(Photo by MyWestNipissingNow.com staff)
Indigenous learners and educators in remote communities will be able to have some more learning opportunities.
That’s according to Canadore College, who says their Kikandaaswiwin Mookisin STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) program has received a grant of $157,800 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Promoscience program, and it will support the Kikandaaswiwin Mookisin STEAM Library and Wiidokwananig waasa wenjibawad Mentorship Program.
“Wiidokwananing waasa wenjibawad in the Ojibway languages translates to ‘we help those from far away’,” said Tammy Cayer-Dokis, Kikandaaswiwin Mookisin Coordinator. “The project title was chosen as it offers a much-needed resource and capacity for educators working with Indigenous learners in underserviced and remote communities. The program engages Indigenous learners in STEAM pathways, opens mentorship opportunities and supports hands-on learning experiences for Indigenous learners and educators, particularly for those who face access to technology and connectivity challenges and is a response to the unique needs of remote and isolated communities,” said Cayer-Dokis.
Kikandaaswiwin Mookiisin collaborates with Actua, Canada’s leading science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) youth outreach network that consists of 41 universities and colleges, including Canadore. Actua engages with more than 35,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth in more than 200 communities through school workshops and summer camp programs.
“This work is critically important to Indigenous youth to demonstrate to them that Indigenous people have always known about STEM,” said Doug Dokis, Director of Actua’s National Youth inSTEM program. “Indigenous Knowledges continue to make significant contributions to STEM, instill pride in self and community, help Indigenous youth see themselves in STEM studies, and that they can be successful.Once in a while the right partners with shared goals align providing an opportunity to have a lasting and meaningful impact on the future,” stated Shawn Chorney, Canadore Vice President Strategic Infrastructure, Indigenous and Learner Services. “The ongoing collaboration between Actua and Canadore recognizes that Indigenous ways of knowing are integral to getting the future right and we thank NSERC for this important investment.”
The Kikandaaswiwin Mookiisin STEAM program is offered through the First Peoples’ Centre at Canadore College. It is a land-based experiential learning program grounded in Indigenous educational practices and draws on the rich languages, histories, and cultural traditions of Indigenous peoples.