Top Ten

September 29, 2021

Education systems need to act to ensure change, reconciliation: Opinion

The education system needs to provide teachers with education and resources to help them adequately teach about residential schools and reconciliation, write Lisa Korteweg (Associate Professor, Lakehead University), Pauline Tennent (Manager, Centre for Human Rights Research, University of Manitoba), and Tesa Fiddler (Coordinator of Indigenous Education at Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board). While many settler teachers hope for change, write the authors, they may not be receiving direction from their ministries or school boards, and may be hesitant to directly engage in relationships with Indigenous peoples and communities. The authors call for the Canadian education system as a whole to ensure that teachers receive appropriate education about Indigenous issues, and to raise awareness of anti-Indigenous racism throughout the school system. “When ministries are not mandating this work of reckoning, repairing and healing by the whole education system, the momentum for teacher accountability in education-as-reconciliation risks being lost, buried and forgotten,” write the authors. The Conversation (National)

Durham launches The Barrett Centre of Innovation in Sustainable Urban Agriculture

Durham College has announced that it has launched The Barrett Centre of Innovation in Sustainable Urban Agriculture. The centre, which received a $5M donation from The Barrett Family Foundation, will focus on solving challenges related to food and farming in Canada, such as labour and skills gaps and opportunities to use sustainable and regenerative practices. One of the centre’s main focuses will be on building a new urban farm that will work as a community-inspired living lab. It will also be involved in a variety of initiatives, such as enhancing Durham’s existing farm, creating educational programs and materials, creating opportunities for students to work on urban farms, and supporting traditionally underserved communities in urban agricultural initiatives. Durham (ON)

Sask Polytech, IMII develop resources, training for teachers and Indigenous learners

Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the International Minerals Innovation Institute have partnered to develop virtual resource and training opportunity hubs for teachers and Indigenous learners. The two partners have developed an Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) hub and a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) hub. Sask Polytech will also be providing a digital mining bootcamp for Indigenous youth from grades 7 and 8. “The goal of these innovative and collaborative programs is to encourage Indigenous students to engage in an education, and eventually a career, in the ICT or STEM sectors,” said Sask Polytech President Dr Larry Rosia. “Our team plans to engage with a minimum of 200 teachers through the resource hub and 200 students through the digital bootcamps this academic year.” Sask Polytech ()

Colleges Ontario requests policy changes to broaden degree program offerings at colleges

Colleges Ontario is requesting that the Government of Ontario approve policy changes which would allow colleges to broaden their career-specific degree programs. The request is supported by a poll showing that Ontarians overwhelmingly support the expansion of career-focused degree programs at colleges. Nearly 70% of respondents indicated that they would support the creation of new three-year diploma programs. If implemented, the policy changes would include the creation of new three-year degree programs, an increase in the number of four-year degree programs, and the creation of master’s degree programs in technical areas. “There is clearly strong support for more degree programs at colleges,” said Colleges Ontario President Linda Franklin. “Expanding our degree programs will open up more opportunities for graduates when they enter the workforce.” NewsWire (ON)

AU, Bigstone Cree Nation partner to monitor aquatic, moose health

Athabasca University has partnered with Bigstone Cree Nation to monitor changes in aquatic and moose health in northern Alberta communities. AU microbiologist Dr Shauna Zenteno and anthropology professor Dr Janelle Baker will collaborate with Bigstone Cree Nation to bridge Indigenous ways of knowing with traditional science research. Bigstone Cree Nation members will be trained in sampling water, organizing moose kits, and interviewing elders and community members. The qualitative observations will be combined with quantitative analysis of the water to make observations. “The traditional knowledge and community members themselves help guide the research,” said Zenteno. “Their understanding of the environment and observations over time can help us interpret the data we obtain on water quality and how this relates to our findings in moose.” AU (AB)

Dal, UQAM launch certificate programs in health areas

Dalhousie University and the Université du Québec à Montréal have launched certificate programs in health-related areas. Dal’s Faculty of Health and the Nursing Homes of Nova Scotia Association have collaborated to create the Leadership in Continuing Care Administration certificate program. The six-day program aims to give new health leaders the knowledge and networks they need to enhance their leadership capabilities. UQAM will be offering the certificat en gestion intégrée de la santé et sécurité du travail. The program will prepare students for positions as consultants or coordinators in occupational health and safety. The 10-course program can be combined with a major or two other certificates to make a bachelor’s degree. Dal | UQAM (NS | QC)

Large gatherings in student neighbourhoods continue to cause issues in Guelph, London

Large unsanctioned gatherings continue to be an issue in university neighbourhoods. In Guelph, extra officers were deployed to address a large street party on Chancellor’s Way. UoGuelph interim vice-provost of student affairs Irene Thompson expressed disappointment in the students who attended the gatherings, calling the choice to gather and the behaviours seen at the gathering “upsetting.” Police officers and emergency personnel responded to a wild nighttime gathering of around 2,000 people near Western on Saturday during a “Fake Homecoming” celebration. 30 people were reportedly taken to hospital, and one person was arrested for assaulting a police officer. LFPress (1) | LFPress (2) | UoGuelph | CBC (ON)

Bishop’s announces plans to plant 10,500 trees on campus

Bishop’s University has announced plans to plant 10,500 trees on campus as part of its 2020-2024 Sustainable Development Plan. The initiative will see the Sustainable Development Advisor, student volunteers, and people from the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems program start the process by planting trees near Peter Curry Marsh. Bishop’s has chosen six native species which will be planted in nine plantation zones. The reforested areas will provide a variety of benefits, including ensuring sustainability, sequestering carbon, helping with water retention and absorption, and restoring forest cover for wildlife. “The 10,500 trees that will be planted will help us ensure that our campus will remain a home for wildlife and a haven for recreation while contributing to the sustainability of our planet,” said Bishop’s Principal Michael Goldbloom. Bishop’s | The Sherbrooke Record (QC)

USudbury formalizes secular, Francophone status

The University of Sudbury’s board of regents has voted to formalize USudbury’s secular status and to officially make it a French-language institution. USudbury’s new independent and non-denominational status will help it meet the requirements to receive public funding. “The adoption of this new regulatory framework is one more step in fulfilling the commitment of our board and the Franco-Ontarian community to have a French-language university as soon as possible,” said USudbury President Serge Miville. “The University of Sudbury continues to work with governments and the community to make this long-standing dream a reality.” The Sudbury Star | The Catholic Register (ON)

COTR, BCIT, Lakeland partner on Young Africa Works in Kenya-TVET program

College of the Rockies, the British Columbia Institute of Technology, and Lakeland College will be partnering on a project called the Youth Employability Through Technical and Vocation Education and Training (Young Africa Works in Kenya-TVET) program. The $1.8M project will help increase employment opportunities for young people in Kenya with a focus on supporting young women. The Canadian institutions will be strengthening technical and vocational education and training at institutions in Kenya’s Northern Rift Valley region, such as Eldoret National Polytechnic, Kitale National Polytechnic, Lodwar Vocational Training Centre, and Baringo Technical College. They will introduce 24 training programs which will expand industry engagement, strengthen gender equality and diversity, and facilitate trainer exchanges. COTR (BC | AB)