Indigenous Top Ten News

Mar 08, 2023 • ON

Queen’s University, the Weeneebayko Area Health Authority (WAHA), and the Mastercard Foundation have partnered to launch the Weeneebayko Health Education Program to address healthcare challenges in Northeastern Ontario. The initiative will create programming and resources that will encourage Indigenous youth to pursue education in careers such as medicine, nursing, and midwifery after they complete high school. The program curriculum will follow a decolonized, interprofessional approach and will include mentorship opportunities. “The healthcare professionals will train together in both the pre-clinical environment but in the hospitals and clinics, so they graduate ready to serve together in their roles,” said Queen’s and WAHA partnership senior advisor David Taylor. The Mastercard Foundation has provided $31M for the next two years to support the program.

Queen’s, Winnipeg Free Press, CTV News, Turtle Island News

Indigenous Top Ten News

Mar 08, 2023 • NB

The University of New Brunswick’s McKenna Institute, the Ulnooweg Education Centre, and the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI) have launched the Digital Acceleration for Indigenous Youth initiative. The three-year initiative, supported by $5.2M from the Mastercard Foundation’s EleV Program, will teach Indigenous youth in Atlantic Canada the STEAM skills they need to pursue postsecondary studies. The program will use a mobile technology unit to bring educators and tools to Indigenous communities. Through these mobile units, students will learn about the entry points to STEAM careers in areas such as fabrication, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and robotics through hands-on learning. “A central focus of Ulnooweg’s activities is connecting Indigenous youth with STEAM education through hands-on programs and initiatives,” according to Christopher Googoo, Chief Operating Officer at Ulnooweg. “As a result of this training, Indigenous youth will have access and knowledge of potential jobs and skills to consider STEAM pathways that can benefit community growth and prosperity.”


Indigenous Top Ten News

Mar 08, 2023 • AB

A partnership between Red Crow Community College and Athabasca University will support Indigenous learners who are interested in pursuing a postsecondary education. RCCC will offer a one-year Niitsitapi Business Administration (NBA) program, which will include several AU courses. Those who complete the NBA program can then continue their learning for another year at AU in order to obtain the Indigenous Community Economic Development and Planning (ICED) certificate or can choose to pursue an AU bachelor’s degree. “I’m seeing things differently now,” said NBA student Maxine Willows. “I never really looked into the Indian Act or the Treaties. They were just there. But now when I look, I realize, that’s kind of what hinders us. We still have to go through, in some sense, an Indian Agent.”


Indigenous Top Ten News

Mar 08, 2023 • YK

Three more schools in the Yukon have voted to join the First Nation School Board, reports CBC. Eliza Van Bibber School in Pelly Crossing, Ghùch Tlâ Community School in Carcross, and Kluane Lake School in Destruction Bay voted to join the school board. The schools must receive formal approval from Yukon’s education minister and the First Nation School Board trustees, after which they will be set to join the board for the beginning of the 2023-24 school year. “We are honoured that these three schools voted ‘yes’ to join the First Nation School Board,” reads a statement on the school board’s website.

CBC, Yukon News

Indigenous Top Ten News

Mar 08, 2023 • ON

Algoma University and Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig (SKG) have signed a new collaborative agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding. Under these agreements, the parties will work together to ensure SKG successfully becomes an accredited, autonomous, and sustainable Centre of Excellence in Anishinaabe Education, as well as an accredited Indigenous Institute. The partnership will also support the establishment of an Anishinaabe School of Education, which will offer a unique Indigenous-focused teacher education program. “Collaboration and working together is a key tool that enhances our ability to advance Indigenous Education through both mediums at Algoma University and SKG,” said Batchewana First Nation Chief and SKG Board Chair Dean Sayers. “We are fully energized to move Indigenous Education forward, to break new ground, establish new bars, and provide a worldview unlike any other. The ancestors are smiling.”


