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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 →

Going electric in the sub-Arctic: RRC and Frontiers North unveil EV Tundra Buggy

August 24, 2021

Today, Frontiers North Adventures and Red River College unveiled a new zero-emission vehicle technology initiative. The Electric Vehicle Tundra Buggy® is a collaborative, proof-of-concept project that oversaw the conversion of a Tundra Buggy in Frontiers North’s touring fleet from diesel-powered to battery electric.

The EV Tundra Buggy was made possible through the province’s new Conservation and Climate Fund, and the Vehicle Technology Centre (VTCI) — a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Manitoba’s heavy vehicle manufacturing sector — and through in-kind support and technical services from RRC’s Vehicle Technology & Energy Centre (VTEC).

“The Manitoba government is committed to supporting environmental projects like the EV Tundra Buggy that beautifully blends our commitment to environmental sustainability, green energy and the entrepreneurial spirit of our province,” says Conservation and Climate Minister Sarah Guillemard.

“We remain committed to making Manitoba the cleanest, greenest, most climate-resilient province in the country, and projects like this can help make that happen.”

The project’s goal of reducing environmental impact and protecting Manitoba’s sub-Arctic landscape will help to create a culture of sustainable tourism in Churchill, one of the province’s top year-round destinations.

“Our company’s purpose is all about stewardship, and positively contributing to our communities and environments,” says John Gunter, President and CEO of Frontiers North.

“By starting the conversion of our fleet with this first EV Tundra Buggy, Frontiers North is taking meaningful steps towards reducing our GHG emissions and creating new clean tech jobs. We are also excited to provide our touring guests a silent EV Tundra Buggy experience amongst wild polar bears and beneath the northern lights. For their support of this project we thank Manitoba, Vehicle Technology Centre Inc. and Red River College.”

The EV Tundra Buggy project builds upon research, testing and demonstration VTEC has undertaken for the shift of transit buses to electric. The battery used in the buggy is repurposed from an e-bus. By tapping into VTEC’s in-house technical expertise and using a repurposed e-bus battery, Frontiers North was able to confirm their vision of shifting from diesel to electric was feasible. Read More →

RRC partners with Winnipeg and Indigenous Chambers of Commerce to provide free reconciliation training for businesses

August 3, 2021

In honour of the 150th anniversary of Treaty 1, Red River College, the Indigenous Chamber of Commerce and the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce have come together to make truth and reconciliation training more accessible for business owners by offering one free month of the 4 Seasons of Reconciliation Education e-modular training program to Chamber members.

This initiative is focused on helping businesses learn their role in Call to Action #92 from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and will create a foundation of knowledge for businesses and their teams to build on. The 4 Seasons program has been offered to RRC staff and faculty for nearly a year, and is part of the College’s truth and reconciliation training, which is complemented by engagement and events.

“Red River College has long worked with industry to anticipate the training needed next to advance our province,” says RRC President Fred Meier. “As a leader in preparing Manitoba’s workforce and as a partner to the business community, we are committed to building and offering learning opportunities that will advance reconciliation and respectful working relationships in our communities, and we will have more to offer in the coming year.

“We are proud to play a part and contribute to educating our community on the history and truths of the past and present, and the landscape of reconciliation in Treaty 1, but we also acknowledge that reconciliation will not look like one action or initiative. It will be a fluid, ongoing process that will need to adapt as we learn, and it will take time to heal relationships and make the necessary changes.”

The initiative will start with a panel discussion, Reconciliation in Action: Understanding Call to Action 92, on Tue., Aug. 31, so members have an opportunity to learn more about the program and the responsibility of businesses in truth and reconciliation before gaining access to 4 Seasons in September.

Chamber members and RRC staff will also be invited to attend two debriefing sessions on Tue., Sept. 14 and 28, to discuss the training content, learning experiences and next steps in a safe, supportive environment. Read More →

RRC president, board chair release statement on Kamloops Indian Residential School

May 31, 2021

Statement from Fred Meier, President and CEO, Red River College, and Loren Cisyk, Chair, Red River College Board of Governors:

Last week we learned the remains of 215 children were discovered in a mass grave on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School at Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation in British Columbia.

