Indigenous Top Ten

February 7, 2018

FSIN, SSBA, SICC, Treaty commissioner sign MoU for treaty education in SK

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, the Saskatchewan Indigenous Cultural Centre, the Office of the Treaty Commissioner, and the Saskatchewan School Boards Association have signed a memorandum of understanding around treaty education in Saskatchewan schools. “Our children will grow up understanding their Inherent and Treaty rights,” said FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron. “They will learn that Treaties are a sacred covenant and are international law. Together, we can end discrimination in our education systems.” The agreement aims to address systemic discrimination in the spirit and intent of Treaty partnerships and supports those partnerships that advance Treaty awareness and education. “Our ongoing partnerships are very important in addressing shared responsibilities and interests in Saskatchewan’s education systems,” said SSBA President Shawn Davidson. “Joining together to sign this MOU is about our commitment to work together for the benefit of all Saskatchewan students.” CBC | SSBA

CBU announces Mi’kmaw Language Lessons for faculty and staff taught by students

Cape Breton University has announced that the Kji-keptin Alexander Denny L’nui’sultimkeweyo’kuom (Mi’kmaq Language Lab) will present a series of Mi’kmaq language classes designed for non-speaking faculty and staff. By the end of the series, participants will have learned sounds, pronunciation, and basic conversational skills in Mi’kmaq. Kji-keptin Alexander Denny L’nui’sultimkeweyo’kuom Director Stephanie Inglis explained that the class offerings have only become possible because of the new 3000-level course being offered at the university - Mi’kmaw Advanced Verbs - which enables CBU students to gain the background in the language necessary to be able to teach these classes. The course will result in a stream of students available and qualified to teach faculty and Staff Mi’kmaq language lessons. CBU says that the series is hoped to be an ongoing initiative, and that it will accommodate up to 15 participants for the five-lesson series. CBU

Dryden program to help Indigenous single moms now taking applications

The newly launched Dryden Urban Indigenous Homeward Bound Project is designed to help vulnerable Indigenous single moms to become self-sufficient. The project includes a four-year program that helps mothers with affordable housing, child care, education, and employment training. “When we take the women in, we'll be doing an assessment with them to ensure that they're ready to take this life changing initiative,” explained Dryden Friendship Centre Executive Director Sally Ledger. “So they come in [and] they get the wrap around support [and] the first entrance is the pre-course. From there we will connect them with a college diploma course ... [and] from the college course they get a one-year on the job training, from [there] we support them to get adequate employment.” The initiative is the result of community collaboration that involved partners such as Confederation College, the City of Dryden, and Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services. CBC

SNP, Western partner to deliver graduate level education program

The newly launched Dryden Urban Indigenous Homeward Bound Project is designed to help vulnerable Indigenous single moms to become self-sufficient. The project includes a four-year program that helps mothers with affordable housing, child care, education, and employment training. “When we take the women in, we'll be doing an assessment with them to ensure that they're ready to take this life changing initiative,” explained Dryden Friendship Centre Executive Director Sally Ledger. “So they come in [and] they get the wrap around support [and] the first entrance is the pre-course. From there we will connect them with a college diploma course ... [and] from the college course they get a one-year on the job training, from [there] we support them to get adequate employment.” The initiative is the result of community collaboration that involved partners such as Confederation College, the City of Dryden, and Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services. CBC

Nunavik teachers, union reach agreement in principle

Kativik Illisarniliriniq officials and the Association of Employees of Northern Quebec, which represents Nunavik’s roughly 300 teachers, have reached an agreement in principle. The union had previously filed a notice that teachers would strike beginning January 31st if an agreement was not reached, but the union and school board officials returned to the table for further talks. The union teaching staff have been without a contract since 2015. The union is requesting changes to the criteria for food transport expense reimbursement, better maintenance on housing units, and a 4.5% salary increase per year over a three-year period. Nunatsiaq Online (1) | Nunatsiaq Online (2)

