Top Ten

May 23, 2018

Indigenous PSE professionals can’t be “one stop shop” for all things Indigenous: Thomas

“I have long been a proponent of indigenous peoples telling our stories. We’ve always served as background characters in our own history,” writes Halifax Poet Laureate Rebecca Thomas. The author highlights the recent case of Mount Saint Vincent University coming under fire for assigning a non-Indigenous professor to teach a course on Canada’s residential schools. Yet Thomas also notes that when schools attempt to give a voice to Indigenous peoples, they often end up overburdening a single Indigenous staff member (or small group) with the responsibility of managing every Indigenous aspect of a school’s programming. “I do this so those who come after me hopefully won’t be asked to,” concludes Thomas. “I take up space, not always because I want to but because I have to.” Washington Post

Eliminate interest on federal student loans, says CFS online campaign

“A government that has been prepared to issue interest-free loans to Bombardier … should also be prepared to offer interest-free loans to students who are trying to pursue the post-secondary education that's absolutely necessary in today's labour market,” says Canadian Federation of Students Treasurer Peyton Veitch. Veitch delivered these comments after the CFS launched a series of Facebook ads calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to make billions of dollars in student loans interest-free. CBC reports that the interest currently charged on federal student loans is higher than that of mortgages in the country. CBC

CBU receives $2.4M for marine sustainability

Cape Breton University will receive $2.4M from Invest Nova Scotia for a project that turns unused marine biomass into commercial products, reports the Cape Breton Post. “The project we have can take things like fisheries waste, things like off-cuts, that’s head, guts and tails, lobster shells, really anything that’s off-cut from processing — we tend to call them byproducts rather than waste because they are the beginning of our value piece,” stated Beth Mason, CEO of CBU’s Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment. According to the Post, the provincial government established Invest Nova Scotia in 2014 as an independent fund to support innovative sustainability initiatives. Cape Breton Post

TRU, Williams Lake Indian Band partner up for Elders facility

Williams Lake Indian Band has partnered with Thompson Rivers University's Williams Lake Campus to build a new Elders facility, states the Williams Lake Tribune. Students in TRU Williams Lake’s Carpenter, Residential Construction Foundation Program will work on the project. “We had utilized a trailer for the elders that ended up sustaining some severe water damage and we purchased another one, but it doesn’t fit the needs of the elders anymore,” said band Housing Manager Holly Wycotte. According to the Tribune, TRU students worked on a local housing renovation project in 2016. “They got hands-on learning in electrical, plumbing, various aspects of construction, drywall and concrete work as well,” added Wycotte. Williams Lake Tribune

TRU, Williams Lake Indian Band partner up for Elders facility

Williams Lake Indian Band has partnered with Thompson Rivers University's Williams Lake Campus to build a new Elders facility, states the Williams Lake Tribune. Students in TRU Williams Lake’s Carpenter, Residential Construction Foundation Program will work on the project. “We had utilized a trailer for the elders that ended up sustaining some severe water damage and we purchased another one, but it doesn’t fit the needs of the elders anymore,” said band Housing Manager Holly Wycotte. According to the Tribune, TRU students worked on a local housing renovation project in 2016. “They got hands-on learning in electrical, plumbing, various aspects of construction, drywall and concrete work as well,” added Wycotte. Williams Lake Tribune

SK invests $4.8 in space weather network based out of USask

A multi-institutional radar network based out of the University of Saskatchewan will receive $4.8M from Innovation Saskatchewan’s Innovation and Science Fund over the next four years, states an SK release. The Super Dual Auroral Radar Network of Canada monitors space weather, which produces a range of phenomena on Earth that include power outages and the Northern Lights. “The physics department at the University of Saskatchewan has a longstanding history of making vital contributions to science,” said Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan Tina Beaudry-Mellor. “This investment not only supports valuable research the radar network conducts, but on a broader scale it supports advancements in physics and the talented scientists who have stepped up to take senior roles.” SK

Students grow frustrated as YorkU dispute continues

York University students expressed their frustration to CBC about the ongoing labour dispute between the university and 3,000 contract staff. Many students stated that they will not complete their degrees on time, while the university has stated that it is doing “all it can” to help students graduate. CUPE spokesperson Julian Arend said that he sympathizes with the students, but claimed that the university should be held responsible for the interruptions. YorkU has also stated that it expects to run a reduced complement of course offerings over the summer. CBC

Trent launches first Conservation Biology Program with co-op in ON

Trent University has announced that it has launched the first Conservation Biology BSc program with co-op and placement opportunities. Students in the program will be able to study the science behind conserving the world’s wildlife, and then take what was learned in the lab into the real world through the three paid work terms of a five-year co-op option or through the final year of the placement option. “Many students come to university with a deep commitment to conserving our planet’s biodiversity,” said Trent Biology Professor Erica Nol. “This program will facilitate for those students knowledge transfer from the science of conservation biology, to the practical solutions that will improve the status of earth’s threatened and endangered organisms.” Trent

AlgomaU, Universidad del Quindío sign inter-institutional agreement

Algoma University and the Universidad del Quindío have signed an agreement establishing an international partnership to support student and faculty initiatives. The agreement will enable students from both institutions to take part in exchanges while faculty members will be able to take advantage of collaborative research opportunities. “Academic exchanges provide students and faculty with exciting opportunities for academic enrichment and personal growth,” said Algoma Registrar David Marasco. “We look forward to future collaborations between our two universities.” AlgomaU

UCN to house new Northern Workforce Development Centre

The Government of Manitoba has announced a new Northern Workforce Development Centre that will bring together industry and workers to benefit Northern Manitobans. “The Northern Workforce Development Centre is an important response to the developing economic situation in Thompson that brings together the strategic focus of Thompson 2020, the resources of the Manitoba government and the educational expertise of our institution,” said UCN President and Vice-Chancellor Doug Lauvstad. UCN also signed a letter of intent on corporate training with Vale Canada Limited, establishing a framework for the workforce centre to offer corporate training opportunities for new employees and re-certification for existing employees. Nation Talk | UCN (1) | UCN (2)

CDI pays former nursing students nearly $1.9M in settlement

CDI College has paid a group of former nursing students nearly $1.9M following a class-action lawsuit against its Licensed Practical Nursing program in Edmonton, CBC reports. According to the plaintiffs’ claim statement, CDI instructors distributed colouring books, screened movies on Netflix, and led activities such as t-shirt painting and a wheelchair race as part of their teaching. Victor Tesan, interim President and former COO of the company that runs CDI, wrote in an affidavit that students were required to confirm their understanding that the college reserved the right to update or modify its programming. CBC adds that the affidavit also made disparaging claims about some students’ academic performance. CDI is said to have suspended the LPN program in 2013. CBC