Theatre grad works to break down institutional barriers from within

Deneh’Cho Thompson found that traditional systems hindered his progress. So he set out to change them

Theatre grad works to break down institutional barriers from withinDeneh’Cho Thompson confesses to a mild rebellious streak in his youth. As a high school student in Calgary, he fell short of completing his diploma for “myriad reasons,” he says. Though he enjoyed many subjects and excelled in some, drama was the subject that most held his interest. Thompson eventually enrolled in a theatre program…

Grad brings new perspective on Indigenous history to museum work

Native studies, environmental science grad Lauren Comba now better able to respect Indigenous stories

Grad brings new perspective on Indigenous history to museum workWatching the Inuit film Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner several years ago, Lauren Comba found herself riveted by its ancient story. Written, directed and acted entirely in the Inuktitut language, the 2001 landmark award-winning film retells an Inuit legend passed down through centuries of oral tradition. The film’s narrative was a part of history Comba had never heard…

Reproductive control of Indigenous women continues around the world

Survivors of forced sterilization and coerced contraception meet with researchers to share stories

Reproductive control of Indigenous women continues around the worldSurvivors of forced sterilization and coerced contraception from Canada, Peru and Indonesia will gather with academic researchers at a summit in Edmonton this summer to share stories, heal through art and ceremony, and set an agenda for change. The full extent of reproductive control practices around the world is not known, but they have been…

We have nothing to be ashamed of on Canada Day

We should be proud of our country, warts and all

We have nothing to be ashamed of on Canada DaySome Canada Day organizers have been spooked by last summer’s hysteria over 215 Indigenous children murdered and secretly buried at Kamloops. News of the alleged murders led to churches being set on fire, statues being toppled, and a panicked Prime Minister lowering Canadian flags across the country. In many places, Canada Day celebrations were called…

National research aimed at reforming Canada’s justice system

Experts to examine systemic problems, make evidence-based recommendations

National research aimed at reforming Canada’s justice systemA research team led by a University of Alberta scholar has received nearly $2.5 million in new federal funding for a national research project aimed at reforming the Canadian justice system. The team, headed by sociologist Sandra Bucerius and including the United Way and academic experts on the court and prison systems from across Canada, was awarded a Partnership Grant from…

Improve Indigenous lives by looking forward

Being stuck in the past won’t improve Indigenous lives. We need to focus on what’s next

Improve Indigenous lives by looking forwardThe overwhelming majority of Canadians regret the history of European contact with Indigenous peoples, and the injustices and hardships that followed over the hundreds of years since. At the same time, they celebrate Canada’s accomplishments, which have created a Canada that is the envy of the world. New Canadians are more than glad to be…

Alberta First Nation clinic will cut health-care wait times

The pandemic clearly taught us that Canada’s health-care system needs to reform

Alberta First Nation clinic will cut health-care wait timesIndigenous communities across Canada should learn from an Alberta First Nation that’s establishing a private health clinic to provide services that will reduce the pressure on the public system. The Alberta government recently approved a plan by the Enoch Cree Nation, close to Edmonton, to build a private clinic specializing in hip and knee surgeries.…

Earning a law degree fulfils grad’s lifelong dream

Assisting landmark Indigenous cases, Anita Cardinal-Stewart graduates with even stronger passion

Earning a law degree fulfils grad’s lifelong dreamThe caption on her junior-high yearbook photo reads, “Dreams of being a lawyer or an actress.” That was when Anita Cardinal-Stewart was full of hope, and anything seemed possible. But that hope evaporated through her teen years growing up in the Woodland Cree First Nation in northern Alberta. “I started to see how hard it…

How to wean Indigenous communities off diesel

The Trudeau government is completely overlooking LNG as a solution

How to wean Indigenous communities off dieselCanada is missing out on an opportunity to help Indigenous communities access a cheaper and more reliable form of clean energy in a zealous pursuit of certain renewable energy sources. In its recent climate plan, the federal government committed to reducing the reliance of remote communities on diesel fuel. Many First Nation, Métis and Inuit…

Indigenous knowledge sorely lacking in Canadian education system

Age of Enlightenment partly responsible for the destructive colonial logic that has wreaked so much havoc among Indigenous peoples

Indigenous knowledge sorely lacking in Canadian education systemThere is a wisdom principle known as wâhkôhtowin underpinning how Cree peoples fundamentally see the world. Literally, it means kinship but refers more widely to the interconnectedness of human beings with each other and with all other forms of life. According to Dwayne Donald – freshly appointed Canada Research Chair in reimagining teacher education with…

Beloved professor leaves a legacy of scholarship and support

James Dempsey played a key role in the U of A’s early ethics discussions around Indigenous engagement

Beloved professor leaves a legacy of scholarship and supportAs a first-year student at the University of Alberta years ago, Melanie Dene was understandably nervous. But when she got to James Dempsey’s class, she instantly felt better. “To see him I would never have guessed that he was a professor. He had long bushy hair and he wore a Native Pride hat, dark glasses,…

Indigenous education can and must be fixed

If the current arrangements continue, the result will be another lost generation or two

Indigenous education can and must be fixedCanadians have talked extensively about Indigenous education, with much of the recent conversation wrapped up in the condemnation of residential schools. But, despite loud and consistent protests by Indigenous leaders and others, the country has done precious little to address antiquated delivery processes, systemic failings and tragically disappointing outcomes. It might seem odd to say…

Carbon capture a ticket out of poverty for Indigenous communities

Energy economy and carbon tech sector have become a 'new buffalo'

Carbon capture a ticket out of poverty for Indigenous communitiesFirst Nations and Metis communities are becoming heavily involved in carbon capture and storage projects in Alberta, capitalizing on developments that would see carbon emissions from industrial sites get buried deep underground. Indigenous groups have obtained ownership stakes for two proposed carbon removal projects, the Open Access Wabamun Carbon Hub and Wolf Midstream Sequestration Hub,…

Imperial signs biggest ever contracts with Indigenous businesses

Oil sands companies spent a record $2.4 billion with 275 Indigenous businesses in 2019

Imperial signs biggest ever contracts with Indigenous businessesCanadian oil sands producer Imperial Oil says it has signed two of its largest-ever contracts with Indigenous businesses. Two joint ventures – one with the Fort McKay First Nation and another with the Mikisew Cree First Nation – will provide Imperial large-scale earthwork, land reclamation, and mining support services at its Kearl oil sands mine…

A watershed moment – rethinking our relationship with water

Maricor Arlos grew up around water, but when she came to Canada she found purpose in sustaining it

A watershed moment – rethinking our relationship with waterGrowing up in the Philippines, a country in the western Pacific Ocean made up of 7,107 islands, Maricor Arlos didn’t think much about the water that surrounded her. With no central sewage system, many households in the Philippines have septic tanks or other forms of decentralized waste collection that would be cleared out periodically without…
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