#LibraryOfCongress; #AndrewWMellonFoundation; #NewInitiative; #PeopleWideningPath
Washington/Canadian-Media: Supported by a $15 million investment from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Library of Congress (LoC) today announced a new multiyear initiative, 'Of the People: Widening the Path' to connect more deeply with Black, Hispanic, Indigenous and other minority communities by expanding its collections, using technology to enable storytelling and offering more internship and fellowship opportunities, LoC reports said.
Library of Congress. Image credit: Twitter handle
Representing the largest grant from a private foundation in the Library’s history, as well as among the largest grants that the foundation awarded in its 2020 cycle, this new initiative would lead to new opportunities for new generations to participate in creating, preserving and sharing the nation’s cultural treasures and preserve more underrepresented perspectives and experiences.
"The Library of Congress is the people’s public library, and we are delighted that it will engage diverse and inclusive public participation in expanding our country’s historical and creative records,” said Mellon Foundation President Elizabeth Alexander.
Weaving a more inclusive American story would reflect in the historical record's diverse experiences as well as inform how we use those materials to understand our past.
Three programs through which these initiatives will be accomplished included are community-based documentarians to expand the Library’s collections with new perspectives; funding paid internships and fellowships to benefit from the wisdom of students and engage the next generation of diverse librarians; and connecting with underserved communities and institutions by creating a range of digital engagements.
Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress also said that this grant will enhance the Library’s efforts in empowering relationships with those who are too often left out of the American story and added,
“By inviting communities of color and other underrepresented groups to partner on a wider, more inclusive path for connection to the Library of Congress, we invest in an enduring legacy of the multifaceted American story that truly is ‘Of the People.”
#ON; #IndigenousLearners; #OSAP; #PostSecondaryInstitutes
Ottawa/Canada: The Ontario government's expansion of the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) for eligible programs at Indigenous Institutes starting in the 2020-21 academic year was announced on Jan 22 by Greg Rickford, Ontario's Minister of Indigenous Affairs on behalf of Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities.
Centre for Indigenous students. Image credit: Facebook page
"For the first time in Ontario's history, students will be able to access culturally supportive, OSAP eligible programs that are independently delivered at Indigenous Institutes," said Minister Rickford in a news release. "Indigenous Institutes are an integral part of Ontario's postsecondary education system and this financial assistance will help Indigenous learners get the skills they need to succeed."
Indigenous learners could have access to a culturally responsive and high-quality postsecondary education, through this financial assistance, that will prepare them to meet local labor market needs.
Previously, OSAP was only accessible to students attending Indigenous Institutes if the program was delivered in partnership with an Ontario college or university.
Beginning this year, Ontario's approval of Indigenous Institutes for OSAP would not only allow eligible students to apply for assistance, it would also encourage Indigenous Institutes to start offering their own independently delivered, quality-assured OSAP eligible programs with approval from the Indigenous Advanced Education and Skills Council.
Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities said that this would bridge the attainment gap in postsecondary education between Indigenous and non-Indigenous learners and added,
"There is widespread agreement by Indigenous leaders, communities and education professionals that investing in culturally responsive postsecondary education opportunities for Indigenous learners will have tremendous benefits and reduce this gap."
Appreciating the Government of Ontario's ongoing collaboration and support for Indigenous postsecondary Institutes, Suzanne Brant, President of First Nations Technical Institute said,
"It is a demonstration of the Government's commitment to Indigenous students achieving their full potential in Ontario."
#Canada; #WesternCanada; #FirstNations; #Covid19Pandemic; #Covid19Vaccine
Canada/Canadian-Media: The rising curve of COVID-19 outbreaks in people of First Nations in Western Canada, contributing up to half the number of hospitalizations in some provinces, alarmed the Canadian federal officials.
Marc Miller. Image credit: Twitter handle
The federal officials urged the provinces during a press conference in Ottawa yesterday to continue prioritizing Indigenous populations as they roll out vaccines.
"So what we're saying to Canadians, to Indigenous Peoples, is now is not the time to let down your guard," Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said. "This is not the time to ease public health restrictions."
5,571 active cases on reserves, most of them in Prairie provinces, were reported by Indigenous Services Canada as of Jan. 19, 3,873 confirmed COVID-19 cases on reserves since last March, and more than 90 per cent are in Western Canada:
"We believe alcohol in the bars is a contributing factor," said The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations in Saskatchewan Vice Chief David Pratt, who recently recovered from COVID-19 and is calling on the province to close bars and liquor establishments.
"When you're on alcohol, you're more likely to lose your inhibitions, share drinks and not keep those social distance practices in practices and in check."
First Nation leaders and health experts said that overcrowding, gatherings, people letting their guard down, relaxed restrictions are some of the causes for the rising curve.
"I always worry about our elders," said Dr. Shannon McDonald, acting chief medical officer for the First Nations Health Authority in British Columbia. "Our elders are our knowledge-keepers, our language holders and they are the human libraries, culturally. So communities are very sensitive to that, but individuals who are choosing not to adhere to public health advice are putting those individuals at risk and I really worry about that," CBC New reported.