COTE FIRST NATION, KEESEEKOOSE FIRST NATION — Parkland College Applied Research Centre has been awarded a grant of $360,000 over three years to work in partnership with Yorkton Tribal Council (YTC) and four schools within its member nations to study Land-Based Learning.
Land-Based Learning is a fundamental methodology at all four schools under the Yorkton Tribal Council’s Department of Education and connects youth to their Indigenous identity and language, said a release from Parkland College. YTC approached the Applied Research team at Parkland College to conduct research to highlight the current practice in each community, and to understand how Land-Based Learning is helping improve retention, graduation rates, and overall student success.
The research team consists of Dr. Gwen Machnee, Dr. Elaine Hulse, Brittany Frick and Lily MacKay Carrier from Parkland College and Bryant Cote and Ross Brown from Yorkton Tribal Council, the release said. Student research assistants will be recruited from the student body at Parkland College for paid research positions to work on this project.
Schools involved in the project are Keeseekoose Chiefs Educational Centre, Chief Gabriel Cote Educational Complex, Goose Lake School at Zagime Anishnabek First Nation and Ocean Man Education Centre.
With community input being vital to the success and direction of the project, the initiative will begin with a meeting of the research team and the Chief and Council in each community, it said. There will be three phases of the project: the establishment of the baseline, an in-depth study at two of the four communities, and the expansion to all four communities and to other schools.
“The College is honoured to be working with Yorkton Tribal Council and its member communities on this important initiative and we appreciate that the project’s value is being recognized with this prestigious award by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)” said Kami DePape, VP of External Relations, International and Applied Research.
This award to Parkland College is one of 14 granted by SSHRC to Canadian Colleges and Polytechnics under the Colleges and Community Social Innovation Fund 2022 and follows an earlier Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) award for $440,000 in March 2022.
“YTC Education is very happy to work with Parkland College to answer some important questions about Land-Based Education in our region,” said Bryant Cote, Yorkton Tribal Council Director of Education. “This is a great opportunity to work together.”
“Parkland College provides high quality, learner-centered education and training as a foundation for lifelong success,” the release said. “The college offers a superior learning and campus experience with locations in Yorkton, Melville, Fort Qu’Appelle, Esterhazy, Canora and Kamsack.”