Dec. 11, 2019

Meet ii’ taa’poh’to’p’s 2019-20 intercultural capacity building grant recipients

Five new projects will contribute to decolonization and Indigenization on campus
Blackfoot Skies
Wayfinding Under Blackfoot Skies is one of the five projects awarded funding Rothney Astrophysical Observatory

Since ii’ taa’poh’to’p, UCalgary’s Indigenous Strategy, launched in 2017, it has been guiding the institution to Indigenize teaching, learning and research. On this evolutionary journey, inclusion of students, faculty and staff has been a key priority. For the second year, ii’ taa’poh’to’p has awarded grants of up to $10,000 to groups and individuals in various faculties and units to bring their goals of Indigenization to life.

“The heart of ii’ taa’poh’to’p lies in support and collaboration with the entire university community,” says Dr. Michael Hart, vice-provost, Indigenous engagement. “I look forward to seeing these diverse projects contribute to Indigenizing ways of knowing, doing, connecting and being at UCalgary in the coming months.”

Here’s a look at this year’s successful projects:

Wayfinding Under Blackfoot Skies
Led by Jennifer Howse and Dr. Philip Langill, PhD, Faculty of Science

The Rothney Astrophysical Observatory’s Wayfinding Under Blackfoot Skies project involves the development of a scientific and Indigenous-themed outdoor experiential program for youth. This will be a unique opportunity to blend modern astronomical navigational concepts with traditional knowledge by partnering with Indigenous academics, undergraduate students, Elders, and youth leaders.

Stoney Nakoda animal health education partnership
Led by Dr. Catherine Wagg, DVM, and Dr. Susan Kutz, PhD, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Building on the success of their first round of sessions last year, UCVM faculty, staff and students will provide hands-on, activity-focused educational experiences to school-aged children, showcasing what it is to be a veterinarian, all while working together with community Elders to promote two-way teaching and learning between non-Indigenous and Indigenous participants about historic and current roles of animals in Stoney Nakoda culture and their ways of knowing about animal health.

Traditional Knowledge Keepers in residence
Led by Dr. Lynden Crowshoe, MD, and Dr. Dianne Mosher, MD, Cumming School of Medicine

This project will offer residencies for up to 12 Traditional Knowledge Keepers from the Treaty 7 Region and beyond to engage in one-on-one meetings, regular ceremony, teaching and workshops, strengthen protocol at events, and build relationships within the Cumming School of Medicine. This much-needed opportunity will foster diversity, encourage mentorship, and help integrate Indigenous ways of knowing into education, research, and community outreach, under an Indigenous Health Hub.

Indigenous research ethics at the University of Calgary: expanding our capacity
Led by Kate Williams and Dr. Jenny Godley, PhD, Office of the Vice-President (Research)

Indigenous scholars across Canada have noted that university research ethics boards lack an understanding of the ways of knowing that form the basis of ethical Indigenous research practices. This grant will provide intercultural capacity training to all University of Calgary research ethics staff and members of the two research ethics boards (CFREB and CHREB). There will also be an opportunity for students, faculty and researchers to share experiences and knowledge, which will strengthen relationships between the research ethics boards and Indigenous-engaged scholars on campus.

A video and simulation project to spur decolonization in medical education
Led by Dr. Janet de Groot, MD, Dr. Rachel Grimminck, MD, Dr. Lynden Crowshoe, MD, Cumming School of Medicine

Deeply seeded racism and systematic inequalities have led many Indigenous Peoples to feel a general distrust of the Canadian health-care system. Aiming to tackle this issue, a team of Indigenous health leaders and scholars, students, clinician educators, and leaders at the Cumming School of Medicine will create a series of medical education resources that will support reconciliation and confront racism. This will include a video component as well as a simulation project that will deepen learning, communication and advocacy competencies to support trust and inclusive spaces for enhanced Indigenous health care.

Intake for next year’s grants will open in April 2020. Visit the ii’ taa’poh’to’p website for more information on how to apply.

ii’ taa’poh’to’p, the University of Calgary’s Indigenous Strategy, is a commitment to deep evolutionary transformation by reimagining ways of knowing, doing, connecting and being. Walking parallel paths together, ‘in a good way,’ UCalgary is moving toward genuine reconciliation and Indigenization.