Aki Kikinomakaywin Program Offers Hands-on STEAM Learning Opportunities for Indigenous Youth in Northern Ontario

June 17, 2022

NORDIK Institute is launching its new Aki Kikinomakaywin (Learning on the land) program, which offers hands-on, Indigenous science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) training for Indigenous youth.

The program will run for one week in July at Lakehead University and Confederation College in Thunder Bay.

Aki Kikinomakaywin is a women- and Indigenous-led program that teaches Indigenous youth from Northern Ontario First Nation communities Indigenous ways of knowing and being through learning on the land through the use of western science techniques.

Aki Kikinomakaywin will be running a week-long camp in Thunder Bay at Lakehead University and Confederation College this summer 2022. The program is free to youth ages 12-14 and covers all costs for accommodation, transportation, and food. In future years, programs will be run in both Thunder Bay and Sault Ste Marie, Ontario.

Youth participating in the program will learn from local Elders, Water Walkers, and Knowledge Holders about Indigenous water laws and governance, as well as how to complete an Indigenous Impact Assessment using Indigenous ways of knowing and being.

Youth will learn how to code sensors to collect environmental data and learn how western science techniques can be used to support Indigenous science, while also becoming more confident in university and college settings.

“The Elders have said that we need to teach our young on the land. Mother Earth is our education system, she is our pharmacy, our kitchen, our everything. By learning on the land, our young will come to understand she is our everything” said Dr. Susan Bell-Chiblow, Assistant Professor at the University of Guelph, NORDIK Research Associate and, and Anishinaabekwe from Garden River First Nation, who is a Co-Lead to the program.

“The youth will learn that we all come from water and need to protect the waters. They will gain the understanding that water is life, is alive with spirit, and is medicine. They will understand that as Anishinaabek, we always did science. This will provide confidence in who they are and potentially assist them in career decisions,” Dr. Chiblow said.

Aki Kikinomakaywin is led by an Advisory Group that is comprised of Indigenous women who are all leaders in the education field and their communities.

This Advisory Group is led by Marnie Yourchuk the Education Program Manager at Mamaweswen, The North Shore Tribal Council; Erin Desjardins is a Stewardship Intern at Matawa and Four Rivers, as well as an M.Sc. candidate at Lakehead University; Lisa Harris is the Coordinator of the Niijii Indigenous Mentorship program at Lakehead University; Mary Wabano-McKay is the Vice President of Nyaagaaniid, Anishinabe Initiatives, Equity and Student Success at Algoma University; Nicole Nicolas-Bayer is the Director of Mukwa Waakaa’igan at Algoma University; Carolyn Hepburn is the Dean of Indigenous Studies and Academic Upgrading at Sault College, and lastly Jasmine Baxter is an Environmental Technician with Matawa and Four Rivers who is also completing her Honours B.Sc. in Environmental Science at Lakehead University.

Dr. Gayle Broad, Professor Emerita at Algoma University and Research Associate at NORDIK Institute, has also played an integral role in developing the program.

Aki Kikinomakaywin is also fortunate to be partnering with Water First and Let’s Talk Science to provide engaging water-focused and coding hands-on western science activities.

“Aki Kikinomakaywin is an important program aiming to support Ontario’s northern First Nation youth in learning about careers in STEAM,” said Haley MacLeod, a Ph.D. Candidate at Lakehead University and a Co-Lead on the program.

“Allowing youth to learn from local Elders and Knowledge Holders will provide a unique opportunity to get youth excited about their own knowledge systems and future career opportunities. I am excited to help get youth on to the land and in the lab and to provide more education opportunities in the North,” MacLeod said.

Applications and additional information are available on the program’s website at akikikinomakaywin.com.

NORDIK Institute is excited to aid in this program. This program will benefit Indigenous youth in Northern Ontario through providing them with unique learning opportunities and provide a model for future land-based learning opportunities in the region.

 

 

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Media Contact:

 

Dr. Susan Chiblow

Aki Kikinomakaywin Co-Lead

Assistant Professor, University of Guelph

Email: schiblow@uoguelph.ca

Phone: 705-975-1604

 

Algoma University

Megan Parlowe

Communications Officer

Desk: 705.949.2301, Ext. 4121

Cell: 705.971.2227

Email: megan.parlowe@algomau.ca

 

 

About NORDIK Institute: NORDIK Institute is an innovative community development and community-based research hub affiliated with Algoma University, dedicated to building healthy, resilient communities. Its goal is to build Northern Ontario’s capacity to conduct research that contributes to social, economic and environmental justice in rural, Indigenous, and northern communities and provides evidence for informed policy and decision making.

 

About Algoma University: Algoma University, established in Sault Ste. Marie in 1965, offers a wide range of degrees and certificates spanning the liberal arts, sciences, and professional disciplines. The University also offers programming at growing campus locations in Brampton and Timmins. Algoma University has a Special Mission to cultivate cross-cultural learning between Indigenous populations and other communities.  For more information, please visit www.algomau.ca.

