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April 8, 2019

Remains of a permafrost mound (palsa) surrounded by wet plains and ponds. This pond (centre) was once a permafrost mound several metres high used by Elders as a landmark and food cache. The frozen ground has now thawed and only part of the mound remains, making the area very difficult to access in the spring, summer, and fall. Photo: Yukon College.

Innovation north of 60°

Canadian media turned its spotlight on the country’s arctic last week as Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) released Canada’s Changing Climate Report (CCCR) indicating that we are experience warming at twice the global average, with Northern Canada in particular heating up at almost three times the rate of the rest of the world.

With a growing and pressing need to address climate change in the North, colleges and institutes in Canada’s three territories have risen to the challenge, using their unique expertise to undertake research projects that improve the well-being of their communities.

The many research specializations of Aurora College, Nunavut Arctic College, and Yukon College include climate change mitigation and natural resources management; alternative energy; food security; and also socio-demographic challenges, such as mental health, suicide prevention, and substance abuse; and preserving Indigenous knowledge, culture, and histories. For example:

  • The Aurora Research Institute division of Aurora College is currently undertaking a project to provide solutions to food security issues in the North incorporating Indigenous traditional knowledge to meet dietary guidelines set out by the Canada Food Guide;
  • The Arts, Craft and Technology Micro-Manufacturing Centre (ACTMC) at Aurora College helps artists and entrepreneurs merge traditional arts and crafts with new technologies, such as 3D printing, laser cutting and computer-aided design; and,
  • At the college’s Yellowknife North Slave Research Centre, researchers are collaborating on the Welcoming the ‘Sacred Spirit’ project connecting Indigenous and western ways of knowing to optimize maternal health delivery. Other areas of focus include femicide, domestic abuse, and women’s health in rural and remote communities.
  • Nunavut Arctic College is home to a grid-connected photovoltaic array, fully operational since 1995, investigating the potential for solar alternatives to diesel fuel in power generation for northern communities that experience long periods of limited sunlight; and,
  • The college also houses Nunavut’s only water quality laboratory, conducting applied research with government and post-secondary partners in wastewater treatment and decontamination prior to discharge into marine environments.
  • At the Yukon Research Centre, part of Yukon College, researchers participating in the Hazards Mapping Project have published an online atlas highlighting the vulnerability of areas of land to climate change. The maps can be used as a tool by engineers and infrastructure planners, contributing to future transportation security.
  • The college is also partnering with Ryerson University to study how social work is practiced in the small and remote communities of Canada’s North. The pilot study is a first for research into northern social work led by social workers who actually work in the North.
  • Additionally, the college’s Cold Climate Innovation (CCI) Centre specializes in the development, commercialization, and export of sustainable cold-climate technologies and related solutions for subarctic regions around the world. CCI project areas include alternative energy, building construction, climate-related research, environmental remediation, food security and mechanical innovation.

Budget 2019 reinforced the importance of the Arctic region in Canada, stating that we have “an opportunity – and a responsibility – to be world leaders in sustainably developing the north.”

Given their innovation capacity and research expertise, Northern colleges and institutes have, and will continue to have, a vital role to play in sustainable economic and community development in the North, contributing to the mitigation of the effects of climate change, and working towards Reconciliation for northern Indigenous communities. Budget 2019’s investments in climate resiliency of northern communities, post-secondary education in the North, and universal high-speed internet for rural, remote, and northern communities are important steps to ensuring that these institutions are given the resources they need to grow their leadership role not just in Canada, but globally.

Interested in online education? The eLearning Instructor Certificate starts May 2019!

Sponsored Content:

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Learn about gamification, explore a variety of technology tools, and gain valuable knowledge and skills related to quality course design and assessment, while experiencing and discovering how to create a dynamic and engaging learning environment.

The RDC team of experts in online instruction and design from across Canada are excited to help you boost your online instructional skills! 

CICan commits to “Strengthening the System” with new Strategic Plan!

After a year’s worth of consultations with members, partners, staff, and key stakeholders from across the country, our new Strategic Plan for 2019-2024 is here!

Based on the principles of Advocate, Build Capacity, and Drive Knowledge, the plan officially launched on April 1.

The coming five years will be critical for the Canadian workforce as it adjusts to rapid and profound disruptions linked to changing and emerging technologies. As our members across the country respond to this new reality, this strategic plan will position us at the forefront of the discussions on the future of skills and work.

By embracing our role as advocates, capacity-builders, and drivers of knowledge, CICan strives to be an essential and respected voice for the system as whole.

We would like to thank all those who shared their vision and joined the conversation, as well as our Board of Directors for their leadership throughout this process, and to CICan staff for their continued dedication.

New SAGE EFE program kicks off inception mission!

This week, CICan is heading south to kick off a series of stakeholder consultation meetings across the Caribbean to seek feedback on and to validate the design for the brand-new Skills to Access the Green Economy (SAGE) Education for Employment (EFE) program!

The mission will start in Belize on April 7 and come to completion with a regional validation workshop in Barbados on May 9.

Funded by Global Affairs Canada, SAGE is a 5-year project that will support six Caribbean countries (Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica and St. Lucia) to train youth, women and Indigenous people for employment in the green and blue economy, and to respond to the effects of rising ocean levels, global warming, and the degradation of land and water resources.

Following the EFE model, SAGE will have six institutional partnership opportunities between Canadian colleges and institutes and Caribbean training institutions. Requests for Proposals are expected in Fall 2019.

