Astronomy for Canadian Indigenous People

It’s been more than 150 years and until today, Indigenous people in Canada continue to endure hard conditions (higher rates of unemployment, poor education, bad housing, and poor job prospects) despite government efforts to improve this situation. Several government efforts have tried to solve this problem but the political approach does not seem to be sufficient and all suggested programs had limited success rates. One of these key issues is the lower levels of education and the higher level of dropout. We propose, in this project, to follow a society-society approach to improve the situation of Indigenous people in Canada by using Astronomy as a tool for the development of young Indigenous People. This non-governmental new approach will have an important impact in reducing inequality in the society. Canada has numerous Indian reserves for its Indigenous people. For this Pilot Project, we will target one of the Indian reserves in the Province of Quebec to benefit from its proximity to the Mont-Mégantic Observatory that will be used in this project. Our target is young students (8-14 years old). Our project has two components: (i) Visiting schools in the Indian reserve(s) to reach young Indigenous students and (ii) Bring a group of students to visit the Observatory of Mont-Mégantic during the Popular Astronomy Festival of Mont-Mégantic. Society using Astronomy as a tool of social development can help in improving the situation of Indigenous people in the Indian reserves.