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RRC Polytech welcomes Knowledge Keepers Council to further Truth and Reconciliation commitments

January 13, 2022

Red River College Polytechnic is proud to welcome its first Knowledge Keepers Council.

Allen Sutherland, Barbara Bruce, Albert McLeod and Martha Peet will join Elders-in-Residence Paul Guimond and Una Swan to provide guidance and diverse Indigenous perspectives throughout RRC Polytech’s work to embed truth and reconciliation.

Earlier this fall, RRC Polytech released its 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, In Front of What’s Ahead. The second of the plan’s three commitments is to commit to Truth and Reconciliation by pursuing equity, diversity and inclusion in everything the College does.

“Our needs for consultation and engagement are expanding as we work towards advancing truth and reconciliation and embedding Indigenous perspectives across RRC Polytech. This is a vital piece of ensuring we are on the right track, that we are being intentional,” says Fred Meier, President and CEO, RRC Polytech.

“We are so fortunate to have such esteemed and respected Elders and Knowledge Keepers joining together to support strategic planning and execution across our organization, which will impact all areas, from academic programs and culturally appropriate supports to applied research, fostering relationships with Indigenous communities and businesses, and being a prominent workplace in Manitoba. I look forward to seeing this group strengthen the efforts outlined in our new Strategic Plan.”

The new Council will advise senior leadership on strategic initiatives as the College responds to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s 94 Calls to Action. The formation of the Council also aligns with the Commission’s principal number seven to support reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, which states the perspectives and understanding of Indigenous Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers of the ethics, concepts and practices of reconciliation are vital to long-term reconciliation.

“One of the most beautiful things about Indigenous cultures is that they are so diverse and there is an understanding of value and respect, despite different customs, traditions and languages,” says Carla Kematch, Director, Truth and Reconciliation at RRC Polytech.

“Within this Knowledge Keepers Council, we have individuals who are proud Cree, Inuit, Métis, Dakota, Oji-Cree, Ojibway and Two Spirit. It’s very inclusive, and each brings a lifetime’s worth of knowledge, teachings and experiences. We need to hear these voices as we move forward and make decisions. Read More →

Change is our business: RRC Polytech incorporates Indigenous content, teachings into commerce and management courses

January 10, 2022

Instructors and staff from Red River College Polytechnic’s Applied Commerce and Management Education (ACME) programs are responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action by Indigenizing their courses.

That means more students preparing for careers in fields such as accounting, finance, marketing and human resources will learn Indigenous teachings and perspectives on key elements of their curriculum.

So far, 13 per cent of ACME courses feature Indigenous content — an impressive number, given the initiative started at zero in 2019 during the onset of COVID-19 and a massive, College-wide conversion to online learning.

ACME instructor Taras Wasyliw says a group of faculty members were inspired by Carla Kematch, RRC Polytech’s Director of Truth and Reconciliation, during a presentation about what sort of Indigenous content they should incorporate in courses they were in the process of redeveloping.

“We all came from different backgrounds and levels of understanding, but we all shared a sense that this was one way to begin righting the wrongs of our business community,” says Wasyliw. “The history of colonization is business history — it’s about exploiting resources for profit.”

Manitoba’s Indigenous population is growing fast — as is the province’s Indigenous workforce.

“Understanding the history of our relationship — correcting it where possible, and making amends — helps us all,” says Wasyliw, while pointing out socially responsible businesses tend to be more profitable.

“So even on a bottom-line level, bringing Indigenous content and teachings into our curriculum is the right thing to do.”

Along with other post-secondary institutions in the province, RRC Polytech is a signatory to the Manitoba Collaborative Indigenous Education Blueprint. This fall, the College strengthened its commitment to Truth and Reconciliation by dedicating one of the three commitments of its new strategic plan to embedding the TRC’s Calls to Action across all programs and operations.

Kematch says ACME’s initiative aligns with Call to Action 62, which focuses on education for reconciliation and calls upon governments to consult with Indigenous peoples, educators and Survivors to help post-secondary instructors integrate Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods into classrooms. Read More →

Holiday Hours at RRC Polytech

December 21, 2021

Red River College Polytechnic will once again operate on restricted holiday hours beginning at noon on Friday, Dec. 24, 2021.

During the break, general access to the Notre Dame and Exchange District Campuses will be limited to the following hours:

Dec. 24, 2021Regular hours until noon
Dec. 24, 2021 at noon through Jan. 3, 2022Closed (no access)
Jan. 4, 2022Regular hours resume at 7am

Regular hours of operation will resume on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022 at 7am.

We wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season.

RRC Polytech launches $60M campaign: In Front of What’s Ahead

December 1, 2021

Red River College Polytechnic has officially launched the largest-ever campaign in the institution’s history.

To mark Giving Tuesday — a global generosity movement aimed at giving back to the community — RRC Polytech is calling on all Manitobans to support the institution’s commitment to providing students, partners and communities with programs, spaces and supports that put them ahead of the competition.

