May 4, 2023

2023 Indigenous Strategy grants launched

Grants up to $10,000 available to those with transformational ideas supporting Indigenization of UCalgary
The top of a teepee against a grey sky
The Intercultural Capacity Building Grants help support UCalgary's goal of innovation and Indigenization. Ucalgary Files

As part of ongoing efforts to support the Indigenization of teaching, learning and research on campus, applications are now open for the 2023 University of Calgary Intercultural Capacity Building Grants.

Monetary support of up to $10,000 is available through the annual grant launched by UCalgary’s Indigenous Strategy, ii’ taa’poh’to’p. Furthering the goals and recommendations in the strategy, the grant provides funding for projects that focus on increasing intercultural capacity on campus. 

Between 2018 and 2022, the grant supported 26 innovative project ideas led by various faculties, units and student organizations covering a broad scope of disciplines, special interests and cultural events. These included Indigenous perspectives on art and design, an Indigenized campus map, youth athletics, and inclusion of Métis voices. Projects also included traditional knowledge and advancement of Indigenous worldviews through teaching, learning and research.

Grant money awarded by the Office of the Vice-Provost (Indigenous Engagement) totalled $100,000 over the last two years alone.

Dr. Michael Hart, vice-provost of Indigenous engagement, says, “We recognize that advancing the university's intercultural capacity and ability to engage with Indigenous Peoples, systems and practices requires commitments by people and units throughout the university.

“These grants create opportunities for people to participate in this engagement and demonstrates our commitment to ii’ taa’poh’to’p, our Indigenous Strategy.”

Funding starts in September 2023

Applications for the next round of Intercultural Capacity Building Grants are open until June 16, 2023. Grants are awarded for a maximum of $10,000 per project. Initiatives selected will receive funding in September 2023 and organizers will have one year to expend funds and complete the project activities outlined in their proposal submissions.

To be eligible, applicants must be academic staff; MaPS employees (Manager (M1), Research (R3), Technical Professional (T3)); registered full-time undergraduate or graduate students; or postdoctoral scholars with a connection to a business unit or faculty. 

Here are some examples of past grant recipients:

Power to Choose Indigenous Youth Summer STEM Camp: Indigenous STEAM Content Training and Development Program, led by Holliston Logan, BSc’15

UCalgary’s Cybermentor team planned the development of and implemented a one-week training program providing non-Indigenous STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) professionals, educators and communicators (including post-secondary STEAM students) the opportunity to increase their knowledge and competencies related to Indigenous STEAM communication, resource development, and education.

Participants were left with improved confidence in collaborating with Indigenous communities in a good way; understanding the interconnectedness of Indigenous knowledge in relation to STEAM topics; knowledge of colonial and Indigenous pedagogical approaches including self-reflection on personal pedagogical approaches; meaningfully incorporating Indigenous knowledge in STEAM workshops; and working with Indigenous youth in a culturally appropriate and respectful way.

This training program was offered in co-ordination with IndigeSTEAM’s Power to Choose camps, which run annually in August, thus allowing participants the option to add a secondary component to their training that involved experiential learning through supporting the Power to Choose camp with content development and facilitation in the weeks to follow (in a volunteer capacity).

Education for Reconciliation: Decolonizing the Design Studio – An Example, led by Dr. Fabian Neuhaus, PhD

In 2019-20, two faculty, a researcher and an Indigenous Knowledge Keeper came together to redevelop the curriculum for PLAN 616, an interdisciplinary design studio course for graduate students in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (SAPL). The intention was to integrate Indigenous ways of knowing and living into the course to acknowledge the traditional territories and cultures, and to develop local protocols for decolonizing design practice.

Doing so allowed course organizers to redefine design practice in a new Baukultur (building culture 5) framework that operates on the principles of a parallel path. Hal Eagletail, Tsuut’ina Nation Knowledge Keeper, was appointed by SAPL as a full-time studio instructor for the complete term of the course.

Apply for the 2023 round of Intercultural Capacity Building Grants funding on its website.

ii’ taa’poh’to’p, the University of Calgary’s Indigenous Strategy, is a commitment to deep evolutionary transformation by reimagining ways of knowing, doing, connecting and being. Walking parallel paths together, “in a good way,” UCalgary is moving toward genuine reconciliation and Indigenization.

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