UAlberta Indigenous law centre gets federal boost

The University of Alberta's Wahkohtowin Law and Governance Lodge will be working with Indigenous communities to better access, understand, and apply Indigenous laws. "For a century few, if any, Canadian lawyers ever asked the question about how First Nations on the prairies regulated their societies and relationships and dealt with the same issues that common law, Western law dealt with," said David Percy, UAlberta's Interim Dean of Law. "The lodge is a great example of an academic institution listening to Indigenous communities and organizations. Canada will be better off for the work being done here and elsewhere across the country." The initiative has received $134K in funding from the Government of Canada.

FNTI builds greenhouse to support Indigenous Food Systems degree

The First Nations Technical Institute is constructing a greenhouse to support its new Indigenous Food Systems degree. FNTI reports that the build was specifically conceived to support the new standalone Bachelor of Science in Indigenous Food Systems program. Slated for delivery in Sept. 2020, the new degree program will provide students the knowledge and skills needed to improve food sovereignty. "The greenhouse can be used to address two critical issues that affect Indigenous communities: food security and our relationship to food and diet," said Luke Jeffries, Indigenous Food Systems program coordinator at FNTI. "This program and the food grown within the greenhouse will expose students' minds and palates to a wide variety of ideas and tastes and will begin to change their relationship with food and the Earth.

Canada's faculties of medicine commit to improving Indigenous health

The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada has approved a Joint Committee to Action on Indigenous Health that will aim to train medical students to better serve Indigenous communities. AFMC Indigenous network chair Marcia Anderson said that the commitment was made in response to the TRC, and that she hopes it will bring consistency to "highly variable" Indigenous health initiatives at schools across the country. The commitment includes several action items related to relationships with Indigenous communities, admissions, the medical school environment, curriculum and post-graduate education. 

Canada invests in new K-12 school for KI First Nation

A new school will be built in the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation community, thanks to a $42M investment from the Government of Canada. The new school is expected to be constructed by Fall 2021, and the new K-12 school will accommodate nearly 400 students. "Every child deserves access to a high-quality education, regardless of where they live. First Nations children in Kenora riding, and across Canada are no exception," said Bob Nault, Member of Parliament (Kenora riding). "Children should be able to complete their education at home, in their own community and once the new school is completed, educators will be able to meet the community's unique needs and provide culturally appropriate programming and language supports."

Canada invests in early learning in GTA

The Government of Canada has announced $1.8M in funding for seven early learning and child care innovation projects in the Greater Toronto Area. The projects will take on challenges such as synthesizing and consolidating research and resources into accessible tools; developing and testing an enhanced accelerated ECE training program in Ontario; and creating a network of employers, labour unions, Indigenous representatives, and more to develop solutions to ELCC workplace challenges. "The early years of life are critical to a child's development and future well-being," explained Adam Vaughan, Member of Parliament for Spadina-Fort York. "As the needs of Canadian families evolve, we are committed to finding creative solutions to ensure our kids have the opportunity to experience the kinds of quality early learning that will help them build the skills needed to succeed."