Click here to donate to MIRI and support their flagship projects! See below for project details and contact us with any questions 🙂
Indigenous Undergraduate Summer Research Scholars (IUSRS)
Hosted by the McMaster Indigenous Research Institute (MIRI), the Indigenous Undergraduate Summer Research Scholars (IUSRS) program provides a hands-on graduate-level research experience for Indigenous undergraduates. A key aim of IUSRS is to inspire and support the next generation of Indigenous scholars. Offering academic, social, and cultural activities, IUSRS facilitates mentorship and supports Indigenous students in making informed choices about preparing for graduate studies. IUSRS is an annual program running
from May to June each year. Every summer we invite 12 Indigenous undergraduate students from across Canada to participate in a range of short-term research projects for eight weeks. These talented students are assigned a McMaster supervisor and work with them on their assigned research projects four days a week. The program also includes cultural programming with Elders, Knowledge Keepers, and Indigenous students and staff at Mac.
Donations to MIRI support the IUSRS Program and Indigenous Undergraduate student experiences:
- Research mentorship.
- Academic workshops run by McMaster Indigenous faculty.
- Cultural programming and events with community members, Elders, and Knowledge Keepers.
- $5000 stipend for each student upon completion of the program.
- Campus housing (if needed).
- Some childcare costs.
MIRI’s Prison Education Project
MIRI’s Prison Education Project increases access to post-secondary education for incarcerated Indigenous peoples. The project has three tiers. First, we bring university courses into prison settings with a Walls to Bridges Program where incarcerated and university students take courses as peers, earning the same university credit. The tuition for incarcerated students is sponsored by the hosting university. The second tier is post-incarceration support for students living in transition homes (sometimes known as halfway houses). From the transition house, students attend courses on campus (and pre-covid, in person) for credit or audit. Our team also works closely with students within the transition houses to provide support with assignments, mentoring, sharing circles, and tutoring. And lastly, our mentorship program assists formerly incarcerated people who are interested in applying for university as full or part-time students. This mentorship includes administrative and social support, supplies, tutoring, and professional development.
Core Principles of the Prison Education Project
- Over-representation of Indigenous Peoples in prisons is a colonial tactic to separate Indigenous peoples from their land and political (kinship) ties. Indigenous peoples belong in their communities, not behind bars.
- Our vision is to create a pipeline from prison to post-secondary reversing the cycle of generational poverty, homelessness and ill health.
- Indigenous peoples experience systemic racism within all Canadian systems creating barriers to assuming positions of power.
- This project seeks to provide front-line support to incarcerated Indigenous peoples whose experiences of colonial violence created barriers to pursuing post-secondary education.
Donations to MIRI support Incarcerated Indigenous peoples with:
- Supplies (notebooks, writing implements, project art materials).
- Books and photocopying.
- Guest speaker honouraria.