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Beyond 94: Truth and Reconciliation in Canada

Source: CBC News

Summary:  

The first residential schools opened in Canada in the 1870s. They were the product of churches and the government; a collective, calculated effort to eradicate Indigenous language and culture that the commission called a policy of cultural genocide.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was formed as a means of reckoning with the devastating legacy of forced assimilation and abuse left by the residential school system. From 2008 to 2014, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission heard stories from thousands of residential school survivors. In June 2015, the commission released a report based on those hearings. From that came the 94 Calls to Action: individual instructions to guide governments, communities and faith groups down the road to reconciliation.

Beyond 94 will now monitor that progress.

Indigenous Education Resources

Source: Indigenous Education: National Centre for Collaboration

Summary: This searchable database (while not exhaustive) features a diverse array of documents and on-line resources about and for Indigenous education across Canada. NCCIE researchers have generated these lists based on what they could find in their respective regions. If you would like to recommend another resource to add to the library, please click here.

Sustainable Northern Livelihoods

Source: Conference Board of Canada

Summary: Key Findings

•    Closing the gaps in labour market participation and outcomes for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis People across Canada could add $11.2 billion to the Canadian economy annually. Labour market exclusion issues are most pronounced for Inuit in Inuit Nunangat, and closing the gaps could add $371.6 million to the economy in Inuit Nunangat annually.

•    Northern economies are less diversified, and Indigenous workers are over-represented in jobs that are more vulnerable during economic downturns. The Indigenous employment gap is thus not just a skills challenge, but an economic development and diversification challenge.

•    Indigenous People’s participation in the traditional economy remains strong and is strongest among Inuit. The traditional economy is an important component of the mixed economy in Inuit Nunangat and Inuit visions of livelihoods.

Traditional Animal Foods of Indigenous People of North America

Source: Centre for Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Environment (CINE)

Summary: Indigenous Peoples have an implicit understanding of food security and sustainable diets derived from place-based knowledge and livelihoods spanning thousands of years. Informed by their local knowledge and guided by conceptions of living well, Indigenous Peoples are the custodians of a large part of the world’s biodiversity and natural resources.  Recent local, national, and international efforts are bringing forward the vast knowledge of Indigenous Peoples to better document food biodiversity and its cultural and nutritional contributions to human well-being. Our intent is for this publication to recognize the contributions of Indigenous Peoples in northern North America to our global heritage of food knowledge.

This web publication has the purpose to describe and to reference the published literature on traditional animal foods known and used by Indigenous Peoples of northern North America. We present information on the locations of the cultures whose peoples have used, and often continue to use, these foods. The publication focuses on Canada, Alaska, Greenland and the northern United States of America, but many of the animal species presented here also occur in the northern latitudes of Europe and Asia. In sum, we present data for 527 species of animals, drawing information from over 490 ethnographic sources, an additional 91 unique sources reporting nutritional information, and 357 sources containing basic biological information. 

In.Business: A National Mentorship Program for Indigenous Youth

Source: Indspire Researcher: Dr. Carrie Bourassa

Focus: Senior students and teachers

Summary: The In.Business program was created by the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies at Cape Breton University. This program encourages Indigenous high school students to pursue careers in business, an area typically underrepresented by Indigenous peoples. It aims to increase the number of Indigenous youth studying business at the post-secondary level, provides mentorship experiences with Indigenous business professionals, and increases confidence and independence to better prepare youth for being successful after high school graduation. Furthermore, the program allows youth to explore Indigenous business pathways and practices, and supports them in exploring Indigenous business, culture, and community simultaneously. … Issues covered include possible long-term impacts and next steps to ensure further success for this program for Canada’s Indigenous youth.

Employment Key to Improving First Nations’ Community Health

Source: C.D Howe Institute

Summary: Increased employment is crucial to improving the well-being of First Nations communities, and should be a high priority in the Prairie Provinces that have the lowest employment rates and lowest per capita regional incomes across Canada, says a new report from the C.D. Howe Institute.

In “No Easy Answers: Insights into Community Well-being among First Nations,” author John Richards looks at data from Indigenous Services Canada’s Community Well-Being Index (CWB) for all First Nation and Inuit communities, and reveals Prairie trouble spots where community well-being lags.

Measuring socio-economic well-being for communities across Canada over time, the CWB has four components: education, labour force activity, income and housing. For comparative purposes, CWB scores are also calculated for non-Indigenous communities.  

Filling Canada’s Indigenous Skills Gap Would be an Economic Boom

Source: Policy Options. Max Skudra, Andrew Avgerinos, Karen E. McCallum

Summary: Gaps in Indigenous education and skills training harm Indigenous business and overall economic growth. Better data are needed to address the problem.

Turning 15 is an important milestone; it’s the age when a person becomes a potential member of the workforce. Over the course of 10 years (between 2016 and 2026), 350,000 Indigenous youth will turn 15. However, to get and keep good jobs, basic essential skills are needed. And many Indigenous youth and adults do not graduate high school, or they graduate without requisite essential literacy and numeracy skills.

There are many reasons for this, including:

  • the challenge of acquiring reliable internet in remote conditions;
  • the myriad corollary effects of growing up in households disproportionately impacted by poverty, and in households impacted by residential school syndrome.

More and more, literacy and numeracy skills are the foundation to up-skilling and meeting the demands of rapidly changing and increasingly digital workplaces. People missing these foundational skills are missing opportunities for competitive jobs. They face the threat of job disruption due to automation, being under-qualified to gain workforce entry, having skills and experience that is not transferable to the knowledge economy leaving them without the tools they need to adapt and succeed.

National Household Survey: Aboriginal Peoples

Source: Statistics Canada

Summary:Description

This topic presents data on the Aboriginal peoples of Canada and their demographic characteristics. Depending on the application, estimates using any of the following concepts may be appropriate for the Aboriginal population: (1) Aboriginal identity, (2) Aboriginal ancestry, (3) Registered or Treaty Indian status and (4) Membership in a First Nation or Indian band. Data from the 2011 National Household Survey are available for the geographical locations where these populations reside, including ‘on reserve’ census subdivisions and Inuit communities of Inuit Nunangat as well as other geographic areas such as the national (Canada), provincial and territorial levels.

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