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Creating Cultural Space for Change

Lonny is Traditional Knowledge Holder working to fill in what were cultural blank spaces with Indigenous dialogue and narrative to create a meaningful cultural support to the clients and staff of the Rotary House. Lonny discusses how important it is to create cultural space for not only clients but also for front line workers dealing […]

Lonny is Traditional Knowledge Holder working to fill in what were cultural blank spaces with Indigenous dialogue and narrative to create a meaningful cultural support to the clients and staff of the Rotary House. Lonny discusses how important it is to create cultural space for not only clients but also for front line workers dealing in the field of mental health. Cultural space is necessary for people to experience what is meaningful for them and to start healing steps. He shares the five components required for Indigenous Education to be truly culturally based and grounded. 

Manitoba First Nations School System

Manitoba First Nations School System (MFNSS), begun in 2017, has been empowered to engage in Indigenous led education within the province.  Established by the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre (MFNERC), MFNSS is a First Nations-designed and led school system.  For more information, visit: https://www.mfnss.com/About/Pages/default.aspx#/=.

Manitoba First Nations School System (MFNSS), begun in 2017, has been empowered to engage in Indigenous led education within the province.  Established by the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre (MFNERC), MFNSS is a First Nations-designed and led school system.  For more information, visit: https://www.mfnss.com/About/Pages/default.aspx#/=.

Indigenous Graduation Grad Coach Program

Winnipeg School Division’s Aboriginal Graduation Coaches program provides multi-year support and guidance to students on their journey from Grade 9 to graduation.

In 2015, the Winnipeg School Division started an Aboriginal Graduation Coaches program which is an initiative that is focused on assisting Indigenous students to graduate high school. Winnipeg School Division’s Aboriginal Graduation Coaches program provides multi-year support and guidance to students on their journey from Grade 9 to graduation. The Aboriginal Graduation Coach Program focuses on the following six areas: Relationships & Mentoring, Transitions, Culture, Academics, Career Planning and Family Engagement. The focus of the Grad Coach is to increase Aboriginal graduation rates. Additional goals of the program include: Improve Aboriginal student attendance, course grades, and credit attainment; identify factors contributing to drop out rates; identify and create plans to overcome graduation barriers; improve transitions from junior high to high school, as well as to post-secondary/workforce; facilitate high school and post-secondary planning; and create a graduation team of support for the students. Link to a video about the program https://vimeo.com/225579583

Nunavut Literacy Council – Ilitaqsiniq

The Nunavut Literacy Council – Ilitaqsiniq offers hands-on, Elder led, skill-based education programs that build essential skills for life or the workforce.

Adriana Kusugak is the Executive Director of the Nunavut Literacy Council – Ilitaqsiniq in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Two programs offered through the Council include a traditional and modern sewing skills program and a contemporary and traditional food preparation program. Both programs are led by Elders, providing participants with a three to one ratio of teachers to students. Often, the programs will also bring in content specialists, like chefs, to provide their expertise in food preparation. The majority of participants who have taken part in either of the 4-month programs choose to either continue their education or re-engage in the workforce. The intergenerational transfer of knowledge also allows for the program to embed literacy activities into the traditional teachings.  

Hailey Prince at the Nak’azdli Cultural Centre

Hailey Prince details the Nak’azdli Cultural Centre’s aims and initiatives of capturing and maintaining Dakelh traditional knowledge through methods of traditional knowledge transfer from Elders. The centre offers programs and classes that are focused on strengthening areas of traditional Dakelh knowledge. Classes include teaching Dakelh language; drums, rattles, snowshoes, shawls, vests, baskets making; as well, […]

Hailey Prince details the Nak’azdli Cultural Centre’s aims and initiatives of capturing and maintaining Dakelh traditional knowledge through methods of traditional knowledge transfer from Elders. The centre offers programs and classes that are focused on strengthening areas of traditional Dakelh knowledge. Classes include teaching Dakelh language; drums, rattles, snowshoes, shawls, vests, baskets making; as well, learning traditional ways of hunting, trapping, and fishing. Among being a place of teaching and learning, the Cultural Centre is a support system to the community through ensuring all those in need are cared for. A food hamper program is an example Hailey describes as one way the centre ensures those in need are cared for. All donations given to the centre are offered to families in need. Traditional knowledge retention and community support are just some of the areas in which Hailey Prince views the Nak’azdli centre as an area of success in Indigenous education.

