Indigenous Top Ten

June 27, 2018

Canadian K-12 and PSE celebrate, reflect upon National Indigenous Peoples day

Postsecondary institutions and associated organizations from across Canada held celebrations, highlighted the contributions of Indigenous scholars, reflected upon historic wrongs, and more in honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day last Friday. Flag-raising ceremonies, cultural performances, and other events were held across the country, from Memorial University and the College of the North Atlantic on the east coast to Royal Roads University on the west. Several institutions announced that they had signed CICAN’s Indigenous Education Protocol or hired new Indigenous faculty. K-12 schools across the country also celebrated the day with festivities. The Red Deer Public and Catholic school divisions participated in the first National Aboriginal Day Conference in Red Deer, Alberta; and students from elementary and secondary schools in Prince Rupert, British Columbia took part in drumming, live performances, and other activities. UManitoba | UMoncton | Western Star (MUN, CNA) | RRU | Nation Talk (UOIT) | Red Deer News Now | Northern View

YorkU, TDSB partner on creation of new Wabaan Indigenous Teacher program

York University and the Toronto District School Board have partnered on the creation of a Bachelor of Education with a focus on Indigenous worldviews. The Wabaan Indigenous Teacher Education program will prepare the next generation of teachers to address the needs of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students, families, and communities. “Wabaan, which is an Anishinabe (Ojibwa) word meaning ‘it is tomorrow’, draws on the wisdom of ancestral teachings and contemporary leaders to put Indigenous futures into Indigenous hands,” said YorkU Faculty of Education Professor Susan Dion, who designed the program. “The curriculum includes attention to contemporary urban, rural, and reserve perspectives, and teachings from a diversity of nations.” The program will include culture camps where students can learn on the land from Indigenous artists and scholars, engage with families, and focus on Indigenous student voices. Teacher candidates will also help to shape the curriculum, create resources, and contribute to Indigenous education publications. YorkU | Nation Talk

YK program facilitates Indigenous engagement for Carleton journalism students

The MasterCard Foundation has contributed $250K to support Stories North, a one-month program that connects Carleton University journalism students with the Yukon’s Indigenous communities, reports Nation Talk. The program introduces students to Indigenous cultures and histories while providing education on colonization, reconciliation, traditional knowledge, climate change, resource development, self-governance, and the arts. “Stories North takes its mandate from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action 84, 85 and 86, and will foster a greater understanding of the challenges and possibilities that Canada’s national reconciliation process represents,” said Jennifer Brennan, Associate Director of Canadian Programs at the Mastercard Foundation. Nation Talk reports that participants will work with Northern stakeholders through peer-to-peer learning and workshops to share experiences, teach multimedia storytelling, and contribute to a new multimedia website called Shakat. Nation Talk

QC replaces Secondary III history textbooks to improve depiction of Indigenous peoples

The Quebec government has replaced the Secondary III history textbook with a new version that will “better reflect the Indigenous perspective.” The change comes after the two-year history course piloted in 2015-2016 was criticized for failing to reflect the experience of Indigenous peoples. The textbooks were revised and reissued at the request of QC Deputy Education Minister Sylvie Barcelo, who added that the cost of the new textbooks will be covered by the ministry. Robert Green, head of the Committee for the Enhancement of the History Curriculum in Quebec, welcomed the change while also calling on the province to go beyond editing the textbook to make changes to the curriculum itself. CBC

SaskPolytech to implement Indigenous content in all programs

Saskatchewan Polytechnic has announced that it plans to have Indigenous content in every one of its 150 programs by 2023. “Our education system has been the most inclusive when we talk about Indigenous people from that history [of residential schools' impact],” said SaskPolytech Director of Indigenous Strategy Jason Seright. “We need to know that our Indigenous students are coming from a different place and understand that.” Seright explained that Indigenous students make up 19% of the institution’s student body, and that the new strategy is aimed at addressing issues within the education system. CBC

KPDSB Four Directions graduation coach program sees boost to Indigenous graduation rates

The Four Directions First Nations, Metis and Inuit graduation coach program introduced by the Keewatin Patricia District School Board has been boosting graduation rates for Indigenous students from 30% to 77% over four years. The program supports each student while they’re enrolled in high school before helping them transition into postsecondary life. “It's become a very tight-knit community within the school and almost a family situation,” said FNMI coach Kieran McMonagle. “My favourite conversations to walk into are when my senior students are giving advice to the younger students, based on their experience.” Families are encouraged to join the program based on their preferred time frame and comfort level. The program also aims to help Indigenous students overcome barriers through supports such as paying for sports equipment or identifying leadership opportunities. “Working with them for that length of time and being so deeply connected, you're there for their triumphs, their struggles, you see trauma happen and you see them overcome it,” explained McMonagle, “so it's been really powerful to invest that time and just help them and see them recognize their potential.” CBC | Nation Talk

Métis Nation, Canada sign sub-accord focused on improving education, work opportunities

Métis Nation leaders and Government of Canada representatives signed a Métis Nation Skills and Employment Accord in Ottawa earlier this month. The sub-accord will see the MNC and its Governorning Members collaborate on providing Métis people with the skills and education necessary for success, helping Métis people find and keep good jobs, position the Métis workforce to meet the demands of the next generation of jobs, and implement a new Métis Nation Labour Market Strategy. A Métis Nation release reports that it is the first sub-accord under the Canada-Métis Nation Accord signed by the Prime Minister and Métis Nation in 2017. “This agreement will change the lives of tens of thousands of our Métis citizens. We know that it will help fill the gap that exists for our people in Canada’s economy in both trades and educational opportunities,” stated Métis Nation Minister of Social Development David Chartrand. “Now we have a federal government that understands the steps needed to assist the Métis Nation in becoming a true partner in this economy.” Métis Nation

SRC, CRCC announce new grants, program expansions

The Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) has announced that it is formally expanding the Aboriginal Mentorship Program. The program helps connect First Nations, Inuit, and Métis postsecondary students in STEM fields with an SRC mentor in a similar discipline. The students also gain work experience through a hands-on summer job at SRC. The Canada Research Coordinating Committee has announced the launch of new tri-agency Indigenous Research Capacity and Reconciliation—Connection Grants. These grants support interdisciplinary events and outreach activities that address themes such as supporting Indigenous talent and research, engaging Indigenous knowledge, mobilizing knowledge and partnerships for reconciliation, and fostering mutually respectful relationships. The projects must involve the participation of First Nations, Métis, or Inuit communities in their leadership and governance. The grants are valued at $50K for six months with the possibility of a six-month extension. SK | SSHRC (1) | SSHRC (2)