Indigenous Top Ten

January 10, 2018

Anishinabek Nation Education Agreement Act receives royal assent

The federal Anishinabek Nation Education Agreement Act has received royal assent as of December 2017, thus enabling Anishinabek communities to create and administer their own education systems. “For so long, having our own education system was a dream, but today, we take a step forward on our journey to building a better education and realizing a better future for our Anishinabek youth,” said Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee. The act recognizes the Anishinabek Nation’s law-making powers and authority over education offered both on- and off-reserve, from junior kindergarten to Grade 12, as well as its administrative control over funding for PSE. The Anishinabek Education System is expected to be in place and operational by April 1, 2018. Northern Ontario Business

Yukon permitted to offer undergraduate degree programs

Yukon College has been recognized by the Campus Alberta Quality Council (CAQC) as being ready to deliver and sustain high-quality undergraduate degree programs. The recognition stems from a partnership established earlier this year between the Governments of Yukon and Alberta. “It's almost like a seal of approval that you put on the website, and so everybody can see it, and everybody can see that we met the standard,” said Yukon College President Karen Barnes. “That means that our students will have exactly the same opportunities as every university student across this country.” The college plans to launch a made-in-Yukon Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Governance program for September 2018. The program would be adapted from the school’s current certificate program. YK | CBC

Queen’s expands ATEP to full-time model

Queen’s University’s Faculty of Education is expanding its community-based Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP) to a full-time model. The new model will provide teacher candidates with greater skills and knowledge to teach in the primary-junior level at First Nations or Ontario provincial schools, and will provide an opportunity to obtain a transitional certificate. Teachers will also now be able to choose between two concentrations: Aboriginal Language Teacher or Northern Teacher. “The introduction of the transitional certificate is an important feature of the program, because many teacher candidates can continue their teaching jobs and apply the teaching time towards their practicum requirement,” said Queen's Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies Peter Chin. “While most of the program is delivered in their community, the teacher candidates engage in the Queen’s community during their first semester on campus and through the virtual learning.” Queen's

Fishing Lake First Nation to break ground for new, much-needed school in 2018

Fishing Lake First Nation will be breaking ground on a new school this year. CBC explains that the new school was originally discussed with the federal government a decade ago during a treaty land entitlement agreement, but faced a number of delays. In mid-December 2017, however, Chief Derek Sunshine received a letter from Indigenous and Northern Affairs stating that the project would go ahead despite incomplete paperwork. The new school is expected to be completed in two years, and will replace six portable units. “Some of the classrooms are smaller than others,” explained Principal Melanie Laplante. “The challenges are there to be able to, as one teacher, to teach and get across to those three grades your curriculum — exactly what you want academically for them to know getting out of the first grade.” CBC

Laurentian Indigenous students reflect on influence of Idle No More

Five years after the Idle No More movement swept across Canada, Waubgeshig Rice of CBC spoke with Indigenous students from Laurentian University on how the movement influenced their postsecondary journey. “I had already had university in my plans, but it definitely influenced some of the classes that I took,” explained Laurentian Indigenous Studies student Brittney Shki-Giizis, a member of the Dokis First Nation. “It moved me more in a political direction and it's influenced some of my assignments and a lot of my discussion points in the classroom.” students like Shki-Giizis were motivated to pursue different programming and career paths by the movement, others like Rose Messina were inspired to quit their jobs and return to PSE to re-learn the history of Canada. “That's where I think the Idle No More movements come into play,” said Messina, “because they're the people who collectively made it safe for us, I guess, again to have a voice and to have an opinion and to be able to express it.” CBC

Recall “embarrassing” edition of CP Stylebook full of errors on Inuit, says journalism professor

The 18th edition of the Canadian Press Stylebook contains a section on Inuit that is reportedly replete with errors, and Carleton University adjunct research professor John Kelly has called on the publisher to recall all copies immediately, no matter the cost. “It's embarrassing to say the least,” said Kelly, a professor with Carleton’s School of Journalism. “At [Carleton] ... the Stylebook is kind of the Bible, we follow it to the letter.” The passage containing the errors reportedly came from a style guide produced by Journalists for Human Rights. JHR Program Manager Lenny Carpenter accepted full responsibility for the mistakes and expressed disappointment in the errors. CP Stylebook editor James McCarten was also apologetic for the “oversight,” but said that he had no plans of recalling the estimated 3,000 copies. “I know this document, this style guide was put forward with the best intentions," said Natan Obed, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatamim, the largest Inuit organization in the country. “The implications are far and wide if a style guide is being used that isn't 100 per cent correct in the way that it articulates Inuit.” CBC

MB announces Indigenous Education Roundtables to support FNMI Students

The Manitoba Government announced in December that it would hold a series of full-day Indigenous education roundtables in Winnipeg, Brandon, and Thompson that would seek to strengthen education outcomes for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit learners. “The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada called upon all levels of government to develop culturally appropriate early childhood education programs for Indigenous families,” said MB Indigenous and Northern Relations Minister Eileen Clarke. “The Manitoba government accepts and embraces this responsibility.” The discussions will focus on three major themes: Student and family well-being; early childhood development and kindergarten to Grade 12 education; and adult learning, postsecondary education, and the workplace. MB

YK curriculum changes for Grade 11-12 moved to September 2019

Yukon’s secondary schools will have until September 2019 to implement a redesigned curriculum for Grades 11 and 12 instead of 2018, aligning the implementation period with that of British Columbia. “We are pleased with our continuing partnership in education with British Columbia, a leader in education in Canada,” said YK Minister of Education Tracy-Anne McPhee. “By aligning our implementation schedule with theirs, we can continue to work together on the Grade 11–12 curriculum and new system-wide assessments so that Yukon students are well-prepared for post-secondary success.” The curriculum changes include using examples of student work to show progress to parents and students; hands-on learning, finance, and career education in all grades; and the introduction of two new provincial exams that will replace the five required BCPEs. Curriculum for YK is based on that of BC, but will reportedly be adapted to include YK content and Yukon First Nations’ ways of knowing and doing. YK says that curriculum changes for Grade 10 are still scheduled for September 2018-19. NationTalk | YK

USask receives $2M grant to tackle HIV, Hep C among SK First Nations

The University of Saskatchewan has received a $2M grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to bolster a program that aims to tackle HIV, Hepatitis C, and other blood-borne diseases among Saskatchewan First Nation groups. USask researcher Stuart Skinner explained that the Know Your Status program integrates western medicine and traditional Indigenous knowledge, and that it aims to expand local doctors' knowledge and ability to treat infectious diseases. The five-year project involves 50 people, about half of whom are Indigenous community members, chiefs, and persons who have personally experienced infections. “This is their program,” said Skinner. “The communities themselves, the leaders and the people who are affected are the ones who design the program, design the treatment, and we're just following what they want us to do.” CBC

WLU Indigenous Field of Study launches Educator's Certificate in Indigegogy

The Indigenous Field of Study, Masters of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University has announced the launch of The Centre for Indigegogy: Indigenous Centred Wholistic Development. A WLU release notes that Indigegogy is a term coined by Stan Wilson, a Cree elder and educator, which means using Indigenous knowledge,and Indigenous ways of learning to create and provide education. The Indigenous Educator's Certificate in Indigegogy is designed for educators who wish to develop the capacity for bringing Indigenous ways of knowing and learning to their curriculum. Educators will then be able to adopt and translate their new knowledge into community specific and culturally relevant contexts within their specific Indigenous territories, traditions, languages, cultures and work place. WLU