Director, Wabnode Centre for Aboriginal Services | Cambrian College
Sudbury, ON, CA
Experienced in the areas of Indigenous education, culture and engagement. He is an expert communicator and facilitator .
Richard Ouellet is a skilled and respected academic and leader.
Since joining Cambrian College to lead the Wabnode Centre for Aboriginal Services Richard has led a team of 12 people who are responsible for delivering student services, including cultural teachings, funding, academic support as well as delivering college course and upgrading to remote communities.
He developed and taught Indigenous Studies 101 as well as developed the Ojibwa Language program for the college’s host community (Atikameksheng) as well as the holistic Mental Health Support program for Indigenous students.
Richard also developed Self-Identity project that doubled the number of Indigenous students identified in the college SIS and played a key role in College Strategic planning.
In 2007 Ouellet worked as facilitator, Aboriginal Youth Violence Strategy Council, city of Vancouver, 2007. In this role he worked with Aboriginal youth in Vancouver to develop a foundation from which to build a better relationship between youth and Vancouver police
In 2004 Richard oordinated dialogue and a working relationship between the Haida Nation and descendant families from Jasper National Park.
Industry Expertise (5)
Areas of Expertise (8)
University of British Columbia: PhD, History/Anthropology/Law 2015
Research helped identify ways the relationships between Aboriginal communities and Government, business, and academic organizations can find common ground and partnerships.
Simon Fraser University: Bachelor of Arts, History 2003
Simon Fraser University: Master of Arts, Archeology 2006
Media Appearances (5)
Murdered and missing Indigenous women: the north speaks Northern Ontario reacts to federal announcement about inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women
"Murdered and missing Indigenous women: Northern Ontario reacts to federal announcement about inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women"
Pamela Jayne Holopainen.
Those are the names of Indigenous women who have either died under suspicious circumstances, or vanished altogether in northeastern Ontario.
Hundreds more in the country have been murdered or have also gone missing.
For decades, there have been calls for the federal government to launch an inquiry into their disappearances.
That day came Wednesday, when the federal government announced that it would fund the investigation.
The inquiry is expected to look at the cause of violence against Indigenous women and girls and review the roles of police, agencies and governments.
After hearing the announcement, members of Sudbury's Indigenous community reacted:
'A lot of these girls are still missing'
Richard Ouellet, director of the Wabnode Centre for Aboriginal Services at Cambrian College said it is critical the government gets it right.
"Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised a lot of things for Indigenous people before he was elected," Ouellet said, "so it's important for this inquiry to live up to those promises."
Even with such high expectations, Ouellet remains hopeful.
"I think that this inquiry really can set the table where a new relationship can be formed because it will build trust through its transparency and that's sort of my hope for the future."
It is also important, Oullett said, that we don't relegate these cases to the past. The threat for Indigenous women is still high.
"Girls are brought into the sex trade from a northern pipeline that exists in reserves," he said, "a lot of these girls are still missing."
Trades trailer hauls Cambrian courses to remote communities
Northern Ontario Business online
The Cambrian College trades trailer has been extending the school’s offerings to remote communities for seven years, and just rolled back into Sudbury after another busy season.
The trailer spent the summer in Wikwemikong First Nation on Manitoulin Island, bringing college courses closer to home for students who want to pursue the trades.
“The intent was to be able to offer college programs in remote communities and in particular Indigenous communities,” said Richard Ouellet, the director of Cambrian’s Wabnode Centre, which brokers many of the agreements with First Nations that access the trailer.
The trades trailer was a gift from Sudbury miner Vale to the college in 2009, and has proved popular in the years since it was introduced, making its way through the North’s communities.
“It’s pretty much always used,” said Ouellet. “Over 200 students have gone through in the life of the trailer.”
The trailer is broken down into three separate units, which, when put together, form the 1,000-square-foot space stocked with welding bays, carpentry machinery or whatever equipment is required for a specific module or course.
“It’s really difficult to find the shop space with health and safety requirements. There’s got to be a certain kind of wiring and insulation, and that’s what the trailer does. It meets all those requirements,” said Ouellet.
The students using the equipment get to learn near home, but the professionals who teach in the trailer are often sourced from the communities as well.
“We hire people from the area. So, if for example, we’re offering a pre-trade course in the trailer, our preference would be to hire someone local, but that’s not always an option. Preferably they’re red seal and they meet the Ontario college requirements to be an instructor,” said Ouellet.
