Indigenous Top Ten

June 26, 2019

Winnipeg-based teachers program receives $1M donation, plans to expand across Canada

The Teach for Tomorrow: Build from Within – Ozhitoon Onji Peenjiiee program has received $1M to expand across the country. The program stems from a three-way partnership between University of Winnipeg, Indspire, and the Winnipeg School Division that allows Indigenous high school students to take part in college-level courses and graduate with both a high school diploma and an educational assistant diploma. "I’m thrilled to share the Pathy Family Foundation has committed $1 million to Indspire to support Teaching for Tomorrow – that will take us towards growing the program across the country,” said Indspire President Roberta Jamieson. “Honestly, our communities need many more of our own people at the front of the classroom.” APTN News UWinnipeg (MB)

Indigenous astronomy course uncovers sky stories at Western

Western University is introducing a course that synthesizes the principles of Western astronomy with Indigenous sky stories. Astronomy professor Robert Cockcroft, who will facilitate the course, said that he got the idea after developing an Indigenous sky lore presentation at McMaster University. Course co-developer and Oneida Nation of the Thames member Sasha Doxtator called the initiative “ground-breaking.” “We live our lives by the moon, even when we do our planting,” she explained, adding that the course will help uncover Indigenous stories that the Indian Act tried to erase. “There are a lot of stories I never heard as a child, even learning my own language, because my grandparents weren’t allowed to share that. Those stories are there; we just need to unbury them.” Western (ON)

Yukon College launches new First Nations Art certificate program

Yukon College has launched its new Yukon First Nations Art certificate program and is recruiting students for the September session. The program includes hands-on instruction in beadwork, sewing, and other fine craftwork; as well as courses focused on developing the skills needed for a career in producing high-quality arts and crafts. “My greatest moments of happiness are when teaching traditional arts and culture to younger generations or being out on the land,” said Lead instructor Darlene “Shakhwaye” Scurvey, a Kwanlin Dün First Nation citizen and member of the wolf clan. “Our land here is so beautiful and abundant with everything we need to create authentic, vibrant art and crafts. I aim to encourage innovation and value credibility and integrity in the students.” The program aims to help Yukon First Nations build capacity to maintain traditional arts and crafts and produce local, high-quality goods for heritage centres. NationTalk (YK)

Acadia, MUN, MSVU receive combined investment of $1.2M for Indigenous education

TD Canada Trust has announced a combined investment of $1.2M over the next ten years in Indigenous student programming at Mount Saint Vincent University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, and Acadia University. The gifts are intended to fund strategic Indigenous initiatives that will enhance the educational experience of Indigenous students. “We have searched out programs and initiatives that generate understanding and engagement, strengthen relationships, and provide products and services that contribute to the prosperity of Indigenous communities today, and for generations to come,” said Jennifer Auld, Vice-President of the Atlantic Region – TD Canada Trust. “We will be watching with pride as these programs take shape and students begin to soar.” MSVUMUN (Atlantic Canada)

Musqueam and Langara College launch program to prepare Indigenous students for post-secondary

snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓/Langara College and Musqueam have launched an Indigenous Upgrading Program (IUP) that will have an upgrading curriculum that integrates Musqueam knowledge and pedagogy to better facilitate the transition to postsecondary education. “The successful launch of the IUP is the direct result of many acts of reconciliation,” said Rick Ouellet, Director, Indigenous Education and Services. “College faculty in Math, English and Science have joined a working group that includes, administrative support, curriculum writing, and tutoring." The program was developed through substantive discussion with Musqueam representatives with expertise in education, culture, history, and protocol. The college states that in the second phase of the project, the IUP program will be launched with the Urban Native Youth Association (UNYA) in 2020. Langara (BC)

Leaked report about NTEP has “systemic issues,” draws concerns from teachers’ association

A leaked report delivered to the Government of Nunavut in October 2017 found that the Nunavut Teacher Education Program offered in partnership between the University of Regina and Nunavut Arctic College was “not capable of producing a bilingual, Inuit teacher workforce.” The report points to issues such as a lack of high school graduates with the adequate language and academic skills for succeeding in the program. The president of the Nunavut Teachers' Association expressed surprise at the document, stating that his organization was lied to about the report, as NU reportedly told the group several times that work on the report was still ongoing. "We've been asking the Department of Education for results from their intel review consistently since November of 2017," said John Fanjoy. "And the response ... has been that the NTEP review is still ongoing, and it hasn't been completed. And now we're finding out that it's been completed since October of 2017. And they secretly shelved it, and did not share any of the results with us or other stakeholders." CBC Nation Talk (NU)


BC Indigenous business challenge receives $3.3M from Service Canada

The BC Indigenous Youth 3C Challenge, an initiative designed to help Indigenous youth discover business ownership while honouring traditional values, has received $3.3M from Service Canada. The two-part program starts with a three-day workshop, followed by a month-long challenge where participants work in teams to explore opportunities that bring value on the dimensions of community, culture, and cash. “Our Indigenous ancestors excelled at entrepreneurship, and we are now focused on enabling our youth to reclaim these skills,” says Leslie Varley, executive director at BCAAFC. “We believe introducing our youth to the spirit of entrepreneurship will only empower them further, and the 3C Challenge paves the way to do just that.” The challenge was co-developed by the Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC), the National Consortium for Indigenous Economic Development (NCIED), and the University of Victoria, Gustavson School of Business. Nation Talk (BC)

YK to investigate ways to improve K-12 Indigenous education

An audit by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada has found that the Government of Yukon’s Department of Education does “not know whether its programs met the needs of students, particularly those with special needs and those from Yukon First Nations.” The audit reportedly found that the department made little effort to identify, understand, and address the root causes of the student outcome gaps between First Nations and other students. The Department also reportedly did not do enough to create a partnership with Yukon First Nations that would allow it to deliver programs that reflected the First Nations’ culture and languages and deliver culturally inclusive programming. The Minister of Education Tracy-Anne McPhee released a statement indicating that YK is committed to modernizing the education system and improving its relationship with education partners. Nation Talk Nation Talk (YK)

BC invests $2.7M in Indigenous teachers

The Government of British Columbia has invested $2.7M into Indigenous teacher training. According to a release from the province, $1.4M will go toward education seats for Indigenous students. $600K—to integrate Indigenous knowledge and culture into the BC teacher education curriculum—will be distributed to eight institutions for the BC Public Teacher Education Programs, while the Association of BC Deans of Education will receive $200K to support co-ordination and collaboration across the institutions. “It (investing in Indigenous educators) empowers Indigenous students to see themselves in their teachers, and Indigenous teachers to continue to act as role models across the education ecosystem,” said BC Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark. “All communities benefit when we embrace our diversity.” The release adds that the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology will also receive $730K for two master of education cohorts in partnership with the University of British Columbia. BC (BC)

MB invests in treaty education for teachers

The Government of Manitoba has announced a five-year Treaty Education Initiative focused on educating students and teachers about treaties and the treaty relationship. MB is investing $1.25M over five years in the training program, which will feature a two-day course that is tailored to the teachers in attendance to best support early, middle, and senior years instruction. “The Treaty Education Initiative is an excellent learning opportunity and a resource to help understand the treaties from the First Nations perspective,” said Loretta Ross, treaty commissioner, Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba. “In order to understand Manitoba history, students must first learn that treaties are foundational to the formation of Canada. We are pleased to provide these resources that can be used in the classroom.” MB states that it has also recently launched the Indigenous Identification Declaration Online Training for Administration, which provides school office administration with valuable information about Indigenous identity declaration. Brandon Sun Nation Talk (MB)