Indigenous Top Ten

September 5, 2018

PSE works to Indigenize programs, campus life

The Canadian Press highlights recent efforts and preparations made by post-secondary institutions across the country as they continue to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada report, released in 2015. The article specifically highlights the efforts of institutions such as Ryerson University, the University of Manitoba, University of Saskatchewan, University of Alberta, Saint Mary’s University, the University of British Columbia, and McGill University. “Universities and colleges are inherently colonial. They're inherently anti-Indigenous,” says Shanese Steele, national chairperson for the CFS National Circle of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Students, of the challenges involved with trying to Indigenize institutions. Steele adds that while creating and hiring Indigenous educators and leaders is important, she hopes to see more emphasis placed on Indigenous student services such as counselling, academic advising, and food banks. Hamilton Spectator (CP)

Canada, BC, FNESC sign BC Tripartite Education Agreement

The Government of Canada, Government of British Columbia, and First Nations Education Steering Committee have signed the BC Tripartite Education Agreement: Supporting First Nation Student Success. The new agreement builds on previous agreements and sets out how the three parties will work together to support successful educational outcomes of all First Nation Students. The agreement commits the parties to efforts such as improving accountability for First Nations Student outcomes, implementing funding protection mechanisms for First Nation Schools, providing language and cultural support services, and providing funding. Nation Talk | FNESC (PDF)

Indigenous legal traditions to be the focus of required first-year law course at UWindsor

First-year law students at the University of Windsor will be required to complete a course in Indigenous legal traditions when they arrive at school this September, reports CBC. UWindsor Dean of Law Christopher Waters notes that the course and its mandate were inspired by the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which specifically called on law schools to do a better job of disseminating knowledge about Indigenous legal traditions. “For many years we told our students there were two legal traditions in Canada in English common law and Quebec’s civil law,” said Waters. “We neglected to teach that there is a whole other basket of legal traditions in Canada in Indigenous law.” CBC | Windsor Star

Thunder Bay youth inclusion program receives $5.6M

The Government of Canada has committed $5.6M in funding for a new youth inclusion program in Thunder Bay that will aim to help First Nations students attending high school in the city to feel more welcome. The initiative will be based at multiple sites where youth can connect with recreational opportunities, art programming, and culture-based programming. The city will organize an annual gathering for Grade 8 students in remote communities, and the program will also see cultural land-based programming offered in partnership with Fort William First Nation on First Nation lands. “This is a wonderful opportunity and it is a major step toward helping the students feel comfortable and helping the students integrate into the city much more easily than previous years,” said Matawa Learning Centre Principal Brad Battiston. CBC | Nation Talk

CNA partners with Qalipu First Nation on educational pathways, business initiatives

College of the North Atlantic and the Qalipu First Nation have entered a five-year Memorandum of Understanding that will see both parties collaborate on the delivery of new educational pathways, as well as community and business development initiatives. CNA reports that the organizations will explore educational opportunities that will allow students to complete high school and transition into PSE; build professional capacity in educational programming in health sciences, tourism, business development, and environmental stewardship; and explore mutually beneficial partnerships on applied research and innovation. “We have many common goals, so it is exciting to see the possibilities that we have in front of us for strengthening the Indigenous persons and communities in this province,” said CNA President Bruce Hollett. CNA

ULaval nets funds for Arctic research institute

Université Laval has secured the funds needed to build Quebec’s future northern institute, the Institut nordique du Québec, in Quebec City. “The Institut nordique du Québec will allow us to promote the full potential of Northern Quebec, to inhabit it sustainably, and also to protect it,” said QC Minister Pierre Moreau. The building will serve as a hub for various disciplines, and its main research hall will be “an emblematic building symbolic of northern life.” It will accommodate over 200 regular researchers, including researchers-in-residence, Indigenous researchers, and graduate students. The Government of Canada has contributed over $25M from the New Building Canada Fund, and the Government of Quebec has invested over $27M in the project. Nunatsiaq Online | ULaval

Lake St Martin First Nation moves home, school under construction

Members of Lake St Martin First Nation are returning home to their rebuilt community after the completion of 190 homes and vital infrastructure. A new school for Kindergarten to Grade 12 students has received $19.7M from the Government of Canada. The school is currently under construction and planned to be completed and opened by September 2018. “Our people have been through so much in the past seven years. It is comforting to know some of our members have returned home,” said Lake St Martin First Nation Chief Adrian Sinclair. “However, we still have over 300 people wanting to return to our traditional lands. Much work, negotiations, and planning must be done to see the next wave of members return home in the fall of 2019.” MB

MUN radio features bilingual Inuktitut, English show

A bilingual broadcaster at Memorial University of Newfoundland’s radio station has been spreading the music, stories, and language of Canada's First Peoples. NunaKakKaasimaju: First People, First Occupants is a radio show through which host Angus Andersen plays music and tells stories in both English and Inuktitut. “Living out here, hearing the mainstream radios, it's music you don't hear,” said Andersen, who is originally from Nain in northern Labrador. “The only time you hear a song or two is on National Aboriginal Day or Canada Day.” The show runs live Thursdays from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, with Anderson playing music that is “all Innu, Inuit, Metis, First Nation, Greenland, Russia - any first people music I can find.”  CBC

Bilingual education in Indigenous languages is a right, benefits students: Telloch

“Research tells us that bilingual education is the best possible education,” writes University of Winnipeg Chair and Associate Professor Shelley Tulloch, “but Canadian census results, and parents’ experiences, suggest that some Indigenous children educated in an Indigenous language are struggling.” Tulloch cautions against blaming the language of instruction for these struggles, and argues that “knowing their language and culture reinforces Indigenous youths’ sense of belonging to family, community and culture.” Tulloch highlights that Indigenous-language education is a right listed in a number of declarations and agreements, and raises evidence around the broad benefits of learning in two languages. Tulloch concludes by calling for key stakeholders to ensure that the best possible education is available to all children. The Province

Carleton, Nunavut Sivuniksavut partner on new college program

Carleton University's Faculty of Public Affairs and Nunavut Sivuniksavut have partnered on a pilot college program that aims to increase Inuit involvement in Nunavut's public service sector. “The academic component is going to be complemented with work placements in federal government offices to give students hands-on experience, and practical exposure to the actual career of possibilities for themselves," said Murray Angus, founder of Nunavut Sivuniksavut. The academic component of the program is drawn from a Carleton program that was discontinued due to a lack of funding in 2008. Nunavut Sivuniksavut approached Carleton to revive the arrangement as a pilot project while introducing internship opportunities. The program aims to help meet the need for Inuit representation in the public sector. Graduates will receive a certificate in Nunavut public service studies, with the opportunity to use credits towards a Bachelor of Arts at Carleton. Charlatan