Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week

Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week
November 30 -December 5, 2015,
Launches on December 1st in Calgary, AB.

Leaders unite across Canada with community-based approaches to HIV and AIDS

AAAW-2015-poster-draft-2-4The Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network proudly announces national Aboriginal leadership and their supporters will gather in Calgary, AB on December 1, 2015 to launch Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week 2015. It will be accompanied by workshops across the country (Ottawa, Regina, Montreal, Winnipeg, Halifax, and Inuvik) to continue discussions on Aboriginal HIV and AIDS issues in Canada on November 30, December 2 – 5, 2015. (READ MORE)

Download AAAW Activity Guide (pdf)

More posters available here.

2016 Inuit Studies Conference


logoInuit traditions are a repository of Inuit culture and a primary expression of Inuit identity. The theme for the 2016 Inuit Studies Conference invites Elders, knowledge-bearers, researchers, artists, policy-makers, students and others to engage in conversations about the many ways in which traditions shape understanding, while registering social and cultural change. (read more)

Young Aboriginal Writers Receive James Bartleman Award

News Release
Young Aboriginal Writers Receive James Bartleman Award
October 26, 2015 11:00 A.M.

Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade

Ontario is honouring six young Aboriginal writers from across the province with the James Bartleman Aboriginal Youth Creative Writing Award.

The award celebrates Aboriginal youth for their creative writing efforts and provides an opportunity for them to showcase their work to a broader audience. The 2015 award recipients are:

Leera Beardy for her essay about living in Ontario’s North
Emily Mandamin for her poem about missing her mother
Darienne Martin for her poem expressing her passion for her culture
Rachel Otis for her poem about the true meaning of home
Catherine Porte for her short story about a girl who uncovers her Aboriginal heritage in a surprising way
Justice Ryan for her comic about a young girl’s escape from a residential school.

The awards were presented at a Queen’s Park ceremony today by the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario; the Honourable James Bartleman, 27th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and the Honourable Michael Chan, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade.
Quick Facts

The Ontario Government created the James Bartleman Aboriginal Youth Creative Writing Award in 2008 to honour the province’s 27th and first Aboriginal Lieutenant Governor. Bartleman implemented four literacy initiatives for Aboriginal youth across Ontario during his time in office.
Nominations are now open for next year’s awards. The closing date for submissions is May 31, 2016.
Eligible participants must be 18 years of age or younger at the time they submit an entry, enrolled in an Ontario school, self-identify as an Aboriginal person, and be a permanent resident of Ontario.

Additional Resources

Nominate an Aboriginal youth for a Bartleman Award.


“Each of these young writers has a unique perspective and compelling voice. They all are wonderful examples of the diversity and richness of experience that is so essential to the cultural fabric of Ontario. I encourage each of the winners to continue sharing their stories.”

The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell

Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

“I’m thrilled to see these talented young writers recognized today. They each have a story to tell that was shaped by their culture and community. Their ability to connect with us and share those stories through poetry and prose is exciting and inspiring.”

The Honourable James K. Bartleman

former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
Michael Chan

“The Bartleman Awards present an excellent opportunity for young Aboriginal writers to be recognized for their literary talents. I hope this recognition inspires them to keep writing and expressing themselves through their words.”

Michael Chan

Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade
Media Contacts

John Gross

Office of the Lieutenant Governor

Bryan Leblanc

Minister’s Office

416 325-0208
Laura Sylvis

Communications Branch


Webinar for Educators (Indspire)

Upcoming webinar: “A whisper of true learning”

June 11, 2014

In this webinar, Belinda C. Daniels describes her journey to developing her Indigenous teacher identity. A pivotal moment in her teaching career – a “whisper of true learning” – made her question what kind of teacher she was going to be, and awakened her nêhiyâw identity. “It made me realize that I had forgotten who I was and, at the same time, that it was my responsibility to remember where I came from for the benefit of my students,” she says. In her presentation, Belinda will explore the constructs that had either diminished or enhanced her identity development within the experiences of formal and non-formal learning.


The webinar will be held on Monday, June 23, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. EST

This is a free professional development opportunity for educators who are committed to ensuring the success of Indigenous students in Canada.

How to join:

  1. Visit the following link at the scheduled time: http://indspire.adobeconnect.com/b_daniels/.
  2. Select “enter as a Guest” and complete your name.

*Please note this webinar will be offered in English and available through Adobe Connect. Participants can join us on their PC/MAC or smart device. If joining by smart device, participants will need to download the Adobe Connect app.

