Red River College President Stephanie Forsyth addressed a packed house at an Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce luncheon this week, speaking on the topic of Aboriginal post-secondary education.
Forsyth discussed the College's longstanding commitment to engaging and supporting Aboriginal students; shared some success stories about Aboriginal graduates who are making a difference in their communities; and outlined how the College plans to make Aboriginal student achievement a strategic priority by integrating traditional knowledge and practices throughout the organization.
The full text of President Forsyth's speech is below.
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As an instructor at Red River College’s Winkler Campus, she advocates for balanced health in heart, spirit, mind and body.
And as a counselor in the community of Roseau River First Nation, Violet Caibaiosai prescribes an increased awareness of culture and history as the treatment for deficiencies in both mental and physical health.
“One of the most important things would be recognizing what our history is, and then taking an honest look at that history,” says Caibaiosai, who’s taught Applied Counselling courses at Winkler Campus since 2009.
“It’s not always a pretty one, but it’s a difficult one, and it’s important that it be looked at. There’s always an understanding that comes from knowledge and that’s what my goal is, whether it’s in larger society or our own communities. Because people have become so fearful — not only of society, but of themselves.”
A former Ontario native who grew up on the north shore of Lake Huron, Caibaiosai was raised by her parents and grandparents — the latter having imparted the importance of spiritual strength by teaching her about the holistic, healing qualities of traditional medicine.
She incorporates a similar respect for tradition among her students at RRC, noting many who go on to be counsellors may need to draw on that cultural knowledge while working with — and alongside — First Nation residents throughout Manitoba and Canada.
“It’s important for others to understand that history that we have together as a nation,” says Caibaiosai. “There’s a bridge that has to be built, and part of what I do in the classroom is to build those bridges of understanding.” Read More →
National Aboriginal Day is held annually on June 21 to celebrate First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada. As Red River College President Stephanie Forsyth points out, we have much to learn about the rich culture and traditions of the people who first walked this land, and National Aboriginal Day provides an opportunity to engage in this learning in an enjoyable and festive environment.
On June 21, an episode of the CBC series 8th Fire will be shown in The Cave at the Notre Dame Campus from noon to 1:00pm. RRC will also host an exhibitor booth at the Indian Métis Friendship Centre (45 Robinson St.) from 10:00am to 4:00pm, while tours of the College's Mobile Training Lab will be held from 11:00am to 2:00pm at 519 Selkirk Avenue, in the parking lot of the Urban Circle Training Centre.
On June 23, RRC Culinary Arts instructors Tom Pitt, Karl Oman and Chantalle Noschese will again participate in APTN’s Aboriginal Day Live festivities at The Forks. The team will contribute to the event's cultural component by serving Aboriginal menu items starting at noon. Aboriginal Liaison/Advisor Jaime Richard and Graham Thomson, Dean of Business & Applied Arts, will also be at The Forks promoting RRC programs, supports and services. Read More →
Red River College's School of Indigenous Education hosted the 12th Annual Graduation Pow Wow last week, honouring the achievements of our Aboriginal graduates and paying tribute to their personal triumphs.
Held Friday, May 4, at RRC's Notre Dame Campus, the event celebrated the accomplishments of 93 Aboriginal graduates, and attracted more than 850 friends, family members and dignitaries to a day-long event that included a pipe ceremony, traditional dancing, and a feast.
Another highlight of the event was the presentation of the Jules Lavallee Award, named after a former RRC Elder-in-Residence. This year's award went to Corey Bear, a student from RRC's Biindigen College Studies program.
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Rob Neufeld, Executive Director, North End Community Renewal Corporation
Representatives from Red River College joined a host of North End advocates and community organizations in celebrating a newly-announced housing and retail development on Selkirk Avenue yesterday morning.
Following news the notorious Merchants Hotel is now being managed by a coalition comprised of 20 government and community agencies, RRC President Stephanie Forsyth commended those involved on their collaborative vision of renewal and revitalization.
"This is what Red River College is all about — meshing the needs of the community with the community's educational goals, so that we can move forward," said Forsyth. "That constant renewal is so critical to initiatives like the one announced today."