The discovery of the remains of these innocent children is horrifying, heartbreaking and harrowing. It is a solemn reminder of the pain and suffering caused by the dark truths of Canada’s Residential School system — a history that is not so distant and continues to impact Indigenous peoples, causing generational trauma across our country.

In an act of remembrance to honour the lives lost, Red River College has lowered the flags at all of our campuses for nine days, and beginning Tuesday, with the guidance of our Elders, we will light a sacred fire at our Notre Dame Campus that will burn from Tuesday to Friday.

We must continue to acknowledge and discuss the legacy of the Canadian Residential School system, and to honour the victims. As the Red River College community collectively honours and mourns these innocent lives lost, we will continue our work to strive towards reconciliation, as we face these painful truths and strengthen our commitment to the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

This news can elicit strong and extremely painful emotions for many. We must allow space for grief and pay attention to our mental health. Staff and students can visit rrc.ca/wellness to access supports.

Those seeking support can contact the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line: 1.866.925.4419, or the 24-hour Crisis Line: 1.866.925.4419.

Fred Meier, President and CEO, Red River College

Loren Cisyk, Chair, Board of Governors, Red River College

Innovation Centre to feature new-to-North America sustainable solar energy technology

April 22, 2021

Red River College is leading the way in the use of solar energy-conducting technology, providing opportunities for students and local construction firms to grow their skillsets.

Next week, electrical and building envelope crews will begin the installation of approximately 400 Kromatix Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPVs) — the first of their kind in North America — along the exterior façade of the Innovation Centre, currently under construction in Winnipeg’s Exchange District.

“We’re proud to be the first institution in North America to welcome this sustainable technology — it’s only fitting that it’s installed on a building designed to cultivate and foster innovative ideas,” says RRC President Fred Meier.

“This is just one example of how RRC puts its values of sustainability into action, and demonstrates to our students there is always a better way of doing things, so long as you are open to new ideas and have the courage to ask, ‘How can we make this work?’”

Diagram illustrating Kromatix technologyDeveloped by SwissINSO, Kromatix is an opaque glass — colour-treated without the use of paint or tint — that is layered over the solar, thermal and electrical components of each panel. The technology results in aesthetically impactful panels that are optimized for solar energy generation.

When combined with the building’s 138 rooftop panels, the glass will allow the College to offset energy consumption by about 193Mwh/year, enough to power 18.5 average-sized homes for the same amount of time.

Diamond Schmitt Architects and Number TEN Architectural Group, who worked in tandem to design the new building, sourced the innovative product from Denmark. Using a procurement method called design-assist, subcontractors were brought into the project before the design was complete to ensure the vision was functional and achievable.

“It was really important for us to work with local tradespeople for the installation of the panels,” says Frank Koreman, Project Manager at Akman Construction Ltd.

“Working with local trades to learn and install the panels means we have the technology here in Winnipeg, and it can be passed along and shared for future projects. The teams working on this project are loaded with RRC grads, so it comes full-circle to have been taught in school and then bring back new technology for an RRC project.” Read More →

Going for green: RRC’s values and actions lead the way in sustainability

April 19, 2021

Red River College is committed to embracing innovation, taking risks and challenging the status quo in the name of sustainability.

As Earth Day approaches, these values ring true as the College plans to open the doors to its newest learning space — the Innovation Centre — later this year.

Located in the heart of Winnipeg’s Exchange District, the Centre is on track to be RRC’s fourth LEED-certified structure, with a goal of 100 EUI (energy use intensity) and a near net zero building.

“We’re a leader in sustainability and that’s because sustainable values are embedded in all we do,” says RRC President Fred Meier. “These values guide us as we develop environmentally friendly programs and design state-of-the-art buildings, such as the Innovation Centre.”

Part of the Centre’s design includes Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) that will be installed along the exterior. Designed by SwissINSO (based in Switzerland), the coloured panels — called Kromatix — absorb and conduct energy while also protecting the building from the elements. This installation will be the first of its kind in Canada, and will reduce energy consumption by an estimated 15 per cent.

Thanks to energy efficient technologies — including Power Over Ethernet (POE) lighting, Smart LSI Breakers, WIFI outlets and BIPVs — the renewable energy produced will also power the building.

“Staying true to our values continues to make RRC a champion of sustainability in our province and across Canada,” says Meier.

