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La First Peoples’ House, les initiatives autochtones et l’Université McGill/First Peoples’ House, Indigenous Initiatives et McGill University

The description of the Story. This content will accompany the Title on the website. La communauté de l’Université McGill à Montréal présente une longue histoire en termes de collaboration avec les nations autochtones, en commençant par la création du McGill Intertribal Council au début des années 1970 qui visait à répondre aux besoins culturels des […]

The description of the Story. This content will accompany the Title on the website. La communauté de l’Université McGill à Montréal présente une longue histoire en termes de collaboration avec les nations autochtones, en commençant par la création du McGill Intertribal Council au début des années 1970 qui visait à répondre aux besoins culturels des étudiants autochtones (Stonechild, 2006; Dufour, 2017). Celui-ci mena rapidement à la fondation du Native North American Studies Institue (NNASI) en collaboration avec l’Association des Indiens du Québec (AIQ). Celui-ci joua un rôle important dans l’inauguration du Manitou Community College à La Macaza, l’un des premiers établissements postsecondaires par et pour les nations autochtones au Canada. L’Université McGill fut également la première institution du Québec à instaurer un programme de formation des maîtres-assistants autochtones au cours de la même période (ibid.). Depuis 1997, la First Peoples’ House offre des services d’accueil et de soutien culturellement adaptés aux étudiants autochtones de l’Université. Ce service qui a initialement été financé par le ministère de l’Éducation et des Études supérieures et certaines donations privées est maintenant principalement pris en charge par les Services aux étudiants de l’Institution. Souvent décrit comme un ‘home away from home’, cet espace consacré joue les rôles de lieu de rassemblement communautaire, de ressourcement, de référencement, de support, de tutorat, de mentorat et d’orientation scolaire et même de résidence pour plusieurs étudiants. Des activités récurrentes et ponctuelles -telles les dîners communautaires de soupe et bannique du mercredi midi- et des événements annuels sont organisées. À l’été, la FPH, en collaboration avec la faculté de Médecine de la même université, organise le Eagle Spirit Camp, un camp de trois jours à l’intention de potentiels futurs étudiants âgés de 13 et 17 ans, dans le but de les encourager à réaliser leur plein potentiel éducatif et personnel. D’autres événements sont organisés en collaboration avec d’autres groupes tels le Indigenous Student Alliance (ISA), groupe d’intérêt étudiant formé d’étudiants autochtones et allochtones et le Social Equity and Diversity Education’s Office (SEDE) dont l’Indigenous Awareness Week qui culmine depuis 2001 par la tenue d’un Pow wow sur le campus à la session d’automne. Le Indigenous Educational Series, qui se déroule pour sa part à la session d’hiver, a ainsi pour objectif de sensibiliser la population étudiante aux réalités autochtones du Canada. Depuis 2005, le Indigenous Affairs Work Group a été mis sur pied par le doyen des affaires étudiantes (Dean of students) dans le but d’améliorer l’offre de service pour les étudiants autochtones. L’Université McGill est notamment très active au niveau de la prise de contact et du recrutement auprès des communautés à travers le Canada et présente une politique d’admission propres aux aspirants autochtones auto-identifiés. Ceux-ci sont appelés à fournir une lettre de motivation, une lettre de recommandation en plus d’un curriculum vitae en plus de leur formulaire afin de permettre une évaluation adaptée par le comité d’admission. Un soutien personnalisé peut également être offert au cours de la demande d’admission. Un programme de mineure en études autochtones (Indigenous Studies) a été créé en 2014. En réponse aux appels à l’action de la Commission de vérité et de réconciliation du Canada, le vice-principal exécutif et vice-principal aux études de McGill a créé un Groupe de travail sur les études et l’éducation autochtones en 2016 dans le but de formuler une nouvelle orientation stratégique pouvant bonifier ses initiatives en la matière. RÉFÉRENCES CBC News. (2017, 20 septembre). 2017 edition of Turtle Island Reads celebrates the best in Indigenous Canadian writing. Consulté à l’adresse http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/turtle-island-reads-2017-cbc-indigenous-authors-1.4298777 Curtis, C. (2016, 23 septembre). McGill to take « leadership role » in recruiting aboriginal students. Consulté à l’adresse http://montrealgazette.com/news/mcgill-to-take-leadership-role-in-recruiting-aboriginal-students Dufour, E. (2017). Du Collège Manitou de La Macaza à l’Institution Kiuna d’Odanak: la genèse des établissements postsecondaires par et pour les Premières Nations au Québec. Revue d’histoire de l’Amérique française, 70(4), 5 33. Fennario, T. (2016). McGill University offers gesture of reconciliation with Indigenous people. Montréal. Consulté à l’adresse http://aptnnews.ca/2016/09/23/mcgill-university-offers-gesture-of-reconciliation-with-indigenous-people/ McGill University. (2017). Eagle Spirit High Performance Camp. Consulté à l’adresse https://www.mcgill.ca/fph/prospective-students/eaglespiritcamp McGill University. (2013). Pow wow at McGill. Montréal. Consulté à l’adresse https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXuHoKi-2tU McGill University. (2017a). First Peoples’ House. Consulté à l’adresse https://www.mcgill.ca/fph/ McGill University. (2017b). Indigenous Affairs Work Group. Consulté à l’adresse http://www.mcgill.ca/deanofstudents/aboriginaloutreach McGill University. (2017c). Indigenous Applicants. Consulté à l’adresse https://www.mcgill.ca/applying/requirements/indigenous McGill University. (2017d). Indigenous Awareness Week. Consulté à l’adresse https://www.mcgill.ca/fph/resources/indigenous-education-program/indigenous-awareness-week McGill University. (2017e). Indigenous Educational Series. Consulté à l’adresse https://www.mcgill.ca/fph/resources/indigenous-education-program/indigenous-educational-series McGill University. (2017f). Indigenous Studies Program. Consulté à l’adresse https://www.mcgill.ca/indigenous/home McGill University. (2018). Indigenous Success. Consulté à l’adresse https://www.mcgill.ca/provost/indigenous-success Stonechild, B. (2006). The Struggle for Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education in Canada. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press.

