Indigenous Education

Welcoming Celebration for RRC students: Thursday, Sept. 4

August 21, 2014

Welcoming PartyRed River College’s Aboriginal Student Support & Community Relations team will host a Welcoming Celebration for students on Thursday, September 4, from 11:15am to 1pm, at the Notre Dame Campus.

Students have a lot on their minds when going back to school — like housing, buying textbooks, and just finding their way around campus. The Welcoming Celebration offers a break from it all — complete with a free lunch and the chance to meet other students while being entertained by comedian Don Burnstick.

Date: Thursday, September 4, 2014
Time: Doors open at 11:15am; Don Burnstick's comedy show starts at noon
Place: F209, Aboriginal Support Centre (Notre Dame Campus)

For more information, please call 204.632.3773.

Peguis Pre-Electrical grads celebrate high-voltage success

August 6, 2014

PeguisAboriginal students from the Interlake marked some high-voltage achievements in the latest regional offering of Red River College’s Pre-Employment Electrical program, netting a combined average grade of 89.24% in classes delivered at the Peguis – Fisher River Campus.

The 10 students — eight young men, and two young women — celebrated their success at a special celebration on Wed., July 30 in Peguis.

The five-month Pre-Employment Electrical certificate program develops the knowledge and skills required for employment in the electrical field, including fundamentals of electricity, electrical codes, wiring practices, and trade safety awareness.

The program is made possible through funding from Apprenticeship Manitoba, and creates a terrific opportunity for students with no previous experience to become apprentice electricians.

“Red River College’s community partnerships prove to be invaluable,” says Darlene Bouvier, Manager of RRC’s Interlake Campuses. “As part of our community strategic planning, the Peguis – Fisher River Campus is providing preparatory courses prior to program delivery, that engage students in building self-esteem, while facilitating teamwork and providing participants with the essential skills and knowledge necessary for continued learning success.”

For more information on RRC programs and services in the Interlake, including at the Peguis – Fisher River Campus, call 1.204.785.5328 (toll-free 1.866.946.3241) or visit

Portage Campus to host new skilled trades camp for Aboriginal youth

July 17, 2014

10727138914_e8b5e794d3_bCareer-camp season is already in full swing at Red River College’s Winnipeg campuses, where middle-schoolers are broadening their horizons through summer sessions on trades, technology and the culinary arts.

Now RRC’s Portage Campus has unveiled plans to extend the season a little longer, announcing the launch of a new trades camp for Aboriginal youth that makes its debut next month.

This August, Portage Campus hosts its inaugural Trades Exploration (Tr.Ex.) camps for kids in Grades 6-8, offering a fun and informative five-day mix of trades-based learning, culture and recreation.

“The Portage Campus is very excited to be delivering their first-ever Tr.Ex. camp in partnership with Apprenticeship Manitoba,” says Lori-Ann Grenkow, RRC’s Interim Director, Regional Services. “Camp participants will have fun exploring three skilled trades areas: Carpentry, Chef/Cook and Aircraft Maintenance Engineer. In addition, they’ll have a great time participating in a variety of recreational activities and crafts, and learning about traditional Aboriginal teachings.”

Participants can take their pick of two sessions this summer — the first runs Aug. 18-22, the second from Aug. 25-29. Both are open to status, non-status and Métis youth, and both are free of charge (though a refundable $50 deposit is required to register).

Each camp can accommodate up to 16 participants. Programming will be coordinated by Portage Campus staff, with the help of two newly-hired camp assistants who’ll complement their efforts. Read More →

RRC offers summer camps, work experience co-ops to connect youth to careers in skilled trades

June 10, 2014

From left: Apprenticeship and Certification Board Chair Leonard Harapiak; Minister of Jobs and the Economy Minister Theresa Oswald; RRC alum Nina Widmer (Bricklaying Apprentice); Reg Toews, Coordinator, Red River Technical Vocational Area High School Apprenticeship Program; RRC President Stephanie Forsyth.

More than 230 youth will gain awareness and exposure to the skilled trades through the province’s new Building for Tomorrow summer program – a series of educational camps and work experience programs delivered by Red River College and a network of other business, community and educational partners

"This summer, many of our children will have new opportunities to have fun while learning about a potential future career in various trades, including construction and transportation, trade and technology, hospitality and the culinary arts," said Jobs and the Economy Minister Theresa Oswald. "Our government is focused on helping families and youth in exploring the many paths to good jobs and rewarding careers right here in Manitoba, and starting that conversation while kids are still in school."

