Indigenous Top Ten

December 2, 2020

SIRCAAQ receives $18.4M to support building three Indigenous housing centres

The Government of Quebec will provide $18.4M to the Société immobilière of the Regroupement des centres d’amitié autochtones du Québec (SIRCAAQ) to support the building of three housing centres for Indigenous students. The centres will be located in Trois–Rivières, Sept-Îles, and another location that is still to be determined. These centres will provide safe and affordable housing to Indigenous students and their families, as well as culturally-relevant services intended to help students stay in school and experience educational success. “These community settings will reduce the feelings of isolation and loneliness experienced by students who attend large urban educational institutions,” said Ian Lafrenière, Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs. “I hope that in these new facilities, with appropriate services and support, and surrounded by their families, the students will flourish in a setting that is conducive to the pursuit of studies and will achieve all the success they deserve.” Nation Talk (QC)

StFX Circle of Abundance initiative reaches fundraising goal

St Francis Xavier University’s Coady Institute has announced that its Circle of Abundance – Amplifying Indigenous Women’s Leadership initiative has reached its fundraising goal of $1M. The funds will support the creation and delivery of an online leadership course for Indigenous women, the expansion of the Indigenous Asset-Based Community Development workshops, and the further decolonization of the Indigenous Women in Community Leadership flagship program. “These funds are significant to the work we plan to do in the next few years,” said Karri-Lynn Paul, Indigenous Program Teaching Staff. “Longer-term, we want to revitalize and further decolonize the Indigenous Women in Community Leadership flagship program and partner with graduates to offer regional programs.” Nation Talk (NS)

MMF distributing funding for education to students

The Manitoba Métis Federation is distributing over $4M to over 1,000 students in order to alleviate the financial burden that has been magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will be provided through the Post Secondary Education Support Program, part of a 10-year postsecondary education accord struck in 2019. “This is some dollars that are there to help them just pull through this so that they can focus on their education and complete and fulfill their dream,” explained Minister of Provincial Education Joan Ledoux, “instead of worrying about their bank account.” APTN News (MB)

MNBC receives 3.6 million for Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care

The Métis Nation British Columbia has received $3.6M from the Government of Canada to preserve the continued availability of Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care programs and services, as well as ensuring new public health measures can be implemented. The funds will support the expansion of the MNBC Métis Family Connections program’s COVID-19 Outreach to Metis families with children of up to 8 years of age. “Providing our families with social and emotional supports during the pandemic is a priority and increasing access to early years specialists in infant and childhood development is important,” said MNBC President Morin Dal Col. “I am proud of all the work the Ministry of Education has done so far in the formation of the Métis Family Connections program. These programs and supports will ensure that our families are connected and cared for.” Nation Talk (BC)

Fisher River Cree Nation provides laptops, internet access for online learning

Fisher River Cree Nation has provided laptops, iPads, and internet access devices to students in the community in order to make the transition to online learning easier. The two schools in the community, which are attended by 470 students, initially distributed paper homework packages. However, Fisher River Education Authority director David Dumas explained that sending these packages home “just wasn’t cutting it” and so FREA put out an order for laptops for Grades 5-12 students through the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre. The laptops arrived in October and were given to the students for them to keep, Dumas explained, as “when you give somebody something, they will take better care of it if it's their own.” “It's a great thing… because not every family actually has the money to afford a laptop,” said Grade 12 student Koby Wilson. “The biggest challenge for me and for most of us is that we don't have that in-person communication like we always had for most of our lives.” Students from nursery to Grade 4 will be receiving their own iPad within the next few weeks. CBC (MB)

UManitoba BA program introduces Indigenous Content requirement

The University of Manitoba Senate has modified its Bachelor of Arts graduation requirements to include a minimum of three credit hours in Indigenous Content. The Star says that this new requirement has been put in place to ensure students from the Faculty of Arts have an understanding of Indigenous issues, including an understanding of culture, history, sovereignty, treaty rights, and political status. “The most important reason for including this content in Arts students’ degree is that it better equips them to understand the world they live in as Canadian citizens/residents, as well as citizens of the world,” said Heidi Marx, UManitoba’s Associate Dean of Undergraduate Affairs. “Learning about the wrongs of the past also allows students to become active, engaged, and empathetic participants in reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.” The Star (MB)

GPRC to establish Evaskevich Centre for Health Research and Innovation

Grande Prairie Regional College has received a significant donation from Grand Prairie residents Paul and Coreen Evaskevich, which will be used to establish the Evaskevich Centre for Health Research and Innovation. The new facility will be dedicated to research on rural, northern, and Indigenous health and will create a research program through collaboration with health services and industry partners. Research done at the centre will be used to benefit new and existing health care programming, and will create new and improved opportunities for health care students. Nation Talk (AB)

Rideau Hall Foundation, Indspire partner on Indigenous Educator Apprenticeship Program

The Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF) and Indspire have announced a three-year collaboration on the Teach for Tomorrow: Indigenous Educator Apprenticeship Program. The program, which began in 2019 with 27 students, supports Indigenous students in the transition through high school into postsecondary education by providing college level courses to become certified as Education Assistants. Students eventually have access to the Bachelor of Education and Arts degrees at the University of Winnipeg. Through the partnership, the program will expand to a second location. “Indspire is excited that the Rideau Hall Foundation has committed to help grow the Teach for Tomorrow program”, said Indspire President Mike DeGagné. “This program will help Indigenous people to become educators in their communities, serve as role models to younger First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students and help them succeed in the classroom.” Nation Talk (ON)

Canada invests $1.3M in NWT to support Northern, Indigenous employment, entrepreneurship

The Government of Canada has announced a $1.3M investment into Northern and Indigenous employment, capacity building, infrastructure development, and entrepreneurship in the Northwest Territories. The investment will go towards three key regional initiatives that are expected to help boost economic growth in the territory, enhance skills development, and create good jobs for Northerners. "Our government has committed to finding ways to fund and support community-led makerspaces – as a means to prepare residents for current and future job and business development opportunities," said Minister of Industry, Tourism, and Investment Caroline Wawzonek. "These facilities provide the environment for collaboration and shared visioning; and lead to new and innovative ideas and products." Canada | Canada (Backgrounder) (NWT)

Algoma SRSC, UBC IRSHDC sign MOU to improve data sharing, collaboration, knowledge transfer

Algoma University’s Shingqauk Residential Schools Centre and the University of British Columbia’s Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre have signed a MOU to share data and collaborate on ongoing community engagement and research projects. Both centres work with survivors, church entities, educators, and Indigenous communities to research, collect, preserve, and display the history of residential schools in Canada. Through the partnership, communities will benefit from the reciprocal sharing of knowledge and co-developed resources. “The SRSC is delighted to be partnering with the IRSHDC to increase access to information about the history of Residential Schools,” shared SRSC Researcher/Curator Krista McCraken. “By leveraging the strengths of our organizations, this partnership will further our commitment to sharing and teaching about the history of Residential Schools.” AlgomaU (ON)