Issue 119

Community Engagement

Source: International Indigenous Policy Journal , Scholarship@Western > IIPJ > Vol. 9 > Iss. 2 (2018)

Summary: Using data from the 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS), this study investigated associations between smoking and a number of schools, peer, and family characteristics among off-reserve First Nations (n = 2,308), Métis (n = 2,058), and Inuit (n = 655) high school students aged 12 to 21 years. Logistic regressions revealed important group differences in Indigenous youths' correlates of smoking.

Characteristics that were negatively associated with smoking included attending a school with a positive environment or having peers with high educational aspirations among First Nations students; participating in school-based club extra-curricular activities or living in a smoke-free home among Métis; and living in higher-income families among Inuit. A consistent risk factor for smoking among all Indigenous students was having close friends who engaged in risk behaviours.

Exemplary Classroom Practice: Elementary

Source: Project Co-Directors: Harvey McCue and Brent Angell, and Principal Writer and Researcher: Amy Alberton

Focus: Junior Intermediate Students

Summary: About the curriculum
Understanding that fostering protective factors and reducing risk factors will ultimately reduce youth suicide attempts and self-harm. The purpose of the First Nations Youth Suicide Prevention Curriculum is to promote resilience and instill hope amongst First Nations youth.

The curriculum consists of 24 one-hour classroom sessions. The program is experiential and includes detailed guidelines for teachers as well as all required materials for in-class activities such as group discussions, quizzes, games, and other projects that provide opportunities for each youth participant to journal their journey of resilience and wellbeing. In addition to student activities, each session includes learning materials that relate to the session’s topic. Learning materials include stories, interactive videos and activities, pictures, informational handouts, mass-media references, and Internet resources.

The curriculum connects culture with content related to resilient-rich choice-making that is applicable across the distinct First Nations in Canada. Some overarching cultural values presented throughout the material include conceptualization of community, self-reliance and actualization, and connection with the land and to nature. Framed in highly creative, stimulating, and interactive ways, the First Nations Youth Suicide Prevention Curriculum has the capacity to build resilience by being responsive, engaging, and applicable to the worldview of participating First Nation’s youth.

Although the materials are directed at classroom teachers, other professional service providers are welcome to consider the application of this curriculum on behalf of First Nations youth at risk.

Exemplary Classroom Practice: Secondary

Source: School District 60: Learning Services, BC

Focus: Secondary teachers and students

Summary: This page posts some great resources to learn about First People’s Principles of Learning, including videos, lesson plans, storytelling and multi-media, with links to additional relevant resources.

Multi Media

Source: University of Waterloo

Focus: Secondary students

Summary: The colorful carved wooden whale is a game. You can CLICK on the whale to view detailed photographs of the components of this game, discover how this game is played, who played it, where it was played, and find out about the artist who created the components of the game. This is an example of the many types of information about GAMES that will be found on this website.

Professional Development

Source: EdCan Network, Dr. Pamela Rose Toulouse

Summary: Eleven of the ninety-four Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) final report are specific to education. Call to Action 63, “Building student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect,” challenges Canadian education systems to focus on students’ understanding of Indigenous human rights and social justice initiatives. Non-Indigenous students are now beginning to learn about the truth of residential schools, treaties and other long-standing issues facing Indigenous communities such as lack of clean drinking water, housing and food shortages. Truth and reconciliation is a spiritual and emotional journey required of all students and educators – from the head to the heart – that will unfold differently for everyone.

Related Links

Source: Government of Canada

Summary: The Aboriginal Bursaries Search Tool is a searchable list of 688 bursaries, scholarships and incentives across Canada.

Relevant Research

Source: First Nations Development Institute

Summary: The research for Reclaiming Native Truth included multiple projects, used varied methods to engage broad groups of people, and generated detailed and specific findings. Across all of this, some overarching themes emerged — both those that confirm our assumptions and provide more detail about the challenges of the current narrative, and those that point us toward a path for change.

Across the education curriculum, pop culture entertainment, news media, social media and the judicial system, the voices and stories of contemporary Native peoples are missing. Into this void springs an antiquated or romanticized narrative, ripe with myths and misperceptions. Focus group participants admit that they do not think about Native American issues and largely believe the population is declining. Many people outside of Indian Country lack personal contact with a Native American and even put the onus for this on Native Americans, describing them as insular.

As a result, people fall back on media tropes of the savage/ noble warrior or reports of negative outcomes such as poverty and alcoholism rather than seeing Indians in everyday roles. They underestimate the degree of current discrimination.