About the 2017 Summer Institute

Building on the success of the 2015 and 2016 Summer Institutes hosted by the University of Alberta and the University of Toronto respectively, the 2017 Summer Institute seeks to improve the course-based training currently offered in graduate programs by adding a unique community-based experience. The program envisions a three-way learning experience between the participants (graduate level students from India and Canada), researchers and community members from ?aq’am.

?aq’am is a member band located on the reserve community of the Ktunaxa Nation. The Ktunaxa people are geopolitically situated in the East Kootenay region in southeastern British Columbia and extend into the northern portions of Idaho and Montana. As a community actively leading their own self-development, the ?aq’am are guided by the principles of family, unity and co-operation, effective communication, love and kindness, respect, safety and security, education and learning, healthy and balanced living – and the community takes pride in their heritage, language and culture.

The University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver will be the host-institution for non-community based elements of the program.

This year’s program is premised on 3 tenets:

  • Relationship and trust building combined with cultural understanding;
  • Problem identification and possible innovative strategies that are culturally and resource appropriate; and
  • An opportunity to work with a community to better understand their issues and concerns and to develop skills specific to working within communities.

The 2017 Summer Institute aims to:

  • Develop awareness and understanding of the unique challenges faced by Indigenous communities in Canada with an opportunity to explore possible crossover issues facing rural Indian communities;
  • Develop a pathway for knowledge sharing between the ?aq’am community, IC-IMPACTS and the participants;
  • Provide an opportunity to explore options that address community specific challenges in the areas of infrastructure, water management, and public health;
  • Identify areas of possible research collaboration which could lead to the development of unique, resource and culturally appropriate, solutions; and
  • Identify capacity building needs, training and skill development requirements and opportunities to ensure the effective uptake of new solutions within the community and to enable enhanced participation by community members in their future economic development.

Participants will get the opportunity to:

  • Meet resource guests from First Nations and Indigenous communities, India, and Canada who will share their insights and knowledge on current, leading-edge research and best practices in applying innovations into community contexts
  • Examine case studies showcasing real-world experiences on applied research and implementing innovations directly into community contexts
  • Showcase research presentations to First Nation youth
  • Identify solutions with a potential to be a safe, effective, affordable and scalable community-based application in response to real world challenges faced by a BC First Nation community and to identify possible adaptations for communities in rural India
  • Program design supports the building of new relationships, acceleration of knowledge sharing and building transferable leadership skills

The Summer Institute will be immediately followed by IC-IMPACTS Annual Research Conference (June 9 and 10) and the Graduate Student Seminar (June 11) to afford participation by the Summer Institute students.