Indigenous Top Ten

July 11, 2018

Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation requests funds for new trades programs

The Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation has requested $1M from the Northwest Territories for a new trades program, CBC has learned. “Our plan is to focus on one trade at a time, to gain more employment opportunities for our people,” said Lutsel K’e Dene Chief Darryl Boucher-Marlowe. “Where we come from, an isolated community, there's not a lot of resources where we can access trades programs.” Boucher-Marlowe told CBC that the school would begin by offering carpentry, with programs in mechanics, electrical, plumbing, and welding to follow. Boucher stated that in addition to providing employment opportunities,the school would provide high school graduates with the opportunity to receive support from community members. CBC

Sudbury-area partners lead research on Indigenous secondary education

Sudbury-area partners will be leading a collaborative research initiative titled “Strengthening Education and Improving Academic Success” that is intended to improve secondary education quality for First Nations students in Sudbury, across Canada, and worldwide. The City of Greater Sudbury, Atikameksheng Anishnawbek First Nation, the Rainbow District School, and Laurentian University will conduct research into how curriculum can be developed and modified to improve First Nations student outcomes, learning supports, and learning activities. The findings will also contribute to a global UNESCO research project focused on Indigenous Education. “This research will help build curriculum that is vibrant and resonates with Indigenous students,” said Marc Serré, Honorable Member for Nickle Belt. “The outcomes of this research will enhance the tools and knowledge teachers need strengthen and foster a culturally appropriate learning environment.” The partners have received funding of nearly $250K over two years from the Government of Canada for the initiative. Newswire

Winnipeg students lead letter-writing campaign to educate public on residential schools

Grade 8 students at Ecole Golden Gate Middle School in Winnipeg recently lead a letter-writing campaign to share their learnings about residential schools, how the information impacted them, and how others can educate themselves. “I feel like Canadians don’t know as much as they should about residential schools, and I feel like it’s all our job to know what happened and how [they can] reconcile,” explained 14-year-old Kate Neves, who said that listening to survivors sharing their stories resonated with her. “In the past we’ve written to other grade eights or grade sixes in the building just to inform other people in the building about what we’ve learnt,” said project creator Shannon Smith. “But this year the students really wanted to get in touch with organizations that have a bigger reach.” APTN News reports that Smith started the project three years ago as a way of responding to the TRC Calls to Action. APTN News

UBC’s Museum of Anthropology receives $1.1M collection of unique Northwest Coast art

The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia will now be home to a diverse new collection of Northwest Coast art valued at $1.1M. The significant collection of Northwest Coast metalwork, carved masks, weavings, totem poles, and other unique items comes from the estate of late Calgary philanthropist Margaret Perkins Hess. “UBC is honoured and delighted that Margaret Hess has entrusted MOA with this remarkable collection of Indigenous art,” said UBC President Santa J Ono. “These works will not only enhance MOA’s collection of Northwest Coast art, but will foster greater awareness and understanding of Indigenous cultures for our campus community, museum visitors and the wider B.C. community.” UBC

MSVU, Sipekne'katik, Pictou Landing launch two-eyed seeing science summer camp

Mount Saint Vincent University, Sipekne'katik First Nation, and Pictou Landing First Nation have partnered on the newly launched Two-Eyed Seeing Summer Day Camp. The camp included hands-on activities such as the Dreamcatcher Calculator, where campers created dreamcatchers while learning about prime numbers; the Science and Art of Cooking Trout; and a Botany Lab. Student camp counsellors will visit Sipekne'katik and Pictou Landing to support campers in adapting their new knowledge to their own community, such as applying their learnings from the botany lab through a plant scavenger hunt or plant pressing activity. MSVU states that a second science summer camp for Indigenous youth is already planned to take place in 2019. MSVU has also recently announced a new Mi’kmaq language course that will teach students to speak basic Mi’kmaq, with an emphasis on pronunciation and conversation skills. MSVU | Nation Talk  

Trades teachers building energy efficient house for Eel Ground First Nation


High school trades teachers and other volunteers are building an energy efficient house in Eel Ground First Nation. Over four days, eight trades teachers will construct the exterior of the house, and professional learning workshops will focus on training related to solar power and heating systems. ‟The project utilizes labour from high school technology and construction programs across the province to construct components in school shops for assembly at the site with construction professionals,” said Eel Ground First Nation Chief George Ginnish. “The one-bedroom unit will be given this summer to a community member as part of our Social Housing Program.” Nation Talk


EMBC, JIBC partner on emergency and social services training for First Nations communities

Emergency Management BC (EMBC) and the Justice Institute of British Columbia have partnered with First Nations communities to develop relevant and effective emergency management training. “2017 was the worst wildfire season in 100 years, and many First Nations communities were particularly hard-hit,” said Scott Fraser, BC Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “This training will help build skills that enhance the capacity of First Nations communities to respond to large scale emergencies in their area, and support community members with emergency social services.” The emergency management workshops will be targeted to seven communities: Tl’azt’en Nation, Gitxaala Nation, Squamish First Nation, Shuswap Band, ‘Namgis First Nation, Xat’sull First Nation (Soda and Deep Creek), and Secwepemc Nation. The pilot project, as well as ESS training delivered by EMBC, will be comprised of guided discussion, lecture, applied learning, and participant-engagement exercises in each of the selected First Nations communities. BC

First Nations parents, elders, express concern over SD 57 cutting Aboriginal Education position

Parents and elders have written to the Chairperson and Assistant Chairperson of the School District 57 school board in British Columbia expressing concerns over the removal of an Aboriginal Education position at Valemount Secondary School. The parents and elders stated that they felt the decision was ill-advised and should be reversed. “We believe that your regard for Aboriginal success has regressed rather than progressed,” the letter states before describing how the previously noted increase in graduation rates among Aboriginal students was a clear sign of the success of the Aboriginal Education workers who filled the position. Chairperson Tim Bennett has promised to follow up on the writers’ concerns, and the letter has reportedly been forwarded to the Board of Education. The Valley Sentinel

Coast Mountain to introduce Advanced Diploma in First Nations fine arts

Coast Mountain College has announced a Third Year Advanced Diploma that will be offered through the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art studio. “This is an exciting opportunity for Indigenous artists to continue growing their skill sets in jewellery making and carving while learning more about the business side of marketing their work,” stated instructor Stan Beva, who is also a world-class Tahltan/Tlingit/Timshian carver. “We are really excited to see a third year offering in this unique program.” According to a Coast Mountain release, the Diploma builds on the school's second-year First Nations Fine Arts Diploma and will feature a combination of business, jewelry-making, and sculpture courses. Students will participate in field trips and public art exhibits to build on their skills of displaying, promoting, and selling their creative work. Nation Talk

Dal Agricultural Campus introduces Indigenous Student Access Pathway

Dalhousie University’s Agricultural Campus has announced plans for the Indigenous Student Access Pathway, a one-year program for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students who would otherwise be ineligible for admission, or for those who would benefit from dedicated supports as they transition to university. “We are really working hard to become more welcoming to Indigenous communities both from a campus perspective and through our curriculum,” said Art Stevens, Manager of Indigenous Students on the Agricultural Campus. “We are really working hard to become more welcoming to Indigenous communities both from a campus perspective and through our curriculum.” The Pathway, which is scheduled to launch in 2019, will include opportunities for community involvement and access to Dal’s Elders in Residence Program. Dal will also offer Awtiget Summer Camps in 2019 to 12 to 16 year-old Indigenous students who have a vested interest in a university and science experience. Nation Talk