Indigenous Top Ten

August 9, 2017

Canada must create Indigenous language preservation plan “with teeth” says USudbury prof

Canada’s Indigenous languages are in danger of dying out if the federal government does not develop an effective preservation plan, according to University of Sudbury Professor Mary Anne Corbiere. “If they are not preserved, they will die when the last speaker dies,” Corbiere told CBC's Morning North. Corbiere has reportedly been running her own for-credit courses at USudbury to help students learn to speak Indigenous languages. Corbiere also says that she welcomes any non-Indigenous learners who would like to learn the languages. “I welcome anybody who wants to learn our languages,” she says. “My view is that when someone makes a sincere effort to communicate on their terms, their language, that's the greatest sign of respect you can give anyone.” CBC

SIIT, FNU receive funding to develop national centre for collaboration, test sustainable funding benefits

The federal government has announced that it will invest $5M to support initiatives that will help First Nations Students pursue and complete their postsecondary studies. $2M of the funds will go toward the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies to determine how longer-term sustainable funding provides lasting benefits for Indigenous students and the Institute. In addition, $3M will be provided to First Nations University of Canada to develop a National Centre for Collaboration in Indigenous Education. “We are pleased with the announcement of federal operating funding for SIIT,” said Riel Bellegarde, President of SIIT. “As an Indigenous post-secondary institution, operational funding allows SIIT to invest in programming and resources that directly and positively impact the lives of our Indigenous students.” Financial Content (INAC)

SNP receives prestigious WINHEC accreditation

Six Nations Polytechnic has received WINHEC Accreditation for a period of ten years. The accreditation is granted to an institution or program that is framed by the philosophy of the community it serves; is soundly and intelligently conceived; integrates Indigenous culture, language, and worldviews into its programming; and accomplishes its work in a manner that merits confidence by the Indigenous constituencies being served. “This accreditation is recognized by Indigenous people from around the world and is seen as a very powerful unification of Indigenous educators,” said SNP Board Chair Kevin Martin. “I feel that it acknowledges what Six Nations Polytechnic has accomplished to date, and confirms that our peers agree that SNP has met a high standard of Indigenous education.”

Brantford Expositor |Sachem | SNP

Thunder Bay, First Nations leaders pledge to fight racism

The Nishnawbe Aski Nation, the Fort William First Nation, and the City of Thunder Bay have signed a statement of commitment to improve the lives of Indigenous peoples in the city and recognizes that escalating violent incidents have created a “crisis for the leadership and citizens of Fort William and NAN.” The statement acknowledges the concerns raised by the parties for the safety and wellbeing of Indigenous peoples living in and visiting the city, especially youth who relocate in order to pursue postsecondary education. APTN News reports that “the commitment calls on the signatories to work collaboratively to ensure the safety and well-being of First Nations students while in the City of Thunder Bay and to work to address issues affecting the health, safety and security of all residents, regardless of ethnicity, in a respectful and appropriate manner.” News 1130 | APTN News

ACC partners with Sioux Valley on residential framing program, announces electrician program

Assiniboine Community College has partnered with the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation to run a 12-week Residential Framing program that will help students frame new homes in Sioux Valley. The program includes eight weeks of classroom learning combined with four weeks of on-the-job training. “Sioux Valley is pleased to partner with the Assiniboine Community College in delivering a community-based program designed around the housing needs of Sioux Valley Dakota Nation,” said Chief Vince Tacan. “The skills that will be learned will assist our community members to take an active role in the future construction of homes as well as developing our capacity.” ACC will also be offering an Applied Electrical Installation program that is designed for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students who live off-reserve. The program has been accredited by Apprenticeship Manitoba, and was funded by the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples. NationTalk (Framing program) | Brandon Sun (Electrician program)

Lheidli T'enneh, School District 57 sign agreement

Lheidli T'enneh First Nation and School District 57 signed a five-year education agreement confirming a common commitment, responsibility and accountability for First Nation student success. "Lheidli T'enneh sees this as a commitment to First Nation students in achievement, strong literacy and numeracy, high graduation rates and a supportive educational environment which values Lheidli T'enneh language and culture," said Chief Dominic Frederick. The agreement was developed through meetings between the two parties as well as feedback from parents and community members. Prince George Citizen

Canada funds school feasibility study at Curve Lake First Nation

On behalf of the federal government, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs announced that $142K would be provided for a school feasibility study for the Curve Lake First Nation in Ontario. “We are pleased with the support from the Government of Canada, which will allow us to continue to deliver high quality education for our children,” said Chief Phyllis Williams. “This support will advance our obligation to provide programming that is culturally viable and vital for the success of our youth, our future.” Curve Lake First Nation currently operates a school that has programming for students from Kindergarten to Grade 3, after which students typically travel to Lakefield or Peterborough. The study is anticipated to be complete by July 2018. The Street | Peterborough Examiner

CBU researchers to study traditional Mi’kmaq skin remedy using biomedical, Indigenous approaches

Researchers at Cape Breton University will study the traditional Mi’kmaq practice of using birch bark oil to treat skin conditions with the support of federal funding. Assistant Professor of Mi’kmaq Studies Tuma Young and Associate Professor of Chemistry Matthias Bierenstiel have received $150K from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to conduct biomedical screening and Indigenous studies on birch bark oil in treating topical skin conditions such as dry skin, eczema, and psoriasis. “When you’re talking about traditional medicines, you have to approach the research in what they would term a good way, or the proper way,” Young said, adding that CBU has hired a community liaison co-ordinator to help facilitate meetings with elders. Cape Breton Post

Canada invests in school expansions, infrastructure developments for Uashat mak Mani-Utenam

The federal government announced that will be investing over $14M in the community of Uashat mak Mani-Utenam, in the form of various infrastructure and housing projects. The investments will largely serve the community’s youth through the expansion of three schools and the addition of a gymnasium. “I am happy to see that present and future generations are going to have spacious, well-equipped schools. In addition to the expansion of the schools and the addition of a gymnasium, the members of our community, especially our young people, will also have the benefit of a park and a playing field,” stated Virginie Michel, Policy Advisor to the Uashat mak Mani-Utenam Band Council. NationTalk

Aboriginal Mentorship Program at Lakehead receives $1M

Lakehead University has received $1M from the Joyce Family Foundation to support a program that mentors Indigenous high school students from Northwestern Ontario. The Aboriginal Mentorship Program allows high school students to visit Lakehead's Thunder Bay campus to engage in a number of activities that include touring the school's Paleo DNA and chemistry labs, learning about the human body using the School of Nursing and Northern Ontario School of Medicine manikins, and performing archaeological digs on campus. “The Joyce Family Foundation’s gift is more than a financial gift,” said President Brian Stevenson. “The Joyce family has made an investment in the future generations of Indigenous students by providing Lakehead University’s AMP program with the means to continue to make their university dreams possible.” Lakehead