The province will support more than a dozen new camps during the summer, including RRC’s Girls Exploring the Trades and Technology (GETT) camps, which gives girls aged 12 to 14 the opportunity to design and build their own go-carts, while learning about the importance of science, math and industrial arts-based courses in high school.

Other camps include:

  • RRC’s Portage Campus will offer two one-week programs, introducing 32 Aboriginal youth (Grades 6 to 8) to various skilled trades; Assiniboine Community College will offer 15 participants introductory experiences in carpentry or culinary arts.
  • Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Association Inc., in partnership with RRC, will offer 15 Aboriginal youths (Grades 9 and 10) with opportunities to experience different trades, with a special focus on the culinary trades, while learning about the apprenticeship training model; participants will receive certified food-handler training and workplace hazard information system training.
  • University College of the North will provide 80 Aboriginal youth in Flin Flon with the basic skills needed for a successful career in the skilled trades.
  • Career Trek Inc., in partnership with the Manitoba Construction Sector Council and Winnipeg Technical College, will provide 24 Grade 9 youth with exposure to the carpentry trade.

Read More →

RRC signs new agreement benefiting Métis students in Manitoba

May 23, 2014
From left: Levinia Brown, RRC elder-in-residence; RRC President Stephanie Forsyth; MMF President David Chartrand; Joan Ledoux, Minister of Education, Louis Riel Institute.

From left: Levinia Brown, RRC elder-in-residence; RRC President Stephanie Forsyth; MMF President David Chartrand; Joan Ledoux, Minister of Education, Louis Riel Institute.

As part of its commitment to improving opportunities and outcomes for Métis people in Manitoba, Red River College has entered into a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Manitoba Metis Federation and Louis Riel Institute.

Signed this morning at RRC’s Roblin Centre, the new MOU creates a joint working group with representation from all three organizations — one that focuses on education, business and growing industry partnerships to increase economic prospects for Manitoba’s Métis populations.

In addition, a new $400,000 bursary for Métis students was announced — one made possible through matching $200,000 investments by the MMF and RRC.

“[Today] signals an extremely satisfying phase of accomplishments for Red River College,” says RRC President Stephanie Forsyth. “Driven by the mission of the College and that of our Strategic Plan, [this] announcement reflects our goal of serving the educational needs of Aboriginal students.”

“The collective efforts of those involved … will benefit Métis people in Manitoba [by] improving access to training and employment opportunities,” says David Chartrand, President of the Manitoba Metis Federation. “We applaud Red River College for their leadership and contributions towards today’s announcement.”

Your future is 'trending' at the 2014 Rotary Career Symposium

March 17, 2014


Join us at the 2014 Rotary Career Symposium, taking place Tuesday, March 18 and Wednesday, March 19 at the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg.

Explore the hundreds of full- and part-time degree, diploma and certificate programs available at RRC. Instructors and academic advisors will be on hand to answer questions and provide insight on the many career and educational options awaiting RRC students.

Billed as the largest and most comprehensive career symposium in Canada, the Rotary event runs 9am-3pm and 6-9pm on Tuesday, and 9am-3pm on Wednesday.

This year's theme is "Your Future Trending"; click here for more information, including exhibitor and speaker lists, and registration forms.

RRC encouraged by Federal Budget 2014

February 11, 2014

Red River College is pleased to see infrastructure and skills training identified as top priorities in the Federal Budget 2014.

“We welcome a collaborative approach with government, industry and community partners in expanding our ability to train Manitoba’s workforce,” said Stephanie Forsyth, President & CEO, Red River College. “This approach will ensure we meet the needs of education in the 21st century and prepare students for the demands of the modern workforce.”

With the creation of the Canada Apprentice Loan, additional funding by the federal government will reduce waiting lists for access to education and meet employer demands for skilled workers. This can help address youth unemployment at the same time.

The government’s pledge of $305 million over five years to extend and enhance broadband high-speed Internet access for rural and Northern communities is welcomed. This aligns with RRC’s strategic plan in ensuring access to education for all Manitobans. RRC is equipped to provide distance education via Internet training but we are hampered in rural areas, particularly in the north for Aboriginal students. Expanding broadband networks and making the Internet more available is a way to open the door to post-secondary education for many, while also providing another solution to the anticipated skills gap.