Indigenous Top Ten News

Mar 08, 2023 • BC

The Pacheedaht First Nation is requesting $24M in funding from the federal government for the construction of a Grade 6-12 school. Students in these grades currently travel over an hour away to attend a school in Sooke, BC. The community has asked for the funds to build an 80-student school by September 2024. “It would be a boost for everyone,” said Pacheedaht executive director Roger Nopper. “It would bring people back to the community that had to leave because of education. It would increase the attractiveness for people moving back to the Port Renfrew area.” The Pacheedaht and the Sooke School District also wish to replace the community’s current K-5 school with one that is seismically safe. If approved, both schools would be located adjacent to each other in a “campus-like” setup.

Times Colonist, CTV News

Indigenous Top Ten News

Mar 08, 2023 • SK

An educator from Pinehouse Saskatchewan is working to revitalize the Cree language by teaching students the Cree language, traditions, and culture. When Blair Iron returned to Pinehouse after completing his Bachelor of Education, he found that many students could no longer speak Cree fluently as he could when growing up, and decided to take action to reverse the trend. While his students find learning Cree difficult, Iron said that they are keen to learn and he is incorporating cultural knowledge and language into each of his classes. Iron recently started an intergenerational Cree language class in which students and their parents or guardians can learn the language together, practicing at home and becoming more fluent. “I want to mix it in, so that both age groups can get that experience,” said Iron. “My dream is to have our children speaking fluently, in our community, with one another again.”

Sask Today

Indigenous Top Ten News

Mar 08, 2023 • QC

Ethan MacLeod, a graduate of the Cree School Board and John Abbott College’s Iyeskuwiiu Springboard to Diploma of College Studies Program, has penned an article about how remaining in his community while he studied helped him to achieve his educational goals. By taking part in the Iyeskuwiiu Springboard program, he explains, he was able to learn online from his home and connect with other Cree communities for on-the-land classes, which was a contrast with the pandemic experience of isolation and homesickness he experienced during his previous studies. MacLeod gained college-level credits, prepared for further postsecondary education, made new friendships with people from other Cree communities, and had memorable experiences –such as learning to skin a beaver – while learning more about his culture. “After completing this program and along with raising a new family, I now want to continue my studies,” said MacLeod. “I feel more confident about my future and facing the challenges that are ahead of me, whatever they may be.”


Indigenous Top Ten News

Mar 08, 2023 • National

Four more universities have rescinded or cancelled the honorary degrees that they awarded Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond. The University of Regina issued a release announcing that it has rescinded Turpel-Lafond’s honorary doctor of laws degree. URegina reviewed the honorary degree and made the decision to rescind the degree in accordance with its senate bylaws and procedures. Royal Roads states that it contacted Turpel-Lafond during a review process and that she voluntarily relinquished the degree, which was then cancelled by the university’s Board of Governors. At McGill, a subcommittee completed a review process and found evidence calling into question the validity of Turpel-Lafond’s academic credentials, accomplishments, and claims to being a Treaty Indian. Carleton also completed a review and chose to revoke the honorary doctorate they had awarded Turpel-Lafond in 2019.

URegina, Royal Roads, CBC (McGill, Carleton), The Star (McGill, Carleton)

Indigenous Top Ten News

Mar 08, 2023 • NU

A Nunavut judge has rejected a request from the Government of Nunavut to dismiss a lawsuit that charges that NV’s education system discriminates against Inuit students. Nunavut Tunngavik Inc claimed in a 2021 lawsuit that the territory was discriminating against Inuit children by not providing an education in their language. NV filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in April 2022, but the motion was rejected by Court Justice Paul Bychok. NV now has 30 days to file a statement of defense. “Clearly, it is arguable that the 2019 Amendments [to Nunavut’s Education Act] may impose a burden upon, or deny benefits to, Inuit,” reads Bychok’s decision. “First, the Amendments may contribute to Inuit youth losing their language and their connection to Inuit culture. Just as importantly, the effect of the 2019 Amendments may be to perpetuate the undeniable historical disadvantages experienced by Inuit from colonialism.”

CBC, Nunatsiaq News