 

About Confederation College: Confederation College has been serving the citizens of northwestern Ontario since 1967 meeting the educational needs of students in a catchment area of some 550,000 square kilometres. Along with its main campus in Thunder Bay, Confederation College has seven regional sites located in Dryden, Fort Frances, Greenstone, Kenora, Marathon, Sioux Lookout and Red Lake, as well as a growing Distance Education division. Confederation College delivers exceptional education and training to an average of 7,000 combined full- and part-time students per year and currently has a total of 600 full- and part-time employees. Confederation’s regional economic impact and contribution is valued at $707.3 million annually.

 

About Lakehead University: Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has nine faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. Lakehead University’s achievements have been recognized nationally and internationally, including being ranked, once again, among Canada’s Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities in Maclean’s 2021 University Rankings; as well as included in the top half of Times Higher Education's 2022 World Universities Rankings for the third consecutive year, and the number one university in the world with fewer than 10,000 students in THE's 2022 Impact Rankings (which assesses institutions against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals). Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

 

About Niijii: Lakehead University's Niijii Indigenous Mentorship Program delivers educational programming and a hands-on experience to thousands of Indigenous youth throughout Northwestern Ontario. The program frequently visits regional school classrooms to conduct a multitude of activities, experiments, and motivational challenges. Niijii matches experienced university students (at the undergrad, graduate and post-graduate levels) with Indigenous high school students from all across the region to create a positive connection that both inspires and assists the high school student in thinking about post-secondary through learning about science and cultural based activities.

 

About Let’s Talk Science: Let’s Talk Science – a leading partner in Canadian education – is a national charitable organization committed to inspiring and empowering children and youth of all ages in Canada to develop the skills they need to participate and thrive in an ever-changing world. To accomplish this, Let’s Talk Science offers a comprehensive suite of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) based programs to support youth, educators, and volunteers across Canada. For more information about Let's Talk Science, visit letstalkscience.ca.

 

About Water First Education & Training Inc. (Water First): Water First is a registered Canadian charity that works in partnership with Indigenous communities to address water challenges through education, training and meaningful collaboration. Since 2009, Water First has collaborated with 60 Indigenous communities located in the lands now known as Canada while supporting Indigenous youth and young adults to pursue careers in water science. To learn more about Water First, visit www.waterfirst.ngo.

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant supports EDI research

June 29, 2022 – Orillia, Ont.

Lakehead University professor Dr. Sandra Jeppesen is receiving $448,376 from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada under their new Race, Gender, and Diversity Initiative launched this year.

Dr. Jeppesen, professor in the Media, Film, and Communications program at Lakehead’s Orillia Campus, will be leading an international team of community-engaged scholars and community organizations to foster knowledge and build capacity around equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) practices.

“Institutional policies surrounding EDI have become commonplace, but have proven quite inadequate in improving inequality,” Dr. Jeppesen said. “We aim to develop more effective practices throughout organizations.”

Over three years, the research team that includes the Gilbert Centre in Barrie, Pixelles and We Are The Medium in Montreal, the Rungh Cultural Society in Vancouver, and the University of Virginia Equity Centre in Charlottesville, will investigate critical EDI work being done at the community level using an innovative assets-based approach.

“The partner community organizations have been doing equity, diversity and inclusion long before it became a catchphrase,” explained Dr. Jeppesen. “We have much to learn from them and we hope they will benefit through co-research to document their work, learn from one another, and see their practices utilized throughout many sectors of society for in-depth social and cultural transformation.”

Utilizing interviews, focus groups, meetings, and archival research the team will share, analyze, expand and systematize understandings of the work community organizations do around EDI. Results from that work will drive the development of toolkits and workshops that will be mobilized to support organizations across Canada through a proof-of-concept trial run.

"Our objective is to understand the deep EDI capacity and experience of small community organizations working across issues of race, gender, and LGBTQ+ as well as rurality, immigration, and age,” Dr. Jeppesen said. “And then make this experience available to larger organizations to support, improve, and amplify their on-going EDI efforts, which will have profound impacts across Canada and globally.

Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Lakehead University’s Vice-President, Research and Innovation, congratulated the research team and thanked SSHRC for their continued support of Lakehead’s important research.

“At Lakehead we value and put particular emphasis on partnerships and research collaborations with community-based organizations,” Dr. Dean said. “Recognizing the importance of EDI in today’s workplace, we know that the research results obtained through this grant will have tangible outcomes for our communities, both locally and nationally.” 