Read More →

Stella Blackbird — Elder, Healer and Medicine Teacher — Awarded RRC Honorary Diploma

June 11, 2013

20130509_Stella_Blackbird_0008Each year, Red River College awards a Red River College Honorary Diploma to an individual who demonstrates high standards of excellence in their personal and professional achievements, and whose involvement in the community is widely recognized.

Known and respected throughout Canada for her wisdom, gentle spirit and tireless dedication to the community, Stella Blackbird has a special ability to build trust and understanding across cultures and nations.

An Elder and Red Eagle Woman from the Turtle Clan, Stella has served as an Elder, Traditional Healer, Medicine Teacher and facilitator for healing programs and teachings across Canada and the U.S. She has devoted years to the women of Keeseekoowenin First Nation (where she resides), and to women and men in neighbouring First Nations communities, providing counselling and healing and leading traditional ceremonies. Stella also provides teachings at Medicine Eagle Camp, which she helped establish on the sacred ceremonial grounds of the ancestors near Riding Mountain National Park.

Stella has a vast knowledge of traditional medicines, which she shares with those from all nations and backgrounds. Earlier in her career, she served as Resident Elder for the Ontario Native Education Counselor Association in Sudbury, and provided health services for the Ojibway Tribal Family Services Sacred Circle in Kenora. She also served for years in the Third Canada Rangers of the Canadian Armed Forces, providing traditional teachings and survival skills to youth and adults at Camp Borden. Read More →

Pilot Program Encourages Youth to Consider a Career in Skilled Trades

May 1, 2013
MTL May 1 2013

Education Minister Nancy Allan (left) and Winnipeg Construction Association President Ron Hambly (centre) look on as Elmwood High School student Samuel Lopez and carpentry instructor Frank Jess build a toolbox in one of RRC's Mobile Training Labs.

Red River College and Manitoba Education are helping to boost trades training through a pilot project that provides Winnipeg youth a hands-on introduction to the trades.

The pilot program provides up to 25 students in Grades 7 and 8 the opportunity to “try out” the type of work typically done by electricians, carpenters and welders. Students from Elmwood High School are attending Red River College once a week for three weeks, to learn about career options in the trades.

“The pilot program is intended to expose young people to the trades as a viable career option,” says Stephanie Forsyth, President, Red River College. “One of the ways to get more young people interested in the trades is to give them more hands-on experience, and help them identify a skill they would love to acquire.”

According to Skills Canada, over the next two decades employers in Canada will find it difficult to hire and retain skilled workers. However, a Statistics Canada survey in 2009 showed just 26% of young people aged 13 to 24 plan to consider a career in the skilled trades.

"The future of Manitoba is being trained here today. These students are gaining valuable experience through hands-on learning,” says Education Minister Nancy Allan. “Projects like these expose students to new potential career opportunities that will lead to good jobs and build our province." Read More →

New Bursary Provides Tuition for those Transitioning out of Provincial Care

April 26, 2013

Youth who grew up in the child welfare system will have the opportunity to attend Red River College tuition-free this fall. The special bursaries will remove one of many barriers that typically see less than five percent of youth in care pursue a post-secondary education.

“Transitioning out of care can be very challenging for many youth—especially financially,” says Stephanie Forsyth, RRC President. “The prospect of student loans and debts may prevent capable students from receiving a post-secondary education. Red River College is delighted to be able to remove that worry for a number of students.”

There are more than 9,500 children and youth in care in Manitoba, with the majority being First Nations and Métis. Typically, once youth in care turn 18 they leave the child welfare system and must fend for themselves. With few supports available, many will find themselves on social assistance or even homeless.

“Youth raised in foster care face unique challenges once they leave the system,” says Jay Rodgers, CEO, General Child and Family Services Authority. “By waiving the tuition fee, Red River College is giving these young people the opportunity for a much brighter future through education and inspiring hope.”

A handful of RRC students have already received a Youth in Care bursary. With the program becoming permanent as of this fall, a minimum of 20 youth in care per year, selected by a child and family services authority, will be eligible to attend the College on a bursary. They will remain on an extension of care with their authority and have their living expenses covered up to the age of 21, so long as they remain students of the College and take a minimum 60 percent course load.

Students must meet regular entrance requirements. Tuition will be fully covered by revenue generated from the College’s Youth in Care bursary endowment fund, which recently received a $100,000 private donation. The College intends to fundraise $1 million to support the program on a permanent basis.

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