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Indigenous Education

College appoints new Truth and Reconciliation Manager to lead in commitments to Indigenous Education Blueprint

February 7, 2019

Carla Kematch, Red River CollegeAs part of its commitment to advancing Indigenous achievement while strengthening ties between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, Red River College has appointed its first Manager of Truth and Reconciliation and Community Engagement.

Carla Kematch will lead the College in its commitment to Manitoba’s Indigenous Education Blueprint, a pledge to advance Indigenous education in the province — and to make Manitoba a centre of excellence for Indigenous education, research, languages and culture.

As one of nine post-secondary signatories to the Blueprint — which takes action on recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada — the College recognizes it has an important, proactive role to play in supporting reconciliation efforts in the province.

“A key priority for the College is to strengthen our partnerships and continue to advance Indigenous achievement in our communities, and education is the key to improving the lives of Indigenous people and to improving Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations across Canada,” says Rebecca Chartrand, RRC’s Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy.

“Our role as a college is to ensure we create the programs, supports and opportunities that allow Indigenous people to demonstrate their leadership and innovation in all facets of our society. We are looking forward to the skills, experience and perspective that Carla will bring to the team as we address Truth and Reconciliation throughout the College.”

Kematch arrives at RRC with 30 years’ experience working within Indigenous communities in a variety of capacities, including the development of training programs for staffs, community clients, board members and other partners, in areas such as policy development, needs assessment, implementation plans, and evaluation and delivery of group training. Read More →

RRC to welcome Bear Clan Patrol founder for presentation on personal safety

November 21, 2018

James Favel, founder and executive director of Bear Clan Patrol Inc., will host a presentation on personal-safety best practices this Fri., Nov. 23, at Red River College’s Exchange District Campus.

The presentation will also explore the role and function of the Bear Clan Patrol, and how students and staff can get involved in their communities. It’ll be hosted by RRC’s Indigenous Education department, and will provide a safe, inclusive environment in which attendees can learn from Favel’s growing — and widely celebrated — volunteer-based organization.

The College is committed to the safety of all its staff and students; engaging community experts like Favel is just one of the ways RRC is working to enhance and maintain personal safety.

The initiative also falls under one of the College’s strategic goals: to strengthen partnerships with Indigenous communities and advance Indigenous achievement.

Operating out the Ndinawe Youth Resource Centre in the city’s North End, the Bear Clan Patrol is comprised of volunteers who work with the community to increase security in the inner city in a non-threatening, non-violent and supportive manner. The Patrol is a community-based solution to crime prevention, one that provides a sense of safety, solidarity and belonging to both its members and the communities they serve.

Favel’s presentation takes place at noon in Room P107 at the Roblin Centre.

Photo credit: Nardella Photography

College to launch first post-secondary course on cannabis in Manitoba

October 15, 2018

Red River College is rolling out a new Cannabis 101 course — the first of its kind to be offered by a post-secondary institution in Manitoba, and one of few available across the prairies.

The new course will be officially announced at this week’s Cannabis Legalization conference, taking place Fri., Oct. 19, at the Roblin Centre, where industry experts, medical professionals, regulators, educators and investors will gather for a series of keynote sessions and discussion panels.

The conference will focus on the province’s budding cannabis industry, growing partnership opportunities with First Nations and the Métis Nation, and ways Red River College can assist with formal education and applied research.

“The federal and provincial governments have encouraged Indigenous partnerships and participation within this industry,” says Rebecca Chartrand, RRC’s Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy. “We were approached by our community leaders to establish safe and regulated educational programming that supports entrepreneurship and growth in the cannabis and hemp industries.”

The conference will take place just days after the legalization of recreational cannabis in Manitoba, while the new course is slated to launch on Nov. 6. Both have been in development for months through a working group established between RRC’s School of Indigenous Education, Indigenous community leaders, and the province’s Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority.

The introductory course will explore the business behind cannabis — looking at everything from safety and regulations, to public policy and education, to the training and skills required to pursue a career in the industry.

It’ll focus on five key modules: legislation, regulations, licensing and bylaws; the anatomy and physiology of cannabis plants; cannabis production; the distribution and sale of cannabis; and responsible use of cannabis.

Summer internship opens doors for RRC grad

September 13, 2018

School may have been out for summer, but the learning certainly didn’t stop for Theressa Genaille.

After graduating with honours last spring from Red River College’s Aboriginal Program for College Enrichment and Transition — a program recently relaunched as the College Transition program — Genaille was selected for an eight-week paid internship at the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce (ACC).

In that time, she was able to take the knowledge and skills she gained in the classroom and put them to work supporting the daily operations of the ACC.