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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Jaclyn Bucik, Media, Communications and Marketing Associate, at 705-330-4010 ext. 2014 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

 

Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has nine faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. Lakehead University’s achievements have been recognized nationally and internationally, including being ranked, once again, among Canada’s Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities in Maclean’s 2021 University Rankings; as well as included in the top half of Times Higher Education's 2022 World Universities Rankings for the third consecutive year, and the number one university in the world with fewer than 10,000 students in THE’s 2022 Impact Rankings (which assesses institutions against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals). Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

Women stands at a glass stair railing

Tipi at Agora Circle

Tipi stands outside the Agora Circle

The 18-foot tipi at the Agora Circle was purchased from Assiniboine Tipis in Lundar, Manitoba. Tipis originated on the plains but today they have become a universal symbol for Indigenous peoples across Canada. They were once covered with bark or animal skins but now, many are made of canvas. The painting depicted on the tipi, called People of the Forest, acknowledges the Ojibwe peoples of this area. The door of the tipi faces east; away from the prevailing winds. The tipi’s conical shape is held up by 12 spruce poles measuring 23 feet. The smoke flaps at the top of the tipi are used to control smoke and air quality when a fire is made inside. They can also be closed when it’s raining.

The Indigenous Student Services Centre (ISSC) has erected the tipi at the Agora Circle for everyone’s enjoyment but remember to use it respectfully. As a safety precaution, individuals are not permitted to untie the ropes, remove pegs, or climb the tipi poles or ropes. Please be extremely cautious in crossing the Agora Circle drive, as it often has significant traffic and due to the Circle’s curves and trees, moving vehicles may not be easily visible.

Anyone wishing to use the tipi can contact the ISSC at adm.issc@lakeheadu.ca , call 807-343-8010 ext. 8085, or stop by UC 1007 to make a booking. If you have questions about the tipi, we’re happy to answer them!

Lakehead University researchers receiving more than $1 million from SSHRC

June 16, 2022 – Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ont

Lakehead University researchers are receiving more than $1 million in funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. 

Dr. Cheryl Lousley, an Associate Professor in the Departments of English and Interdisciplinary Studies, and her team are receiving a $319,473 Insight Grant.

Photo of Dr. Cheryl Lousley

For up to five years, they will study how three aesthetic modes – the poetic, the documentary, and the speculative – are used by Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian-diasporic writers, filmmakers, and artists to grapple with and change debilitating political ecologies.

“We will examine how cultural production, political economy, settler-colonialism, and environmentality intersected in four periods of the Canadian nation-building project,” Dr. Lousley said.

This research will focus on historical- and site-specific case studies, including racialized railway ecologies; notions of foreign and invasive species; resilient cities; Canadian labour and resource extraction in Latin America; and Indigenous “wonderworks,” which are modes of the fantastic.

This research will fill a large gap. Across the social sciences and humanities, research on racialization and ecology in Canada is limited, generally focusing on specific events of environmental injustice, not broader social formations of colonialism, race and ecology.

The research team will be comprised of three tenured scholars, four tenure-track emerging scholars, a postdoctoral researcher, and a number of student research assistants.

Dr. Jodie Murphy, an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work, along with her research team, Dr. Karen McQueen, Dr. Lori Chambers and Ainsley Miller, are receiving a $145,305 Insight Grant to explore sexual assault disclosure among sexual and gender minorities for up to three years.

Photo of Dr. Jodie Murphy

A better understanding is needed of the disclosure experience and unique needs of sexual and gender minorities who are sexually assaulted in order to develop interventions and safe spaces for them to attain support for sexual victimization.

This qualitative research seeks to explore the first-hand accounts of four distinct groups of sexual and gender minorities (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) who experience sexual assault and disclose it to a formal support provider (counsellors, police, medical professionals, teachers, religious leaders, community providers).

Statistics have found that individuals from sexual and gender minority populations are sexually assaulted at a rate three times higher than the heterosexual population in Canada and violent victimization (including rape and sexual assault) is four times higher than heterosexuals in the US.

“Research on sexual assault has typically been conducted through a heteronormative lens that assumes females are victims and males are perpetrators, which neglects the unique experiences and perspectives of sexual and gender minorities who experience sexual assault,” Dr. Murphy said.

Dr. Pauline Sameshima, a Professor in the Faculty of Education and the Canada Research Chair in Arts Integrated Research, is receiving a $97,950 Aid to Scholarly Journals Grant over three years, which will go toward increasing dissemination, discoverability and readership of the Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies.

Photo of Dr. Pauline Sameshima

“This funding will be used to pay the managing editor, five bloggers, a communications coordinator, and technology support,” said Dr. Sameshima, who became the journal’s editor-in-chief in 2015 with Dr. Holly Tsun Haggarty, a Lakehead alumna, as managing editor.  

This is the second Aid to Scholarly Journals Grant received by JCACS. In 2019, JCACS received $100,930 to develop innovations to build JCACS’ community, support, and mentorship structures. 

