Our partner Métis Calgary Family Services and lead researcher Suzanne McLeod worked for nearly a year with Indigenous community members, literacy practitioners and an Elders Council to create a strategy and framework for Calgary Learns to better serve our granting process. In the end, this body of work will make a tremendous impact on the quality, integrity and authenticity of Indigenous programs that we support, and it will directly reach our Indigenous learners.
We are grateful to the Elders Council - Reg Crowshoe, Rose Crowshoe, Doreen Spence and Florence Kelly - for their time, knowledge and support of this ongoing work. We are also grateful for those of you who shared your thoughts and best practices in the many focus groups that helped shape the work.
This work is not owned by Calgary Learns. It belongs to the community and is intended to support all programs and agencies that wish to work successfully with Indigenous learners. While a big part of this research does focus on the strategy for Calgary Learns, it is shared so that others can reflect on the process and determine if it can be adopted for their growth. We have also shared it in an effort to be transparent in the process, and as a way to model traditional Indigenous practices.
Moving forward we have made some immediate changes to our process as a result of this research in the following areas:
- Addition of an Expression of Interest for funding that can be submitted orally or in written form.
- Formation of an Elders Council that will among other tasks, assist in the review of proposals before they go to the Board of Directors for approval.
- New Application and Ranking Tool to reflect the Indigenous specific criterion.
- Inclusion of an Oral presentation between proponents and our Indigenous Review team to compliment the written application form.
The Elders have offered us a challenge. They have provided us with the necessary components to co-create with them strong, culturally safe and appropriate Indigenous literacy programs. It is up to you and your agency to decide if you are up to the challenge. Please take your time with this work. Take time to pause, reflect on the calls to action, and have patience in your process. Please do your best to take a step back, think outside the box, and inside the circle.
We are very excited to continue our learning journey. We look forward to seeing who will join us and where we all interconnect. Please know that we are here to help. We strongly encourage that you take every opportunity to meet with us, network with us, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Here is the full un-edited report for your use. Please note that all proponents should become familiar with the report and at a minimum be able to cite the work in their proposals:
Indigenous Literacy – Literacy & Foundational Learning for Indigenous Adults: Investment Strategy & Framework to Guide Calgary Learns.
Please regularly check our website
as we update and upload our new forms for the next funding cycle and move forward on our long term goals.
All my Relations,