“As the first person in my family to pursue post-secondary education, it was really important for me to enter into a learning environment like Red River College,” says Genaille, “where instructors and advisors took the time to understand my individual needs and provide the supports I needed to achieve my academic goals and thrive in my studies.”

In addition to her achievements in the Transition program — created to help students enhance their core competency skills in areas such as reading, writing, math, science and technology — Genaille’s education and volunteer experience made her the ideal candidate for the ACC Internship, funded by the Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development.

“Theressa’s name was put forward with glowing recommendations from her instructors due to her volunteer experience, positive attitude and great work ethic — and from the moment she joined our team, we could certainly see why,” says Darrell Brown, Chair of ACC’s Board of Directors, and a proud RRC grad himself.

“We were so fortunate to work with Theressa and have her support to move important initiatives forward. In turn, we were able to provide a supportive learning environment for her to experience the daily operations of the ACC, gain a deeper understanding of the business community as a whole, and apply the valuable skills she learned as a student.” Read More →

Elder Mae Louise Campbell honoured with Folk Festival’s Glass Banjo Award

July 11, 2018

A well-respected member of Manitoba’s Indigenous community — and a longtime support to Red River College students — was honoured this weekend by the Winnipeg Folk Festival.

On Saturday evening in Birds Hill Park, Elder Mae Louise Campbell took to the Folk Fest main stage to accept the Glass Banjo Award, which recognizes those who’ve made extraordinary contributions to the festival, now in its 45th year.

An Ojibwe-Metis Elder who’s served as one of RRC’s Elders in Residence for the last 13 years, Campbell is known for helping people incorporate ancestral Indigenous knowledge into various aspects of their lives, and for the warm and generous spirit she employs while offering help, healing and growth.

She was one of the first Indigenous artisans in the Folk Fest’s Handmade Village, and helped build early connections between the festival and other Indigenous artists. Each year, she greets artists and audiences alike at the festival’s welcoming ceremony and opening blessing — and says one of her most memorable Folk Fest moments was when seven eagles flew overheard while she was performing those duties in 2016.

In recent years, Campbell has served on the City of Winnipeg’s Mayor’s Indigenous Advisory Circle, and received a 2016 Indspire Award for her contributions to Culture, Heritage and Spirituality.

(Photo courtesy of the Winnipeg Folk Festival.)

New bursaries announced to support Indigenous students

May 31, 2018

Today, as part of its first Indigenous Education Open House, Red River College has announced it will provide financial support for up to 85 students enrolled in one of five new academic programs being launched this fall.

Offered in partnership with Indspire, a leading national Indigenous charity, RRC’s new School of Indigenous Education Award will cover the full cost of tuition, books and supplies for students enrolled in one of the following new academic programs:

“Red River College is working to create a seamless flow of wrap-around supports for aspiring Indigenous students, to help increase enrolment and graduation rates across the College,” says Rebecca Chartrand, RRC’s Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy. “These bursaries will help remove the existing financial barriers that many of our learners face.

“We are proud to partner with Indspire, (a group that) recognizes the important work we are doing as a College and has made an investment in a bright future for Indigenous students in our community.”

Supporting Indigenous student success is one of the key pillars of RRC’s five-year strategic plan. Through this initiative, the College will continue increasing access to post-secondary education for Indigenous learners in Manitoba.

“This partnership is another step in the direction of transforming education for our youth so they can in turn transform their families, communities and Canada,” says Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire. “We are grateful for the support of Red River College and for the work they are doing to advance Indigenous achievement and education.”

Indigenous students who’d like to learn more about available programs and supports are invited to attend the Indigenous Education Open House, which runs from 1–7pm today (May 31), at the Notre Dame Campus.

Indigenous learners honoured at annual graduation pow wow

May 3, 2018

Graduation Pow Wow, 2017Staff and students at Red River College will be joined by hundreds of community members, distinguished guests, dancers and drummers tomorrow, at the annual Graduation Pow Wow celebrating the success of our Indigenous learners.

Hosted by RRC’s School of Indigenous Education, this year’s event honours more than 60 graduates from a range of College programs. It gets underway at 10am with a pipe ceremony in Room F20 (Notre Dame Campus), followed by the grand entry in the North Gym at noon, the ceremony honouring grads at 1pm, and a traditional feast at 5pm.

In addition to celebrating student success, the pow wow festivities reflect the College’s continued commitment to making education more accessible for Indigenous learners.

The College aspires to deliver excellence in Indigenous achievement through partnerships and networks, and by incorporating Indigenous knowledge, philosophies, perspectives and content into innovative and relevant programming.