Less than 30 days to #CICan19

The countdown is on to CICan’s Conference in Niagara Falls! We are looking forward to seeing you all in less than 30 days!

With the theme Inclusion: A Recipe for Success, there is sure to be a topic that piques the interest of every staff and faculty member on campus, from those involved in applied research, to Indigenization, to student services and mental health. These central topics that permeate every aspect of the college and institute mandate will cross-cut the six official event streams: Leading Success, Future Ready, Student Success, Innovative Education, Entrepreneurial Approaches, and Going Global.

View the full program here.

CICan’s annual conference is the largest event of its kind in Canada and gathers post-secondary education leaders from across the country and around the world to network, share best practices, and be inspired.

Join us and our host Niagara College from May 5-7, 2019Register now.

Unique WIL opportunity with VAC!

Offer your students the chance to participate in a unique work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunity with Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC)!

We are looking for college and institute partners to design and pilot a new pan-Canadian WIL program with VAC that will place students in VAC field offices across Canada.

What’s in it for your institution?

  • Receive funding to be part of an exciting project
  • Expand in-demand WIL opportunities for your students;
  • Establish strong relationships with a new, public sector employer group;
  • Take a leadership role in a pan-Canadian WIL pilot program;

Help shape a new WIL program that will benefit students! Submit your Expressions of Interest before Friday, April 12, 2019.

Register now for the upcoming leadership institute for Program Chairs!

Are you a Program Chair interested in developing your leadership skills, better understanding the trends impacting your position, and learning from and networking with your counterparts from across the country?

Don’t miss the CICan Leadership Institute for Program Chairs this summer in beautiful Victoria, BC!

Examine current and emerging leadership requirements of the role of program chair and managers responsible for program areas or service areas in the college and institute setting, including:

  • the environmental context in which institutions currently exist;
  • moving from a program focus to a broader institutional focus;
  • key elements and challenges of the role;
  • senior management expectations and team relationships; and,
  • the value of mentorship.

The Leadership Institute will run from June 22-27, 2019. Register now!

“An ISTEP Minute” videos highlight partnerships in CICan EFE program

Take a glimpse into the life of the CICan Education for Employment (EFE) program Improving Skills Training for Employment Program (ISTEP) in Tanzania with the new “An ISTEP Minute” video series!

Produced by the ISTEP team and its partners, the short videos highlight the excellent work of Cégep Limoilou, Lakeland College, Norquest College, Parkland College, Vancouver Island University, and Sault College completed during the past year with their Tanzanian partners:

  • To promote women in programs with a STEM focus,
  • To encourage more girls and boys to enroll in non-traditional trades, and
  • To deliver sewing workshops that teach female students how to make sustainable menstrual kits, which will give female students the freedom to access the education that they deserve.

In the videos, students also speak about their experiences in these new programs and their career hopes for the future. Watch them all here!

More videos from college and institutes partners involved in ISTEP will be coming soon! Stay tuned!

Pacific Alliance EFE team hosts Forum on Gender Equality in the Extractive Sector in Chile

From March 22-23, the Pacific Alliance Education for Employment Program (PA-EFE) team was in Santiago, Chile to host its Forum on Gender Equality in the Extractive Sector. The event was a great success, with more than 130 participants from the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru) and Canada representing the public, private and civil sectors.

Over the course of two days, panelists focused on three themes:

  • Best practices in professional and technical training and employability;
  • The entrepreneurial landscape and reality of women’s participation in the economies of PA countries; and
  • Leadership and support for women’s power: the role of men’s communication and participation to create inclusive, equitable societies.

The quality of participants and panelists, as well as their engaged participation, produced very productive exchanges, reinforced relationships and collaboration, and ensured the success of this first PA-EFE Forum.

Watch Forum plenaries and follow @CICan_EPE_AP on Twitter.

ATTN students: Enter the video challenge to attend the Canada Youth Summit!

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the first-ever Canada Youth Summit bringing together 300 young people from every province and territory to discuss issues that matter to them, from protecting our environment and fighting climate change, to supporting good jobs and service opportunities, to building more equal and inclusive communities.

The Summit will take place in Ottawa from May 2-3, 2019.

Young Canadians who would like to attend the Summit are invited to participate in the Youth Video Challenge. They can enter to win a trip to the Summit by posting a video on social media using the hashtag #InspiredToServe, capturing what service means to them and how it benefits their community, and submitting an online application.

The deadline for submissions is April 14. Read more about submissions and eligibility here.

The upcoming Summit will be another opportunity for young people to come together to learn, share their stories, and find new ways to create positive change.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that the Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles is launching a new research-study stream in aquaculture, humanities, and natural sciences? Students interested in this option will benefit from the expertise of the cégep and its three Centres collégiaux de transfert de technologies (CCTT), Merinov, Nergica, and CIRADD and participate in research training activities, fieldwork, and events organized by key players in their field of research!


Loyalist College was pleased to announce the appointment of Philippe Mailhot as the college’s new Vice-President, External Relations and Chief Innovation Officer. Mailhot joins Loyalist with a background in both continuing education and federal communications. He will assume his new role effective April 15.


CICan Pre-Conference Forum

Register now for this year’s Pre-Conference Forum for Colleges Serving Rural, Remote and Northern Communities!

Send Us Your News

One of our main goals at Colleges and Institutes Canada is to champion and share the innovations and awesomeness of our members. You can help! We want to hear about your new applied research, industry and community partnerships, international education, important financial investments and more. Add to your media mailing lists! We’ll share member institution News Releases and other upcoming announcements online and with our national media contacts based in Ottawa.