellness Centre at the main Thunder Bay campus. The 36,500-square-foot centre will reflect Indigenous elements and will contain dedicated space for Indigenous wellness and spiritual programs, in addition to a gymnasium, recreational and multi-use spaces, and an area for educational support and training. The wellness centre will be available to community organizations and local schools and will serve as a community hub. In addition, Confederation’s Sioux Lookout campus will receive $1 M for the development of a new college campus within the new Sioux Lookout High School being constructed by the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board. Combining facilities for the college and high school will enable resource sharing and program collaboration. Confederation plans to expand program options once the new campus is in operation.


Aboriginal entrepreneurs in NB complete program, pitch ideas

New Brunswick’s Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI) is celebrating the graduation of the first cohort to complete the Aboriginal Business Accelerator Program. The initiative, reportedly the first of its kind in Atlantic Canada, was developed by JEDI as part of the New Brunswick Aboriginal Shipbuilding Engagement Strategy. Aboriginal entrepreneurs learned how to develop their business and get it to market by learning about subjects such as human resources, project and financial management, research, and securing capital. Graduates will participate in an investment competition and pitch their business ideas to a panel of investors.


Design team selected for Nunavut Arctic College expansion, community centre

Nunavut and Arctic College have selected Toronto-based Teeple Architects and Winnipeg’s Cibinel Architecture to design the college’s expansion and a new community centre in Iqaluit. The facilities are scheduled to accommodate 269 students and 37 staff by August 2019. A release states that the facilities will include fine arts and multimedia classrooms, fisheries training classrooms, digital labs, kitchen classrooms, and other versatile learning spaces. “We're excited for this opportunity to create architecture that responds to Iqaluit and the Arctic in every sense—technically, contextually, culturally, and socially,” says Teeple Architects President Stephen Teeple.

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