An MA Student is required for a 1-2 year commitment to assist with tasks and activities associated with a SSHRC-funded research project focused on researching and evaluating land-based university programming.
This successful candidate will be an Indigenous MA Student, or Indigenous student currently in a second-degree professional program. Preference will be given to Indigenous students from the Northwest Territories (Dene, Metis and Inuvialuit).
Dechinta land-based university is located at Blachford Lake Lodge, 220km east of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, on the Chief Drygeese traditional territory of the Yellowknives Dene. The program blends land based cultural activities and knowledge with university courses accredited by university partners. Courses are co-taught by Indigenous knowledge holders and university professors. The purpose of the program is to provide students with a university level learning experience grounded in Indigenous cosmologies and cultural practice.
The MA Student will be expected to assist the principal investigator with developing the institutional model for Dechinta through:
Expectations associated with this position will be identified through a work plan and be consistent with SSHRC guidelines for research student funding. Remuneration for this position is $12,000.00 per year.
CLOSING DATE: March 15, 2012
Please direct inquiries to:
Stephanie Irlbacher-Fox, PhD
Principal Investigator, Dechinta Partnership Development Grant
Send resumes with a cover letter and names of three references to:
Program Manager, Dechinta
Effective, culturally relevant educational programming in Northern Canada has proven elusive at all levels of the educational system. At the post-secondary level, Northern colleges provide essential vocational training, but they rely on partnerships with southern universities to provide some access to degree programs to northern students unable to leave the North. Canada remains the only circumpolar country without a Northern-based university. Yet the need for a well-educated northern population is great, and growing. Faced with unique challenges ranging from climate change and Arctic sovereignty to Indigenous social, economic and political development, the future of North will depend on the capacity of residents to think critically and act wisely in the stewardship of Northern lands and resources.
Dechinta Bush University is based on the vision and commitment of a group of Northern based scholars and southern university supporters seeking to establish a Northern university that draws on Northern strengths: Indigenous cultures, connection to the land, and the necessity for innovating to address unique northern circumstances. This project will see up to 225 graduate students receiving instruction through land-based hands on learning from up to 90 academic instructors and land-based experts in bush-camp settings, supported by several well-established southern universities and Northern Aboriginal, cultural and research organizations.
The program speaks directly to the needs and aspirations of both students and Northern communities: its aim is to produce a cohort of Northern Indigenous students positioned to respond to their community needs through the unique training they will receive at Dechinta.
Conceptualized on a tutoring/apprenticeship pedagogical approach grounded in critical Indigenous educational methodologies, Dechinta offers an environment where Indigenous cultural skills and knowledge provide the basis for developing twenty university-accredited courses. The plethora of issues facing the North today – from climate change to self government – require that decision and policy makers working in communities are increasingly required to function effectively across a range of knowledge sectors.
Small Indigenous communities are beginning to achieve wide-ranging powers to govern under land claims and self government agreements, at the same time that they are struggling to overcome effects of colonization and face global challenges. Tomorrow’s leaders and policy-makers face a complexity of information assimilation and decision making unparalleled in history.
At the same time communities are increasingly relying on their cultural confidence in their Indigenous knowledge as a source of strength and guidance in making decisions. And as these communities achieve a level of self-government, they are anxious to see their children acquire the education and skills necessary to replace a transient non-Indigenous population which currently predominates among the decision making elite. Dechinta represents an opportunity to share in building a unique land-based learning experience that will stand as a model approach to Indigenous and Northern education throughout the circumpolar world.
After two and half years of dedicated service to the growth of Dechinta, Kyla has taken the amazing opportunity of Team Leader Community Development at BHP Billiton. Dechinta has been honoured to work with Kyla, whose innovation and determination has been essential to Dechinta.
Mahsi Cho Kyla!
To build on our initial successes over the past two years, Dechinta is looking to expand and strengthen our Board of Directors. We are seeking accomplished and visionary northerners with broad-based expertise to advise us. Mid to late-career professionals from all sectors are invited to share their expertise.
This is an exciting volunteer opportunity, helping to shape the development and evolution of an unique land-based postsecondary program. One, two, or three year terms are available. A letter outlining your relevant experience and expertise, and how you see yourself contributing to the Dechinta vision should be submitted by September 30, 2011.
For more information and a complete list of roles and responsibilities, please contact Kyla Kakfwi Scott, Program Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org | 867.445.1897
Dechinta is honoured to announce our success in securing two SSHRC (Social Sciences Humanities Research Council of Canada) grants:
A $183,000 SSHRC Partnership Development Grant over three years led by Dr. Stephanie Irlbacher Fox, (University of Toronto, Institute for Circumpolar Health Research, Dechinta Faculty) and Marianne Douglas (Canadian Circumpolar Institute) and various northern and southern collaborative partners.
A SSHRC Partnership Grant led by investigators Dr. Glen Coulthard (University of British Columbia, Yellowknife Dene First Nation) and Erin Freeland Ballantyne (Oxford University, Dechinta) with partners including the Indigenous Governance Programme of the University of Victoria, University of British Columbia, Deton’Cho Corporation, McGill University, Institute for Circumpolar Health Research, The Royal Conservatory of Music, Native Communications Society, Department of Education, Culture, and Employment (GNWT), and Northern and National First Nation researchers have been granted $20,000 towards the preparation of a final submission. The project would result in 2.4M in support of northern innovation opportunities from 2012-2016. These collaborative projects explore consensus, self-determination, health, resilience, sustainable economic development and community wellness rooted through a land-based cooperative research and innovation program.
Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning is committed to providing transformative educational experiences, rigorous academic programming, and a culturally rooted community environment. Those interested in collaborating or for more information, please contact:
Program Manager Kyla Kakfwi-Scott
1-877-388-2874 (toll free)
The hope was that the message being advocated by Dechinta would shine during the royal visit and it wouldn’t collapse practices of Indigenous governance and self-determination into a display of ‘arts and crafts’. However, once the event was over and media reports hit the airwaves, it became apparent this wasn’t the case. While this article may not correct the misinterpretation of the event propagated by the media, at least some record will exist of its true intent.
By Dechinta Students
June 7th, 2011
On June 5, 2011, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Blachford Lake Lodge on the traditional and unceded territory of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation. The stopover began with demonstrations by the 1st Canadian Rangers Patrol Group, composed mainly of Inuit members. From there, the royals began a tour of Dechinta Bush University Centre for Research and Learning. Dechinta is a post-secondary education initiative providing Indigenous and non-Indigenous students with much-needed opportunities to take university-accredited courses developed in the North, led by Northern experts, and focused on the land as the primary teacher. But more than that, Dechinta provides an educational setting committed to decolonization and Indigenous self-determination. At Dechinta, one doesn’t just learn about decolonization, Dechinta is a practice of decolonization.