Se’t A’newey Kina’matino’Kuom – Audrey Benoit

Audrey Benoit, Vice-Principal of Se’t A’newey Kina’matino’Kuom in Miawpukek First Nation describes how they celebrate and support Indigenous culture in their school. 

Audrey Benoit, Vice-Principal of Se’t A’newey Kina’matino’Kuom in Miawpukek First Nation describes how they celebrate and support Indigenous culture in their school. 

kâniyâsihk Culture Camps at Ministikwan Lake Cree Nation

Founder of kâniyâsihk Culture Camps, Kevin Lewis believes that land-based education is an important way for Cree and non-Indigenous people to (re)connect with Cree culture and identity.

Within the last two decades the kâniyâsihk Culture Camps at Ministikwan Lake Cree Nation have evolved from providing fall culture camps where participants took part in fishing and hide tanning to offering camps throughout all seasons and to anyone who wants to learn nehiyo (Cree) culture. Founder, Kevin Lewis explains that at kâniyâsihk Culture Camps participants take part in land-based learning that involves connecting with Elders, knowledge keepers, land keepers, medicine keepers, and berry pickers in their community. By sharing this wealth of knowledge with participants they begin to learn how to be self-sufficient and independent. Some of the many things done at camp include: learning Cree; harvesting plants for medicines; fishing and snaring; hide tanning; preserving moose, deer, elk, and fish; woodworking and building dog sleds, toboggans, birch bark canoes, snowshoes, and paddles; dog sledding; and participating in the Sun Dance, Sweat Lodge, and Chicken Dance ceremonies. Camp offers an immersive experience in nehiyo culture and Lewis hopes that more culture camps become available to people, especially for those living in urban areas.

Check out the kâniyâsihk Culture Camps website: https://kaniyasihkculturecamps.com.

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) has been empowered to engage in Indigenous led education within the province.

Manitoba First Nations School System (MFNSS) has been empowered to engage in Indigenous led education within the province.

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

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.

First Peoples House (McGill University)

Kakwiranó:ron Cook talks about the First Peoples House and McGill University’s initiatives to support Indigenous students in their academic studies and life on campus.

Since 1997, First Peoples House (FPH) has offered culturally appropriate support services for the university’s Indigenous learners. Often described as a “home away from home,” this dedicated space plays the role of community gathering place, healing, referral, support, tutoring, mentoring and educational guidance and even residence for several students. Some of the activities organized throughout the year include community soup and bannock dinners as well as mid-semester and annual events. In the summer, the FPH, in collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine, organizes the Eagle Spirit Camp, a three-day camp for potential future students aged 13 and 17, with the aim of encouraging them to realize their full educational and personal potential. Other events are organized in collaboration with other groups such as the Indigenous Student Alliance (ISA), a student interest group made up of Indigenous and non-Indigenous students and the Social Equity and Diversity Education’s Office (SEDE). For example, the Indigenous Awareness Week is held each year and culminates in a Pow Wow on campus in the fall semester, and the Indigenous Educational Series is organized, which takes place during the winter term and aims to raise awareness among the student population of Indigenous issues in Canada.