Indigenous Top Ten News

May 29, 2024 • NT

The Government of Canada has announced a $10.6M investment over four years to build more inclusive child care spaces in the Northwest Territories. This funding will help NWT reach the goal of building 300 new child care spaces by 2026. This initiative seeks to help families in rural and remote communities, and families in communities that face barriers to access such as racialized groups, Indigenous Peoples, and newcomers, among others. “Every child deserves the best possible start in life,” said Canada Minister of Veterans Affairs Ginette Petitpas Taylor. “With today’s investment, we are strengthening early learning and child care infrastructure in Yellowknife and throughout the Northwest Territories, increasing the number of spaces available for families and supporting the delivery of high-quality care.”


Indigenous Top Ten News

May 29, 2024 • NL

Memorial University and McGill University have shared updates on their Indigenous verification protocols and policies. Memorial has received a report summarizing community perspectives and approaches to Indigenous verification that will inform the development of an Indigenous verification protocol at the university. Memorial will consider the report and invite further feedback from community members as it develops an Indigenous verification policy. McGill has launched a new policy to validate claims of Indigenous citizenship and membership for those who are applying for designated employment opportunities. The policy has been implemented after nearly two years of consultation and study.

Memorial, McGill, Saltwire (Memorial)

Indigenous Top Ten News

May 29, 2024 • BC

Students from the Greater Victoria, Sooke, and Saanich school districts and the W̱SÁNEĆ School Board recently gathered for the first-ever Tri-District Lahal Tournament, which was held at Spectrum Community School in Saanich. The guessing game has become popular on the island after educators introduced it to students. Spectrum Secondary educator Michelle Newman-Bennett (Kwaguʼł First Nation) said that the best part of Lahal has been watching Indigenous students teach other students to play the game during their lunches. “It’s about bringing these two worldviews together … having relationships being built, developed and fostered among Indigenous and non-Indigenous students,” said Newman-Bennett. Twenty-six teams made up of eight students of varying skill levels each competed in the tournament.

Times Colonist, Today in BC

Indigenous Top Ten News

May 29, 2024 • MB, ON, SK

Several schools in Canada held their annual Spring powwow celebrations over the last month. In Ontario, St Clair College and the University of Windsor came together to host the third annual Windsor Indigenous powwow, featuring a student powwow with over 1,000 students from the region. Rosseau Lake College’s annual powwow—which began as a student initiative and has grown into a broader community event—will be held in early June. In the prairies, First Nations University of Canada welcomed over 800 dancers and 20 drum groups to its 45th annual powwow, while the University of Manitoba and University of Winnipeg celebrated their recent graduates with traditional graduation powwows. “My official graduation … was in October 2023, but this being so much more to be able to do it in an actual powwow,” said UManitoba grad Deborah Hatton, who is Mohawk. “It gives me a chance to show everyone that I am Indigenous.”

Windsor Star, Parry Sound North Star (Rosseau Lake), Sask Today (FNU), CBC (UManitoba)

Indigenous Top Ten News

May 29, 2024 • NS

Indigenous scholar Dr Candace Brunette-Debassige (Western University) recently spoke at a Dalhousie University workshop about how the efforts of postsecondary institutions to ramp up inclusion efforts have negatively affected the Indigenous women who lead this work. Brunette-Debassige studied the perspectives of 12 Indigenous women, who highlighted the difficulties they faced while pushing for change. “They talked about feeling caught working in this westernized, academic administrative system that has very cemented ways about it and policies and procedures,” said Brunette-Debassige. She highlights that Indigenous policy should not be placed on one leader, and recommends broader representation for Indigenous communities, deeper local engagement with First Nations, governance structure reviews, and adequate funding and structures for initiatives.


Indigenous Top Ten News

May 29, 2024 • AB, ON

Eleven on-reserve schools in Alberta and Ontario received part of the Indigo Love of Reading (ILOR) Foundation’s $1M in funding, which aims to foster the love of reading by increasing library budgets. These include five schools in the Matawa First Nations Education department in Thunder Bay, ON; two schools in the Tsuut’ina Education Department in Tsuut’ina First Nation, AB; Eenchokay Birchstick School in Pikangikum, ON; Kettle and Stony Point First Nation Education Services in Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, ON; Henry Coaster Memorial School in Ogoki, ON; and Kapawe’no First Nation Collegiate in Grouard, AB. “Libraries play an important role in student engagement,” said Matawa First Nations Education Department education partnership liaison Shelby Ch’ng. “Northern and remote school boards are underfunded and short on space. … School staff do their best, but with grants like [this] not only take the decision burden off the staff, but also go quite far with engaging students in a meaningful way.”

Soo Today

Indigenous Top Ten News

May 29, 2024 • National

Statistics Canada has released data on new entrants to college and university, which shows the differences between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. As part of this release, StatCan created a highlights tool that shows the distribution of new entrants by Indigenous identity; the educational qualifications and field of study they pursued; and their gender, age, and province of study. Among the key findings from the data, StatCan notes that Indigenous students represented 5% of all students who were admitted to one of the five main postsecondary qualifications in 2021/22. Indigenous students were more likely than their counterparts to start a career, technical, or professional training certificate and slightly less likely to pursue STEM programs.

StatCan (Highlights), StatCan

Indigenous Top Ten News

May 29, 2024 • ON

Astronomers from the University of Toronto’s Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics and students, teachers, and caregivers from Kâpapâmahchakwêw – Wandering Spirit School are working together to develop science programming for Indigenous students. The collaboration lays the groundwork for future plans, such as a coding club, mentoring and tutoring programs and teacher training. The partners also came together to experience the total solar eclipse in April: the astronomers brought telescopes with solar filters and community members shared traditional knowledge and asked questions about the eclipse. Kâpapâmahchakwêw Principal Elise Twyford stated that the school is “grateful for the growing partnership with Dunlap because it provides an opportunity to practise reciprocity in knowledge sharing.”

U of T

Indigenous Top Ten News

May 29, 2024 • SK

James Smith Cree Nation has officially opened the East Central First Nations Education Partnership. The partnership took over the administration of Bernard Constant Community School in James Smith Cree Nation in 2020, but the pandemic delayed the partnership’s official opening. Funding from Indigenous Services Canada now comes directly to the partnership, which spends it solely on education. The partnership has brought additional staff and capacities to the school. The school has also added courses such as land-based education to the school’s offerings. “[B]ringing [land-based teachings] back into the school and to mainstream education right now is a big improvement from one when I first went to school here,” said James Smith Cree Nation Chief Kirby Constant. “I just hope that other nations can piggyback off what we have been doing here and, going forward, they can use … the lessons learned for their curriculum.”


Indigenous Top Ten News

May 29, 2024 • BC

The College of New Caledonia recently launched a new Indigenous education strategy called lhk’enazdulkat. The five-year strategy supports truth, reconciliation, decolonization, and Indigenization for CNC’s students and staff, providing a path forward that will address Indigenous student needs. lhk’enazdulkat will focus on ensuring students feel a sense of belonging, believe in themselves, and realize their potential. It highlights three key areas of focus: connection with Indigenous communities through dialogue, student recruitment, and hiring; improving employee cultural awareness and humility; and empowering students to succeed by providing access to programs and culturally appropriate supports.

Prince George Citizen