JCACS expanded to 24 people including a French team. The journal also developed a Facebook community, a Twitter account, a YouTube channel, and a Medium publication. 

Dr. Sameshima said the registered number of users has grown from 448 in 2015 to 2,544 in 2021. In 2015 the total number of PDF downloads was 4,031, whereas in 2021 it was 29,965.

JCACS publishes articles in English and in French (as RACEC) that address curriculum issues of interest to Canada and Canadians and an international readership. It is the journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies (CACS), which is a constituent association of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education.

“Congratulations to each researcher and thank you to SSHRC for its continued support for Lakehead University,” said Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Lakehead’s Vice-President, Research and Innovation.

“These projects show the variety of quality research that Lakehead University does in the areas of Humanities and Social Sciences. They also highlight the important research in the fields of social justice and equality at the University.”

The Research Support Fund is a federal funding program for post-secondary institutions in Canada to support some of the costs associated with managing research funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

In 2020/21, Lakehead University received nearly $2 million in assistance from the Research Support Fund to support the indirect costs of research, which includes costs for supporting the management of intellectual property, research and administration, ethics and regulatory compliance, research resources, and research facilities.

New SSHRC Funding

Total amount received: $1,002,901

Aid to Scholarly Journals (three-year grant)

Dr. Pauline Sameshima, Faculty of Education,   Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies/La revue de l'association canadienne pour l'étude de curriculum, $94,950.

Connection Grants (one-year grants)

Dr. Ellen G. Field, Faculty of Education (Orillia), Youth Sustainability Summit: Enabling Youth-led Dialogue and Action, $24,354.

  • Co-investigators
    • Dr. Linda Rodenburg, Interdisciplinary Studies

Dr. Jula Hughes, Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, Killed for Our Own Good? Ending Police Violence Against Indigenous People in Need of Assistance, $49,670.

  • Co-investigators
    • Dr. Karen Pearlston, University of New Brunswick
    • Robin Whitehead, Bora Laskin Faculty of Law
  • Collaborators
    • Elizabeth A. Blaney, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples
    • Michelle A. Perley, New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council

Insight Grants (three- to five-year grants)

Dr. Kathy M. Kortes-Miller, School of Social Work, Disrupting Death; An examination of Canadian Experiences with Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD), $289,226.

  • Co-investigators
    • Dr. Arne J. Stinchcombe, University of Ottawa
    • Dr. Kimberley J. Wilson, University of Guelph

Dr. Cheryl Lousley, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, Racialized Ecologies in and Beyond Settler-Colonial Canada: Documentary, Speculative, and Poetic Texts and Contexts, $319,473.

  • Co-investigators
    • Dr. Anita E. Girvan, Athabasca University
    • Dr. Nandini A. Thiyagarajan, Acadia University
    • Dr. Renae Watchman, McMaster University
    • Dr. Susie C. O'Brien, McMaster University
    • Dr. Tania G. Aguila-Way, University of Toronto
  • Collaborator
    • Dr. Joanne Leow, University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Jodie Murphy-Oikonen, School of Social Work, Sexual Assault Disclosure Among Sexual and Gender Minorities, $145,305.

  • Co-investigators
    • Dr. Karen A. McQueen, Lakehead University
    • Dr. Lori Chambers, Lakehead University
  • Collaborators
    • Ainsley Miller, Lakehead University

Knowledge Synthesis Grants – Emerging Asocial Society (one-year grant)

Dr. Vicki Kristman, Department of Health Sciences, Virtual Work From Home & Mental Well-being: A Scoping Review, $29,923.

  • Co-investigator
    • Dr. Lynn Martin, Lakehead University

Partnership Development Grants (one-year grants)

 

Dr. Kathryn Amanda Maranzan, Department of Psychology, Identifying and Understanding the Stigma Experienced by Injured Workers through a Systematic Review and Stakeholder Focus Group Engagement, $25,000.

  • Co-investigators
    • Bill J. Chedore, Canadian Injured Workers Alliance
    • Lynn K. Cooper, Canadian Injured Workers Alliance
    • Minerva J.A. Porelle, Canadian Injured Workers Alliance
  • Partner
    • Canadian Injured Workers Alliance, Thunder Bay, Ontario

 

Dr. Robert Petrunia, Department of Economics, Exploring Alternative Data Sources for Timely Studies of Business Dynamics, $25,000.

  • Collaborators
    • Dr. Heng Chen, Bank of Canada
    • Dr. Kim P. Huynh, Bank of Canada
    • Dr. Anson Ho, Toronto Metropolitan University
    • Dr. Danny Leung, Statistics Canada
    • Dr. Marcel-Cristian Voia, Université d’Orléans
  • Partner
    • Bank of Canada

 

 

 

 

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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Media, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8110 ext. 8372 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

 

Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has nine faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. Lakehead University’s achievements have been recognized nationally and internationally, including being ranked, once again, among Canada’s Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities in Maclean’s 2021 University Rankings; as well as included in the top half of Times Higher Education's 2022 World Universities Rankings for the third consecutive year, and the number one university in the world with fewer than 10,000 students in THE’s 2022 Impact Rankings (which assesses institutions against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals). Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

Lakehead University Orillia hosting a Tipi Raising Gathering on Saturday

poster

June 15, 2022 – Orillia, Ont.

In honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day, Lakehead University Orillia will host a Tipi Raising Gathering this Saturday, June 18.

The day will begin with a Sunrise Ceremony on campus at 5:32 a.m., followed by crafting, flint knapping, wampum teaching, drum teaching, and more.

Starting at 9:30 a.m., Elder Jimmy Dick will share Tipi Teachings, and together Lakehead will raise the tipi with the community.

This event is presented in partnership with Mamaway Wiidokdaadwin, and is funded in part by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

All are welcome. Attendees are asked to bring a lawn chair. Refreshments will be provided.

Please register for the event by clicking this link: lakeheadu.ca/tipiraising.

 

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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Media, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8010 ext. 8372 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

 

 

 

 

Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has nine faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. Lakehead University’s achievements have been recognized nationally and internationally, including being ranked, once again, among Canada’s Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities in Maclean’s 2021 University Rankings; as well as included in the top half of Times Higher Education's 2022 World Universities Rankings for the third consecutive year, and the number one university in the world with fewer than 10,000 students in THE's 2022 Impact Rankings (which assesses institutions against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals). Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

Lakehead University welcomed elementary school students to campus through the Achievement Program

Photo of Wolfie sneaking up on Tom Warden and Amanda Stefanile. 

Tom Warden and Amanda Stefanile spoke to students about the Achievement Program while a special guest, Wolfie, snuck up behind them.

June 9, 2022 – Thunder Bay, Ont.

Lakehead University’s ActiveU staff hosted around 60 students from the Superior North Catholic District School Board and the Superior-Greenstone District School Board on Thursday, June 9 as part of the annual Achievement Program Day on Campus.

Lakehead started the Achievement Program in 2011 to help students obtain a post-secondary education.

The Achievement Program is Lakehead University’s commitment to supporting access to post-secondary education by providing an opportunity to potential future students who experience socioeconomic barriers to obtaining post-secondary education.

“This extremely important program helps open doors and remove barriers to deciding on a university degree,” said Tom Warden, Lakehead University’s Athletics Director.

“The program connects youth with athletics and recreation and provides a welcoming environment that allows youth to feel comfortable at Lakehead University.”

The Achievement Program offers children who might otherwise not have been able to attend University the opportunity to experience it. School boards choose eligible schools based on socioeconomic status and families self enrol.

Children in grades 4-12 participate in programming yearly in their school, community and at Lakehead University, and in return earn financial support for Lakehead University once they graduate high school.

On Thursday approximately 60 students visited campus from four different elementary schools.

“The Achievement Program at Lakehead University opens doors and creates opportunities for students that would otherwise not exist,” said Maria Vasanelli, Director of Education at the Superior North Catholic District School Board.

“It’s visionary and helps young students start on a track moving forward,” Vasanelli added.

Nicole Morden Cormier, Director of Education for Superior-Greenstone District School Board, said the school board values this partnership with Lakehead University.

“We are thankful for the opportunity to work with the Achievement Program to provide equity of access to post-secondary education and provide students with the skills needed to achieve academic success,” she said.

Amanda Stefanile, Achievement Program Coordinator, said she was happy to have students back on campus for the day.

“I'm so excited to host our students on campus this year,” Stefanile said. 

“The smiles on the kids’ faces as they participate in recreational, educational and cultural programming is the highlight for me. I really want to thank Lakehead’s faculty and staff for their assistance in providing hands-on programming for our students.”

Achievement Program Day on Campus had students exploring campus through educational activities offered by ActiveU, the School of Kinesiology, Let’s Talk Science, and Indigenous Initiatives. 

 

 

 

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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Media, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8010 ext. 8372 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

 

 

 

 

Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has nine faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. Lakehead University’s achievements have been recognized nationally and internationally, including being ranked, once again, among Canada’s Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities in Maclean’s 2021 University Rankings; as well as included in the top half of Times Higher Education's 2022 World Universities Rankings for the third consecutive year, and the number one university in the world with fewer than 10,000 students in THE's 2022 Impact Rankings (which assesses institutions against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals). Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

Lakehead University’s Dr. Max Haiven renewed as Canada Research Chair in Radical Imagination

Photo of Dr. Max Haiven

Dr. Max Haiven

June 7, 2022 – Thunder Bay, Ont.

The Government of Canada recently renewed Lakehead University’s Dr. Max Haiven as Canada Research Chair in Radical Imagination.