More information:

For more information on this or other webinars, please contact institute@indspire.ca. Or, join the Indspire Institute’s Gathering Place by creating an account at http://indspire.ca/create-an-account/

About the Facilitator

Belinda C. Daniels comes from the nêhiyâwak Nation of Saskatchewan. Her home community is Sturgeon Lake First Nation. Belinda has been an educator and consultant for a number of years, specializing in Aboriginal education. She now resides in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan with her family. She currently works for the Saskatoon Public School Division at a local high school and the University of Saskatchewan Languages Department. Belinda’s interests are in research and engagement within her community and, particularly, in language revitalization and development.


Source: Indspire

EPS launches digital comic book

EPS launches digital comic book

“Alex Decoteau!” Alex stepped forward at the sound of his name. The small crowd of family members and well-wishers who came to witness the swearing-in of the city’s newest police officers, clapped in appreciation.

One hundred and thirteen years ago, Alex Decoteau made Canadian policing history.

The young Metis man from Saskatchewan moved to Edmonton in 1909 to work in his brother-in-law’s machine shop. Two years later, Alex joined the Edmonton Police Department, becoming the first Aboriginal police officer in Canada.

Now, Alex’s life story is the subject of LEGACY OF HEROES, a digital comic produced by the Edmonton Police Service.

[Read More]


Read the Legacy of Heroes digital Comic.


Source: Edmonton Police Service

U of S and educator Buffy Sainte-Marie sign unique cross-cultural agreement

Flickr Photo

Flickr Photo

The University of Saskatchewan signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to support Aboriginal education in Saskatchewan with the founder of the Cradle Board Teaching Project, Buffy Sainte-Marie. The ceremony held Tuesday evening at the Broadway Theatre concluded with an honour song and closing prayer.

“Signing this memorandum of understanding to create the Saskatchewan Cradleboard Initiative is an important step for our university and an incredible opportunity for the province of Saskatchewan,” said Ilene Busch-Vishniac, U of S president. “We are committed to being leaders in Aboriginal engagement, education and research not only in Saskatchewan, but also beyond the borders of our province throughout Canada.”

The Saskatchewan Cradleboard Initiative (SCI) is a cross-cultural educational resource project to support Kindergarten through Grade 8 students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  Curriculum for the program will be developed by U of S students, Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Nihewin Foundation Canada and Aboriginal educators to support the provincial science curriculum’s explicit mandate to co-present Indigenous and western perspectives on science at all levels of learning.

“The signing of the MOU indicates that all of us are working toward a common goal of meeting the education needs of our province’s Aboriginal students,” said Candace Wasacase-Lafferty, director of Aboriginal initiatives at the U of S.  “In order to achieve the highest level of success in their academic pursuits, Aboriginal students must be able to recognize themselves and their cultures in the curriculum they study and in the places they study.”

In the spirit of the Cradleboard Teaching Project, the Saskatchewan Cradleboard Initiative will highlight the contributions and diversity of Aboriginal peoples in our province, respond to community priorities for STEM education, and encourage cultural and scientific literacy.  Resources will be hosted on an open-access website, which will include learning challenges for youth, as well as news stories featuring Aboriginal youth taking a leadership role in shaping their education.

“The contributions of First Nations to science and technology have been immense, and are a source of pride and inspiration to Aboriginal school kids, once they are provided opportunities to learn about them,” said Sainte-Marie.  “I am continually grateful and appreciative of those people who are able to expand teaching and learning across cultural borders.”

For more information about the Saskatchewan Cradleboard Initiative, visit






For more information, contact:

Candace Wasacase-Lafferty

Director of Aboriginal Initiatives

University of Saskatchewan



Video: Babakiueria

Don Featherstone | Australia 1986 | 30 min

A political mockumentary reversing the situation in Australia, where blacks landed in a white culture and took over.




I originally viewed this video during the online Aboriginal Worldviews Course held last summer at UToronto.


Canada’s Aboriginal Communities and Suicide: Called to Listen, Called to Understand

Screenshot: Canada's Aboriginal Communities and Suicide

Screenshot: Canada’s Aboriginal Communities and Suicide

By Robert Olson, Librarian, BA, MLIS

Source: SuicideInfo.ca

The reasons that any individual dies by suicide are multiple and complex. There are a host of psychological and biological factors that may influence someone to take his or her own life. Typically, there are many social and cultural factors that contribute to death by suicide as well (Lenaars, 2006). These particular complexities can be especially apparent in some Aboriginal communities.
Historical aspects that continue to affect Native Canadians socially and culturally to this day make suicide prevention efforts a continuing struggle. [read Full Article – PDF]

Tookits Available at http://suicideinfo.ca

First Nations Metis Inuit Suicide Prevention ToolkitSuicide Prevention Resource Toolkit