Indigenous-led initiative at YorkU to equip youth with skills training with support of new funding

An initiative designed by York University students to connect and support Indigenous youth will receive new funding from the federal government under the Canada Service Corps program. YorkU reports that the Indigenous Friends Association will use the investment to equip 120 First Nations, Inuit, Metis and non-Indigenous youth with the skills and training required to reduce employment and education gaps in technology, all while engaging ina process of reconciliation through collaborative learning and civic engagement. The project will be led and implemented by the Indigenous community of York in partnership with YWCA Canada and Digital Justice Lab. Local partnerships have been developed in Ontario with Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation, Elephant Thoughts, Mikinaak and in Sask. with the YWCA Regina, North Central Hacker Dojo, West Flat Citizens Group.

 

First Nations initiative in Cape Breton to help students find career success after graduation

The federal government has announced nearly $1M in funding to support a program that prepares Indigenous students in Cape Breton for post-secondary education and future career sucess. CBC reports that the Mi'kmaw Economic Benefits Office will use the funds to support its existing programs, which include promoting employment opportunities and apprenticeships, recruiting from First Nations communities, delivering small business and personal finance workshops, and helping new high school graduates prepare for post-secondary. It will also help the office launch a new program aimed at increasing the number of Indigenous people in science, technology, engineering, math and business fields.

Regina-based organization focused on teaching newcomers about Indigenous history, culture

The Regina Open Door Society is working to combat the negative attitudes and stereotypes about Indigenous people that young newcomers are "bombarded with" when they first arrive in the country. The society is currently holding a summer program for youth called Reconciliation through Education that teaches newcomers about historic events in Canada that have impacted Indigenous people and involves them in First Nations cultural practices. "You should learn about Canada and its history, and the people who lived here before, before coming to Canada and before assuming something they are," said Raj Metker, who moved to Regina from India one year ago. "I think all the newcomers should help Indigenous people regain and recover from the previous things. I am doing that by learning about them." Youth case worker Megan Brooks described the program as an "introduction of starting to build bridges rather than {...} divides."

ON teacher uses Twitter to revive Munsee language

In Southwestern Ontario, educator Ian McCallum is using social media to revive the Munsee language. McCallum is a First Nations and Metis resource and elementary school teacher in the Barrie area, and he has begun posting translations and phrases to Twitter twice a day to reach people interested in the language. "I do simple vocabulary (translation) or I do things people find interesting. Sometimes I get off the beaten track and I will translate a song from the Eighties or Seventies for interest sake," said McCallum. "It's important to me because I believe a lot of the stories and deeper understanding of the culture is in the language. If the language ceases to exist, you lose that deeper meaning and connections with the world around you." The Kingston Whig Standard states that McCallum uses his knowledge to create the language curriculum for Munsee-Delaware Nation.