Synchrotron scientists pledge $50K for FSIN partnership

Researchers from the Canadian Light Source will spend $50K over the next five years to share scientific knowledge with Indigenous students in Saskatchewan.

Money allows researchers to visit Indigenous students in remote, northern communities

'This partnership is going to provide hope for our youth,' said FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron, right, as he signed the memorandum of understanding with Canadian Light Source Science director Dean Chapman. (CBC)

Whether it's learning when to pick willows for building sweat lodges or effective moose-calling techniques, Indigenous leaders say young people need more science in their lives.

Officials from the Canadian Light Source in Saskatoon have signed a $50,000 agreement over the next five years with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations.

The deal is aimed at promoting scientific research for young people who live in remote Saskatchewan communities and First Nations.

Providing hope, inspiration for young people on First Nations

"When and where to pick sweetgrass, when and where to harvest animals — I mean, it's science," said FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron.

"We put the onus on the First Nations students to come up with ideas. It encourages them to think outside the box."

He said researchers were well-received in communities as far away as Fond-du-Lac and Black Lake.

Cameron cited the example of a boy from the Clearwater River Dene Nation, who was inspired to build his own moose caller after scientists affiliated with the program made a trip north to his community.

"What did he end up doing? He ended up winning one of the first prizes in the competition," said Cameron.

Sharing perspectives

Cameron said non-Indigenous scientists can also learn from elders, who've spent their lives teaching young people to live off the land. 

"We always benefit from other perspectives," said Dean Chapman, the science director at the Canadian Light Source. "We're here to learn."

The FSIN's Education and Training Secretariat first signed a $10,000 partnership agreement with Canadian Light Source officials two years ago.