In Front of What’s Ahead is a $60-million comprehensive campaign that aligns with the College’s new five-year strategic plan and focuses on three priority areas of funding, informed through a broad stakeholder engagement process:

  • Enhance student life ($10 million)
    To position RRC Polytech as a first-choice institution for learners.
  • Transform our spaces ($40 million)
    To keep pace with the rate of change of our businesses and societies.
  • Amplifying our impact ($10 million)
    To attract instructors and researchers in tune with an ever-changing economy, and to better support our partners.

Meeting these priorities will better prepare RRC Polytech to embrace disruption to meet the needs of its students and community members — today and in the years ahead. With this support, RRC Polytech’s students will have access to learning spaces and state-of-the-art equipment that prepare them today for the workforce of tomorrow. They will have more opportunities to work with and learn from industry leaders and mentors. Students will have access to new pathways and programs that reduce barriers and allow learners to receive the appropriate supports needed to succeed.

“As Manitoba’s polytechnic, we have a responsibility to equip our students and partners with the skills, facilities, technology and pathways they need to get in front of a rapidly changing workforce,” says Fred Meier, RRC Polytech President and CEO.

“For more than 80 years, we have been anticipating the needs of industry and fulfilling the training gaps in communities across the province. As technology and the way we work continues to evolve, we’re asking all Manitobans to join us. Join us in creating opportunities for grads to contribute on day one, in creating access for entrepreneurs and businesses to bring their ideas to life, and in creating spaces for communities to flourish.” Read More →

RRC Polytech staff, student, and alumni artisans offer local holiday goods

December 1, 2021

In past years, Red River College Polytechnic’s Sustainability team and Alumni Engagement have hosted a daylong Winter Market featuring products made by staff, student, and alumni artisans to celebrate the holiday season and encourage buying local.

Since campuses are not yet fully open to the public, RRC Polytech has once again created an online directory of makers in place of an in-person market experience. 

“The College’s alumni community is a diverse network of creators, entrepreneurs, and innovators. Following a challenging holiday season last year, we want to do our part to elevate these local businesses and encourage our community to shop local,” says Katrina Sklepowich, RRC Polytech’s Alumni Engagement Officer.

“We’ll be highlighting a number of makers each day for “12 Days of Holiday Shopping” – we encourage you to follow the RRC Polytech and Sustainability accounts on Instagram, where we’ll be sharing makers you can support between December 1-16.”

When you buy local from small businesses and artisan makers, you’re not only supporting creative makers in our community, but also the local economy. RRC Polytech has a strong commitment to sustainability and this is one way we’re able to encourage conscious shopping while promoting our talented staff, student, and alumni makers.

Read More →

RRC Polytech announces new Vice-President, Indigenous Strategy and Business Development

November 22, 2021

Black and white portrait, Jamie WilsonToday, RRC Polytech takes an important step towards fulfilling the commitments within its 2022–2026 Strategic Plan: In Front of What’s Ahead, by establishing a new executive position under the leadership of Jamie Wilson (Opaskwayak Cree Nation) to guide this significant and transformational work for the College.

Wilson is a visionary leader with a passion for building bridges between communities and organizations, strengthening relationships with Indigenous Peoples, and creating opportunities for community and social development that will lead towards economic opportunity and prosperity.

As of Jan. 3, 2022, he’ll begin in his new role as the Vice-President, Indigenous Strategy and Business Development.

“This is an area of significant importance for RRC Polytech, and we were fortunate to recruit Jamie to this new role. His experience and background will bring the vision and leadership we need to strengthen this work and advance our strategic commitments,” says Fred Meier, President and CEO, RRC Polytech.

In addition to leading on Indigenous strategy, Wilson will take on the responsibility for business development at RRC Polytech, focusing on deepening and expanding the College’s relationship with business and employers to solve their greatest needs and drive positive outcomes for their growth and success.

“Our future economic prosperity and the growth of our labour market in Manitoba is inextricably linked to the success of our Indigenous communities and the province. This new role is essential for RRC Polytech to put everything we do through that lens to identify new opportunities for partnership and growth,” says Meier. Read More →

RRC Polytech announces new name for Exchange District Campus expansion

November 10, 2021

Today, Red River College Polytechnic announced the new Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) name of its recently opened building at the Exchange District Campus.

Formerly known as the Innovation Centre project, the new building — now called Manitou a bi Bii daziigae, which translates to “Where Creator sits / Brings light” — officially opened its doors to the public.

As part of the festivities, the College’s Elders-in-Residence — Elder Paul Guimond, Okonace (Little Eagle Bone) from Sagkeeng First Nation, and Miss Una Swan, Black Eagle Woman, from Fisher River Cree Nation — held a pipe ceremony in the agora of the new 100,000 square-foot space to introduce the name to the community, bring spirit and life to the name, and honour traditional sacred ceremony.  

“We’re in a time of beautiful change to bring that light, that hope, and I think if we can bring the spirit of that name into that building, maybe we’ll be able to take that step ahead and walk with it,” said Guimond. “The new building is so unique. It’s powered by nature. Much like how we live, powered by nature and the sun. The sun is such a beautiful spirit: it brings warmth, it brings growth, it brings light, it brings hope. Without that sun there is no life. And if you look at the new building, it’s all powered by the sun. 