“Supporting Indigenous student success by enhancing the College environment is our number one priority at Red River College, and as we continue to develop and provide more relevant programming for our Indigenous students, this annual event will continue to grow and expand,” says Rebecca Chartrand, RRC’s Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy.

“We look forward to continuing a lifelong relationship with each of our students and graduates.

College announces new programs, positions to advance Indigenous education in Manitoba

April 26, 2018

RRC Indigenous EducationRed River College has announced new and enhanced programs — and more supports for Indigenous learners than ever before — as part of its strategic plan to grow its student population and chart a bold, new path forward for Indigenous Education.

“Red River College is proud to be a key signatory to the Manitoba Collaborative Indigenous Education Blueprint, and we are fully committed to providing the student-centred and culturally relevant supports necessary to help aspiring students successfully transition from community to classroom to career,” says Rebecca Chartrand, RRC’s Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy.

“Over the last year, we have been working to create better access to programs, new training opportunities, and more pathways to post-secondary education for our Indigenous learners. We have taken important steps forward as a College community to grow and provide our students with the wrap-around supports and services they need to succeed.”

This fall, the College will launch five new programs for Indigenous learners:

  • ACCESS Health Pathway Program
  • ACCESS Engineering Pathway Program
  • Social Enterprise Diploma Program
  • Indigenous Languages Certificate Program
  • Indigenous Culinary Skills Certificate Program

ACCESS programs provide learners with preparatory, exploratory and transitional experience, while the remaining three programs aim to grow Indigenous representation within their respective sectors. The culinary program, for example, will provide courses aimed at developing fundamental culinary and business skills, and will include a cultural component and land-based curriculum. The social enterprise program will focus on the principles of economic reconciliation and how it relates to the Canadian social economy. It will help students address and solve challenges in urban or rural communities. Read More →

RRC hosts ‘Indspire’ students from across Canada

March 23, 2018

Indspire/Soaring conference, 2018More than 200 Indigenous high school students from across the country will visit Red River College today to tour classrooms, meet instructors and explore the many career opportunities and supports available to them, as part of this year’s Soaring: Indigenous Youth Empowerment Gathering.

“Engaging more Indigenous students and providing more pathways to post-secondary education and training is a key priority,” says Rebecca Chartrand, RRC’s Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy.

“The College is charting a new path forward focused on elevating Indigenous student success, and we are creating new and enhanced programs and supports in order to recruit and retain more Indigenous students, and ensure they have the tools and wraparound supports they need in succeed and thrive.”

While at RRC (the Host College Sponsor for this year’s event), students will explore 11 program areas currently offered or in development, including Indigenous Social Enterprise, Construction Trades, Allied Health Sciences, and Civil Engineering Technology.

“We are excited to welcome high school students from coast-to-coast to our province and our school, and provide an opportunity for them to visit our campus, meet our industry-leading instructors, and interact with the many rewarding career paths and supports available to them,” says Chartrand.

Organized by Indspire, a national charity that invests in Indigenous education, the Soaring gathering provides First Nation, Inuit and Métis students with opportunities to learn about career and post-secondary education options. Gatherings are held across Canada, giving students the chance to take part in motivational career workshops, learn about financial supports, and meet some of Canada’s top employers.

College launches new Indigenous language courses

November 27, 2017

Indigenous Education, Red River CollegeToday, Red River College opened registration for two new Anishinaabemowin language and culture courses, created to support Indigenous language revitalization in Manitoba schools.

“As a College, we are taking the lead to provide more opportunities for educators to gain a deeper understanding of Indigenous language and identity, and to continue to strengthen partnerships with Indigenous learners in our community,” says Rebecca Chartrand, RRC’s Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy.

The new courses are the first of their kind to be offered by RRC, and will be delivered through a partnership between its Schools of Indigenous Education and Continuing Education.

As a key signatory to the Manitoba Collaborative Indigenous Education Blueprint, RRC has responded to an identified need to fill the gap in opportunities for educators to learn to speak, read and write in traditional Anishinaabemowin languages. In doing so, the College will also help support and enhance Indigenous academic success.

“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has called for action to protect the right to Indigenous languages, including the teaching of Aboriginal languages as credit courses,” says Chartrand. “As a learning institution, it is critical for RRC to incorporate Indigenous knowledge, perspective and content to create innovative and relevant programming in order to achieve this.”

Curriculum was developed by a working group comprised of representatives from RRC and the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre, as well as the Winnipeg, Seven Oaks, and Louis Riel School Divisions. The group’s priority was to ensure RRC could create programming that provides students with a deeper knowledge and understanding of Indigenous culture and language history. Read More →