Skip to the content of the web site.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

  • Aboriginal education centre opens today
  • Propel director joins provincial obesity panel
  • Canadian Index of Wellbeing wins award
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Aboriginal education centre opens today

a news release from the media relations department

There are more opportunities for Aboriginal students with today’s grand opening of the new Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre at St. Paul’s University College at the University of Waterloo.

The new centre measures approximately 1,200 square feet and contains multi-purpose seminar and gathering space, library and computer room, offices for staff and one elder, as well as a kitchen for preparing community meals. Friends and alumni of St. Paul’s contributed $300,000 to the project. The Government of Canada provided $1,090,000 through the Community Adjustment Fund.

“I’m pleased that our government contributed more than $1 million towards this new Aboriginal Education Centre,” said Peter Braid, member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo. “This centre will help to provide Aboriginal students with the education and training they need to realize their full potential in the southern Ontario workforce.”

“We welcome any chance to give our students the tools they need to succeed,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur. “Thanks to support from the federal government, this new facility will help Aboriginal students overcome challenges they may face in advancing their education."

St. Paul’s University College is the designated provider of Aboriginal education initiatives at Waterloo. It has developed programming to help address many of the obstacles facing Aboriginal students as well assist them in achieving some common goals.

“St. Paul’s and Waterloo are positioning to play a major role in the education of the fastest growing youth demographic in Canada: Aboriginal youth,” said Graham Brown, principal of St. Paul’s.

The university currently has more than 100 students who declare Aboriginal ancestry. The new centre provides student advising, cultural counselling and a general gathering space for Aboriginal students, faculty and staff. Cultural events and Native Studies courses raise awareness among the university community about Aboriginal history and traditions. A program for Aboriginal high school students builds personal commitment and skills for completing high school and enrolling in a post-secondary program.

Back to top

Propel director joins provincial obesity panel

a message from the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact

Barbara Riley, Executive Director at the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, has been asked to join the ‘Healthy Kids Panel’ to advise Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty on addressing childhood obesity. Several relevant sectors will work together to develop a comprehensive and coordinated strategy to produce meaningful results, recognizing that childhood obesity is a complex problem that cannot be addressed by one sector alone.

The 17-member expert panel includes representation from recognized leaders in their fields, who possess a broad understanding of childhood obesity, and are connected to different sectors and communities including:

  • Academia and research;
  • Health care and public health;
  • Physical activity;
  • Community-based organizations;
  • Media for parents and consumers;
  • Advertising and social marketing;
  • Education;
  • Food retail and manufacturing;
  • Consumer products;
  • Health promotion;
  • Human development; and
  • Aboriginal communities.

The panel will be co-chaired by Alex Munter, Chief Executive Officer of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, and Kelly Murumets, president and Chief Executive Officer of ParticipACTION.

With Propel leading the development of a cross-campus Centre for Excellence in Chronic Disease Prevention to promote stronger evidence-based approaches to reduce the burden of chronic diseases, representation on the Healthy Kids Panel is a natural fit.

The panel is tasked with providing a set of prioritized, multi-sectoral, evidence-based recommendations to inform the development of a strategy to reduce childhood obesity by 20 per cent over five years. The panel will submit its report to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care by December 2012.

If you are interested in providing input into the work of the panel, or receiving updates on progress, please contact Barb Riley.

Back to top

Wednesday's notes

The Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW), housed within the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, has received the 2012 Parks and Recreation Ontario (PRO) President’s Award of Distinction.

Margo Hilbrecht accepts the award on being of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing.The award was accepted by Margo Hilbrecht (pictured far right), CIW Senior Research Associate, at the recent PRO Educational Forum with more than 500 delegates in attendance.

The Canadian Index of Wellbeing identifies, develops and publicizes statistical measures on wellbeing goals and outcomes Canadians seek as a nation. In considering recipients for this year’s President’s Award, the Board of Directors of PRO reflected on the commitment of the CIW to improving and protecting quality of life across the country through innovative research to inform policy change. The Board also noted that the importance of recreation and parks for quality of life is recognized throughout the work of the CIW.