“It’s just a matter of now respecting it and giving it the name that it needs to guide that spirit. It’s a building, but it has spirit. It’s going to bring that positive spirit in the minds and the realm of all people. I think there’s an opportunity to give a name to something that’s going to give us life, that’s going to give us hope. And I hope that that name will serve its purpose, and I’m glad that opportunity is there.” Read More →

RRC Polytech embraces bold new identity and plan to support innovation, recovery and growth

October 5, 2021

Today, the province’s largest college unveiled a bold new strategic direction and embraced its identity as Manitoba’s polytechnic — by bringing that word into its name, as Red River College Polytechnic, or RRC Polytech.

In order to continue growing into the post-secondary institution that Manitoba needs today, and into the future, RRC Polytech is redefining itself. This evolution will enable RRC Polytech to continue to modernize apprenticeship training and expand in areas that are hallmarks of a polytechnic education, including applied research and work-integrated learning, allowing students to seamlessly transition from the classroom to their careers. 

The new identity recognizes RRC Polytech’s evolution into a unique kind of post-secondary institution — one that blends deep, theoretical learning with applied, hands-on experience, and highlights the important role its graduates will play in growing Manitoba’s economy as the province recovers from the pandemic and looks to the future.

“For more than 80 years, Red River College Polytechnic has been a driving force to keep our province moving forward — economically, socially and culturally — by working on the cusp of what Manitoba needs now, and as we look towards the future,” said the Hon. Wayne Ewasko, provincial Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration.

“With this new identity and strategic direction, RRC Polytech is well-positioned to continue to meet the goals of the Skills, Talent and Knowledge Strategy, which provides an important framework for post-secondary institutions to prepare students for in-demand, good jobs, while accelerating our economic recovery and growth.”

The term polytechnic is used around the world to identify institutions that focus on strategic workforce development and applied research, and offer a variety of credentials, from micro-credentials to bachelor’s degrees. The polytechnic model enables RRC Polytech to build on its strong foundation as a post-secondary institution and grow and expand its current offerings.

Read More →

RRC and IBM Canada give tech industry a boost with new micro-credentials

September 8, 2021

Joining the IT crowd has never been easier, thanks to a trio of micro-credentials offered by Red River College this fall to fill urgent workforce gaps in Manitoba’s information technology sector.

The new online courses are taught by experienced industry professionals and cover three skills — mobile app development, security intelligence, and predictive analytics modelling — that are highly sought-after by tech sector employers.

Two of the three courses — Security Intelligence Tech and Predictive Analytics Modeler — are being offered by RRC through a strategic partnership with IBM that will develop and deliver the curriculum through its Learn@IBM skills training platform.

“Red River College’s strong ties with Manitoba’s fast-growing tech sector ensures we are creating more accessible, flexible learning options that channel homegrown talent into workforce gaps with speed and precision,” says Dr. Christine Watson, Vice-President, Academic and Research at RRC.

“Micro-credentials such as these in support of the IT sector continue to position Red River College as the go-to source for rapid, relevant programming that meets student and labour market needs.”

RRC’s new Android Mobile Development course starts on the first of each month from September to December. The first mobile computing micro-credential to be offered in Manitoba, it covers the foundations of native mobile application development, including user-interface, notifications, event-driven programming, development environments, APIs, and tools such as emulators.

Students who complete the course earn a digital badge from RRC. Alumni of the College are eligible for a 10 per cent discount.

The other two courses, Security Intelligence Tech and Predictive Analytics Modeler via Learn@IBM, start Sept. 20. Security Intelligence Tech introduces learners to concepts of security intelligence necessary to identify threats to networks and assets.

Predictive Analytics Modeler prepares students to learn analytics models to collect and analyze data efficiently. Learners who complete each course earn a globally recognized IBM digital credential. Read More →

RRC offers new micro-credentials to support reconciliation and relationship-building

September 8, 2021

A suite of new social innovation micro-credentials is the first offered by Red River College to help businesses and professionals build skills in embedding reconciliation efforts through effective and respectful consultation processes and relationship-building.

Micro-credentials are shareable endorsements of knowledge, skills or competencies that are awarded as digital badges. Under the umbrella of Social Innovation, RRC’s Indigenous Community Consultation and Engagement micro-credentials provide the knowledge and understanding to drive positive social change through strong, relationship-focused engagement with Indigenous nations and communities and a deeper understanding of the diversity of Indigenous peoples, Indigenous sovereignty, policies, principles and Treaty rights.

“When we look at reconciliation and Indigenous worldviews, it’s all about relationships,” says Carla Kematch, RRC’s Manager of Truth and Reconciliation and Community Engagement. “We can provide industry and professionals the foundation to build strong, reciprocal relationships with Indigenous peoples using guiding principles and processes, while simultaneously responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action in their work.”

The Indigenous Community Consultation and Engagement courses are open to both individuals — to start a rewarding career in community development and social innovation, or obtain necessary communications skills used in many professions — and to businesses, to help streamline processes, provide a competitive advantage, and guide work with Indigenous communities for mutual success.

Businesses and professionals will learn the historical and current colonial context — including the Indian Act, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action and the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples — and how this impacts Indigenous communities and projects within their communities. Read More →