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Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, will speak at Red River College's Notre Dame Campus today, March 29, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., in the Black Lecture Theatre.
Blackstock, who's also an Associate Professor at the University of Alberta, will speak on the topic of Culture + Equity + You = Hope for First Nations Children.
"Now is the moment when caring Canadians are needed the most," says Blackstock. "We know just what to do to make a big difference in (the lives of) First Nations children and families."
Blackstock, a member of the Gitksan Nation, has worked in the field of child and family services for over 20 years. The author of more then 50 publications, Blackstock's key interests include exploring and addressing the causes of disadvantage for Aboriginal children and families by promoting equitable and culturally-based interventions.
Blackstock's address will also be streamed live at the following web address: rrc.ca/cblackstock.
More than 225 people learned about Inuit culture on March 6th at Red River College. The college's Aboriginal Student Support & Community Relations department hosted an exhibition titled "Celebrate Inuit Art and Culture". The all-day event educated visitors, while showcasing the art, culture and history of Inuit people — in particular Nunamiut, or the Caribou Inuit of the Kivalliq region in Nunavut. The valuable educational opportunity was made possible thanks to the guidance, research, and knowledge of respected educator/historian and art curator Frederick G. Ford.
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Red River College is hosting a speaker’s event today at the Exchange District Campus entitled “Standing Tall: A day dedicated to our stolen sisters.”
Across Canada every Valentine’s Day, memorial marches are held to honor the lives of missing and murdered women and their families. As part of this day we would like to invite you to learn about some of the work that is being done in this area, to participate in a safety presentation delivered by Winnipeg Police Services and to listen to teachings from Chickadee Richard on the sacredness of women.
The event is from 8:30 am – 3:30 pm In Room P107 (CGA Manitoba Room) at RRC's Exchange District Campus, located at 160 Princess Street. Room P409 will be reserved as a “smudge room” for the day. All are welcome.
For further info, contact:
Aboriginal Student Support & Community Relations
Red River College Exchange District Campus
P210-J 160 Princess Street Winnipeg, MB R3B 1K9
T: (204) 949-8506 F: (204) 949-9186
Find out more about Aboriginal education at Red River College, as well as related programming and events at http://blogs.rrc.ca/aboriginal/
Red River College paid tribute to the academic potential of its Portage-area students, while celebrating the diversity of their cultural backgrounds, at the official opening of the College’s new Portage Campus yesterday.
The ceremony marked the campus’s move from Southport (just outside Portage la Prairie) to the old Victoria School site off the city’s main thoroughfare. It also marked the College’s continued commitment to providing increased access to education for rural residents and Aboriginal learners.
“Today is a bit of a historic event for Red River College — we have never opened a campus in the traditional way of the First Nations people,” said RRC President Stephanie Forsyth, herself a member of the Tsimshian First Nation in B.C., before kicking off a ceremony that featured greetings from provincial, civic and First Nations leaders, as well as a traditional pipe ceremony, dancing and drumming.
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Red River College is pleased to announce its second Aboriginal youth summer camp for boys and girls aged 11 to 13 years.
The Hands-on Activity Week for Kids (H.A.W.K.) will run from Monday, July 25th to Friday, July 29th, from 9:00am to 4:00pm daily.
Participants will enjoy cultural programming in RRC’s Medicine Wheel Garden, recreation time and team building games, as well as fun and engaging hands-on activities that will provide an introduction to the skilled trades and technologies in programs such as Construction Trades, Electronics, Mechanical Engineering Technology/Manufacturing and Civil Engineering.
There are only 16 spots available in this year’s camp, so be sure to register your son or daughter as soon as possible. Once the camp is full, a wait list will be developed.
In order to register, your application must be completed in full, including a $50 refundable deposit that will be returned the last day of the camp. Registration forms can be found online: http://www.rrc.mb.ca/index.php?pid=6830
To learn more, please contact:
Lisa Carriere, H.A.W.K. Coordinator
Aboriginal Student Support & Community Relations