“As a professor in the Recreation and Leisure Studies programme, receiving an award from PRO is especially gratifying”, says Bryan Smale, Director of the CIW. “Like PRO, we at the CIW understand the critical role that recreation and leisure plays in enhancing the quality of lives of Canadians – that’s why it is a key component of the CIW.”

At the National Recreation Summit held in Alberta last October, recreation was recognized as a fundamental, core building block of vibrant communities and healthy people. It was at the Summit that the importance of the CIW was highlighted and identified as a leader in this process.

In October 2011, the CIW’s first composite index showed a modest 11% increase in national wellbeing for the fifteen year period starting in 1994. The Leisure and Culture domain–one of eight key areas measured by the Index–actually decreased by 3%, raising concerns about potential long-term impacts on citizens’ wellbeing.

The Honourable Roy J. Romanow, Chair of the CIW Advisory Board, points out that “over the past few years, we’ve seen Canadians become progressively more frustrated by what they see as a widening gap – a gap between citizen values and public policy; between what people believe in and what governments do; and between the world we envision and the one we actually live in. The CIW can help policy makers pay attention to the need to develop and provide meaningful venues and opportunities for participation in leisure and cultural activities which is so important to the wellbeing of individuals, communities, and Canadian society at large.”

Back to top

Countdown to Congress: 3 days remaining

Factoid: Up to 300 student workers and volunteers will help make Congress a reality.

Congress 2012 takes place May 26-June 2, 2012, and is co-hosted by University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and organized by the Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Crossroads: Scholarship for an Uncertain World, the theme of Congress 2012, explores the real-world impact of the humanities and social sciences. Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences is the largest annual multidisciplinary academic gathering in Canada.

Link of the day

World Turtle Day

When and where

Biology seminar featuring Dr. Janet Braam, Professor and Chair, Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Rice University, "Plant Defense: Roles for Touch and Time," Wednesday, May 23, 2:30 p.m. EIT 3142, refreshments provided. Special meet and greet with Biology students, staff, and faculty from 2:10 to 2:30 p.m.

Farewell reception for Alan George, Thursday, May 24, 3:30 p.m., Festival Room, South Campus Hall. RSVP by May 18 to Michelle Mank, ext. 36448 or mank@

Warriors band practice, Thursday, May 24, 5:30 p.m., PAC 1001.

School of Public Health and Health Systems research seminar featuring Dr. Jennifer O'Loughlin, Université de Montréal, "Quit-It: New perspectives on youth cessation from NDIT," Thursday, May 24, 4:00 p.m., LHN 2703.

Pension and Benefits Committee meeting Friday, May 25, 8:30 a.m., NH 3004.

Building and Properties Committee meeting Friday, May 25, 3:00 p.m., NH 3004.

You @ Waterloo Day, Saturday, May 26, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Details.

Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences hosted by Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University, May 26 through June 2. Details.

Congress 2012 Big Thinking Lectures, May 26 - May 31. Details.

UW International Spouses presents "Movie and Coffee with Patty," featuring A Streetcar Named Desire, Sunday, May 27, 1:00 p.m., Galaxy Cinemas Waterloo. To register email patty91872@

Measuring Wellbeing: A Symposium on the Use of Wellbeing Indicators, Monday, May 28, 1:00 p.m., Paul Martin Prosperity Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University.

Retirement celebration for Adel Sedra, Wednesday, May 30. Details.

Geographers Without Borders: geography department's 50th anniversary, Thursday, May 31, 5:30 p.m. Details.

Board of governors Tuesday, June 5, 2:30 p.m., Needles Hall room 3001.

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable through myHRinfo:

• Advisor/Learning Strategist – Office for Person with Disabilities, USG 8
• CTE Liaison – Faculty of Applied Health Sciences – Centre for Teaching Excellence, USG 8-11
• Senior Laboratory Demonstrator – Kinesiology, USG 9
• Marketing Coordinator – Federation of Students, USG 6
• Performance Measurement Analyst – School of Accounting & Finance, USG 9/10
• Administrative Coordinator – Combinatorics & Optimization, USG 5
• International Recruitment Specialist – Registrar’s Office, USG 9
• Administrative Co-ordinator – Registrar’s Office, USG 6
• Senior Communication Officer, External Communications – Communications and Public Affairs, USG 10
• Research Support Assistant, Deputy Director – Institute for Quantum Computing, USG 6

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin