Indigenous Top Ten

August 11, 2021

Canada, ON, MB, NWT announce major investment into schools, community infrastructure

The Government of Canada and the provincial and territorial governments of Ontario, Manitoba, and the Northwest Territories have announced significant investments into local learning centres. In ON, an investment of over $37.8M will support projects at several schools, community centres, and treatment centres. Among the 35 recipients are First Nations K-12 schools and early childcare centers–such as Dennis Franklin Cromarty First Nation High School, Pelican Falls High School, and the Matawa Education & Care Centre–which will use the funds for major new additions and renovations. In MB, a $38M investment will support the construction of a new K-12 school in Moosomin First Nation, which will feature a larger gym, a cultural learning resource centre, labs, and more. In NWT, $16.6M will go toward 15 community and cultural projects, including the construction of a new Métis cultural centre in Fort Resolution that will include cultural educational spaces, a community and elder gathering place, a vertical garden, and more. Newswire (MB) | ON | ON (Backgrounder) (National)

NLC welcomes K-12 school to campus

Northern Lakes College has welcomed the Kapewe’no First Nation K-12 School to its Grouard Campus. The college relocated its classrooms to the western part of the campus in order to accommodate the K-12 school in the eastern wing. “Transitioning from high school to college can be a challenge for many students, but students from Kapawe’no First Nation K-12 School will just need to walk down the hall,” said NLC President Dr Glenn Mitchell. “We are always looking for collaborative ways to increase student participation in post-secondary education.” NLC (AB)

GDI, SIIT, USask partner with community to create Oẏateki Partnership

A new partnership, called the Oẏateki Partnership, has been developed to transform the education and employment systems for Indigenous youth in Saskatchewan. The partnership has been co-implemented by the Gabriel Dumont Institute, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, the University of Saskatchewan, and several First Nations and Métis communities and community members. The partnership’s anticipated outcomes and goals are focused on improving indigenous youth as they transition into, through, and out of postsecondary education and into the workforce. “There is no more important time than now for our province and communities to ensure meaningful Indigenous inclusion in the labour force and the economy,” said SIIT President Riel Bellegarde. Nation Talk | Global News (SK)

New book nook, apps, games to preserve and teach Indigenous culture, language

Books, board games, mobile apps, and more are being used across the country to teach Indigenous languages and cultures. In Fort Smith, Ryan Schaefer and Eyzaah Bouza created a board game called Trails and Overflow where the players’ knowledge of Cree animal names and numbers can help them reach the finish line first. The Tshakapesh Institute, Carleton University, and linguists and Innu language experts came together to create an app called the “Innu Conversation.” The mobile app includes words and phrases that are organized around 21 topics such as family, greetings, and days of the week. Portage Bear Clan has announced that it is creating a book nook that will be free to use and full of Indigenous literature. “We were getting requests from adults wanting resources for how they could learn and how they could educate themselves,” explained Coordinator Manon Timshel. “One of the things that my team and I brought up was wouldn't it be great if Bear Clan could provide all of these educational resource materials?” Similarly, the Kingston Frontenac Public Library (KFPL) recently announced that it has taken on an initiative to create and digitize an archive of local Indigenous history. The effort is drawing from resources such as the Kingston Indigenous Language Nest, Four Directions at Queen’s University, and the now-closed Katarokwi Friendship Center. CBC | TechNews Inc | Portage Online | Kingstonist (National)

Canada invests $7.9M in sustainable salmon research, aquaculture science

The Government of Canada has invested $7.9M in seven projects through the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund (BCSRIF) which will support sustainable salmon research and aquaculture science. The projects are led by the Pacific Salmon Foundation, Lake Babine First Nation, the Kingfisher Interpretive Centre Society, BC Shellfish Growers’ Association, Seed Science Ltd, the We Wai Kai First Nation, and the Gwabalis Fisheries Society; and involve partners such as the University of Victoria, Vancouver Island University, Excel Career College, and government bodies. The funded projects include work on developing a set of Climate Action Priorities for Salmon, as well as six other projects on sockeye harvested by sport fishers, water intake system repair, new shellfish processing and handling methods, energy-efficient methods of producing feed algae, a fish habitat survey, and an aquaculture survey. Canada | Canada (Projects List) (BC)

