For immediate release
July 6, 2020
Program will support land-based learning and COVID-19 resiliency
Yellowknife – Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning has partnered with the Mastercard Foundation to rapidly respond to the needs of northern Indigenous communities while building educational capacity and employment opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The work is supported by a $240,685 commitment from the Foundation.
Dechinta acknowledges its community partners for their contribution and input to projects that will provide new employment opportunities, address gaps in online and remote land-based programs and food security issues, provide opportunities for research mentorship and skills training, and distribute educational resources to communities.
Starting this summer, this funding will support Dechinta in its work with the Tu Łidlini Dena, Yellowknives Dene, and Dehcho First Nations by:
● Launching a youth mentorship program designed to create a new approach to food security and providing an important opportunity for research mentorship and skills training;
● Increasing the amount and diversity of country foods available to the community during a time of economic and food scarcity;
● Producing resources for multi-generational language use and sharing;
● Producing instructional videos incorporating key elements of Indigenous philosophy, ethics, and language;
● Developing the educational capacity and skills of youth to articulate Dena/Dene laws in relation to harvesting practices and relationship to the land; and
● Distributing necessary land-based education resources materials to encourage safe access to the land.
Indigenous-led land-based education and research increases resiliency, security, and youth leadership in northern communities. Projects led by Dechinta and community partners and supported by the Mastercard Foundation will equip communities to rise to the challenges of this time and those of tomorrow.
"There is no blueprint for navigating this crisis. However, the actions we take now will shape the post-COVID-19 world. This crisis is teaching us how interdependent we are as well as how powerful collective action can be."
-- Reeta Roy, President and CEO, Mastercard Foundation
“Dechinta is grateful for the commitment of the Mastercard Foundation to support innovative Indigenous-led projects that will build youth leadership and have a lasting legacy by increasing accessibility of land-based programming and the transmission of cultural knowledge and histories.”
-- Dr. Glen Coulthard, Chairperson, Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning
For more information:
Dr. Kelsey Wrightson, Executive Director
Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning
Don Kelly, Lead, Public Affairs and Communications Canada