Indigenous Top Ten

September 18, 2018

Indigenous-run school celebrates completed $24M expansion

Southeast Collegiate, a one-of-a-kind, Indigenous-run private school, completed a $24M expansion of its Fort Richmond campus with the creation of a new facility for First Nations high school students. The school educates students from Grades 10 to 12 and houses all 156 students on-site. “Southeast Collegiate is unlike any other school in Canada in that it not only educates students but also houses them on site, all while nourishing the First Nations culture,” said principal Sheryl McCorrister. “There is a growing demand among First Nations youth wishing to take their learning to the next level, and the new school will allow us to accommodate this need.” The school offers classes in Indigenous languages, cultural programming, and land-based education. Winnipeg Free Press (Subscription required) | CBC

Major gift for Métis students at Lakeland, NLC, MHC Concordia Edmonton 

The Rupertsland Institute and the Métis Education Foundation have announced major gifts to support Métis student success at Lakeland College and Northern Lakes College. At NLC, the two parties agreed to create a $375K endowment in perpetuity. “Scholarships and bursaries help remove financial barriers for students, allowing them to focus on academic excellence, achieving their education goals and improving their lives,” says NLC Ann Everatt. The two parties also provided $287K to Lakeland College. Medicine Hat College also received a $100K contribution from the organizations to support its Métis student body. MHC contributed an additional $30K to create a $130K endowment. Concordia University of Edmonton will create a $500K endowment in perpetuity through a $250K investment from the organizations and a $250K in-kind contribution from the university. Rupertsland (Lakeland) | Rupertsland (NLC) | Rupertsland (Concordia Edmonton) | Medicine Hat News (MHC)

BC educators argue for mandatory Indigenous-focused high school course

Educators in British Columbia feel that there should be a mandatory Indigenous-focused high school course. “We imagine then, the ripple effect that would have on larger society five to 10 years from now,” said Jo Chrona. “We would have a society ... that has a better, a stronger understanding of indigenous cultures and the roles that we play within Canada. And perhaps, at that time, we would start seeing something that is closer to reconciliation in this country.” BC Education Minister Rob Fleming explained that the government will be “looking at the graduation program and consider what additional steps we could be taking to facilitate Indigenous students' success and ensure that First Nations communities are strong in B.C.” CBC

ACC unveils trades training trailers

Assiniboine Community College has unveiled three mobile trailers that will bring trades-related training to Indigenous communities across Manitoba. ACC President Mark Frison described the trailers as a “program in a box” that will enable the college to bring training in an easier and more cost-effective manner. The trailers will house the necessary equipment to provide hands-on education in carpentry, electrical, or piping trades. “Peguis has a developed a long-term relationship [with Assiniboine] that we appreciate and respect for their willingness and contribution they make in working with our Indigenous community,” said Peguis First Nation Training & Employment Program Manager Pam Favel. “In the past, it has been a challenge to purchase the required capital equipment for various programs but with the acquisition of these new trailers, it will make it much easier to bring accredited community-based training opportunities to our community.” Brandon Sun

Teslin School renamed Khàtìnas.àxh Community School

The Teslin Tlingit Council and Khàtìnas.àxh Community School Council have announced that the Teslin School has been renamed the Khàtìnas.àxh Community School. The school is named for the late Billy Fox, whose Tlingit name Khàtìnas.àxh means “A raven that can be heard a long time after he is gone. He still makes noise like an echo.” “We are proud to support Teslin Tlingit Council and the School Council in renaming the school in Teslin. Schools are an important space where students and community members should feel a sense of confidence and belonging,” said Yukon Premier Sandy Silver. “Renaming the school to Khàtìnas.àxh Community School honours both the language and culture of the people of Teslin and the history of the community.” Nation Talk

NU holds territory-wide consultations, aims to revise Education Act

The Government of Nunavut has announced that it will hold Nunavut-wide public consultations on education. A proposal titled Ilinniarniliriniq Turaaqpalliajavut – Our Goals for Education was developed by the Department of Education to provide a starting point for discussion. “An enhanced education system built by and for Nunavummiut is one of this government’s top priorities. It must reflect the values and priorities of the territory, and produce graduates capable of pursuing any avenue they wish,” said Premier Joe Savikataaq. “As a grandparent, community member and Premier, I am committed to making improvements. I hope Nunavummiut will join me in providing their feedback.” The Department will use feedback from the consultations to draft new amendments for submission to the legislative assembly in 2019. NU | Nunatsiaq Online

Cape Dorset Peter Pitseolak high school celebrates early opening

The new Cape Dorset Peter Pitseolak High School has opened its doors a year ahead of schedule. The original school was burned down in September 2015, and since then, high school students have studied in the community’s elementary school and in modular classrooms. The $34M, 34,000-square-foot school was designed by Parkin Architects Limited and built by Kudlik Construction. The school contains a gymnasium, science laboratory, and resource centre and was designed with fire-proofing in mind. “This school is protected with a fully integrated fire suppression system, which means there are sprinklers throughout the entire school,” said Kudlik Senior Project Manager Rob Hellstrom. “There's sensors, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, heat detectors throughout the entire school.” CBC reports that the school was named for Inuit photographer, carver and artist, Peter Pitseolak. CBC | Parkin

Grade 3 children at Vancouver Island school children learn SENĆOŦEN language

Grade 3 students from the ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱ Tribal school in Saanich are taking part in a workshop taught mostly in SENĆOŦEN, the language of the W̱SÁNEĆ First Nations on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula. As part of the workshop, students plant vegetables and learn about traditional foods. “I find it to be really important for the children to have exposure to SENĆOŦEN outside of the classroom. I wanted to get them to get their hands dirty and be working with traditional foods” said Ashley Cooper, program director of the PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ Native Plants & Garden Program. “It's really empowering for these children to have access to that type of ancestral knowledge.” Grade 3 class teacher Melanie Neilson added that the children have discovered new vegetables and “love any chance they get to get their hands dirty.” CBC

UNB, Indspire, CIBC launch bursaries for Indigenous students

Indigenous students enrolling in the University of New Brunswick will have access to a special bursary program, thanks to a $500K gift from CIBC. The CIBC-University of New Brunswick Indigenous Bursaries will be managed, leveraged, and awarded by Indspire and will be awarded to undergraduates with demonstrated financial need. Preference will go towards those students who are enrolled in Bachelor of Business Administration programs. “Financial resources are the number one barrier that Indigenous students cite for their inability to achieve a post-secondary education,” said Indspire President Roberta Jamieson. “We invest in the education of Indigenous people so they can realize their potential and benefit themselves, their communities and Canada.” UNB has also reportedly adopted a TRC Strategic Action Plan to address the recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation committee. Nation Talk | UNB

ACAD, Tsuut’ina Nation partner to deliver course in Dené language

The Alberta College of Art + Design and ACAD’s Lodgepole Center have partnered with the Tsuut’ina Nation to help revitalize the traditional Dené language. A new 10 week course led by Tsuut’ina Language Commissioner Elder Bruce Starlight is open to the general public and is being offered for free. “The foundation of Indigenous art has always been in individual thought. There are no two designs in the traditional beadwork. The creators of the designs often spend hours drawing and redrawing patterns,” said Starlight. “Understanding and appreciating yourself through language is a stepping stone to creativity.” Public demand for the course is reportedly quite strong, with all available seats filled before the registration cut-off date. “ACAD is proud that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations and our responsibility to them as a post-secondary institution are being demonstrated through the offering of this course,” stated Lodgepole Centre Indigenous Coordinator Tina Kinnee-Brown. ACAD