Indigenous Education

News and Events

Celebrating the anniversary of Treaty No 1.

August 3, 2022

Today is the 151st anniversary of Treaty No 1, the original lands of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, a place many of us call home, including a majority of our Campuses.

Treaties were signed between Indigenous peoples and settlers based on principals of friendship, peace, and mutual thriving. They acknowledge inherit Indigenous rights to land, resources, and economy, and they remain in place “as long as the sun shines, the grass grows, and the rivers flow.”

As we know, in the past, Treaties were not honoured and great harms were brought upon Indigenous communities through policies and structures of assimilation and genocide; the lasting impacts still effecting Indigenous peoples today.

Treaty relationships did not grow and evolve with society, and that’s why it’s so important that concerted efforts are made to strengthen these relationships and define how we approach being in a Treaty relationship in the present and into the future.

Last year, RRC Polytech partnered with The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and the Indigenous Chamber of Commerce to extend the 4 Seasons of Reconciliation Education e-modular training program to the business community to support reconciliation efforts in Treaty 1 in honour of the 150th anniversary. We also held a virtual event for Indigenous students to learn and connect with Chamber business leaders. 

While institutions, government, and industry strive towards stronger and more equitable Treaty relationships, there’s many things we can do as individuals and groups to support our community towards reconciliation and greater understanding.

The College has made a public commitment towards advancing truth and reconciliation within its 2022-2026 strategic plan In Front of What’s Ahead. This includes addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action to advance Indigenous education in Manitoba, while also reflecting on the harms of the past, working to reconcile a broken trust in our education system and supporting the key role Indigenous peoples must play for our province to realize its fullest potential.

There are many ways to create action and movement towards reconciliation with the first being education and creating an open space for dialogue and inclusion.

A wonderful example is the initiative Paul Bourget, lead instructor in the Educational Assistant Certificate Program, took with the Origami Project with guidance from Elders. He connected the significance of the Japanese tradition of “Senba Zuru” and Indigenous teachings to his course content. The many layers of this project integrated creating 1,000 Origami cranes with students, the teachings of the Medicine Wheel, a traditional pipe ceremony and feast, and classroom assignments. One of the main takeaways for students is cultural safety as they work to enter the school system. You can watch the video on his project here.

Resources to learn about Treaties:

Stay tuned for the fourth annual RRC Polytech Truth and Reconciliation Week held during the last week of September.

Welcoming our new Navigation Coach!

July 6, 2022

We are proud to welcome Brittany Ross as our new Navigation Coach as part our Indigenous Student Supports team. She brings her extensive experiences to support Indigenous students on their learning journey.

Navigation Coaches are a first point of contact for current Indigenous students and can help with everything from finding your way around campus, problem-solving, sharing important resources and information, understanding College processes and accessing community services. They will also help connect you with other important support team members, who together, can ensure you receive the help you need.

Brittany has spent over 10 years supporting, advocating and mentoring Indigenous students in the adult education, and post-secondary education sectors. Through Brittany’s previous experience, she has a fundamental understanding of the importance of creating safe, respectful and positive environments. 

Click here to learn more about Brittany and connect.

Pathway to IT Information Sessions

June 28, 2022

Are you interested in learning more about a career in IT? Join us for a presentation on our new Pathway to Information Technology (IT) Programs (rrc.ca/pit) on July 12 at 1pm or at 6pm. This is a unique opportunity for Indigenous students who have not had the opportunity to participate or succeed in post-secondary education due to social, economic, or cultural factors. This program will prepare you and increase your readiness for one of the three information technology programs offered by RRC Polytech:

At the presentation, you will learn about:

  1. What is Information Technology?
  2. What is the Pathway to Information Technology Programs and its benefits?
  3. Information about the three IT programs you can go into after completing the Pathway to Information Technology Programs
  4. Supports and Services at RRC Polytech
  5. How to Register for the program

To register for one of these information sessions, click below:

We look forward to seeing you there! If you are not able to attend either of these sessions, you can contact Jamie Chahine (Access Pathways Manager) jchahine@RRC.CA for information about the program.

