Module 3 Weblog
This is an article about the fantastic program Manitoba Hydro has started to get young women interested in careers in STEM. Manitoba Hydro recognized that Aboriginal youth are an untapped resource. They formed a committee to understand and remove the systemic barriers Aboriginal people face in the job market. This particular recruitment initiative takes the form of week long summer camps for girls that introduces them to STEM. As the articles says, the ripple effect of this program is far reaching. Not only are these young women now interested in careers in STEM, it has also boosted their overall sense of confidence.
This program from the University of Alberta bill itself as “A series of interactive classroom presentations with engaging science activities that honour Aboriginal Ways of Knowing and introduce careers in the Sciences.” The presenters visit schools for 2 days and offer science “classes” that are linked to the Alberta curriculum and honour Aboriginal perspectives. This program comes from WISEST: Women in Scholarships, Engineering, Science and Technology, making the benefits twofold- seeing how Western science and Aboriginal ways of knowing can be linked, and having female role models for young Aboriginal youth.
Animikii is an Indigenous technology solutions company based in British Columbia. I have included this is my list because of the incredible partnerships and programs they have developed. My focus of my final project is about Aboriginal female youth in STEM. With the expression “You cannot be what you cannot see” in mind, I have been looking for Indigenous tech companies with a strong female presence. From their About Us page, this company appears to have a 50/50 ratio of men to women, which is nearly unheard of in the tech industry.
This booklet published by the government of Alberta breaks down myths, offers resources and real women’s stories to inspire women to enter non-traditional jobs. There is one story about Brenda Holder, an Aboriginal women who felt the deck was stacked against her, in terms of opening her own business. She was connected with a mentor and created a business plan and is now the successful owner of Mahikan Trails, a Canmore based adventure company. In the article she says “As Aboriginal people sometimes we believe we don’t have much to offer. But often it’s our differences that produce the most amazing opportunities.”
This is an online program for girls, ages 10-14. Ask Auntie aims to “replicate the traditional learning relationship between youth and their Aunties and Elders”. Their target age is a critical time for girls, as studies show that their mental health takes a sharp decline around this age. This program promotes cultural understanding and community connections, and is grouped into themes such as identity, culture and connection, relationships and safety, body knowledge and body transitions, and wellness and healing. The full program is arranged in a curriculum format, but they also have a YouTube channel that anyone can access.