That leadership has been formally recognized for more than a decade now, as RRC also celebrates being named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers this week. Read More →

New Healthy Minds Healthy College Strategy released; learn more at online forum on April 9

March 31, 2021

Red River College is pleased to share that its new Healthy Minds Healthy (HMHC) College Strategy: A Roadmap for Action 2021-2025 has been approved and endorsed by Senior Leadership and the HMHC Steering Committee — who serve as a catalyst for moving this important work forward — and will carry the College forward for the next five years.

Many staff and students across the College have had opportunities to participate in wellness events and initiatives organized by HMHC — from therapy dogs to paint nights to presentations by guest speakers such as Jordin Tootoo (shown above). If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that supporting healthy minds and creating a healthy College community is so much more than the fun and visible events we enjoy on campus.

“The goal of Healthy Minds Healthy College is to promote an environment of support that provides a sense of well-being, belonging, connectedness and positive mental health for all students, faculty and staff,” says RRC President Fred Meier.

“We know that personal well-being supports academic and career success, and our personal well-being is often affected by the conditions in which we learn and work. Our HMHC Strategy: Roadmap for Action recognizes the strengths that are currently in place at RRC, while providing a path forward to guide the work that remains.”

While this work was underway prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, recent events have created new and different stressors, bringing mental health to the forefront of many people’s minds. Further, there is a risk of an “echo pandemic” of poor mental health, caused by widespread social and economic disruption.

The HMHC Strategy acknowledges the need to take a community-wide, systemic approach to promoting well-being. We have built in strategies to promote mental health and well-being amongst all community members, identified additional strategies to support those with concerns about coping, and outlined priorities to support individuals experiencing mental illness or crisis.

“Our HMHC Strategy focuses not only on building individual coping skills and encouraging help-seeking behaviour, but takes a systemic approach, aiming to create interpersonal and organizational conditions that foster positive mental health,” says Breanna Sawatzky, Mental Health Coordinator at RRC.

“The current strengths and future priorities highlighted in the Roadmap for Action do not belong to one College department or division, as we recognize that becoming a health-promoting institution requires organization-wide collaboration. Students, staff and faculty members all contributed to the creation of this Roadmap, including the selection of priorities.”

To learn more about the HMHC Strategy: Roadmap for Action and RRC’s immediate priorities, please join Sawatzky for: State of Mind: A Community Exchange on Friday, April 9, from 1–2 p.m. This interactive forum will include a short presentation highlighting key aspects of the strategy, followed by discussion.

College announces new programs and spaces to attract, grow and retain talent in Manitoba

March 24, 2021

Red River College is calling all videographers ready to roll camera on a career in digital film and media production, all developers and analysts looking to crack new codes in data science and machine learning, and all gamers ready to “level up” by turning their online passion into a job in game development and design — just a few of the new programs slated to launch this fall, many of them at the state-of-the-art Innovation Centre downtown.

The roster of new programs includes:

“Red River College’s programs are uniquely designed in collaboration with employers to ensure our learners are prepared to be adaptive and creative — and to become leaders in their industries — at a time when these critical skills are more important than ever,” says RRC President Fred Meier. “The launch of new programs is about anticipating the needs of our workforce and designing programs that align with the labour market needs, so that we can continue to grow and retain talent right here in Manitoba.”

With the opening of the Innovation Centre and expansion of its Exchange District Campus, RRC is poised to introduce the most new programs ever launched at once.

All of the programs will expand the College’s capacity for putting students and industry partners to work on real-world projects geared towards solving problems — and creating opportunities — in important, emerging sectors of our economy.

“Innovation will be critical to our city’s future growth and business leaders have consistently told us they need access to a strong pipeline of talent to grow their companies,” says Dayna Spiring, President and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg.

“RRC is developing the right kind of programs, innovative spaces and training that companies want and need. This is very important when we’re trying to sell Winnipeg to the world and attract new business and talent to our city. It also provides an incentive for local companies to expand, because they know they will have access to highly skilled workers when they need them.”

Once opened, the Innovation Centre will also house a number of RRC’s signature programs in such areas as Indigenous education, applied commerce and management, and creative arts, and will be the new home of its Language Training Centre and Applied Computer Education (ACE) Project Space.

