Click here to donate to MIRI and support their flagship projects! See below for project details and contact us with any questions 馃檪

IndigiNerds Program

Hosted by the McMaster Indigenous Research Institute (MIRI), the IndigiNerds program provides a hands-on graduate-level research experience for Indigenous undergraduates. A key aim of IndigiNerds is to inspire and support the next generation of Indigenous scholars. Offering academic, social, and cultural activities, the IndigiNerds program facilitates mentorship and supports Indigenous students in making informed choices about preparing for graduate studies. IndigiNerds is an annual program running

from May to June each year. Every summer 10 Indigenous undergraduate students from across Canada are selected 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 IndigiNerds 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.
  • $6000 stipend for each student upon completion of the program.
  • Campus housing (if needed).
  • Some childcare costs.
  • Meals.
MIRI’s Prison Education Project

MIRI鈥檚鈥疨rison Education Project鈥痠ncreases access to鈥痯ost-secondary education鈥痜or鈥痠ncarcerated Indigenous peoples. The project has three tiers. First, we bring university courses into prison settings with a Walls to Bridges鈥疨rogram鈥痺here incarcerated and university鈥痵tudents鈥痶ake courses鈥痑s鈥痯eers,鈥痚arning the same university credit.鈥疶he tuition for incarcerated students is sponsored by the hosting university.鈥疶he second tier is post-incarceration support鈥痜or students living in鈥痶ransition homes (sometimes known as鈥痟alfway houses). From the鈥痶ransition鈥痟ouse, students attend courses鈥痮n鈥痗ampus鈥(and pre-covid, in person)鈥痜or鈥痗redit鈥痮r鈥痑udit. 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鈥痑ssists鈥痜ormerly incarcerated people who are interested in applying for university as full or part-time students. This mentorship includes administrative and鈥痵ocial鈥痵upport, supplies,鈥痶utoring, and professional development.

Core Principles of the Prison Education Project鈥

  1. Over-representation of Indigenous Peoples in prisons is a colonial tactic to鈥痵eparate Indigenous peoples from their land and political (kinship) ties.鈥疘ndigenous peoples belong in their communities, not behind bars.
  2. Our vision is to create a pipeline from prison to post-secondary鈥痳eversing the cycle鈥痮f鈥痝enerational鈥痯overty, homelessness and鈥痠ll health.
  3. Indigenous peoples鈥痚xperience鈥痵ystemic鈥痳acism鈥痺ithin all Canadian systems creating barriers鈥痶o assuming positions of power.
  4. This project seeks to provide front-line support to incarcerated Indigenous peoples whose鈥痚xperiences鈥痮f colonial violence created barriers to鈥痯ursuing鈥痯ost-secondary鈥痚ducation.

Donations to MIRIsupport Incarcerated Indigenous peoples with:

  1. Tuition.
  2. Supplies鈥(notebooks,鈥痺riting implements, project art materials).
  3. Books and photocopying.
  4. Guest speaker honouraria.
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