Rec and read is a safe and culturally affirming recreation program designed by, and for Aboriginal youth and other young people from diverse populations. Founded by Kinesiology and Rec Management Prof. Joannie Halas, the program connects university staff and students with local schools, community agencies and government partners. More than 1,400 high school and elementary students, and 220 university students and community members have participated in 12 Winnipeg schools and four northern communities.
About Verna Kirkness: Verna Kirkness' early education career began in the classrooms of day and residential schools in Manitoba in the 1950's as both a teacher and principal. She received her Bachelor of Arts (1974), Bachelor of Education (1976) and Master of Education (1980) degrees from the University of Manitoba. She then continued to an associate professorship at the University of British Columbia in the 1980s and 1990s. She is one of Canada's most widely respected and recognized advocates of Aboriginal excellence in education.
About the Program: The Verna J. Kirkness Science and Engineering Education Program addresses the under-representation of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students at Canadian Universities. One of the factors contributing to this is the lack of academic role models for these students.The Foundation addresses this by offering scholarships to Indigenous grade 11 students to spend a week at a Canadian university interacting with scientists in their research laboratories. As a partner in the Virna J. Kirkness Science and Engineering Program, the University of Manitoba is committed to fostering K-12 Indigenous student participation in post-secondary education, as outlined in Creating Pathways to Indigenous Achievement, a strategic priority of the U of M.
Women in Science and Engineering, or WISE for short, is an outreach group from the University of Manitoba. Since 1990, the group has enthralled, educated and motivated the youth, including young girls, into exciting careers in Engineering and Science.