Indigenous Top Ten

November 29, 2017

Calgary public school trustees praise ‘impressive’ impact of FNMI grad coaches

In just one year, the Calgary Board of Education has seen a nearly 25 per cent increase in First Nations, Métis and Inuit students participating in diploma exams, and the board is praising the efforts of FNMI graduation coaches for the increase. “Those are enormous numbers of students feeling confident enough to participate and be part of their own success in learning and that gives me great hope in where we’re headed with our Indigenous Education Strategy,” said Wards 11 and 13 trustee Julie Hrdlicka. The graduation coaches were introduced to the CBE at the beginning of the 2015-17 school year, and work as part of school leadership teams. “This intentional increase in focus in our schools has allowed students who self-identify as FNMI to feel a stronger sense of belonging in their school communities, to learn about the courses that are available to them and to make informed choices about the courses they’d like to choose,” said CBE Director of Learning Diane Roulson. Metro News 

SNP celebrates completion of campus renovations, launches language app

At the celebration of the open house of Six Nations Polytechnic’s new campus, the Mohawk word for thank you – “nya:weh” – was heard often. The new campus was finished during the 25th anniversary of the school. Visitors to the open house learned about the renovations that have been made to the campus over the last year, including the installation of 70,000 feet of cable to support the building’s IT systems, the addition of 1,500 solar panels on the roof, and various landscaping and gardening initiatives. “We believe in our students above all else, and hope that these renovations will foster a learning environment that will lead to even greater success and happiness for every one of them,” SNP President Rebecca Jamieson said in a statement. The school has also launched an app designed to help people learn the Mohawk Language that allows users to learn greetings, numbers, places, feelings, clans, and nations. “For years, our languages have been relegated and marginalized,” said Tom Deer, who teaches Mohawk and Cayuga at SNP. “This is one way for our languages to take their place in the world.” 

Brantford Expositor | CBC | Times Colonist

ESD funds Indigenous job skills training across Canada

Employment and Social Development Canada has provided funding for job skills training in Indigenous communities across Canada. In Naughton, Sudbury, and Chelmsford, Ontario; $2.6M has been provided for a program that will provide environmental training to 50 Indigenous participants who are not enrolled in postsecondary training or education. In British Columbia, the Musqueam ‘Breaking the Barriers’ Employment Services & Support Program received $2.2M in funding to provide client assessments, essential skills training, industry certificate training, and more to 240 Indigenous participants within the Lower Mainland. In Nunavut, $8M has been provided to fund the Qikiqtani Skills and Training for Employment Partnership, which will provide work readiness and employment training to 360 Indigenous participants. “Young Indigenous people are the fastest-growing part of Canada’s population, and it benefits us all to ensure they have the skills and training they need to find good jobs,” said Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Patty Hajdu. “Breaking down barriers to employment will help grow our economy in a way that gives everyone a real and fair chance at success.”

Nation Talk (Sudbury Region) | Nation Talk (Vancouver) | Nation Talk (Nunavut)

ON moves towards permitting Indigenous PSE to independently grant credentials

The Province of Ontario has introduced new legislation that, if passed, would allow Indigenous postsecondary institutes to independently grant degrees and diplomas to their students. The province's nine Indigenous governed and operated post-secondary institutions currently offer programs through partnerships with other colleges and universities. The Brantford Expositor reports that the government is putting $56M over three years toward expanding the capacity of Indigenous institutes. “The proposed legislation will create an indigenous pillar in the Ontario postsecondary education system, a result of a unique policy co-creation process between our nine institutes and the Government of Ontario,” said Rosie Mosquito, Chair of the Aboriginal Institute Consortium. “In engaging in this process, together, we have set out on a meaningful and sustainable path toward reconciliation and to close the education achievement gap for our people.”

ON | Brantford Expositor

Southeast Collegiate celebrates new state-of-the-art educational institute

Southeast Collegiate is celebrating the construction of a new state-of-the-art educational institute that will include a vocational high school building, a resource room for students with special needs, a vocational classroom for power mechanics, a gymnasium, and a student residency. The institute provides a high school education to First Nations students whose home communities do not offer such facilities, and currently enrolls students from over 16 southern Manitoba First Nations. “Southeast Collegiate’s new school and lodge facility will provide First Nations students with state-of-the-art learning environments and new accommodations that will no doubt have a lasting positive effect on current and future students for years to come,” said Minister of Indigenous Services Jane Philpott. The new facility is expected to open at the end of February 2018.

