orange iconOperational Response Level: Restricted ›

News

Staff

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 →

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 →

Library and Academic Services Warm Up Week recognized by American Library Association

June 21, 2021

Red River College Library and Academic Services Warm Up Week is one of five projects to receive the 2021 American Library Association (ALA) Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects.

Warm Up Week was developed by RRC Library and Academic Services, in partnership with College stakeholders, to provide support and mental health services for RRC students. The event was conceived to address the many challenges the pandemic has posed to post-secondary institutions, including students’ experiences adapting to changes in course delivery, staying connected with their peers and instructors, and obtaining mental health and academic supports from home.

For 500 RRC students, the Winter 2021 semester was delayed by one week to hold the first-ever Warm Up Week, Jan. 4 to 8. The week-long event gave faculty time to pivot to online program delivery and provided students with a supportive online environment to develop co-curricular and academic skills, helping ensure their success heading into the winter semester.

“To address challenges the pandemic has added to students’ academic experience, the College continues to develop innovative solutions to support our students,” says Arnold Boldt, Executive Director, Academic. “Warm Up Week is an important initiative that addresses mental health concerns while also boosting students’ confidence and preparedness in their educational journeys.”

The event consisted of seminars, workshops, help desks and self-guided learning opportunities. Some of the Warm Up sessions included: Technology Skills for Online Success, Online Learning Strategies, and Intercultural Competence.

Partnerships with the School of Indigenous Education, Mental Health and Wellness, the Centre for International Education and Global Partnerships, Employment Services and the RRC Students’ Association provided access to additional supports such as Indigenous Elder drop-ins, resumé-writing workshops, mindfulness sessions, and more. Read More →

Graphic Design instructor named Teacher Award of Excellence recipient for 2021

June 17, 2021

Graphic Design instructor Darren StebeleskiEach year, the Red River College Students’ Association presents a Teacher Award of Excellence in recognition of an instructor’s outstanding teaching practices and dedication to students.

Typically, the RRCSA receives approximately 100 submissions for this award. This year, they received over 450 submissions from students whose instructors made a difference in their learning — in a year like no other.

The 2021 RRCSA Teacher Award of Excellence has been awarded to Darren Stebeleski, a Graphic Design instructor in Creative Arts, who has been with the College for 10 years this August.

After a successful career working in the graphic design industry, Stebeleski was drawn to teaching because he realized he enjoyed talking about and studying design even more than he liked practicing it. It was then that he pursued his master’s degree with the goal of teaching design.

When asked what inspires and excites him most about teaching, Stebeleski says he loves introducing students to the idea that design is everywhere around us.

“I love teaching my students the rules of graphic design in the first year, then watching them skillfully bend — and even break — these rules during the rest of their time at the College.”

“What inspires me personally is graphic design that is done in the service of people, versus commercial or corporate work. I am always interested in the work being done in the area of social justice, work that is helping to amplify the voices of people’s movements or that is demanding an end to an injustice.” Read More →

Students, staff partner with Solidarity Kitchens to provide meals for food banks across Canada

June 3, 2021

La Tablée des Chefs and its partners — among them, culinary students at Red River College — have announced the launch of the second phase of the Solidarity Kitchens initiative, which will produce over 500,000 meals for food banks across Canada, with production primarily located in Winnipeg, Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.

La Tablée des Chefs is a charity whose mission is to fight against food insecurity and educate young people to develop their food autonomy. Its Solidarity Kitchens initiative began at the start of the pandemic, when the organization was approached by suppliers, farmers, restaurants, hotels and large venue sites who wanted to donate food that would otherwise go to waste. La Tablée des Chefs worked with distributors to deliver the food to revived kitchens, where the food would then be cooked and frozen.

Solidarity Kitchens has already made a significant impact, providing meals to Quebec food banks and community organizations across the region, with 2 million meals cooked and delivered from April to December 2020. This year, the goal is to cook and deliver more than 2 million servings to community food distribution networks in Canada by 2021. The start of this national initiative has been made possible with support from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, which provided $1.3M in funding to launch Solidarity Kitchens.

“It’s been inspiring to see how Solidarity Kitchens has already helped so many vulnerable Canadians during the pandemic,” says Jean-François Archambault, CEO and founder of La Tablée des Chefs. “We want to sincerely thank all of our valued partners for their support in bringing this initiative to life and joining us in the fight against food insecurity.” 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

Canadian Animal Blood Bank celebrates 25 years; partnership with RRC thrives

May 25, 2021

From skilled trades to health sciences, Red River College’s Notre Dame Campus (NDC) is home to a wide variety of growing talents. What many might not know is that, in a quiet corner of the campus’s mall level, dogs have been giving blood and saving lives for a quarter century.

The Campus is home to the Canadian Animal Blood Bank (CABB), an organization launched in Winnipeg that’s become the national leader in collecting and distributing life-saving canine blood donations to veterinary clinics across the country. This year, CABB celebrates its 25th anniversary.

“We have a really swanky lab here, considering we basically started in a closet,” says Beth Knight, CABB laboratory director and RRC grad, with a laugh.

“It was a storage space and it’s phenomenal how we’ve grown. For that, Canadian Animal Blood Bank can never thank Red River College enough for what they’ve done for us, because they give us a roof over our head, a phone, computers, a parking lot, access to a space — the gift they’ve given can never be totally appreciated.”

