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NGen Supercluster Partners with Martin Family Initiative in Support of Indigenous Education and Workforce Development

Source: Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen)

Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), the industry-led not-for-profit organization leading Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, has announced a new collaboration with the Martin Family Initiative (MFI). The partnership will develop new resources and support services to complement an existing suite of Indigenous education and entrepreneurship programming administered by MFI.

NGen’s partnership with MFI is built on a shared vision for equity of opportunity for Indigenous Peoples across Canada. It leverages the scope and the reach of MFI’s Indigenous education programs, including early childhood education, literacy, entrepreneurship and mentoring, which are currently offered in 100 locations across 9 provinces and 2 territories and which have impacted over 8,000 students since 2008. NGen will work with the MFI to raise awareness about Canada’s manufacturing sector and provide guidance with respect to future career opportunities for Indigenous students.

“MFI is very proud to partner with NGen as it will create a variety of strategies for Indigenous students to learn about manufacturing and business”, Said The Right Honourable Paul Martin. “Manufacturing is a cornerstone of our modern economy. The sector relies on a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce that includes designers, researchers, programmers, engineers, technicians and tradespeople. MFI believes that this partnership provides a tremendous opportunity for Indigenous People to contribute to the Canadian economy.”

Struggles and Success …. The Impact of COVID-19 on an Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program

Source: Dr. Carlana Lindeman, Martin Family Initiative

A year ago, I posted an article on “Giving Matters” about the Martin Family Initiative’s (MFI) ground-breaking project: the Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program (AYEP). At that time, AYEP was offered in 51 schools across Canada and there were plans to expand to additional locations.

The 2019-20 school year started off very well. AYEP teachers were very impressed with their students’ progress; many reported evidence of students’ increasing knowledge of the economy and business, improved motivation to complete current studies and pursue further ones, increased self-confidence, and heightened awareness of the needs of their communities.

All this changed on March 11, 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic was declared…

Community Profile: Building Confidence in students with Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program

Source: Jessica McIntosh. Fort McMurray Today, October 9, 2019

Summary: Michael Hull has been a teacher at Father Mercredi High School for the past decade. While he has taught many subjects, his main courses are the soccer academy and the Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program.

The Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program is an initiative of former Prime Minister Paul Martin. Hull has been leading it at Father Mercredi since the 2012-2013 school year… Any Indigenous student can apply and enroll in it.

Martin Family Initiative Courses Help Indigenous Youth Catch the Entrepreneurship Bug

Source: Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Susanna Cluff-Clyburne – 03/10/2019
Canada cannot compete globally and protect the social safety nets we hold dear unless all people have the same opportunities to participate in and benefit from our economy. That includes ensuring opportunities are available to our Indigenous peoples, Canada’s youngest and fastest growing demographic.

This is why the Canadian Chamber strongly supports the Martin Family Initiative’s Indigenous entrepreneurship education programs. The Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program (AYEP) offers courses for Indigenous high school students. The Indigenous Entrepreneurship Course (IEC) will be offered for the first time this fall at six colleges in British Columbia, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as Saskatchewan to Indigenous youth and adults who have left the formal education system but want to explore the opportunities of starting their own businesses.

Click here to learn more about the Martin Family Initiative’s programs.

CMEC Symposium on Indigenizing Teacher Education Summary Report

The CMEC Symposium on Indigenizing Teacher Education took place in July 2018 at the University of British Columbia, which is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. The symposium gathered participants from across Canada, along with Elders and students, to share their perspectives on the Indigenization of teacher education programs (TEP) and how to help teachers Indigenize their K–12 classrooms. Overall, the aim of the event was to identify and highlight the importance of, and ways to create, learning environments that reflect and respect Indigenous ways of knowing and being, by:

  • exploring innovative work in teaching language, culture, and identity;
  • examining Indigenous holistic perspectives on student well-being, including mental health and wellness;
  • incorporating Indigenous ways of knowing into the curriculum; and
  • creating productive partnerships.