Jocelyn Formsma – Student of Life

Examples of formal and informal Indigenous Education from a ‘student of life’ who describes the importance of language and land-based learning.

Examples of formal and informal Indigenous Education from a ‘student of life’ who describes the importance of language and land-based learning.

E. Bob – Anishnawbek Wellness Teachings and Ceremony in Support of Inmates

This program utilizes traditional knowledge and ceremony to advance the intentions of corrections institutions.

This program offers inmate populations an opportunity to learn life skills and coping strategies through Anishinawbek wellness teachings and ceremony. The program hopes that inmates will have a better understanding of traditional knowledge as they practice sharing in circles, smudge to get ready for ceremony, as well as, engaging in a community pipe. Group sharing provides the inmates with a safe place to talk about themselves and offers a break from being stuck in an incarceration setting.

Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey – John Jerome Paul

John Jerome Paul discusses his work with Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey and his nearly 50 years working in Indigenous education.

John Jerome Paul discusses his work with Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey and his nearly 50 years working in Indigenous education.

Fort Good Hope Fish Camp – the Importance of Camp

This is one in a set of three videos that talk about life along the Deh Cho (Mackenzie River) and learning to fish.

Passing on knowledge to the next generation about living in ‘the bush’, learning how to camp and how to fish, is important to the Sahtu people of the Deh Cho (Mackenzie River). The people in this video talk about what it means to them to be able to spend time together away from town and for the grandparents to be able to teach their children and grandchildren how to make camp, catch and dry fish, and more. As Judy Lafferty says, “They have to learn for survival . . . It’s our place to teach them, as parents and grandparents.”

Special thanks to (in order of appearance):

  • Dennita Lafferty, Participant
  • Anna Turo, Participant
  • Judy Lafferty, Mentor
  • Wilma Manuel, Participant
  • Leon Turo, Mentor
  • Michel Lafferty, Mentor

As well, special thanks to:

  • Anne-Marie Jackson, NCCIE Videographer and Contributor
  • Christopher White, Promethean Heritage and Cultural Services, Video Editor
  • Andrée Cazabon, Productions Cazabon, Producer

This video and two others in this series are also part of ‘Tracking Change: the Role of Local and Traditional Knowledge in Watershed Governance’, a project that includes listening to Indigenous peoples along the Mackenzie, Mekong, and Amazon Rivers to gather information about “long term (historic and current) patterns of social and ecological change and the interconnections between the health and dynamics of these river systems and that of river communities.” (source: www.trackingchange.ca/about)

Round Table on Indigenous Students’ experiences in Post-Secondary education

A round table involving five Indigenous students was held at Trent University to discuss their experiences within post-secondary education. The students offered insights into the challenges getting to university and working within the post-secondary system for Indigenous youth. Some of the themes that emerged from the discussion included, the difficulties deciding on a discipline, the […]

A round table involving five Indigenous students was held at Trent University to discuss their experiences within post-secondary education. The students offered insights into the challenges getting to university and working within the post-secondary system for Indigenous youth. Some of the themes that emerged from the discussion included, the difficulties deciding on a discipline, the challenges in being admitted to post-secondary studies, the significance of a mentor and support within the university setting, and the importance of learning about culture and strengthening identity during their post-secondary educational experience. The members of the round table were:

  • Bobby Henry, Haudenosaunee
  • Papatsi Kotierk, Inuit
  • Thomas Morningstar, Anishinaabeg
  • Amy Shawanda , Anishiaabeg
  • Coty Zachariah, Haudenosaunee
  • Gabriel Maracle, Haudenosaunee (Moderator)

Special thanks to Aye Min Latt, Videographer.