Conestoga has received nearly $50,000 in funding from the new Indigenous Research Capacity and Reconciliation—Connection Grants, a new federal program aimed at promoting Indigenous research. The announcement was made by MP Raj Saini, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport.
“This funding is welcome news for our vibrant and diverse Waterloo Region and is a valuable investment in our post-secondary community,” said Saini. “Bringing Indigenous research and concerns to the forefront is something that will benefit every area of society, as we all work together to build a more inclusive, respectful and collaborative society. Conestoga College is in a unique position to develop innovative approaches to build research capacity and build strategies to support reconciliation. I look forward to seeing the outcome of this research.”
Andrew Judge, coordinator of Indigenous studies at the college, will use the funding for a project called "Recovering Earth Wisdom” which will bring together Indigenous leaders, area researchers and educators, students, community and cultural organizations for a series of celebrations focused on the development of Indigenous studies programming and research strategies based in traditional Indigenous knowledge.
“We greatly appreciate the support provided by the federal government for this important initiative, which will create a vibrant network for engagement and dialogue and result in new programming and research to deepen our collective understanding of Indigenous knowledge and promote reconciliation across the Conestoga community and beyond,” said Conestoga President John Tibbits.
The new Indigenous Research Capacity and Reconciliation—Connection Grants were open to researchers at Indigenous and non-Indigenous not-for-profit organizations and at post-secondary institutions.
They are designed to support the Canada Research Coordinating Committee’s resolve to drive a national dialogue to co-develop -- with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities -- an interdisciplinary, Indigenous training model that contributes to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.