Additional information on the recommendations and key findings of the event are available in the CMEC Symposium on Indigenizing Teacher Education Summary Report.

Green House Project hopes to educate students and offer a healthier diet

National News | June 25, 2019 by Priscilla Wolf APTN

Former prime minister Paul Martin was on hand to launch a new project in Ile a la Crosse, Sask. called the Green House Project.

The project is part of the Martin Family Initiative that has been working with schools across Canada for almost a decade.

Martins says he sees Indigenous youth as an investment for Canada.

“The Green House Project hopes to address many issue related to food, food security, and horticulture that disproportionately affects Indigenous Peoples and their communities,” Martin said. “The Greenhouse Project is a school – based program that introduces students to horticulture through hands on lessons and practices.

“It seeks to complement a number of existing course areas for high school students including entrepreneurship, science, math, and nutrition.”

The goal is to get the high school students skilled at growing their own food and sharing it with the community and area by using their entrepreneurial skills by building a business.

“We all understand that food in the north is expensive and that often times whether its fresh vegetables or fresh fruit  those things are not available as a result we have said one of the things we got to do in an entrepreneurial way  is to build greenhouses,” said Martin.

Green houses that can use solar energy and can be spread throughout the north that will create food security.”

Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program (AYEP): A Canada-wide Program to Improve Student Achievement

Source: Giving Matters Johnson Scholarship Foundation. Dr. Carlana Lindeman, Author

There is a deep understanding across Canada of the need to enhance strategies to improve Aboriginal student success. There are approximately 1.7 million Aboriginal People in Canada, and one third are under the age of 15 — making them the youngest and fastest growing demographic in the country.

A real concern for Canada is the low Aboriginal high school graduation rate; the non-Aboriginal high school graduation rate is about 92 percent while the Aboriginal rate remains at about 50 percent. The Martin Family Initiative (MFI), a charitable foundation, was established in 2008 to help address these issues.

A decade ago, MFI ( launched the Grade 11 and 12 Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program (AYEP) to encourage Aboriginal students to stay in school, to learn about the Canadian economy and to acquire entrepreneurial knowledge and experience.

AYEP is currently offered in 51 schools across Canada; approximately 4,600 students have participated in AYEP since its inception. The 220-hour curriculum:

  • Contains Aboriginal content, including case studies and examples of successful Canadian Aboriginal business leaders.
  • Uses innovative hands-on activities, guest speakers and business mentors to help students learn how to create a product-based and/or service-driven business and about the services provided by banks and credit unions.  
  • Improves students’ proficiency in financial literacy, business, mathematics, English, accounting, marketing and information and communications technology, while supporting the acquisition of self-confidence, as well as communication and leadership skills.  
  • Employs a variety of teaching strategies including simulations, competitions, guest speakers, field trips to businesses and mentoring.

MFI determined that there was a need for Aboriginal-focused textbooks and led the development of AYEP’s instructor and student resource materials. These teaching materials are the first of their kind in Canada.

A 60-hour non-credit course for Aboriginal adults has recently been developed; it includes key elements of the Grade 11 and the Grade 12 AYEP courses. This course is flexible and can be offered over multiple weekends, or daily over two weeks, or in other combinations.

MFI, like the Johnson Scholarship Foundation, firmly believes that education is the best means to empower people to become more independent and to participate more fully in the benefits of our society. Our range of targeted programs exemplifies this belief.

Hear What Model School Principals Have To Say

Summary: A Martin Family Initiative – Model Schools Literacy Project

Steve Styers, Director of Leadership and Community Action, speaks with Principals Debbie Michael (Ermineskin Elementary School) and Darryl Flett (Keethanow Elementary School) about their instructional leadership and community engagement in the Project. Original panel discussion at the Assembly of First Nations, Directors of Education Conference, 2018; repeated and filmed at University of British Columbia in June 2018.

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