Jan. 21, 2022

Meet ii’ taa’poh’to’p’s 2021-22 Intercultural Capacity Building Grant recipients

New projects supporting reconciliation, cultural understanding and Indigenization learning models to be complete by August 2022

Guiding the institution to Indigenize teaching, learning and research, Calgary’s Indigenous Strategy, ii' taa'poh'to'p, continues to support projects and programs that support the university’s journey of transformation and its commitment and responsibility for truth and reconciliation four years after the strategy’s launch.

The Intercultural Capacity Building Grant is one of the many initiatives at UCalgary that provide the whole campus community with an opportunity to create impact that promotes Indigenous engagement and advancing its intercultural capacity — from funding programs that inspire teachers and students through Indigenous literature, to developing new Indigenous e-learning, to finding resources that directly aid water crisis that many Canadian communities have. 

ii’ taa’poh’to’p identifies visionary circles for transformation: ways of knowing, being, connecting, and doing. This transformation is taking place with recognition of parallel paths, within shared ethical space, and with an ongoing commitment to the shared journey. 

This year’s 2021–2022 ii’ taa’poh’to’p Intercultural Capacity Building Grants winners demonstrate ingenuity in proposing new ways to support reconciliation and healing within the institutional structure. Winners receive up to $10,000 for their project (one project per winner) with projects chosen for their ability to impact, influence, guide, challenge and lead the campus community toward reconciliation, greater intercultural capacity, and impactful transformation. Winners have until Aug. 31, 2022, to use their funds. 

“These grant winners all have the power to contribute to impactful change,” says Dr. Michael Hart, vice-provost and associate vice-president, research (Indigenous engagement). “A team that includes Elder, student, academic, and staff members reviewed the proposals and chose the projects with the greatest ability to reach the most people and positively influence others through facilitating engagement, expanding learning opportunities, and modelling effective cultural interactions. The grants are in line with the university’s focus on growth, creating knowledge to better our world, and innovation — but demonstrate a parallel path of moving forward in each of these focus areas.” 

The work of this year’s grant recipients is especially important given opportunity to unite the campus community around reconciliation, especially after a year filled with devastating news of the oppressive practices within the residential school system. 

Grant recipients

Reconciliation and Research Administration: A series of collaborative learning resources for the Research Services and Vice-President (Research) Offices 
Led by the Indigenous Research Support Team 
A series of six learning resource videos will be created for research administrators, in collaboration with the Research Services Office and the Office of the Vice-President (Research). The aim of these videos is to provide further opportunities for researchers to increase their intercultural capacity through transformative education. 

Power to Choose Indigenous Youth Summer STEM Camp: Indigenous STEAM Content Training and Development Program 
Led by Holly Logan, Indigenous health program co-ordinator, Indigenous, Local & Global Health Office 
A one-week training program for non-Indigenous STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) professionals, educators, and communicators (including post-secondary STEAM students) will be developed and then implemented for summer 2022. Participants of this training program will gain confidence in collaborating with Indigenous communities and increase confidence in working with Indigenous youth in a culturally appropriate and respectful way. 

Books to Build On: Indigenous Literatures for Learning 
Led by Dr. Aubrey Hanson, PhD, and Dr. Erin Spring, PhD, Werklund School of Education 
Receiving this grant will help fund the continuation of the Books to Build On: Indigenous Literatures for Learning project, helping educators increase their capacity of weaving Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and doing into their teaching. Encouraging teachers to engage with Indigenous stories will support the ongoing transformation of decolonization and reconciliation. Two key deliverables will be produced from receiving this grant: 
1. Twelve community engagement workshops with UCalgary community members. 
2. The addition of 60 new Indigenous resources to the project’s website. 

Towards Reconciliation eLearning development 
Led by Shannon King, instructional designer, Talent Management, and Lauren Remple, talent acquisition strategist, Talent Management, in collaboration with Shawna Cunningham, director of the Indigenous Strategy, Office of Indigenous Engagement
UCalgary’s Academic Leadership Academy will use this grant toward creating an eLearning version of the classroom-based workshop titled Towards Reconciliation. Participants of this online course will gain a high-level perspective of the history of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, including terminology, connections to land, and the challenges Indigenous Peoples have had and continue to navigate. 

Water Movement 
Led by Anita Malekian, Water Movement ambassador 
Water Movement is an ongoing project that provides tools and resources for operators to help over 30,000 people who do not have access to clean water in Canada. Receiving this grant will allow Water Movement to develop additional resources for the network of water treatment operators and experts to further fix the water crisis that many Canadian communities have. 

Applications for next year's grants

Applications for next year’s grants will open in April 2022. If you are interested in proposing a project that can impact our campus community and beyond, please visit the Office of Indigenous Engagement website for more information. 

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.