Nurturing Capacity is based on Indigenous values: sharing knowledge and helping each other succeed in a respectful way. Everyone is working together on the common goal of helping Indigenous students achieve success, thereby helping communities.
Nurturing Capacity helps communities document and share their successes with educational stakeholders across Canada. Regionally-based researchers who are well-versed in both Indigenous and Western research methodologies are hired by Indspire to assist communities in transforming their innovations into an action or applied research project. The researchers work throughout their regions to help communities demonstrate outcomes to the wider Indigenous educational community. This also builds capacity in local communities, as the researchers work with community members to articulate projects and measure success.
Indspire has found that there is limited data on existing successful educational practices in Indigenous communities. Many of these practices were developed out of a recognized need in the community and they honour local Indigenous knowledge systems; however, established means have not been developed for evaluating, reporting or sharing their positive outcomes. In many cases, initiatives were started in response to specific issues and, over time, grew and had a positive impact on educational outcomes.
The ultimate goal of Nurturing Capacity is to contribute to the successful completion of high school by Indigenous students. Programs such as Nurturing Capacity support the documenting of successful practices by Indigenous communities so that they are sustained within the community in question and shared with other communities that could benefit from them.
Indigenous young people make up the fastest-growing demographic in Canada, yet there is a large gap between the number of Indigenous and non-Indigenous students who complete high school. Through programs such as Nurturing Capacity, Indspire strives to close this gap by ensuring that Indigenous students are given the opportunity to complete their education, so they can successfully contribute to their families, communities and Canada as a whole.
Making a Difference
By documenting and sharing successful practices through Nurturing Capacity, Indspire is enabling specific communities to sustain these practices, while enabling others to learn from them. The first documented project has seen significant positive outcomes for high school completion amongst Indigenous students.
Vision for the Future
Documenting successful practices may help those practices secure funding. Approximately 40 projects across the country are on deck, subject to funding.
Indspire is an Indigenous-led registered charity that invests in the education of Indigenous Peoples for the long-term benefit of the individuals, their families and communities, and Canada. With the support of funding partners, Indspire disburses financial awards, delivers programs and shares resources with the goal of closing the gap in Indigenous education. Through the Indspire Institute, it provides resources to educators, communities and other stakeholders who are committed to improving success for Indigenous youth from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Since its inception in 1985, Indspire has disbursed almost $65 million through nearly 20,000 scholarships and bursaries to Indigenous students, making it the largest funder of Indigenous education outside the federal government. Each year, the organization presents its Indspire Awards, a gala celebration of the successes achieved by Indigenous Peoples, which is broadcast nationally.
Best Practice Contact
Betsy Chaly, Vice President
Communications and Marketing
215 Spadina Ave., Suite 450
Toronto, ON M5T 2C7