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Sheridan to advance community-based research in Indigenous language revitalization and older adults’ food security with two $360k federal grants

Dec 8, 2023

A better understanding of approaches to maintaining and revitalizing Indigenous language, education, and storytelling culture. Greater insight into food security and supports for older adults amid continued inflation. These are goals that two newly awarded Sheridan research projects are aiming to address, with impact on two significant groups – Indigenous communities and our aging population. With a keen eye on these issues, Sheridan has been recognized with two 3-year College and Community Social Innovation (CCSIF) research funding from the Tri-Agency (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council), with each project funding totalling $360,000. 

The CCSIF program is designed to support college research projects in partnership with community to foster innovation and address community research needs in areas such as community development, education and training and integration of vulnerable populations. Sheridan’s awarded projects are rooted in community-based research and innovation. “Anishinaabemowin Revitalization through Community-led Research on Use of Digital Media Technologies” is a first for Sheridan in digital media-related research with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. “Moving Beyond Money and Macronutrients: Understanding Food Insecurity and Supports for Canadian Older Adults” spotlights the expertise of our Centre for Elder Research when tackling the reasons and potential solutions for food insecurity among older adults in the Halton Region.
  
MCFN“Anishinaabemowin Revitalization through Community-led Research on Use of Digital Media Technologies” explores the role that community-engaged learning and capacity to produce digital media content (e.g., live-action/animated videos, virtual reality) can play within maintenance and revitalization of Anishinaabemowin (language). Working in partnership with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Sheridan researchers will engage in community-led research on innovative approaches to use digital media resources within the First Nation’s upcoming Anishinaabemowin community learning program. Knowledge sharing, training, and support for community content development intended to contribute to language revitalization will be based on Indigenous storytelling and traditions of oral language transmission between generations in cultural and social contexts. The research team includes Mississaugas of the Credit community members (Councillor Veronica King-Jamieson, Cathie Jamieson); Sheridan faculty and staff (Tiana Bone; Spencer Idenouye; Professor Tamara Wasylenky; Fallon Melander); and University of Toronto Mississauga faculty (Professor Sherry Fukuzawa). Oakville Community Foundation is also a collaborating partner on the project.

“The takeaways are endless for our Michi Saagiig members learning digital media at Sheridan with many opportunities in our Anishinaabemowin language, storytelling, software, culture, history, arts, etc. The program course is being planned through the Michi Saagiig Anishinaabemowin lens which is a significant step in the right directions where we can see ourselves in a mainstream educational institution,” said Councillor Veronica King-Jamieson.

food for life“Moving Beyond Money and Macronutrients: Understanding Food Insecurity and Supports for Canadian Older Adults” will explore the factors affecting food insecurity among older adults in the Hamilton, Halton and Peel Regions. Food insecurity is often evaluated as an economic measure however in older adult populations this characterization may not fully capture the drivers of food insecurity intensifying inadequate or uncertain access to food. Working together with partners Food for Life, Knights Table, City of Hamilton (Age-Friendly City), Hamilton Urban Core Community Health Centre, Summerville Family Health Team, and the United Way Halton and Hamilton, Sheridan researchers will gain a better understanding of the factors that shape food choice and access for older adults in Hamilton, Halton, and Peel, and how community food services can continue to support a more holistic approach to health and wellbeing for older adults. The research team at Sheridan is led by Dr. Karen Slonim and co-investigators Dr. Kate Dupuis, Dr. Lia Tsotsos and Kathryn Warren-Norton from the Centre for Elder Research, and Professor Sara Cumming from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.
 
"Knights Table is proud to support this project. With a 33-year legacy of serving seniors, our commitment is driven by a passion for enhancing the well-being of our older adults. Working alongside these valued partners, our goal is to leverage our experience to create impactful solutions that benefit our diverse population. We look forward to integrating the findings into our programs, ensuring tailored support that optimizes health, dignity, and overall quality of life for our older adults," said Annie Bynoe, Executive Director at Knights Table.

“We’re thrilled to receive this funding from NSERC’s CCSIF program. Sheridan’s track record of success speaks to our excellence in novel and innovative research placing the communities we serve at the forefront. Since 2019, we’ve received nine CCSIF grants totalling more than $2.5 million – vital funding that’s contributed to meaningful change in our communities and among our partners. Congratulations to the members of both research teams on this terrific achievement,” said Andrea England, Vice Provost, Research, at Sheridan.
 
“As we work to build a stronger and more resilient economy, it is imperative that we continue to support the communities that need it the most. Through the CCSIF program, these projects will strengthen partnerships and foster community innovation while supporting Indigenous language revitalization and food security for our aging population. I look forward to seeing the positive impact this research will have on our Oakville community and beyond,” said The Honourable Anita Anand, President of the Treasury Board Secretariat and Member of Parliament for Oakville.

About Generator at Sheridan
Generator at Sheridan is where purpose and passion unite the extraordinary research, innovation and entrepreneurship undertaken by Sheridan’s faculty, staff and students, working across disciplines and sectors, to drive meaningful impact for an everchanging world. For more information, visit sheridancollege.ca/generator.

Pictured top left: Artist credit, Cathie Jamieson, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

Pictured bottom left: Food for Life volunteers running a community program for their neighbours.

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