Indigenous Top Ten

July 24, 2019

Canada announces $100M for Indigenous Health research

The federal government has announced a $100M investment in Indigenous health research, which it says is the largest investment of its kind in Canada. Announced last week at the University of Victoria, the funds will come through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research over 16 years, starting this September. Canada Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor says that the investment represents "reconciliation in health." The funding will help establish a national network of centres focused on research, development, and knowledge translation for Indigenous health. “This is such an amazing opportunity for communities to take leadership in the conduct of health research that ultimately will benefit them," said UVic Indigenous health researcher and professor Charlotte Loppie. CTV News

SLC hosts parking lot “depaving” to create new Indigenous Gathering Space

St Lawrence College has announced that it is partnering with Red Squirrel Conservation Services to transform 180 square metres of parking lot into an Indigenous Gathering Space for staff and students to learn about Indigenous culture, perform traditional ceremonies, and grow traditional medicines. The project is set to kick off today with a “depaving” event, in which volunteers from the college and wider community will help prepare the parking lot for the installation of the gathering space. “The new Outdoor Indigenous Gathering Space not only supports sustainability, but also our strategic objective of supporting Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being,” says SLC President Glenn Vollebregt. SLC

YK, Kwanlin Dün First Nation to create culturally inclusive education through new partnership

The Government of Yukon and the Kwanlin Dün First Nation have signed a three-year education agreement, the first of its kind between the two parties, that will support learners from KDFN and learners attending school on KDFN’s traditional territory. The two parties will make investments into K-12 education over three years with a particular focus on four schools in Whitehorse. The investments will create culturally-inclusive education programs and establish a cultural educator position. “Kwanlin Dün First Nation is excited about this new chapter in its relationship with Yukon schools, as well as the resources that will be put into place for students,” said KDFN Chief Doris Bill. “Making a Cultural Educator available to focus on the four schools where KDFN students mainly attend is an excellent way to integrate First Nations knowledge and culture into learning plans as Yukon’s curriculum evolves. It will also reinforce our Community Education Liaison Coordinators’ efforts to support First Nations students within their school communities.” YK

Inuit Indigenous skills and training to benefit from Canada, Kakivak, ITK Canada partnership

Employment and Social Development Canada, Kakivak Association, and ITK Canada Inuit have partnered to launch the new Inuit Indigenous Skills and Employment Training (ISET) program. The Inuit ISET program provides skills development programs and job training services to Indigenous people so that they can meet their career goals. The programming is designed and delivered by partner organizations to best meet the needs and priorities of the community they serve. "We are pleased to see stable, long-term funding delivered to Inuit through the Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program that focuses on the unique needs and priorities of Inuit," said Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami Vice President Monica Ell-Kanayuk. Newswire

Cambrian looks to support skilled trades training for Indigenous students with new provincial funding

Two projects at Cambrian College will help Indigenous students gain valuable trades training, thanks in part to the Ontario government’s expansion of funding for the provincial Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program. An ON release says that it has invested $18.3M into the program, which marks an increase of $5M from the previous year. The first of the Cambrian programs will see Indigenous women participants take part in a 45-week Welder program, and the second will see participants from First Nations Communities on Manitoulin Island gain hands-on experience in a 26-week program focusing on skills and experience needed for General Carpentry, Electrician and Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic trades. ON

FNTI applauds ON investment in midwifery services, moves forward with program

The First Nations Technical Institute has applauded recent news that the Government of Ontario will invest an additional $28M into provincial midwifery services, adding that it is particularly pleased with the province’s commitment to increase access to culturally-safe midwifery care by expanding Indigenous midwifery programs. “This news couldn’t come at a better time,” said FNTI Vice-President, Academic Umar Keoni Umangay.“FNTI is in the final stages of developing a Bachelor’s of Health Sciences in Indigenous Midwifery to support the health and well-being of Indigenous women, babies, families and communities so that more choices are available for Indigenous Peoples to give birth and receive care on their traditional lands.” The standalone degree is being developed with Onkwehón:we Midwives at Kenhtè:ke and the Six Nations Birthing Centre, and is actively pursuing articulation agreement discussions with Ontario universities. FNTI

UAlberta student creates map, website to show campus through Indigenous eyes

A walking map created by an undergraduate student in Native Studies at the University of Alberta is providing an Indigenous lens to the buildings, art, and spaces at her school’s campus. Robin Howse’s map, entitled pîtos-mâmitoneyihtamowin (reimagine) UAlberta, lists a number of prominent sites on campus—including Sweetgrass Bear, Nîpisîy House, Rutherford House, and the Faculty of Native Studies’ tipi—that have, or seem to have, Indigenous or colonial ties. “The way you understand place and place names impacts how you see the world and how you interact with it politically, socially, economically and environmentally, and informs how you’re going to solve problems,” says Howse. “Once people are able to understand the complex history of this space, they can better understand our contemporary issues and why things are the way they are. Understanding that this place was already named before the university came along and expressed dominion over it really changes your understanding of it.” Folio

Métis Nation–Saskatchewan announces $89M PSE fund

Métis Nation–Saskatchewan and the Government of Saskatchewan have announced a 10-year, $89M postsecondary fund for Métis. The fund will provide direct financial support for Métis post-secondary students in the form of tuition, books, and living allowance; support student services; and increase education capacity at the post-secondary level. The Gabriel Dumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research will primarily deliver the funding and services. “We know that there is a significant gap in post-secondary education attainment levels between Métis and non-Indigenous populations in Saskatchewan. We have heard from grandparents, parents, students and youth that this is a priority and we raised the issue with our federal government partner that included our solution and we have achieved that,” said MN-S President Glen McCallum. “As a government we remain committed to prioritizing the needs of Métis students.” Nation Talk

Canada signs Regional Education Agreement with Sunchild First Nation, KTCEA

The Government of Canada has signed Regional Education Agreements with Sunchild First Nation and the Kee Tas Kee Now Tribal Council Education Authority, both of which are located in Alberta. The agreement signed with Sunchild will see Canada and the First Nation work in partnership to "implement a sustainable, predictable and more flexible funding model; recognize and respect the diversity of its community; and work to empower each student to improve their educational outcomes.” The agreement with KTCEA will impact several First Nations in the province. Under the agreement, Canada and KTCEA will work together to “recognize and respect the diversity of the five First Nations communities; work to empower each participating First Nation to improve their educational outcomes, and; preserve and utilize Indigenous knowledge, philosophy, Nehiyiwewin (Cree) language, and local values and beliefs.” Nation Talk (1) | Nation Talk (2)

Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation celebrates beginning of school construction

The Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation has celebrated the official start of construction on its new junior-senior high school. The new school will address overcrowding issues at the current school and will provide First Nations students with more career and technology studies options. “Over the last two years, my council and staff have worked alongside the federal government for a new school. When education was introduced to our people through residential schools – it was done terribly. Today, we recognize the importance of education and we will continue to achieve more academically,” said Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation Chief Tony Alexis. “The new school will facilitate learning, space for ceremony and room to expand our programming. This will allow our youngest members to become masters of the institutions while still celebrating and preserving our beautiful culture.” Nation Talk