Dr. Haiven is an Associate Professor in English and co-director of Lakehead’s ReImagining Value Action Lab, also known as RiVAL.

“My work is dedicated to helping us recognize that our society is the product of our collective imagination,” he said.

“If we can imagine it into being, we can imagine alternatives. We desperately need alternatives that help us move towards better horizons of social and ecological justice.”

Dr. Haiven continues his innovative research into the power of the imagination to shape society, the economy and politics with a special focus on the opportunities and challenges posed by new media and communication technologies.

His research has three broad objectives. The first is to develop new theories and approaches to inform the interdisciplinary study of the imagination.

The second is to explore new methods for studying and also activating the imagination that bring together academics, artists, arts professionals, activists, and advocates for social justice.

The third is to embrace and experiment with new digital modes for collaborating and communicating.

To meet these objectives, Dr. Haiven is working on an array of independent and collaborative research ventures. His explorations of the global history, politics, economics, and cultures of palm oil synthesizes information from many disciplines. This will advance an innovative theory of race and capitalism in the form of a short book, a podcast, an exhibition, and other multimedia.

In another project, Dr. Haiven will continue using methodologies of participant observation, ethnography, and interviews to learn how diverse activists across Turtle Island (North America) are challenging the way human and non-human life is (de)valued in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. By doing so, they are generating new and radical ideas of how to be human on a troubled planet.

“Thank you to the CRC program for their support of this research chair and congratulations to Dr. Max Haiven,” said Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Lakehead’s Vice-President, Research and Innovation.

“One of Lakehead University pillars in our Strategic Plan is Social Accountability. Dr. Haiven’s work is rooted in the media, communication, and literature of social justice. We are really excited to see the outcomes of his research over the period of the research chair,” Dr. Dean said.

 

 

 

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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Media, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8010 ext. 8372 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

 

 

Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has nine faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. Lakehead University’s achievements have been recognized nationally and internationally, including being ranked, once again, among Canada’s Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities in Maclean’s 2021 University Rankings; as well as included in the top half of Times Higher Education's 2022 World Universities Rankings for the third consecutive year, and the number one university in the world with fewer than 10,000 students in THE’s 2022 Impact Rankings (which assesses institutions against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals). Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

$1 million CIHR grant supports University-City Partnerships

For Immediate Release - Tuesday, May 31, 2022

A $1 million grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) aims to improve local health outcomes for residents of Thunder Bay and Ottawa throughpartnership between academic researchers, universities, and municipalities.

NOSM University, City of Thunder Bay, and Lakehead University are collaborating with the University of Ottawa and the City of Ottawa, to address locally identified health and safety priorities. Recognized globally, the CityStudio framework of city-campus collaboration encourages post-secondary students to be agents of change for social accountability in their communities.

“CityStudio is internationally recognized for helping municipalities and academic institutions collaborate to create bridges across municipal government, academic institutions and the community in a concerted effort to address the unique challenges they face,” says Dr. Erin Cameron, Director of the Centre for Social Accountability at NOSM University and a Principal Investigator on the grant.

In collaboration with a team out of the University of Ottawa, led by Dr. Claire Kendall, Associate Dean of Social Accountability in the Faculty of Medicine and senior investigator at the Bruyère Research Institute, the project engages two municipalities, Ottawa and Thunder Bay, and a team of researchers who will use the CIHR funding to evaluate the impact of city-campus engagement on population health.

“One of the challenges in researching community engagement is that it’s a very complex phenomenon,” says Dr. Kendall. “Not only does it involve many different stakeholders, it also has components that interact and create feedback loops. Untangling all of these different aspects to see what’s actually going on is a lengthy, and frankly, quite difficult process, which is why it hasn’t been done before.”

Thunder Bay will receive $370K over four years to implement the project, which includes the hiring of a research coordinator. The funding will also evaluate the reciprocal relationship between cities and academic institutions and their ability to improve population health outcomes.

“We are thrilled that CIHR recognises this as an opportunity to connect communities with the academic research of universities. It aligns with NOSM University’s social accountability mandate to address the priority health concerns of communities and advocate for community engagement that is grounded in co-creation,” says Dr. Cameron.

“The Thunder Bay community, through the Community Safety & Well-Being Plan, has identified priorities related to safety and well-being. This project will help harness university resources to implement projects aimed at addressing these priorities, and deepen understanding at the municipal level , to make Thunder Bay a safer, healthier and more equitable community,” says Lee-Ann Chevrette, Community Safety and Well-Being Specialist at the City of Thunder Bay.

“This project brings together education, research, and community,” says Dr. Cameron, “and brings together an amazing team of researchers from Thunder Bay, including Dr. Helle Moeller and Dr. Rebecca Schiff from Lakehead University.” The CityStudio framework will be implemented and studied for three years while Thunder Bay and Ottawa identify their respective successes, challenges, and unique differences.