Nation Talk

U of T alumni donate $1M for bursaries for Indigenous Law students

The University of Toronto has received a donation of $1M from alumni Norman and Gay Loveland to endow bursaries at the Faculty of Law for Indigenous students. Gay explained that the donation was given as a contribution to the reconciliation process, and as an effort to help right the wrongs in Canada’s history with its Indigenous Peoples. UofT Faculty of Law Manager of Indigenous Initiatives Amanda Carling, who is Métis, added that there is a misconception that all First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students get a free ride. “That could not be farther from the truth,” said Carlin, pointing to the debt that students often must take on to earn postsecondary degrees. “We are grateful to the Lovelands for not only their generous financial contribution but also for their genuine interest in, and dedication to, moving this country forward on the path to reconciliation.”

Nation Talk

BC Indigenous Skills Training Development Fund supports training in northern BC

The Government of British Columbia’s Indigenous Skills Training Development Fund is supporting training for three sets of programs throughout the province that are designed for and with Indigenous communities. The first program will see 36 members from Nak’azdli Whut’en, Tl’azt’en, Takla Lake and Yekooche First Nations benefit from $560K for training in a wide variety of programs, including foundational courses in piping trade and carpentry and the Weaving Our Way employment readiness program. The second program will provide 8 members of Stellat’en and Nadleh Whut’en First Nations with $150K for training in carpentry. The third program will provide 12 members of Saik’uz First Nation with $100K to complete an Aboriginal Employment Readiness program. In all three instances, the programs will be delivered by the College of New Caledonia and/or the Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association.


NBCC showcases Indigenous artists at Gelu’lg Maw-a-paw Gala

The New Brunswick Community College hosted the 2017 Gelu’lg Maw-a-paw Gala earlier this month, which showcased Indigenous artists and performers in an event supporting the Indigenous Student Bursary Fund. Performers such as the internationally renowned Hoop Dancer James Jones; Mi’kmaq rapper Wolf Castle; and Canada’s first classical singer of Inuit descent Deantha Edmunds-Ramsay performed at the event, and local artists Gertrude Nicholas and Marlene Ward of Red TeePee creations designed one-of-a-kind works to support the Gala. “You know, I was once that student who needed help,” explained Ward. “My parents didn’t have the money for university. So I really know what it’s like to need that help to get through. That’s why I’m so proud to be part of this project.”

NBCC | Nation Talk

ON Ministry, Tungasuvvingat Inuit agree to work together to support Inuit learners

Delegates from the Ontario Ministry of Education and Tungasuvvingat Inuit met in Toronto on Monday, to sign an agreement in principle that is intended to “strengthen support for Indigenous learners.” The agreement will provide a framework for the province to accomplish a number of shared goals, such as improving academic achievement for Inuit students from kindergarten to high school; improving the wellbeing of students and their families; protecting and promoting the culture, identity, and heritage of Inuit in Ontario; and to support all learners to understand and heighten their awareness of Inuit history, culture, and rights. The framework also aims to build on recent collaborative work.

Nation Talk | Nunatsiaq Online

Western allows Indigenous-focused residence floors at all nine campus residences

Western University has announced that Indigenous students can take part in smudging ceremonies inside their dorm rooms across all nine campus residences, including on a new Indigenous-focused residence floor. The policy was approved by fire and safety officials and implemented this fall following focus groups held by the Indigenous Services department. “We asked them: ‘When you walk into an Indigenous community of living, what would it smell like?’” said program coordinator Sean Hoogterp. “Their reaction was that it smelt like burning sweet grass or sage.” “This is an excellent way to be proud of your culture,” added Western student Grace Swain, a Swan Lake First Nation woman. “I always want to learn more, and go to more ceremonies and smudging ceremonies. So coming to this residence has really connected me a lot more to my [roots].”

Nation Talk | CBC