Celebration of Indigenous Cultures, Arts, Languages, and Entrepreneurship

June 9, 2022

Collision
Bi zi kwa daa dim
 (Anishinaabemowin)
Māmawītēnamãtōwin (Cree)
Thakakshkowan (Oji-Cree)
Tawahikawtayw 
(Michif)
Bohtake (Dakota) 
ᑐᓗᕐᑐ ᑦ Tulurqturq (Inuktut)

All these words are inviting you to an RBC Reaction by Collision event – a Celebration of Indigenous Cultures, Arts, Languages, and Entrepreneurship! Collide with culture, ideas, artists and innovation from an Indigenous lens.

The perfect precursor to your National Indigenous People’s Day and Summer Solstice festivities, this event features a jam-packed agenda with stellar musical performances (dance and instrumental) with local legends, intimate story-telling and teachings with Knowledge Keepers and Elders, an Indigenous maker’s market, community booths, and a special announcement from RBC and RRC Polytech’s School of Indigenous Education.

Monday, June 20 | 2:00 – 7 pm
Manitou a bi Bii daziigae, 319 Elgin Ave.

Thank you to our Sponsor

The School for Indigenous Education Reaction by Collision event is generously supported by RBC Future Launch.

Stay the Course Speaker Series: Angelina Pelletier

May 12, 2022

Inspiring stories from RRC’s Indigenous Alumni

How do successful people get to where they are? What did that journey look like? What did they learn and how did they stay the course? What does it mean to be an Indigenous student in post-secondary?

The Stay the Course speaker series is a hand from one generation to the next, hosted by Carla Kematch, Manager, Truth and Reconciliation and Community & Engagement. Incredible RRC Indigenous Alumni share their experiences on their journey to success. Advancing Indigenous achievement at RRC means listening to Indigenous stories. This is just one of the many ways we can embed the efforts of Truth and Reconciliation in our daily lives.

Angelina Pelletier

Angelina Pelletier

Born and raised in Treaty 1 Territory, Angelina Pelletier is a passionate community advocate who specializes in educating and empowering young people with a focus on systems change. Currently, she is transitioning from a leadership position with a Housing First program, Wi Che Win at Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, to a new position as Manager of Cities, Communities Building Youth Futures with a national non-profit organization, Tamarack Institute.

Her education is rooted in legal administration, human rights and community economic development and she is a trained facilitator in Intergroup Dialogue through the department of Social Work at the University of Manitoba. Angelina has volunteered her time as a note-taker for students with disabilities at the University of Winnipeg, as youth mentor for newcomer and refugee children at N.E.E.D.S. Centre and sat as Treasurer for the Indigenous Student Council at Red River College Polytech.

More recently, she sat as one of two Indigenous representatives as Director and Secretary of the Board at Main Street Project, and currently sits on the Board of Directors at Inspired By Wonder Inc. As a daughter, auntie and mother, family is what grounds Angelina both in her work and identity and is her biggest motivator in executing systemic change. She is the proud mother of two beautiful children, Tayshaun and Aminata and life partner to Abdou.

Indigenous Students Exploring IT Technology Camp

April 21, 2022

What: FREE Indigenous IT Youth Camp
When: Thursday, May 12 | 9:30 to 2:30 PM
Where: Virtual on MS Teams (Platform)
Who: Indigenous Youth ages 14-18-years-old

Join us at Red River College Polytechnic to explore what a career in Information Technology (IT) looks like, hear from Indigenous working in IT, and learn to build a simple website.  Learners will explore innovation in Canada and create a website (using Glitch.com) about their chosen recipient of the Governor General Innovation Award. 

Note: There are capacity limits for this event, please register as soon as possible to save your seat.

