Indspire Monthly e-Newsletter | April 2021
Within a generation, every Indigenous student will graduate.
Spring is finally here and with it, a whole host of amazing events and opportunities here at Indspire. So far, we are definitely looking forward to an amazing summer– take a look! 
Soaring is Coming!

We’re all looking forward to Soaring 2021, our Indigenous Youth Empowerment Gathering – delivered virtually for the very first time!

Happening on May 5-6, it’s going to be hosted by the wonderful Stan Wesley and will feature top-quality content: engaging workshops, amazing performances from Indigenous creators Shina Nova and Logan Staats, and 40+ tradeshow booths featuring post-secondary institutions and top Canadian employers.

With over 1100 students already registered, it’s going to be an incredible virtual experience!
Indspire Laureate Theland Kicknosway is Making Strides for Change

From the time he was very young, Theland Kicknosway has known that he wanted to use his many gifts to create positive change in the world, becoming the youngest-ever Indspire Laureate (Culture, Heritage, and Spirituality – 2018) in history.

He has been a fixture in the Indigenous community as a traditional singer, drummer, grass & hoop dancer, and has also been active for many years in healing justice efforts alongside Families of Sisters in Spirit (FSIS), an organization providing support to First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and urban families impacted by missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people (MMIWG2S).

This summer, Theland will embark on his 7th Annual Run/Bike for MMIWG2S, beginning on June 7, 2021 in Vancouver, BC. With encouragement from FSIS, Theland will journey across the Western provinces, the Prairies, and eventually back home to eastern Ontario.

This year’s run will help to fulfill a long-anticipated dream and vision that Theland has had to raise awareness about violence and injustice, improve the lives of Indigenous youth, and lead transformative change with impacts for generations to come.

To find out more about – and to support – Theland’s Journey 2021, click the button below.
There are now over 1,000 active participants in Indspire’s Rivers to Success (R2S) Indigenous Student Mentorship Program! Facilitated through an online Portal, the R2S program features an innovative blend of one-on-one and group Indigenous mentorship as well as a wide array of customized and cultural resources to help Indigenous students succeed, organized in three streams:

  1.  High School – for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students in Grs. 10-12
  2. Post-Secondary – for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students pursuing post-secondary studies OR Gr. 12 students who have been accepted to post-secondary studies after high school graduation
  3. Career Transition – for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students preparing to graduate and begin their careers

Highlights include:

We enjoyed some amazing conversation and great insights from Michael Redhead Champagne on April 15th when we hosted WAHKOTOWIN, a discussion about how powerful solutions can come from the heart of our communities. Huge thanks to Michael for sharing his time, enthusiasm, and some excellent tips for organizational success! Thanks to everyone who participated. 
Living Words, Living Strength: Shaping Meaning Through Indigenous Languages

The second of our two-part series in partnership with Community Story Strategies took place on April 21, and it was just as wonderful as the first session! Fluent speakers of several Indigenous languages came together to help us honour Indigenous Languages Day by presenting the creations from Session 1 in their languages. It was a very meaningful afternoon – thanks to all who attended!
Check out the great events we’ve planned for May – and the wonderful new resources which are now available. We hope you’ll join us. Stay tuned for more info! 

Stay tuned for:
Career Transition Workshops

R2S is looking forward to working with participants to explore personal strengths and areas for potential growth in this innovative career development series! Guest Career Advising Professionals will deliver weekly one-hour workshops on timely and relevant career-related topics, including: resume and cover letter writing, self-assessment strategies, effective networking, interview preparation and job search strategies…and more!
Do you want to share our journey as an Indigenous mentor – or do you know of an Indigenous student who would benefit from the R2S program? Come and visit us here

Have questions or want to know more about the R2S program? Email us at or visit us at
Big things are emerging from Indspire’s Research Knowledge Nest! The Research Assistants are about to present an amazing set of resources and reports which will shed light on how Indigenous students’ post-secondary funding differs from non-Indigenous students…and on how the pandemic has affected Indigenous post-secondary learners. 
Highlights include:
CERB/CESB Indigenous Learners Report

This report explores the effect of COVID-19 relief programs such as CERB and CESB on Indigenous learners as part of our Finding the Path data-gathering process. Check out the report on our website to learn more about the insights we discovered!
Financing Education: Challenges for Indigenous Post-Secondary Students

Another up-and-coming report from the Research Nest explores the particular challenges and situations that Indigenous post-secondary students experience while pursuing financing options for their education – especially compared to non-Indigenous post-secondary students. We’re looking forward to sharing the real-world insights we gained. Stay tuned for more info!
Stay tuned for:
New Faces in the Nest

Although we’ll be sad to say goodbye to the very first cohort of Research Assistants as their time in the Nest comes to an end, we know that they’ll be pursuing wonderful things as they embark on the next phase of their respective journeys. And we’re looking forward to welcoming our next cohort of Research Assistants! This new group of Indigenous graduates will be getting ready to work with real-world data, create original research, and hone their analytics skills to contribute to research, public policy and Indigenous achievement. We can’t wait to welcome them!
Have questions or want to know more about the Research Knowledge Nest? Email us at or visit us at
Jack Busch

Jack Busch is committed to strengthening his community – and his family – through good health.

This Nisga’a/Gitxsan student recently started his Masters of Physical Therapy at the University of British Columbia. He’s supported by an Aboriginal Health Human Resources Initiative Award through Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures: Bursaries, Scholarships, and Awards program.

Click the button below to learn more about Jack and his inspiring story!
Stay in touch!
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