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Aboriginal Enrollment Hits Record High At U of S PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fraser Needham   
Friday, 24 October 2014 15:12

A record number of Aboriginal students are registered at the University of Saskatchewan this fall.

Indigenous enrollment is up 10 per cent over last year with a total of 2,121 students self-declaring as Aboriginal.

The university says one of the reasons for the increase is the institution has made it easier to self-declare as First Nations, Métis or Inuit.

The U of S is also highlighting some of the benefits of self-declaring such as access to specific scholarships and programs.

International student enrollment is also up by over 10 per cent and out-of-province students by three per cent.

New first-time Alberta students in direct-entry programs are up by over 22 per cent and new students from Calgary by 78 per cent.

The U of S says it has a broad strategy to increase student numbers in a variety of areas.

The university’s overall student enrollment has held steady at just under 21,000 students.

Documentary Examines Plight Of First Nations Communities Displaced by 2011 Manitoba Flood PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fraser Needham   
Friday, 24 October 2014 15:10

A new documentary examines the plight and personal stories of two Manitoba First Nations communities that are still displaced as the result of a 2011 flood.

Treading Water: Plight of the Manitoba First Nation Flood Evacuees is the product of brother and sister documentary filmmakers Janelle and Jeremie Wookey.

It chronicles the hardships of 2,100 residents of the Lake St. Martin region who have been forced to live in hotels and temporary housing for the past three-and-a-half years after their homes were destroyed by the flood.

Janelle Wookey says being separated from their communities for such an extended period of time has taken a heavy psychological toll on the residents of the Lake St. Martin and Little Saskatchewan First Nations.

“A lot of families we heard had experienced people in their families who had actually committed suicide and they attributed their suicide to the traumatic nature of being displaced,” she says.

Wookey also says a number of children from the communities have not attended school for more than three years as a result of the displacement.

She adds the families have become somewhat of a political football as various levels of government and organizations have failed to help them reconstruct their communities.

“We learned that there are so many layers, so many different players the game – there’s hotel rooms, there’s governments, the different levels of government, the leadership of the different First Nations and a lot of people taking advantage of things and a lot of people with agendas.”

The Lake St. Martin region is located about 75 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg.

Treading Water will be screened Friday at the imagineNative Film Festival in Toronto.

It has already aired on the Aboriginal Peoples’ Television Network and CBC.

Aboriginal Literature Festival Takes Place In Saskatoon PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fraser Needham   
Friday, 24 October 2014 15:09

Established and aspiring Aboriginal writers are meeting in Saskatoon over the next few days as part of the Anskohk Festival.

Major Indigenous writers attending the conference this year include Lisa Bird-Wilson, Gregory Scofield and Warren Cariou.

Saskatchewan Aboriginal Writers’ Circle board member Rita Bouvier says this is a great time to be an Indigenous writer in the province.

“Just like with everything, its time has come and there’s been a lot of work, of course, in the community to provide mentorships and to provide those opportunities for showcasing the work,” she says.

Bouvier also says the event provides the opportunity for aspiring writers to learn from more established ones.

“People have the opportunity to meet, you know, different types of writers who are meeting in different genres and hopefully get an idea of not only how wonderful it is but also the work that goes with it, the commitment one has to make.”

The festival is hosted by the Saskatchewan Aboriginal Writers’ Circle and Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild.

The festival runs Friday through Saturday at Station 20 West.

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