The Government of New Brunswick and Government of Canada have announced a combined investment of nearly $1M to further develop the Elsipogtog Mi’kmaq Cultural Centre. The centre offers guided tours on Mi’kmaq culture, where visitors can experience smudging and learn about the culture form an interpretive knowledge keeper. The funding will help enhance tourism and the cultural centre, teach residents about Mi’kmaq culture, and improve the economy of the Elsipogtog First Nation and surrounding areas. Federal Minister of Official Languages Ginette Petitpas Taylor noted that the investment will provide more people with authentic learning opportunities related to Mi’kmaq culture. “This support also allows the community to continue to promote awareness of our culture and our history in a progressive way so that prejudices and systemic racism are addressed and thus minimized for our children and future generations,” said Elsipogtog First Nation Chief Arren Sock.
The Government of the Northwest Territories has released a timeline and implementation plan for the territory’s transition to its renewed K-12 curriculum. The new curriculum is based on British Columbia’s curriculum, which includes Indigenous worldviews, knowledge, and perspectives in mandatory learning and is flexible enough to be adapted to the territory and local levels. The schools will also continue to use NWT-created curriculum including Our Languages, Northern Studies, and Hunter Education, and Dene Kede and Inuuqatigiit will also remain in schools. Grades 4-6 will be the first begin trialing the draft curriculum, as teachers and students of this age group are familiar with the inquiry-based approach, with the kindergarten levels trialed last to allow time for further review. The gradual implementation is expected to be completed by 2027-28.
A school in Calgary that was formerly named after residential school architect Bishop Grandin has officially received a new name that honours Indigenous history: Our Lady of The Rockies High School. The school received the new name during a ceremony that featured traditional dances and music as well as student presentations. CTV News reports that the new name represents the mountains, connection to the land, and listening and collaboration, in addition to being the name of the Our Lady of the Rockies shrine. Several students and alumni shared that the new name is more suitable for the school. “I love it,” said Cherokee Eagletail, who graduated from the school in 2018. “It’s beautiful and wonderful and grounding. It’s more about respecting the mountains and the land that belongs to Treaty 7.”
The Mastercard Foundation has announced its goal of reaching 100,000 youth through the EleV program. The EleV program, established in 2017, supports Indigenous youth in gaining postsecondary education and pursuing meaningful work. The program has partnered with Indigenous-led organizations and higher education institutions that have close ties to Indigenous communities, such as the University of Lethbridge. Through the EleV program, the Mastercard Foundation will invest $500M into Indigenous youth and will work with partners across Canada on growth sectors such as clean energy, eco-tourism, and digital technology. “Our deep partnership with the Blackfoot Confederacy allows us to find innovative new ways to support success for Indigenous students across the education system because they know the challenges and the solutions,” said ULethbridge President Dr Michael Mahon.
A daycare in Saskatoon has had its license cancelled after a child’s hair was cut without parental consent. National Post reports that Jana Nyland’s son had been enrolled at Bajwa’s Childcare for a year. Nyland is Métis, and her son’s hair was cut short in mid-September. When Nyland asked why her son’s hair had been cut, the daycare operator reportedly replied that she did not like boys to have long hair and that Indigenous children should not have long hair. The police’s hate crime unit investigated and the Ministry of Education cancelled the daycare’s license citing non-compliance with child-care regulations. No criminal charges were laid.
The Government of Ontario has announced $25M in funding to support training and economic development in Indigenous communities. The funding will support a variety of programs and partnerships over three years: $7.7M will support economic development training opportunities in communities and $4M will go toward reducing financial barriers for Indigenous apprentices, while the rest will support other forms of economic development. “Indigenous communities welcome this funding to help businesses and organizations,” said Ontario Regional Chief Glen Hare. “First Nations communities continue to struggle to recover after the COVID-19 pandemic, and this funding will assist with the economic recovery and development for business and entrepreneurs.”
NOSM University has created a $1M bursary for its Métis medical students, thanks to a $515K endowment from the Métis Nation of Ontario, which is matched by the FDC Foundation. The funding will be used to support up to six Métis students each year. “As the government representing Métis in Ontario, we are proud to do what we can to encourage academic and skills development, helping citizens of the Métis Nation of Ontario achieve their goals,” said MNO President Margaret Froh. “This bursary will enable Métis citizens to play a role in the future of medicine in Ontario—a profession Métis people have been under-represented in for far too long.”
The Scotty Creek Research Facility, which studies climate change in the Northwest Territories, has been partially destroyed by a late season wildfire. The station was founded in the 1990s by William Quinton of Wilfrid Laurier University and was handed over to the Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation (LKFN) this August. The station was used for camps, high school student visits, and community events, and attracted researchers from around the world looking to study environmental factors. LKFN has stated that five of the nine buildings that made up the facility have burned down, with total damages of over $1M. The station will be closed for the next year as it is rebuilt. “It’s in our best interest to get this thing going again,” said Dieter Cazon, the director of lands and resources at LKFN. “This collaborative work we’re doing together is going to be the only way we’re going to figure a lot of these answers out.”
Poplar River First Nation is celebrating the grand opening of a new K-12 school that will allow students to stay closer to home during the upper years of their education. The new school includes a traditional teaching room, shared cultural spaces, a science lab, an industrial arts shop, a gymnasium, and more. High school students from the First Nation previously had to travel outside the community to complete their education. “Poplar River First Nation has strived for many years to offer a secondary facility for its children,” said Poplar River Chief Vera Mitchell. “It is a very welcomed initiative that has been planned for the last 10 years. Poplar River First Nation acknowledges and thanks every person that has been involved in making this a reality.” The new school is part of the Lake Winnipeg School Bundle Initiative that also includes the construction of a new K-9 school at Bloodvein First Nation and a K-12 school at Little Grand Rapids First Nation.
Nova Scotia Community College has announced that it will be launching a new Mi’kmaw cohort for its practical nursing program at its Pictou campus. The cohort will have space for 30 L’nu learners, who will follow a custom curriculum that is developed using a Mi’kmaq and Indigenous lens with input from Mi’kmaw Kina’matenewey; Tajikeimik; the Dalhousie Indigenous healthcare in nursing team; the Nova Scotia College of Nursing; and the Government of Nova Scotia. “Working in partnership to support more L’nu students to enter health professions is a positive step that will incorporate Mi’kmaw ways of knowing into healthcare, respond to the needs and strengthen communities across the province,” said Minister of L’nu Affairs Karla MacFarlane. NSCC VP, Academic Jill Provoe also noted that the “new section is a recipe for equitable success,” thanks to the support from the Mi’kmaw community.