Indigenous Top Ten

June 13, 2018

Paul First Nation celebrates beginning of construction for K-9 school

The Paul First Nation in Alberta recently celebrated the official start of construction for a new K-9 school in their community with a sod-turning ceremony. The school will include an industrial art shop that will benefit junior high school students, as well as space to provide adult education for the community. “Education is critical to improving opportunities for First Nations youth and a welcoming learning environment is essential,” said Federal Minister of Indigenous Services Jane Philpott. “This school will provide invaluable opportunities for the children of Paul First Nation to reach their full potential.” Indigenous Services Canada is providing $18.6M in funds for construction of the school, as well as $800K for a dedicated space for a Head Start program in the school. The building is expected to be completed by September 2019. Nation Talk

Chemists, Indigenous leaders push for Indigenous knowledge in chemistry education

A group of chemists and Indigenous leaders are looking for ways to engage in reconciliation through chemistry education, reports the StarMetro Edmonton. University of Saskatchewan Professor and New Credit First Nation member Malcolm King explained that one solution can be found in incorporating Indigenous ways of knowing into chemistry education. “Some of the stuff, for instance, would be the knowledge of Indigenous plants and how they develop,” said King, who explained that Indigenous knowledge contains traditional information around growth cycles, harvesting techniques, preservation, transportation, and more. King further explained how science education could be improved in Indigenous communities to help remove barriers for Indigenous people getting into science. StarMetro Edmonton

New Indigenous think tank at Ryerson addresses “urgent need” for policy analysis

Ryerson University has launched the Yellowhead Institute, an Indigenous think tank that brings Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers together to analyze policy and law that affects First Nations communities. “We’re hoping to reverse the very long history of excluding Indigenous people from policy decisions and legal decisions that affect our communities,” Yellowhead Director Hayden King told CityNews. “It should be Indigenous people themselves that make decisions about their future.” A Ryerson release states that the Institute has released its first report, which provides a critical analysis of the Liberal government’s Indigenous Rights, Recognition, and Implementation Framework. CityNews | Ryerson

Nunavut considers full-day kindergarten

The Government of Nunavut is considering launching full-day kindergarten across the territory in order to boost children’s programming and address a shortage of childcare options. The territory is currently moving to create a bilingual English-Inuktut K-12 school system, and Iqaluit District Education Authority Doug Workman says that full-day kindergarten could give children a strong and early foundation in Inuktut. “We are in the initial stages of determining what resources would be required and how the program would roll out before moving any further,” said NU Department of Education deputy minister, Pujjuut Kusugak. Nunatsiaq Online

UWinnipeg, CMHR to teach business execs about Indigenous rights

The University of Winnipeg and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights have announced that they will hold an immersive, six-day course for business leaders interested in shaping workplace cultures that respect Indigenous and human rights. In addition to interactive museum exhibits, the program will feature presentations and discussions with Indigenous leaders, activists, human rights scholars, and Residential School survivors. “There is a hunger and need for this course in the corporate world,” said Dave Angus, President of Winnipeg-based Johnston Group. “Executives want tangible examples to help them effect meaningful change in their organizations and become leaders in efforts for reconciliation.” UWinnipeg | CBC

Indigenous students in Prince Rupert to benefit from SaskPolytech, NWCC course delivery partnership

Northwest Community College and Saskatchewan Polytechnic have partnered to support instructors in providing a Warehouse Worker program to Indigenous students in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. “Delivering training through two-way video conferencing and online curriculum is a first for NWCC and Sask Polytech,” said SaskPolytech President Larry Rosia. “We are known for our online learning programs, and this blended classroom builds on that expertise in an innovative way.” SaskPolytech says that the partnership opens doors to nationally accredited training for Indigenous students, providing content and learning approaches of the highest quality while providing the option of labour mobility for those who complete the program. SaskPolytech

Indspire, RRC announce new programming, bursaries to support Indigenous students

Red River College and Indspire have partnered to offer financial support for up to 85 students with the new School of Indigenous Education Award. The award will cover the full cost of tuition, books, and supplies for students enrolled in one of five new academic programs: the ACCESS Pathway to Health Programs, the ACCESS Pathway to Engineering Technology Programs, the Indigenous Language Certificate, Culinary Skills Certificate, and Social Enterprise Diploma. “Red River College is working to create a seamless flow of wrap-around supports for aspiring Indigenous students, to help increase enrolment and graduation rates across the College,” says RRC Executive Director of Indigenous Strategy Rebecca Chartrand. “We are proud to partner with Indspire, (a group that) recognizes the important work we are doing as a College and has made an investment in a bright future for Indigenous students in our community.” RRC

Simcoe District students take part in Pow Wow education day

Grade 5 to 7 students from Simcoe County District School Board in Ontario recently took part in the SCDSB Pow Wow education day, where they participated in Inuit games, Metis jig dancing, and pow wow dancing. “It's really about educating our students, non-Indigenous students for the most part, and our staff about what a Pow Wow is, what happens at one and even about the dancer’s regalia,” said Principal of Indigenous Education Alison Bradshaw. “The other part of the day is exposing them to other Indigenous cultures like Metis jigging, Inuit games and many First Nations crafts; it really is all about educating in a fun and interactive way.” Bradshaw added that she hoped the students would enjoy the event, but also leave with a deeper understanding of the purpose behind it. Collingwood Today

NL, USask, FNMI groups partner to send Indigenous students to law school

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the University of Saskatchewan, and Indigenous governments and organizations are partnering to help send Indigenous students to law school.  USask will reserve two seats in the law program for NL Indigenous students from NL, and the provincial government will allocate and fund two articling position with the Department of Justice and Public Safety for those students upon graduation. “Members of Indigenous groups are currently underrepresented in legal professions,” said Andrew Parsons Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Attorney General. “We aim to change that here in this province by breaking down social and economic barriers some members of Indigenous groups face in pursuing legal education. This partnership will improve Indigenous representation in the legal system in Newfoundland and Labrador and ensure better access to justice for everyone.” Nation Talk

Cowichan, Stz’uminus, VIU collaborate on specialized ECEC program

Cowichan Tribes, the Stz’uminus First Nation, and Vancouver Island University have collaborated on the design of a specialized early childhood care program. Over the course of the three-year program, 24 Indigenous students will receive adult basic education upgrading, Hul’qu’minum language learning, and a diploma in early childhood education. “Cowichan Tribes Education and Vancouver Island University maintain a positive and successful working relationship,” said Char Crocker, director of Quw’utsun Syuw’entst Lelum’ of Cowichan Tribes. “The current need for early childhood educators is growing, as our Cowichan Tribes daycare continues to grow. It is wonderful for our students to have the opportunity to participate in the ECEC program.” The program received $815K from the British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Cowichan Valley Citizen