Indspire Monthly e-Newsletter | July 2021
Within a generation, every Indigenous student will graduate.
Now that summer is here, it’s a great time to enjoy life and those around us! While spending summertime with friends and loved ones is important to us here at Indspire, we do have one eye focused on Fall – and the National Gathering!
2021 National Gathering - Call for Presentations

Do you know – or are you? – an Indigenous educator, teacher, or curriculum wizard?
If so, we are now accepting proposals for presentations for our 2021 National Gathering for Indigenous Education @ Home, taking place virtually this year from Nov 24-26.

Send us proposals on topics related to the following areas in K-12 education: Mental/Intellectual (Knowing), Emotional/Social (Feeling), Physical (Doing), Spiritual (Being).
Guiding the Journey Award - Call for Nominations

The Guiding the Journey Award recognizes Indigenous educators who have made valuable contributions to community-based education and honour the principles of Indigenous knowledge. These awards are presented at the National Gathering every year.

The July 30th deadline is quickly approaching to nominate educators who guide their students’ journey through leadership, innovative practice, and dedication to community.
2022 Indspire Awards Nominations

Don’t miss out on the chance to nominate an amazing First Nations, Inuit, and Métis leader you know for the 2022 Indspire Awards before August 1, 2021! Help make sure that all of Turtle Island gets to know them, too – by nominating them.

And if you missed the 2021 Awards broadcast, you can check it out on CBC Gem.
Rivers to Success (R2S) has finished the end of its very successful first year, with over 1,000 active participants in the R2S 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 culturally responsive 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:

Career Transition Workshops

The R2S Career Transition Workshop series wrapped up in July with the final workshop on Communication Strategies from Awna Besan, Career Advisor at Simon Fraser University. 

If you want to revisit the series or you missed a workshop or two, don’t worry – they’re all available on the R2S Portal.
Stay tuned for:
The summer is a bit quieter, but there are still exciting things going on! Check out the resources R2S has developed – and the great Pow Wow Workout that’s happening in August!
Pow Wow Fitness Workout

It’s pow wow season and we’re getting ready! Come and join Deanne Hupfield for a fast-paced, fun Pow Wow Fitness Workout on August 19 at 3:00 pm ET as part of our ongoing Healthy Body, Good Mind, Whole Spirit fitness series. Deanne is the Anishinaabe host of the viral “How to Pow Wow Dance” on YouTube and is also a graduate of fashion design who has online regalia-making courses. Any age and any experience levels are welcome and no special equipment is required. 

Preparing for your Journey: Navigating Stigma and Creating a Supportive Community

There is still a lot of stigma that exists around mental health and substance use challenges. This video is meant to help Indigenous youth understand stigma they may face on their own wellness journey, including how to recognize those who can provide more help. Knowledgeable experts, including young people and a Knowledge Keeper, developed this resource with support from Indspire; the Margaret and Wallace McCain Centre for Child, Youth & Family Mental Health at CAMH; and the Sunnybrook Research Institute. 
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
The newest Research Assistants are hard at work in Indspire’s Research Knowledge Nest – and they’re getting ready to release the results of their efforts. Stay tuned for that!
Highlights include:
New Research Continues

Things aren’t slowing down over the summer in the Research Nest! The second cohort of Research Assistants began their training this month. They’re looking at all kinds of interesting research directions, including: improving data quality, learning from students who leave post-secondary education early, and the school-to-workforce transition. They’re looking forward to sharing the initial results of their research with the world – stay tuned for that! The RN Advisory Committee met to discuss the year’s work and talked about exciting new research avenues to investigate (more about that to come!). 

And don’t forget: you can read Following the Path, the latest report from the Research Nest, and listen to the Following the Path webinar
Stay tuned for:
New Research Arrives

The second cohort of Research Assistants will begin to share the results of their initial training – and the final reports from the first cohort will be arriving soon, with all-new insights about Indigenous post-secondary education and mentorship! 
Have questions or want to know more about the Research Knowledge Nest? Email us at or visit us at
It is with great sadness in our hearts that we learned of the passing of Paul Birckel (Indspire Laureate for Public Service, 2000).

As Chief of the Champagne-Aishihik First Nation, Mr. Birckel negotiated one of the first land claims settlements in the Yukon, as well as a self-government agreement that became a template for future self-government agreements across Canada. He also negotiated a ground-breaking child welfare agreement and was instrumental in the establishment of the Yukon Native Language Centre.

Our thoughts and hearts are with Mr. Birckel’s family and friends during this difficult time.
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