Thunder Bay and Ottawa share many challenges and factors closely linked to the social determinants of health in the areas of poverty, education, housing, racism, childhood experiences, and access to health services.

“Throughout the development of the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan for Thunder Bay, we engaged with community partners and citizens to identify local priorities that, if addressed, would have the greatest impacts on improving safety and well-being for those living in Thunder Bay,” says Chevrette. “This grant will help determine how to most effectively engage our community and implement our plan.”

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NOSM University is Canada’s first independent medical university and one of the greatest education and physician workforce strategy success stories of Northern Ontario. More than just a medical university, it was purpose built to address the health needs of the region. While advocating for equitable access to care, the university contributes to the economic development of Northern Ontario. NOSM University relies on the commitment and expertise of the peoples of Northern Ontario to educate health-care professionals to practise in Indigenous, Francophone, rural, remote and underserved communities. With a focus on diversity, inclusion and advocacy, NOSM University is an award-winning, socially accountable organization renowned for its innovative model of distributed, community-engaged education and research.

The City of Thunder Bay is the largest community in northwestern Ontario, located on the shore of Lake Superior. The city is situated on the traditional territory of Fort William First Nation, a signatory to the Robinson Superior Treaty of 1850. With a population of approximately 110,000 people, the city acts as a hub for northwestern Ontario.

Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has nine faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. Lakehead University’s achievements have been recognized nationally and internationally, including being ranked, once again, among Canada’s Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities in Maclean’s 2021 University Rankings; as well as included in the top half of Times Higher Education's 2022 World Universities Rankings for the third consecutive year, and the number one university in the world with fewer than 10,000 students in THE’s 2022 Impact Rankings (which assesses institutions against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals). Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

CityStudio is a proven model of experiential learning and civic engagement that works by harnessing university resources, such as faculty expertise and student hours, to work on community-oriented projects identified by the municipality. CityStudio has been implemented successfully in 15 cities worldwide to date.

 

For media requests please contact:

Kim Latimer
Communications and External Relations
NOSM University
Phone: 807-621-4303
Email: klatimer@nosm.ca

 

Brandon Walker
Media, Communications and Marketing Associate
Lakehead University
(807) 343-8110 ext. 8372 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca

 

For further information about the City Studio Model, please contact:

Dr. Erin Cameron, PhD.
Director, Centre for Social Accountability
NOSM University
Office: 807-766-7451

Cell: 807-631-1682
Email: ercameron@nosm.ca


Lee-Ann Chevrette
Community Safety & Well-Being Specialist
City of Thunder Bay
Phone: 807-631-4422
Email: lee-ann.chevrette@thunderbay.ca

Newly launched Anishinaabe Kendaasiwin Institute supporting Indigenous self-determination in Northwestern Ontario

Group photo

AKI Director Dr. Lana Ray, centre, with two of the grandmothers who advised on the institute - Dorothy Taylor,
second from left, and Sherry Copenace, second from right. Also included are Denise Baxter, left, from the Office
of Indigenous Initiatives, and Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, whose departments
sponsored the Institute.

 

May 30, 2022 – Thunder Bay, Ont. 

The Anishinaabe Kendaasiwin Institute (AKI) was launched on Monday, May 30 at Lakehead University.

“Anishinaabe Kendaasiwin” – which loosely translates to “Anishnaabe knowledge systems” – is central to the mandate of AKI, which seeks to support mino-bimaadiziwin among Anishinaabe peoples, nations and territories through research that is situated in Anishinaabe Kendaasiwin and good relationships.

“Historically, research has been extractive in nature – to the detriment of Indigenous peoples and lands,” said Dr. Lana Ray, AKI’s Director.

The Institute seeks to privilege Anishinaabe ways of knowing and being in research, to advance research excellence defined by Anishinaabe peoples and principles, to expand and support Indigenous governed and driven research and to support community building and mobilization between Indigenous peoples.

“AKI was founded on the premise that if research is done right it can play an important role in advancing the visions and needs of Indigenous peoples and lands,” Dr. Ray said.

“We at AKI are committed to engaging in research that is relevant to Indigenous peoples and meets Indigenous defined ethical standards,” she added.

“We are very excited and supportive of the launch of AKI,” said Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Lakehead’s Vice-President, Research and Innovation.

“This Centre will provide an important avenue for the creation and stewardship of Indigenous knowledge. Congratulations to Dr. Lana Ray for developing this research Centre.” 

AKI has already begun its work, hosting “Telling Our Stories: Indigenous Self-Determination in Data and Research,” a regional Native American and Indigenous Studies Association conference.

“The Telling Our Stories: Indigenous Self-Determination in Data and Research” conference is a two-day event that is bringing together Indigenous organizations, communities, and scholars to discuss Indigenous and anti-colonial approaches to research, data governance and ethics and engage in planning work.

