Indigenous Top Ten

August 24, 2016

Canadore to deliver First Nations Early Childhood Education program

Canadore College is launching a new First Nations culturally infused early childhood education program starting this fall. The two-year Early Childhood Education - Anishinaabemowin diploma program will be delivered at the Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute and the Seven Generations Education Institute. The program was developed to address declining rates of Anishinaabemowin speakers in Anishinaabe communities and to prepare proficient Ojibwe language speakers for employment as early childhood educators in an Ojibwe immersion setting.


Study finds many Aboriginal parents wary of education system

A new study by a researcher at Edmonton’s MacEwan University suggests that the legacy of residential schools has left many Aboriginal parents distrustful of the modern education system. Non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal participants were interviewed and asked about their views of the education system and their level of participation in their child’s education. The study showed that many Indigenous parents felt less comfort and trust with schools and were less likely to be in contact with teachers about problems or to advocate for children. The study also found that the education level of the parent affected the attitude towards education, with Aboriginal parents with more postsecondary education being more trusting and involved. The study’s author added that because many teachers expect parents to be involved, they should be proactive in building relationships with parents and communities.

Metro News | NationTalk | Global News | Full Report

New BEd program to be taught by community members at Listuguj First Nation

Members of three First Nations communities in Quebec and New Brunswick will soon have the opportunity to pursue a bachelor of education degree at the Listuguj First Nation. The program’s first cohort will consist of 25 Mi'kmaq students from the Listuguj, Eel River Bar, and Gesgapegiag First Nations. Community members with advanced degrees will teach the courses, incorporating local Indigenous knowledge and culture. The program is offered through a partnership with McGill University and is designed to encourage more community members and youth to pursue education opportunities. It is also hoped that training local educators will have benefits for the community's Alaqsite'w Gitpu School, creating a “ripple effect” of change in attitudes towards education, said Listuguj Chief Darcy Gray.


SK offers support to La Loche community

The Saskatchewan government is committing resources to help residents of La Loche respond to the school shooting that occurred earlier this year. In addition to new mental health resource workers, an affordable housing initiative, and a suicide prevention counsellor, a number of education initiatives are planned. Northlands College and Dumont Technical Institute are expected to offer adult basic education and grade 12 equivalency programs, and First Nations University of Canada will deliver a Dene Teacher Education Program to eligible community members. In addition, the Ministry of Education is working with the community and the Northern Lights School Division on the 2016–17 academic plan for the community school, focusing on improving student outcomes.

Globe and Mail | CBC

NEC to offer new software testing program for Aboriginal learners

Vancouver’s Native Education College has partnered with Professional Quality Assurance Ltd to offer a software testing certificate program for Aboriginal learners. Dan Guinan, NEC President, noted the booming technology sector in BC and said that Aboriginal youth can gain valuable on-the-job training and advancement opportunities once basic skills are obtained. The Aboriginal Software Tester Training Program aims to meet the need for skilled entry-level IT workers in Vancouver and across Canada. The certificate program includes four months of in-class learning followed by a two-month internship.


Cumberland CEO lays out three priorities for ongoing indigenization of institution

Cumberland College’s CEO Tom Weegar says that he has three key priorities for indigenizing his institution in the coming months: launching an Elders-in-residence program, hiring Indigenous recruiters to recruit on-reserve students, and bringing in more Indigenous guest speakers to trades and business classes. The Saskatchewan-based college announced two years ago that it would commit to indigenizing its procedures, culture, and policies. Efforts have included creating a First Nations and Métis Advisory Council, adding ceremonial components to campus events, integrating Aboriginal curriculum components in the Adult Basic Education Program, and signing the Declaration of Canadians for a New Partnership.

Nipiwan Journal

VIU hosts sessions on teaching from Indigenous perspective

Vancouver Island University recently held the Indigenous Knowledge and Portfolio Dialogue Sessions, an initiative that brought together international scholars and Elders to explore the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge in teaching methods. The sessions were organized in partnership with Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario and the University of Chile in Santiago. Participants shared portfolios of prior experience-based learning and took part in cultural and land-based activities. “Hosting the Indigenous Knowledge and Portfolio Dialogue Sessions was our way of sharing our progress and having our Elders share their ideas on how best to continue to incorporate traditional knowledge and culture into the Aboriginal curriculum in a meaningful and impactful way,” said VIU’s Director of Aboriginal Education Sharon Hobenshield.


Universities Canada highlights Indigenous learning in federal budget submission

Research and Innovation, Indigenous higher education, and talent mobilization are the three top priorities listed in Universities Canada’s 2017 federal budget submission. The submission states that 2017 will provide an opportunity for Canada to “ensure the country’s future is one that … advances reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and establishes Canada as a global champion of pluralism and diversity.” The submission also emphasizes the need for “direct financial assistance for Indigenous students and initiatives that support Indigenous student access, retention, and academic success at university.”

Universities Canada

uSask land-based education course gives students opportunity to learn from knowledge keepers, land

A two-week course in Indigenous land-based education offered through the University of Saskatchewan brings students out of the classroom to interact with knowledge keepers and learn on the land. Educator Tasha Spillett explains that many students find the experience to be transformative, adding, “we can talk about decolonization, we can talk about Indigenization within the walls of the academy, but once our bodies are out on the land it looks and feels differently.” Peggy and Stan Wilson of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation developed the course in an effort to change the way that Indigenous knowledge and peoples are viewed by academia.


uWaterloo affiliate hosts summer science camp for Aboriginal girls

The Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre at St. Paul's University College (affiliated with the University of Waterloo) recently hosted a new summer camp designed to get Aboriginal girls interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects. The camp had participants from communities across southern Ontario, including Kettle Point, Walpole Island, and Chippewas of the Thames First Nations. The camp encouraged parent/caregiver participation in order to emphasize the importance of passing down cultural knowledge and foster education and curiosity at home. The program is part of uWaterloo’s response to the United Nations' HeForShe campaign and the associated Impact 10x10x10 initiative, which has tasked ten world, corporate, and university leaders with identifying approaches to address gender inequality. University engineering students helped facilitate the program, gaining valuable hands-on experience for their own education.

uWaterloo | The Record