“Red River College continues to be a key pillar in developing talent for Manitoba’s interactive digital media industry. We are thrilled that they are putting a strong emphasis on video game development with their newly designed programs, and it’s even more exciting that they will be delivered from this new state-of-the-art space,” says Louie Ghiz, Executive Director at New Media Manitoba.

“Our local game development sector is constantly evolving and has the potential for explosive growth with the addition of these new programs that will help train even more people. Together we can grow and thrive in alignment with the booming global video game development industry.” Read More →

Manitoba Metis Federation increases support for Métis students at RRC

March 10, 2021

Red River College has been able to support more Métis students in need, thanks to an additional donation by the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) and the Louis Riel Institute (LRI).

The Louis Riel Bursaries are available to any full- or part-time RRC students requiring financial assistance who hold citizenship (or are eligible for citizenship) with the Métis Nation. Since 2014, the bursaries have helped 174 Métis students achieve academic success.

The MMF’s donation has been matched by the Manitoba Scholarship and Bursary Initiative (MSBI), making more than $400,000 available and enabling the College to support more than 80 students who have applied for this year’s bursary

“This generous donation comes at a pivotal time for many students,” says RRC President Fred Meier. “The immediate assistance makes a direct impact on the lives of students who are working hard towards completing their education, but may be struggling due to COVID-19 or other factors. A bursary can be a critical support and the motivation a student needs to keep going and focus on training for their future career.”

Meara Grant, a fourth-year student in RRC’s Bachelor of Nursing program, received the bursary this year and said it was a huge relief.

“I have been struggling to pay my bills and manage good grades throughout school, especially with times like these,” she says. “This support has taken a tremendous amount of stress off of my shoulders. It has allowed me to focus more time on my clinical placement, and pursue my dreams as a nurse.”

Grant will be completing her senior practicum in the Selkirk Regional Health Centre’s emergency department next month. After graduation, she plans to work as a nurse for a few years before returning to school to obtain her Masters of Nursing and become a Nurse Practitioner.

“Education is so important for our Nation’s growth and prosperity,” says MMF President David Chartrand. “The Métis government in Manitoba has worked hard to get to a place where we can provide our youth with the necessary funding for their education, so they have the chance to find meaningful work and achieve greater financial security.”

Since establishing the bursaries, the MMF and LRI have provided $800,000 to Métis students at RRC as part of the mission to advance education and training for Metis people in Manitoba, and to foster an understanding and appreciation of the culture, heritage and history of the province and its Métis people. Read More →

College honours Manitoba icon and celebrated community hero: Gabriel Langlois to receive honorary diploma

February 19, 2021

For the last 35 years, Gabriel Langlois has undeniably been one of the most well-known and beloved Manitobans at any sporting or special event across our province.

And while it’s often his presence and enthusiasm for Winnipeg that captures attention, it’s his integrity, devotion to volunteering, community spirit and uplifting positive attitude that captures hearts. These qualities have moved Red River College to award Langlois the Honorary Diploma in Community Development at this year’s 2021 Virtual Winter Convocation ceremony.

“Red River College awards an Honorary Diploma to an individual who demonstrates high standards of excellence in their personal and professional achievements, and whose involvement in the community is widely recognized,” says RRC President Fred Meier.

“Gabriel Langlois has made significant contributions to our community and is celebrated by many for his tireless engagement efforts and friendly demeanour. When Red River College received his nomination, it included letters of support from leaders across Manitoba, which reinforced his devotion to volunteerism and the positive impact that he continues to have on our communities. While ‘Dancing Gabe’ may be Manitoba’s number one fan, there is certainly an entire community of us who are fans of the contributions he makes to our province every day.”

The list of Langlois’ awards, accolades and achievements is long, and includes the Premier’s Volunteer Award, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the City of Winnipeg Community Service Award.

This past September, his volunteer accomplishments culminated in his being awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, which recognizes the remarkable achievements of Canadians from across the country in a wide range of fields. He has also demonstrated his integrity and trustworthiness over the past 35 years as a volunteer and part-time employee of the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg.

“Gabriel Langlois is a Manitoba icon, devoted volunteer and inspiring community hero. He reflects the very best of our community — and the best of Red River College, with our commitment to learning, respect, inclusiveness, integrity and community values,” says Dr. Christine Watson, RRC’s Vice-President, Academic. Read More →