Pow Wow 2022

April 19, 2022

RRC Polytech’s annual Pow Wow returns in-person! Please join us to celebrate Indigenous students as we send them off on a continued journey to success. Ray ‘CoCo’ Stevenson will lead us as Master of Ceremonies in a day filled with ceremony, dancing, drumming, singing, food, vendors, special messages from leadership, and of course, honouring graduates.

Host Drum: Walking Wolf
Arena Director: Marcel French

Pow Wow 2022
Friday May 6, 2022
Notre Dame Campus, North Gym

10:00 am – Pipe Ceremony
12:00 pm – Grand Entry  
2:00 pm – Graduate Awards Presentation
4:30 pm – Feast

RRC Polytech Indigenous Students, please register here.

Dancers, drum groups, artists/makers – email Pow Wow planner Rhonda Monkman at rmonkman90@rrc.ca to register.

Family Fun Night – Game Night at NDC

April 6, 2022

Thursday, April 28 | 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Indigenous Support Centre, Notre Dame Campus, F209

Take a break from studying and join Indigenous Student Supports to play board games! There will be pizza, chips, and pop as well as three door prizes to be won. We can’t wait to see you in-person. (Mask required, except when eating or drinking.)

Register by emailing Terri-Lynn at tlanderson@rrc.ca

Honouring Spring Equinox

March 24, 2022

Earlier this week, Miss Una Swan held a small pipe ceremony (watch her message) with students to honour and welcome in the Spring Equinox, a day where day and night are equal. Not only is the Spring Equinox recognized by many Indigenous cultures ceremoniously as new beginnings and rebirth, but there are many teachings and stories about Spring.

We’ve pulled together a few tales and teachings on the blog. (Click on the title to watch.)

Sisikwun: The Rattle by Wilfred Buck

Wilfred Buck is a local Elder who shares many teachings, including star teachings. Here he shares a teaching about Spring constellations and the rattle.

K’i Tah Amongst the Birch (National Film Board of Canada)

Filmmaker/activist Melaw Nakehk’o has spent the pandemic with her family at a remote land camp in the Northwest Territories, “getting wood, listening to the wind, staying warm and dry, and watching the sun move across the sky.” In documenting camp life—activities like making fish leather and scraping moose hide—she anchors the COVID experience in a specific time and place.

The Lake Winnipeg Project (National Film Board of Canada)

As our lakes and rivers begin to thaw and we all start to take advantage of these gifts, it’s important to know the context and history of our lakes and Indigenous communities. We also recommend viewing this series.

The Lake Winnipeg Project is a four-part documentary series that calls attention to stories of ingenuity and resilience in four diverse communities surrounding Lake Winnipeg, at a time when many external forces are imposing change.

Call for Participation in Indigenous Nursing Students and Alumni

March 18, 2022

Research Interviews with Red River College Polytechnic

We are looking for Indigenous students that are currently enrolled, or those who have recently graduated from the Pathways to Nursing, Nursing Baccalaureate, or Licences Practitioner Nursing programs at Red River College Polytechnic. Those who choose to participate will be asked to complete a short anonymous survey and participate in a 1-hour one-on-one interview with the researcher.

The Purpose of the Interviews

The interviews will assist in developing the parameters for the Bill and Shirley Loewen Indigenous Nursing annual bursary. The parameters will be co-developed by the Truth and Reconciliation – Indigenous Strategy and Business Development Department, Dean – School of Indigenous Education, Department of Advancement and Development, and the Student Financial Aid and Bursaries. 

The fund purpose:

This fund will support Indigenous students attending the Pathways to Nursing program and related Nursing programs at RRC Polytech. The fund’s goal is to ensure that Indigenous students who want to devote their careers to Nursing have all the support needed to graduate and gain their desired employment. 

The fund will support all Indigenous student needs, including but not limited to:

  • student support (educational and mental), 
  • equipment required for successful completion of the program, 
  • external accommodations, 
  • scholarship/awards/bursaries (the goal is to provide full tuition support), 
  • room and board.

Questions on the research or interested in participating?

Please contact Kyra De La Ronde

kdelaronde2@rrc.ca