The University of Winnipeg and the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding that brings an additional $600,000 to campus to support Métis scholarship at UWinnipeg over the next decade.
Dr. Annette Trimbee, President and Vice-Chancellor, UWinnipeg and Dr. David Chartrand, President, MMF, say the new initiative builds on a strong history of collaboration and creates new academic opportunities for Métis faculty, researchers and students.
The first phase, to be completed in 2018, will see a post-doctoral researcher at UWinnipeg collect and analyze data to paint a picture of how Métis people in rural and urban Manitoba are faring in terms of health, economic and educational outcomes.
“We are excited about the opportunities and insights this research will bring,” said MMF President Chartrand. “It is always a pleasure to work alongside UWinnipeg and we look forward to our continued partnership with them.”
The MMF is providing a grant of $60,000 annually for the next ten years. This will allow for creation of an annual Métis-Scholar-In-Residence position to support a full range of research possibilities. Additionally UWinnipeg is welcoming a staff person from MMF to be stationed on campus to offer support and guidance to Métis students.
Approximately 13% of incoming students at UWinnipeg self-identify as Indigenous, and half of those students are Métis, among the highest participation rates across Canada.
“We are proud to strengthen our rich partnership with President Chartrand and the MMF, and contribute our academic expertise to the Métis narrative in Canada,” said Dr. Trimbee.
Today’s MOU builds on the strong collaboration UWinnipeg and MMF have forged since 1999. To date, the MMF and its education arm, the Louis Riel Institute, through funding from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), have provided $2.3 million in bursaries to Métis students attending UWinnipeg, which has almost doubled to $ 4.4 million as a result of gifts from the Manitoba Scholarships and Bursaries Initiative matching program. This has provided bursaries to 685 Métis students, some of whom receive awards for multiple years so they may graduate and follow their dreams. This academic year (2017-18), 80 students at UWinnipeg received a Louis Riel bursary.
The Louis Riel Institute promotes, builds capacity and supports the heritage and history of Métis in Manitoba through efficient, effective, culturally sensitive programs and activities. In 2012, The University of Winnipeg conferred upon David Chartrand an Honorary Doctor of Laws, in recognition of his decades of dedication to advancing Métis youth and education.
The University of Winnipeg is located in the Heart of the Métis homeland. UWinnipeg has a strong commitment to implementing the Calls to Action outlined in the seminal Truth and Reconciliation Commission report that pertain to education. Last September, UWinnipeg became one of the first universities in Canada to introduce a mandatory Indigenous course requirement for all undergraduate students.