Ryerson commits to developing Indigenization strategic vision, improving supports

Ryerson University has unveiled its community consultation report, which was developed through comprehensive consultation with the community and aims to embrace and support Indigenous learners, faculty, and staff. In response to the report, Ryerson President Mohamed Lachemi committed to seven steps on the path to reconciliation: double the number of Indigenous faculty, increase the number of Indigenous staff, create more pathways for Indigenous students, improve award and scholarship funding for Indigenous students, provide resources for Indigenizing curriculum, designate outdoor space for Indigenous ceremonies, and acquire external funding for a Ryerson Chair in Reconciliation. “Ryerson knows that education is the key to reconciliation, and today we must make a profound and enduring commitment to this generation of Indigenous people and those to come,” said Lachemi. “We must change Ryerson’s culture. Every one of us—each student, each faculty member and instructor, each member of staff must make their own commitment to reconciliation.” Ryerson

$1M for coding, robotics, and information technology education to benefit 8,700 Mi’kmaq students

New funds from the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development will help 8,700 Mi'kmaq students to learn coding, robotics, and information technology. “Our children are growing up through a time of great change,” said President of the Treasury Board Scott Brison. “Technology is disrupting all facets of our lives. Our children can't escape it, but with the right education, our children can help shape it.” The $1M will be distributed among 13 First Nations communities in Nova Scotia for K-12 students in First Nations and public schools alike. “We know there's a lot of unemployment in our communities. I think [the program] will allow us to create jobs, too. A lot of work in the digital field can be done from home,” said Chief Sidney Peters of Glooscap First Nation. “It's about understanding what technology can do and not being scared to do it. Let's create that environment and atmosphere for them to build on what they know.” CBC | CTV News| City News

ON invests over $800K in job training for Thunder Bay First Nations

Ontario has announced investments in training for First Nations peoples in the Thunder Bay area. An investment of $240K will go towards supporting the training of up to 244 members of nearby First Nations to help prepare for construction employment opportunities through SuperCom Industries LP, a First Nations owned business. “The advisors and coordinator will recruit over 200 people to train for work on the construction of the East-West Tie transmission line,” explained SuperCom board member Matthew Dupuis. “Through the work of the training advisors, training coordinator and the government, Supercom will be able to create a highly-skilled workforce that will have transferrable skills for the rest of their career.” An additional $500K will go towards the Anishinabek Employment & Training Services to deliver Personal Support Worker and Construction Craft Worker Training programs. The Bingqi Neyaashi Anishinaabek First Nation will also receive $57K for a Sawmill Manager Project, as well as $50K for a feasibility study on the building of a government office/multi-use centre. ON

UWinnipeg, MMF sign MOU supporting Métis research and students

The University of Winnipeg and the Manitoba Metis Federation signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will create new academic opportunities for Métis faculty, researchers, and students. Under the MOU, MMF will provide a grant of $600K over ten years to create and support an annual Métis Scholar-In-Residence over the next decade, and will establish a MMF staff member on campus to offer support and guidance to students. “We are excited about the opportunities and insights this research will bring,” said MMF President David Chartrand. “It is always a pleasure to work alongside UWinnipeg and we look forward to our continued partnership with them.” UWinnipeg

MRU celebrates grand opening of Office of Academic Indigenization

Mount Royal University has celebrated the grand opening of the Office of Academic Indigenization. The office will consult and collaborate with stakeholders from the MRU and external communities to promote culturally responsible and respectful curricula. It will also lead professional development for faculty. “I hope and believe we will be able to influence students profoundly and positively in at least three ways,” said MRU Vice-Provost Jim Zimmer. “First, by increasing the number of Indigenous students on campus. Second, by ensuring not only their success but their excellence here. And third, enabling all Mount Royal students graduate with a deepened understanding and appreciation of Indigenous Peoples and their history in Canada.” MRU