Popular programs include specific training in mining and the more general pre-trades programs.
In 2013, the trailer headed to Constance Lake First Nation for a mining essentials course that 16 young students took specifically in anticipation of jobs in the Ring of Fire region.
“What it does is it gets them to experience a post-secondary course at home, and it helps them to decide to pursue post-secondary. So, for example, if we’re taking pre-trade, you get a certificate but really it’s an intro to the other trades,” said Ouellet.
New beginnings, old ghosts
The Sudbury Star online
At first glance, The Lesser Blessed is a teenage love story - a timeless tale of a sordid and angst-ridden triangle - but on further contemplation it is an uplifting and haunting journey of new beginnings and old ghosts.
"It's about the resilience of the human spirit," says Richard Van Camp, the renowned Dogrib author from Fort Smith, NWT, on whose novel the film is based. "It's both a love story and a confession. The movie is stunning and gorgeous, and tidies up a lot of loose ends."
Van Camp will be in Sudbury on Wednesday and Thursday for a two-day showcase of indigenous arts. It is a homecoming of sorts. He was last in the region to shoot The Lesser Blessed at Atikameksheng Anishnawbek First Nation, which premiered in 2012 at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film went on to win the best supporting actor award at the 2013 American Indian Film Festival (held in San Francisco, Calif.) and was nominated for best adapted screenplay at the Genie awards last year, as well as two awards at the Zlín International Film Festival for Children and Youth in the Czech Republic (one of the world's most prestigious festivals of its kind). It stars Benjamin Bratt of Law and Order fame; Kiowa Gordon, who starred in the Twilight film series; and 19-year-old Chloe Rose, known for her role as Katie Matlin in Degrassi: the next generation.
The showcase is part of a campus-wide campaign Cambrian College's Wabnode Centre for Aboriginal Services has launched to promote identity and pride amongst indigenous students. It is also a way to foster community.
"We want to connect with Sudbury's film and arts community so that a strong relationship can be built," Richard Ouellet, Wabnode's director, says. "Indigenous people are very interested in artistic forms of expression and we hope this will be a beginning of regular collaborations to advance local artists."...
Métis Nation of Ontario Calls for National Inquiry
Net News Ledger online
THUNDER BAY – At its 21st Annual General Assembly (AGA) in Thunder Bay today, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) passed a resolution calling on the Federal Government to hold national inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women and adopted a Declaration to end violence against Aboriginal women.
The MNO has been working to address the issue of violence against Aboriginal women almost since its inception in 1993 and is a full partner in Ontario’s Joint Working Group to End Violence AgainstAboriginal Women and a signatory to the Framework to End Violence Against Aboriginal Women. “It’s clear as we approach the 2,000 mark of murdered and missing women that if this involved any other group other than Aboriginal people, the country would be outraged,” argued President Lipinski,“so it is not enough for the Federal government to say these are simply individual acts. These acts of violence are rooted in a history of colonial policies that attempted to destroy cultures and that have traumatized generations of Indigenous people.”
The AGA started on Saturday, August 23 with a procession led by Métis veterans. This was followed by greetings from David Zimmer, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines and Bill Mauro, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry as well as from Mayor Keith Hobbs of Thunder Bay; David Bell, President of the MNO Thunder Bay Métis Council; Dr. Carolyn Bennett, Member of Parliament; John Rafferty, Member of Parliament; Alexander Bezzina, Deputy Minister of Children and Youth Services; Grand Chief Harvey Yesno of the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation; Leon Jourdain of the Lac La Croix First Nation; Richard Ouellet, Wabnode of the Centre for Aboriginal Services of Cambrian Collage, President Jim Madder of Confederation College; and President Clement Chartier of the Métis National Council.
Indigenous leader reacts to senator's controversial comments on residential schools
Up North on CBC Radio: This week Conservative senator Lynn Beyak spoke about the need to recognize the good deeds of people who ran the country's residential schools. We got reaction from Rick Ouellet, the director of the Wabnode Centre at Cambrian College in Sudbury.
Event Appearances (1)
Mobile Trades Training - Going Places
Treaty #3 Area Economic Opportunities Conference : Ke-Ondaatiziying : How we will Sustain Outselves Lac Seul First Nation, ON.