Indigenous Top Ten

May 17, 2017

Kativik School Board deems new History of QC, Canada curriculum unacceptable

“The new History of Quebec and Canada curriculum is unacceptable. Not only does it offer too little Aboriginal content, but it was crafted out of a consultation process that repeats a historical pattern of oppression, which continues to suppress the Inuit voice,” says Alicie Nalukturuk, President of the Kativik School Board. NationTalk reports that KSB has been an active participant on a committee created by the Quebec Ministry of Education to review and propose changes to the new History of Quebec and Canada curriculum. However, Nalukturuk states that “the process did not provide a real opportunity to garner insight and feedback from the Aboriginal representatives who responded to the ministry’s call for help.” KSB has since put forward five central demands to QC regarding the curriculum. In the past month, Nunatsiaq Online has also reported that graduates of the KSB have not been receiving high school diplomas since 2013, and have instead been receiving Attestation of Equivalence of Secondary Studies, which renders most graduates ineligible for postgraduate studies. NationTalk | Nunatsiaq Online | NationTalk (Diplomas)| CBC

RRU, Songhees Nation sign MOU on future of RRU property

Royal Roads University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Songhees Nation that outlines a framework for cooperation regarding the future of RRU’s property and addresses the common interests of the university and the nation. “Through this MOU, we welcome the opportunity to work with Royal Roads University and to align our shared values and priorities on these important lands that are part of our ancestral heritage,” says Ron Sam, Chief of Songhees Nation. “There is a growing bond between our Nation and Royal Roads University, and we have an opportunity to create something very special by fostering a greater understanding of each other’s goals.” RRU President Allan Cahoon notes that Songhees and RRU will cooperate on gathering and sharing information about the history, boundaries, ecology, and other attributes and challenges of the property, and will work together to define the boundaries of the campus lands. RRU

FNTI sees surge in applications for flight program after marketing on social media

Enrolment numbers have soared at the First Nations Technical Institute on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory in Ontario following marketing and outreach efforts on social media. The school, which is aimed exclusively at First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students, runs its provincially funded flight school in conjunction with Canadore College and heavily subsidizes the flying lessons for its students. “Our students, once they solo, it's on Facebook, it's on Twitter. And then other First Nations youth see that, and they realize that it's a possibility," said Jo-Anne Tabobandung, the school's chief flight instructor. Despite receiving nearly 60 applications for the coming school year, CBC reports that FNTI will cap the number of new students in the program at 10, as higher enrolment makes for higher maintenance, instructor, and general costs. “We need pilots. We need pilots in the North. We need to have our Aboriginal, Indigenous pilots flying, so we will do whatever we have to, to keep that program going,” says FNTI President Suzanne Brant. Brant estimates that the program runs a $200K deficit, which is largely covered by tuition from other programs. CBC

ON K-12 students learn about Indigenous culture, career options

Grade 7 and 8 students from the Limestone District School Board and the Algonquin Catholic District School Board attended a one-day First Nations, Métis, and Inuit enrichment event at St Lawrence College earlier this month. The program was facilitated by SLC Aboriginal Student Advisor Mary Ann Lyons and Elder-on-campus Helena Neveu, and included opportunities for students to tour the college, learn about Indigenous culture, and make a traditional craft. At Manitoulin Secondary School, students were able to discuss traditional and mainstream career options with a number of guests through the Indigenous Career Day. MSS teacher Shan Keatley stated that she hoped the experience would give students knowledge of Indigenous organizations from a wide variety of fields. NationTalk (SLC) | Manitoulin Expositor (MSS)

SFU ARC releases calls to action for use of $9M for reconciliation

The Simon Fraser University Aboriginal Reconciliation Council has released its calls to action to guide SFU in the allocation of $9M in funding towards reconciliation efforts on campus. ARC co-chair Kris Magnusson states that the team deliberately framed the report around calls to action instead of recommendations, because “a call to action is much stronger, you have to either say yes, or explain why it’s no.” These calls to action included building more community supports and indigenizing spaces on campus, course curricula, and administrative policies. “Hopefully [the report] becomes a living document where the articulation of the principles and the directions of the calls to action become a sustaining part of the fabric of SFU,” said Magnusson. “I am so proud of how this community has come together and I am so encouraged by what potential we have if we agree to join arms and walk through the problems that we are going to face.” The Peak | SFU

Sault, Cambrian, Lethbridge receive Indigenous Education Excellence awards

Colleges and Institutes Canada recently awarded the Indigenous Education Excellence Award to three Canadian institutions at its annual conference: Sault College, Cambrian College, and Lethbridge College. Sault received the gold award for “its commitment to indigenize the college, embrace Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing, integrate Indigenous teachings and honor Indigenous experiences and identities.” Cambrian received the silver award for its “strong commitment to Indigenous education,” as well as a recent partnership established with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. Lethbridge was awarded a bronze Indigenous Education Excellence award, which was received on behalf of the college by Marcia Black Water, the college’s FNMI Student Co-ordinator. The CICan release indicates that Lethbridge has recently established a First Nations, Métis and Inuit President’s Council and a President’s Indigenous Council. CICan | Sault Online | Lethbridge Herald

Northern ON high school students reveal reconciliation quilt projects

Students of Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School in Northern Ontario recently unveiled their Quilt of Hope at an event that included live hand drum music and food. According to the students, the quilt represents their desire to unite as a community and to become stronger together. “When we first started making this quilt there was only a few of us. I worried that there wouldn’t be enough squares to make a quilts, just a baby quilt,” said Latoya Pemnican from Deer Lake First Nation of the project, which involved students from around Northern Ontario. Students from Balfour Collegiate also developed a quilt that saw each of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s 94 calls to action translated into a patch. NationTalk (DFCHS) | CBC (Balfour Collegiate)