“We are so pleased at AKI to be hosting this conference to raise up the important work of Indigenous scholars and communities who are reclaiming their roles as storytellers of their nations,” Dr. Ray said.

“By reclaiming our roles as data stewards, we actively assert our right to be self-determining and advance decolonial futures.”

 

 

AKI logo

 AKI logo.

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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Media, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8110 ext. 8372 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

 

Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has nine faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. Lakehead University’s achievements have been recognized nationally and internationally, including being ranked, once again, among Canada’s Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities in Maclean’s 2021 University Rankings; as well as included in the top half of Times Higher Education's 2022 World Universities Rankings for the third consecutive year, and the number one university in the world with fewer than 10,000 students in THE’s 2022 Impact Rankings (which assesses institutions against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals). Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

Lakehead University’s Steel Bridge Team brings home two awards from National Finals

Photo of the Steel Bridge Team holding the bridge above their heads.

 
From left, Matthew Scott, Felix LaSalle, Damien Grayda, Philip Duke, and Paul Graham demonstrate
why their bridge came second in lightness.

June 6, 2022 – Thunder Bay, Ont.

Five Engineering students from Lakehead University travelled to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA to compete in the ASCE/AISC Student Steel Bridge National Finals on May 27 and 28.

The 2022 team, led by Dr. Yanglin Gong, includes Damien Grayda, Paul Graham, Matthew Scott, Felix LaSalle, and Philip Duke.

The competition was held over two days with bridges from 34 North American universities being judged on aesthetics, construction speed, lightness, stiffness, construction economy, structural efficiency, overall performance, and cost estimation.

The team placed 11th overall and brought back two awards: second in lightness and second in cost estimation. Lakehead came first out of the Canadian teams in overall ranking, ahead of the University of British Columbia, which placed 14th.

“The competition was an amazing way to finish my studies at Lakehead University,” said team captain Damien Grayda.

“In all my years of being in post-secondary, this certainly is the accomplishment I am most proud of. My team worked incredibly hard, faced adversity, and overcame many challenges to get where we are,” he said.

“The competition atmosphere is something I would recommend to anyone. Being able to meet students from across North America was unbelievably enlightening. The bonds formed by sharing our ideas, experiences, and challenges made for a weekend I will never forget.

“The level of ingenuity that every school brought was inspiring and, although I will not be competing, has made me eager to provide guidance for next year’s team to help them achieve their goals,” Grayda added.

Paul Graham, the team’s co-captain, said taking this project from inception all the way to designing and building the bridge was the best learning experience that he had at Lakehead University.

“Seeing the creativity other teams used in the design of their bridges and in their construction sequencing was eye opening,” Graham said.

“What I learned from this experience and the connections I made was priceless. I look forward to being able to take what I’ve learned moving forward in my career and to help next year’s team to excel and to represent Lakehead at the National Finals again.”

The team prepared for this competition for an entire year, spending over 1,500 hours on the project.

“Their commitment and work ethic made me feel honored to be the faculty advisor for this team,” Dr. Gong said.

By participating in the bridge competition, students learn many important skills in addition to the technical aspect. Such skills include teamwork, communication, leadership, fundraising, and networking.

 “It even helps build character and perseverance,” Dr. Gong said.

“From talking with former bridge team members, their involvement with the competitions ends up being the fondest and most lasting memories of their Lakehead educational experience, which they carry with them and share with other students throughout life.”

The 2022 National Finals was the 21st year that Lakehead University’s Steel Bridge team participated in the American competition. It was also the first in-person competition since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the regional competition hosted by the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in April, the Lakehead team won first overall, and qualified for the national finals. In total, about 150 universities competed in 20 regional conferences. Among them, 35 teams were invited to the National Finals.

“This is a great achievement,” said Dr. Sam Salem, Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering.

This proves that the Lakehead steel bridge team is strongly standing out to continue the legacy of over 20 years of victories in this top international student competition,” said Dr. Sam Salem, the chair of the Department of Civil Engineering.

Support Needed

The team appreciates support from companies, unions, and engineering firms to assist in meeting the costs to participate in the competition. The team would welcome additional sponsors for future competitions.  Anyone interested can contact the team’s faculty advisor, Dr. Yanglin Gong, at ygong@lakeheadu.ca or (807) 343-8010, ext. 8412.

 

 

 

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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Media, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8010 ext. 8372 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

 

Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has nine faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. Lakehead University’s achievements have been recognized nationally and internationally, including being ranked, once again, among Canada’s Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities in Maclean’s 2021 University Rankings; as well as included in the top half of Times Higher Education's 2022 World Universities Rankings for the third consecutive year, and the number one university in the world with fewer than 10,000 students in THE’s 2022 Impact Rankings (which assesses institutions against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals). Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

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