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Northerners show their masters in action as degree program funding slashed PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chelsea Laskowski   
Wednesday, 26 April 2017 16:38

This is Part 2 in a series on the International Centre for Northern Governance and Development.

Part 1 can be accessed here.

Teacher Billie Jo Natomagan is currently working a masters project focused on land-based education. Photo submitted by Billie Jo Natomagan.

Graduates and current students taking their masters' through the U of S's International Centre for Northern Governance and Development are speaking up about how its programs have transformed their lives, and are expressing concern for the future of the programs.

This comes after a crushing budget blow was dealt by the province last month when it nixed all $1.1 million of province's funding for the ICNGD.

There are no guarantees on whether the ICNGD's two masters programs will take new admissions this fall, with the U of S saying it will be at least four weeks before that decision is made.

Billie Jo Natomagan said until she heard how accommodating the Masters of Northern Governance and Development is, she didn't think it would be possible to attain a masters.

"For a long time - until this year - I was a single mother, full-time teacher, so that's a very demanding career," she said.

Now the Pinehouse Lake woman is set to finish her degree this summer.

"It really brought a lot of self-confidence to me as an individual and not only that I'm able to encourage other people in the community, other teachers, students, you know, that higher education is possible and it's only possible through programs like this.”

Natomagan is already putting her education into action by building a community garden in partnership with the village and the school, which she hopes will build confidence, life skills, and self-sufficiency in her community.

Her students are currently plotting the garden's layout in class with plans to maintain it over the summer, and Natomagan's final master's project revolves around land-based education in northern schools.

Teacher Billie Jo Natomagan is currently working a masters project focused on land-based education. Photo submitted by Billie Jo Natomagan.

Her research builds off past graduate Brandon White's master's research project, which was on greenhouse feasibility in northern mines and communities.

He now has a career in environmental consulting, and said "I would not have got this job if not for the ICNGD."

White, originally from La Ronge, said the MNGD is a unique program that "really spoke to me as a northerner.

"The really great thing about the program was that it was not purely theoretical. You had to get into a community and you had to inspire change and it was applied research" that brings new insight and professionalism when graduates return to their communities, he said.

In his eyes, cuts for higher level education are concerning and “really handicapping the ability of the north to grow and expand, and assert itself, and add value to the provincial economy.”

Natomagan is one of the 34 current students who will be able to graduate from the program, which runs in partnership with the Arctic University of Norway and includes an international field school.

There are already more than 50 people who have finished the ICNGD’s masters programs since the centre’s 2009 launch.

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 April 2017 09:58
Mounties seeking information on missing Ile-a-la-Crosse 16-year-old PDF Print E-mail
Written by mbcnews   
Wednesday, 26 April 2017 16:35

UPDATE: The teen girl was located by RCMP, according to a report from 4 p.m. April 27.

An Ile-a-la-Crosse family has asked the RCMP's help in locating a missing 16-year-old girl.

The girl was last seen at a home in the northern village on Saturday, and it's believed she's still in the area.

Mounties are describing her as 5’3”, 119 pounds, with dark and long hair and brown eyes.

She was last seen in a pink shirt, black spandex leggings and black and white vans runners.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts can contact the RCMP or remain anonymous by contacting Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Last Updated on Friday, 28 April 2017 14:56
Grieving mother believes racism a factor in son’s death investigation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Manfred Joehnck   
Wednesday, 26 April 2017 16:00

Richelle Dubois speaks on April 26, 2017. Photo by Manfred Joehnck.

An Aboriginal woman believes authorities would take a more serious look at the circumstances surrounding her son’s death if he was a white child.

Richelle Dubois made the comments during an emotional news conference in Regina, where she called on the justice minister to hold an inquest into the death.

It was Richelle who found the body of her son Haven in a shallow creek just a couple of blocks away from their east Regina home in May of 2015.

There was talk at the time that he freaked out after smoking marijuana for the first time and wandered away from a group of people, before ending up in the creek.

The coroner listed marijuana as a major contributing factor in the death, but later changed that making no reference to marijuana as a factor.

Richelle says there were several other changes and other leads that weren’t followed.

“And I feel like if we were a white family I believe this wouldn’t have happened,” she said.

“I believe the reports would have been accurate and everything would have been looked into.”

Richelle Dubois says she is doing what any mother do, fighting for justice for her son. She says she won’t stop until she has exhausted all avenues of appeal.

“I will keep fighting for my son, for his voice, until I believe that justice is served.”

The call for an inquest was also made at the Regina Board of Police Commissioners meeting. Chief Evan Bray says he would be open to the idea.

The family has also sent a message to the justice minister, but has not had any response yet.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 April 2017 16:27
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