Indigenous Top Ten

July 26, 2017

Renaming Ryerson is about addressing colonialism, not sanitizing it: opinion

There is a “certain irony” to the fact that many people are insisting that Ryerson University continue to be named after a man whose ideas were pivotal in the creation of residential schools, writes Doug George-Kanentiio for CBC. The author responds specifically to an editorial by Angela Wright, who argued earlier this week that renaming Ryerson University would only push Canada’s colonial history out of view. George-Kanentiio argues, however, that “changing Ryerson's name would do little more than rescind the name of a man who was an integral part of one of the most shameful aspects of Canadian history.” The author points out that cities like Mumbai and Iqaluit have been renamed in order to address the legacy of colonial rule. “Renaming should reflect the need to speak honestly about our common experiences and our past,” the author concludes. “The name ‘Ryerson’ should not be part of our future.” CBC

UPEI, NU to offer first-ever graduate-level course taught in Inuktitut

The University of Prince Edward Island’s Faculty of Education is partnering with the Government of Nunavut’s Department of Education to offer the first-ever graduate-level course to be taught exclusively in the Inuktitut language. A UPEI release reports that Leadership: Engaging Nunavut Parents, Elders, and Community will be offered in Iqaluit, NU and will focus on the development of collaborative relationships, positive communication, and empowerment of parents, elders, and community members who lead, support, and guide education in NU. “This course promotes collaboration and communication among the members of the community who support and guide education in Nunavut,” said NU Minister of Education Paul Quassa. “We are also excited for the opportunity this course provides for students; accessing post-secondary education in Inuktitut is a necessary step in keeping the Inuit Language alive.” UPEI

$1M teaching prize winner developing kayaking program

Maggie MacDonnell, a teacher who won a $1M global teaching prize for her work in an Inuit community in Northern QC, is developing a program aimed at re-introducing kayaking into Inuit culture. MacDonnell says that the program would provide health and cultural benefits to Inuit students while helping them reconnect with nature and encouraging environmental preservation. The program will be set up in Salluit, QC and will focus on four areas of personal development. “I'm willing to put my money into this issue,” said MacDonnell. “I really hope that I can inspire or create a way for other Canadians, corporations or the governments to get involved.” MacDonnell hopes to officially register the program as a non-profit organization. CBC

MFNERC, UManitoba partner to launch language literacy program

The University of Manitoba and the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre have developed and launched a Masters Inclusion Language Literacy Program. Offered through UManitoba's existing MEd program, this initiative is designed specifically for the special education and language and literacy needs of special needs students in First Nations schools. Graduates of the program will be fully qualified language and literacy coaches. These graduates will also have the option to continue coursework in order to become reading clinicians. The program’s opening ceremony was held at Yellowquill College, where students, Elders, and representatives from UManitoba and MFNERC gathered to celebrate the unique opportunity. NationTalk | MFNERC (1) | MFNERC (2)

Champagne and Aishihik First Nations developing immersive language program

The Champagne and Aishihik First Nations in the Yukon are developing a Southern Tutchone immersive language program in order to restore the number of speakers to its former levels. CBC reports that the federal government increased funding for Indigenous language programming in the country’s territories, and that in the Yukon, the 11 self-governing First Nations receive the money to administer themselves. “The Champagne and Aishihik First Nations government really, truly believes that having a strong language and cultural foundation, really enables our young people to be way, way more successful than previous generations,” said Chief Steve Smith. The program will be modelled on a 17-year-old immersive language program offered by the Mohawk Kahnawà:ke Reserve, and aims to begin at the beginning of January with eight students. CBC

Humber partners on Indigenous publishing workshops

In August, Humber College’s School of Creative and Performing Arts will partner with the college’s Aboriginal Resource Centre, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Canada Book Fund to host concurrent, Indigenous-led workshops on the topic of publishing. The workshops will cover best practices for editing and publishing Indigenous writers and stories. “Recent events have underscored the urgent need for more Indigenous editors, as well as for greater cultural sensitivity in non-Indigenous editors and publishers,” stated Steve Bellamy, Humber Dean of Creative and Performing Arts. “These workshops aim to build capacity and ultimately support the publication of more Indigenous writers and content.” NationTalk

FNU, Keyano offer youth opportunity to explore science, technology

Youth from all across Canada have gathered at the First Nations University of Canada to take part in a national First Nation and Inuit science camp that allows them participate in science and technology activities. “It’s really trying to get all of the students to feel like they deserve to be in this environment and with our First Nation youth, sometimes they don’t feel like they deserve to be here,” said Jody Bellegarde, FNU chemistry lab instructor. “I know these kind of experiences are really sparking the want to obtain some kind of a college or university education.” Keyano College in Fort McMurray offered a four-day welding camp for students from First Nations and Métis communities around the Wood Buffalo region. At the camp, students learned safety practices, welding symbols, various welding techniques, and how to enter a welding career. Regina Leader-Post| CBC (Keyano)  

Laurentian student developing cultural camp for non-Indigenous youth

A Laurentian University student is developing a cultural camp for non-Indigenous Youth and Indigenous people who have lost touch with their culture and traditions in order to give them an opportunity learn about Indigenous culture. “If we can teach the culture to non-Indigenous youth, it will help strengthen relationships between Canadians and help inspire policy makers to address these calls to action,”  said Kaella-Marie Earle, of Wikwemikong ON. “I want people to know that Indigenous people are welcoming and want you to learn about the culture.” Earle stated that she has recruited an Indigenous professor and an elder for the camp. Participants will learn about traditional foods, traditional ways of life, and Indigenous governance; and will have the chance to participate in a sweat lodge. CBC (Laurentian)

Organizations partner on launch of Truth and Reconciliation Web Archive

The University of Winnipeg Archives, the University of Manitoba, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR), and Library and Archives Canada (LAC) are working together to increase public access to records documenting the history of Residential Schools in Canada. To this end, the organizations have jointly launched the Truth and Reconciliation Web Archive, which includes websites, news articles, government documents, commentaries, and more. “Many of the records documenting the work of the TRC and the public’s response to its Calls to Action are websites that are at great risk of disappearing without notice,” said Brett Lougheed, UWinnipeg Archivist and Digital Curator. “This resource will preserve these sites before they disappear and provide a central location to access them now and in the future. In this way, we hope to assist Winnipeggers, Manitobans and all Canadians along their paths to reconciliation.” UWinnipeg

Oshki-Pimache-O-Win, Sault renew partnership

The Oshki-Pimache-O-Win Education and Training Institute and Sault College have announced that they have renewed their partnership for an additional five-year term. The partnership will allow for the continued offering of the Social Service Worker – Native Specialization program at Oshki-Pimache-O-Win Education and Training Institute. “Sault College is proud to sign another five year agreement with the Oshki-Pimache-O-Win Education and Training Institute and collaborate with them to deliver quality education in the Social Service Worker – Native Specialization program,” said Sault President Ron Common. “We look forward to continuing to work closely with this educational facility and contribute to the success of our learners.” NationTalk