MNBC announces $400K for early years programming

The Métis Nation British Columbia has announced funding of $400K for Métis Chartered Communities for Métis early years programming. The investment will be used to create early learning programs that focus on Métis culture and language, traditional Métis parenting, early childhood development, and family drop-in programs. “We’ve heard loud and clear that they need, and want, more financial supports to meet the needs of our children,” said MNBC Minister of Education, “and I’m proud that as a Nation we are equipped to make this investment.” The funding was supported by the Government of Canada’s Ministry of Employment and Social Development and builds on MNBC’s recent work such as the Miyoopimatishihk (Wellbeing) Program. Nation Talk (BC)

McGill introduces Inuit-focused health course in medicine program.

McGill University medicine students will have the opportunity to register for an Inuit-focused health course which will be offered for the first time in January 2022. The course, Inuit Health in the Inuit Context, was created by McGill Associate Professor Richard Budgell, who is from Nunatsiavut. Budgell explained he intends to focus on Inuit understanding of health and how Inuit understand themselves in the course. “What started as a module is now a fully-accredited course,” said Budgell. “From what I understand it may be the first university course in health of its kind in Canada. I’m pleased to have been able to make this kind of progress.” The course is the second Indigenous-focused course offered through McGill’s Department of Family Medicine. Nunatsiaq Online (QC)

Stunt Nations holds workshops to teach Indigenous youth stunt skills for entertainment industry

Stunt Nations, an Indigenous-owned non-profit company, has launched to help Indigenous people interested in movies and television to gain the skills necessary to enter the entertainment industry. Students take part in four-day workshops where they learn the basic skills for stunts, as well as receive training in equestrian stunts, weapons handling, and hand-to-hand combat techniques for the camera. The program was co-founded by Marty Wildman and Nathaniel Arcand, who recently worked on the Netflix series Outlander. “It’s something I didn’t have when I started. You used to have to go by word of mouth,” said Wildman, who is from Stoney Nakoda Nation. “We’re trying to break those barriers— It’s creating opportunities for people.” Mohawk Girls actress Heather White recently visited the school to speak to students and said that the school “gives me hope that there’s going to be more people out there that are going to be able to authentically tell our stories.” APTN News | Cochrane Today | CBC | Stunt Nations (AB)

KDSB, Windigo First Nations Council lead new housing complex for Indigenous students

Kenora District Services Board and Windigo First Nations Council are leading the development of a new housing complex for Indigenous Youth that is set to begin construction next week. The project was first conceived four years ago when Chief Wesley of Cat Lake Nation raised the idea of a project for Indigenous students who would be attending school in Sioux Lookout. Two buildings will contain 20 units, 16 of which will be for students while the remaining 4 are intended for guardians. “We believe through projects like this we’re going to let the students know that we’re behind them,” said KDSB Chief Administrative Officer Henry Wall, who explained that education away from home can be a lonely journey for young Indigenous students. “The community is here to support them. The community is also with them.” Wall said that more needs to be done to support First Nations students and that he believes the housing complex will help improve graduation rates. CKDR (ON)

BC CEP project to train teacher assistants with Indigenous competencies

A new Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) project from the Government of British Columbia will train up to 30 people in British Columbia to work as teacher assistants with Indigenous competencies. The Aware Society in New Westminster has received $400K to deliver two intakes of its Teacher’s Assistant Certificate – Inclusion of Indigenous Cultural Competencies program. “Aware’s innovative method offers an Indigenous-centric exploration of culture and cultural identity, with a focus on the First Peoples Principles of Learning,” said Aware Society Executive Director C Megan Brown. The program will include employability, essential, and life skills training; teacher assistant certification training; First Aid, Foodsafe, and violence prevention training; work experience with local employers; and post-program follow-up support. BC (BC)