Indigenous Top Ten News

Jan 10, 2024 • MB

The University of Manitoba will be working with the Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council (DOTC), Disney/Lucasfilm, and APTN to create an official Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) version of Star Wars: A New Hope. UManitoba Assistant Professor Patricia Ningewance, who is the main script translator for the Ojibwe version, explained that the significance of this translation should not be minimized. “We need to have material like this so that when my generation is gone, the young people will have things to look at where they can hear the language said,” said Ningewance. Auditions will be held in Winnipeg early this year, and Global News reports that the producers plan to hold the premiere in Winnipeg with an eventual television showing on APTN. “Like the Force, our language surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds our communities and culture together,” said UManitoba AVP Indigenous Scholarship, Research, and Curriculum Cary Miller. “Projects like this that make our language more accessible are foundationally important to encouraging our youth to carry on our knowledge — including that of science and technology — which are embedded in our Anishinaabe language.” 

APTN, Global News (CP), BBC
News

Indigenous Top Ten News

Jan 10, 2024 • AB

The Theresa C Wildcat Early Learning Centre in Maskwacis Alberta recently celebrated its grand opening. The centre will initially welcome children in prekindergarten and kindergarten, and has space to accommodate preschoolers and Grade 1 students in the future. The building’s exterior has drum and teepee-shaped features, while the inside features animal and nature designs, a star blanket pattern on the floor, and hallways and classrooms that are decorated with Cree syllabics. The building is named after the late Theresa Wildcat, who was a residential school survivor and the first teacher from Maskwacis. The grand opening included a pipe ceremony and the unveiling of a plaque honouring Wildcat’s accomplishments. “We’re excited to be able to create an environment that is a source of inspiration and joy, nurturing the potential within each child,” said Maskwacis Education Schools Commission board chair Dr Shauna Bruno.

CBC, Ponoka News
News

Indigenous Top Ten News

Jan 10, 2024 • NT

The Government of the Northwest Territories has announced a dedicated training program for those who are interested in learning one of NWT’s Indigenous languages. Under The Mentor-Apprentice Program, 10 student and mentor pairs will complete 200 hours of language immersion over the course of approximately nine months. During this time, the student will increase their understanding of the language by “living life in the language.” Training will be provided for Dene Kǝdǝ́, Dëne Sųłıné, Dene Zhatıé, Dinjii Zhu’ Ginjik, Inuinnaqtun, Inuvialuktun, nēhiyawēwin, and Tłı̨chǫ. Pairs will be paid for their time through government funding, and NWT will give priority access to the program to NWT residents who are committed to sharing their language after completing the program.

My True North Now
News

Indigenous Top Ten News

Jan 10, 2024 • ON

Ontario’s Human Rights Tribunal has ruled that the Thames Valley District school board (TVDSB) discriminated against Indigenous teacher William Kenney. CBC reports that the tribunal reviewed incidents that involved a conflict between Kenney and another teacher over a technology preparation room. The other teacher used discriminatory language in his complaints about Kenney, and Kenny was ultimately transferred out of Parkside Collegiate Institute against his will in 2017. The school board was found to have not properly investigated the complaints about racial slurs against the teacher and to have punished him by forcing him to transfer to another school. The tribunal ruled that the school board must pay Kenney $20K in compensation and have its superintendents take provincial anti-racism training; the teacher who made the comments has also been fined $2,500 for breaching the ON Human Rights Code. London Free Press reports that TVDSB has said that it intends to appeal the decision.

London Free Press, CBC

Indigenous Top Ten News

Jan 10, 2024 • NL

Grade 5 students from Sheshatshiu Innu School recently had the opportunity to learn about their traditions and culture while taking part in sleepovers at the Sheshatshiu culture cabin. At the cabin, the youth participated in activities such as setting snares, hearing from elders, making Innu donuts, and hiking. Mamu Tshishkutamashutau Innu Education CEO Kanani Davis said that she is interested in implementing more cultural and language programming in schools and understanding how to keep students from dropping out. “We all know that the Innu way of life and what Innu used to practice and what we used to do in the country was healthy,” said Davis. “It was their home. And I think that’s what we really need to look at when we look at the education system.”

CBC, CBC (Radio), MTIE

Indigenous Top Ten News

Jan 10, 2024 • MB

The University College of the North has announced that it will offer joint Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education programming in 2024 in Bunibonibee, Mathias Colomb, Peguis, and York Factory. The Kenanow Bachelor of Education program is a northern-based, Indigenous-focused teacher education program that satisfies the Government of Manitoba’s certification requirements. Through the program, future teachers learn how to bring Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing into the classroom. “With increasing retirement rates among teachers in the north, a community-based, Indigenous-focused teacher education program is more important than ever,” said UCN President Doug Lauvstad. “UCN is responding to this important need by working in partnership with First Nation education authorities and sponsors to offer more programming in more communities than we ever have.”

UCN

Indigenous Top Ten News

Jan 10, 2024 • AB

In a recent article from the Canadian Press, Liam Casey reports on a new dorm opened by the Matawa Education and Care Centre in order to address the difficulties that Indigenous students face when they have to leave their communities to complete high school. Casey reports that the move introduces challenges for students, leaving some facing addictions, mental health issues, and instability. The new dorm—which provides space for 100 students—was developed to alleviate some of these challenges. The school uses a holistic approach to support Indigenous students and mixes academics with cultural programming, mental wellness services, and land-based programming. Students have the opportunity to participate in workshops, crafts, and events and outings after school. “We are trying to ensure no student is left without some kind of support,” said Matawa principal Brad Battiston.

CP24 (CP)

Indigenous Top Ten News

Jan 10, 2024 • BC

A new report has pinpointed several areas where the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) can improve its recruitment, retention, and equity efforts. The report authors noted that the RDCO needs to implement more inclusive hiring processes, introduce more cultural competency training for existing staff, and foster an environment that respects Indigenous knowledge and perspectives. The report also mentioned the importance of establishing and growing relationships between RDCO and Westbank First Nation (WFN) and incorporating Syilx protocols, language, and cultural practices into its operations.

Castanet, Kelowna Daily Courier

Indigenous Top Ten News

Jan 10, 2024 • AB

Lethbridge College President Dr Brad Donaldson has received a Blackfoot name from Peter Weasel Moccasin, the college Kaahsinnoonik (grandparent). Weasel Moccasin said that the name—Nináímsskaan isttokimaan/Thunder Pipe Drum—was inspired by Donaldson’s responsibility as a leader. “Drums are very important,” said Weasel Moccasin. “It’s how we connect ourselves to the Creator of Life. When we hear those drums and the songs that come with them, it inspires us to heal, to overcome and to challenge again. It’s appropriate and deserving, and I hope he continues to do good work in the future.” Donaldson was also gifted a ribbon shirt and a Pendleton blanket to be used in future Indigenous ceremonies.

Lethbridge

Indigenous Top Ten News

Jan 10, 2024 • BC

Surrey School District has announced that it will be offering an Elementary Outdoor Land-Based Learning Program at Hall’s Prairie starting in the 2024-2025 school year. The program will be rooted in Indigenous Coast Salish culture and traditions and aligned with the First Peoples Principles of Learning. In addition to learning about Coast Salish culture, traditions, and history, students will have daily land-based learning experiences and learn how to be stewards of the land they live on. Learning will take place in a small school setting where students can develop their competencies through emergent, experiential, inquiry-based, play-based, and place-based learning.

Surrey Schools