CABB was started in 1996 as the brainchild of Dr. Ken Mould, a Winnipeg-based veterinarian who saw the need in Canada for canine blood banking, instead of requiring vets to travel to the U.S. border for dated, substandard product. Since the organization’s beginning, when they worked with just a few local veterinary clinics in Manitoba, they’ve expanded into several provinces.

“We’ve grown from one or two clinics to where we are now, with multiple sites across Canada that collect. We have Alberta, Ontario, Montreal — and we’ve recently started looking at expanding into the Atlantic provinces,” says Isabel Bright, current CABB board member and Dean of RRC’s School of Indigenous Education.

As the former Chair of Life Sciences (2011-2021), Bright has seen first-hand how the relationship between RRC and CABB has helped foster that growth, and goes a lot deeper than just brick and mortar. The clinic at NDC is a pragmatic learning opportunity for those in the College’s Veterinary Technician program.

“Students have an opportunity to volunteer and to learn about transfusion medicine from the experts at the blood bank,” says Bright. “There are also some conferences that we’ve shared together so students have an opportunity to learn and hear from experts in different parts of the country for the latest in blood banking and transfusion medicine.”

Read More →

Have laptop, will travel: New virtual projects turning RRC students into global citizens

May 3, 2021

The Government of Canada has chosen Red River College to take part in an innovative pilot project aimed at getting more students involved in international exchange opportunities, especially students facing barriers to working and studying abroad.

The Outbound Student Mobility Program, designed and administered by Colleges and Institutes Canada (CiCan), was launched last year to provide more Indigenous students, students with disabilities, and students facing financial need with opportunities to expand their perspectives and apply the global competencies they gain abroad to the careers they pursue back home.

At least, that was the plan.

Since then, the COVID-19 pandemic has added a new challenge to the mix: accomplish all of the above, but without the need to physically fly students across borders.

Raeanne Hebert, a Business Information Technology (BIT) instructor at RRC, was about to travel to Brazil to help develop an exchange program there when the pandemic struck, halting the program in its tracks. However, development funding from the Outbound Mobility project gave her the opportunity to pivot the geographic exchange into a virtual one.

That initiative is now well underway: for the past three months, students in RRC’s BIT program have been connecting online with computer engineering students from the Federal Institute of Ceará (IFCE) to develop solutions for local entrepreneurs, including IT for a drone that delivers pesticides, a fitness and nutrition app, and an energy metering device for a power monitoring dashboard. They’ve completed three projects together so far.

“Students from both countries connect in RRC’s virtual Project Space and program together online for about four hours a day,” says Hebert. “They’ve been learning a lot from one another.”

Hebert says international exchanges — virtual or physical — are critical to opening students’ eyes to other cultures and ways of life, to breaking down stereotypes, and to strengthening relationships and connections.

They’re also vital to fostering innovation.

“When it comes to the future of IT, innovation is 1,000 per cent important. Exchanges like these help our students learn how other countries do things. They teach us innovative solutions to the problems we all face.” 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 partners with province on solutions to COVID-related workforce challenges in education

January 8, 2021

The Manitoba government is taking action to bolster substitute teachers and educational assistants to sustain classroom education and supports through the 2020/21 school year, Education Minister Cliff Cullen announced today.

“As the pandemic continues and in-class learning continues we recognize the demand that this is placing on Manitoba’s classrooms,” said Cullen. “Manitoba Education, along with the Manitoba School Boards Association and school divisions, identified the need to address staffing shortages and reached out to Red River College to explore innovative ways to support in-class learning through the 2020/21 school year.”

The government will support two condensed training programs, created by the College in collaboration with the Manitoba Association of School Superintendents in response to the staffing needs identified by school divisions across the province. These programs are designed to provide consistent and quality training to the individuals hired by school divisions to address COVID-19 staffing challenges in Manitoba’s classrooms.

The Basic Classroom Skills for Limited Teaching Permit Holders program will provide short-term, basic training to prepare individuals hired on a temporary basis to successfully teach in a classroom environment. The Educational Assistant Essentials program will provide short-term, entry level training to new EAs who would then work under the direction of teaching staff.

“Our College community continues to draw on our unique experience and expertise — both with content development and highly skilled instruction in these areas — to create customized solutions to meet the urgent human resource challenges this pandemic presents across various sectors and industries,” said RRC President Fred Meier. “We will continue to leverage our skills and expertise to support critical and essential industries across Manitoba, and we are proud to work with our partners in the K-12 system to create solutions to address educational continuity and the pressing staffing needs identified by the Task Force as we navigate the home stretch of this unprecedented school year.”

Both programs draw on existing training provided by the College and will be offered online, both full-time and part time, in French and English, and will be accessible to individuals across Manitoba. Each program will be approximately 30 hours in duration.

School divisions will continue to hire interested, qualified individuals through their standard processes, and will refer candidates to Red River College for training. Intakes will begin January 18, 2021. School division job postings are available on the Manitoba School Boards Association’s website.

“We understand a key part of maintaining in-class learning during the COVID-19 pandemic requires that members of the school community remain home when sick,” said Cullen. “These programs are part of a $44-million commitment to assist, alongside hiring more teachers and staff and ensuring a safe and healthy learning environment for all students, teachers and staff.”