The Power Corporation of Canada has donated $100,000 to develop the Institute of Indigenous Self-Determination at Yukon University.
“It’s an exciting project for sure and to have this donation come out means we can hit the ground running once we establish a partnership and really figure out the direction we want to go,” said Chùsi Robin Bradasch, Associate Vice President Indigenous Engagement and Partnerships.
The institute will work with the university, but will operate as its own entity.
“It’s embedded in the university and works with the university, but it has a separate governing council that decides on the types of programs that they’ll develop and the things they will be invested in,” said Bradasch.
“The governing council will be made up of Yukon First Nations and the university. The decisions are intended to be Indigenous-led and Indigenous priorities.”
The university and the 14 First Nations have worked together for several years to identify a governance model for the institute.
Bradasch said two pillars were identified. The first is developing a series of mentorship programs that “build capacity in Indigenous communities”.
“It is using the expertise that we have in the Yukon already to shore up people that are already working in their communities but would like access to professional development or supports around mentorship,” said Bradasch.
The programs, Bradasch said, would be designed to allow people to ladder into a program or degree program at the university.
The other pillar Bradasch noted was research.
“First Nations would really like to see the research they see as a priority proceed,” said Bradasch. “They’d like to see young Indigenous researchers. They’d like to work on encouraging Indigenous-led and Indigenous priority research in the Yukon.”
Research and capacity building will support First Nations governments “in their implementation of their self-government agreements,” said Bradasch.
Bradasch said she believes the Institute of Indigenous Self-Determination will be up and running in about a year.
Contact John Tonin at firstname.lastname@example.org