Issue 113

Community Engagement

Source: School District No.73 (Kamloops/Thompson)

Summary: The First Nations Education Council recognizes the primary responsibility that Aboriginal parents have in supporting the education of their children. In addition to providing direct support in the schools and developing culturally relevant school programs and services, the Council continues to explore ways to further support Aboriginal learners in their communities and homes.

The First Nations Education Council will continue to work in partnership with School District No. 73 and work toward success for all Aboriginal students in the District. It is our wish that this handbook will be used by parents in their quest to realize successful educational experiences for their children.

Exemplary Classroom Practice: Elementary

Source: Virtual Museum

Focus: Intermediate students

Summary: Dane-zaa have preserved our traditional stories and songs for many generations. Dane-zaa elders are expert storytellers and enjoy telling stories to people of all ages. Dane-zaa traditional stories are intended both to entertain and to teach about our traditional values and how to survive in the bush. They also provide Dane-zaa with ways to think about the impact of oil and gas industrialization on our traditional lands. Go to About Dane-zaa Stories to find out more about our traditional Dane-zaa storytelling traditions.

Dane-zaa traditional songs have also been preserved for hundreds of years and are a vital part of our contemporary Dane-zaa oral traditions. There are two types of Dane-zaa songs. Mayiné are personal medicine songs that we are given on vision quests by our spirit helpers. These songs are private and rarely sung in public.

Exemplary Classroom Practice: Secondary

Source: The Ontario Teachers’ Federation (OTF)

Focus: Grades 10 & 11

Summary: This resource addresses issues related to Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. Native Studies is integrated across various subject areas: Visual Arts, Civics and History.

Multi Media

Source: Virtual Museum, Eriksson, Alberta 

Focus: Grades 5-6

Summary: In 1710, four young Iroquois men from North America made an extraordinary voyage. As Ambassadors for their people and their nations, the men made a long and dangerous ocean voyage to Great Britain. There they were presented to the recently widowed Queen and her court as “kings.” None of the Iroquois spoke directly to her and a speech was read on their behalf. In the speech, they asked for military help for themselves and their allies against England’s enemy, France. The speech also asked for missionaries so that the Iroquois people could find out more about the Protestant religion.

Students will learn more about Canadian history and the relationship between the Iroquois and England by studying about the four kings’ visit to England in 1710, and to understand the complex and changing relationship between North America and the prevailing European superpowers of the day, specifically England and France.

Professional Development

Source: Emily Milne, MacEwan University

Summary:  Abstract

The Ontario Ministry of Education has declared a commitment to Indigenous student success and has advanced a policy framework that articulates inclusion of Indigenous content in schooling curriculum (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2007). What are the perceptions among educators and parents regarding the implementation of policy directives, and what is seen to encourage or limit meaningful implementation?

To answer these questions, this article draws on interviews with 100 Indigenous (mainly Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, and Métis) and non-Indigenous parents and educators from Ontario, Canada. Policy directives are seen to benefit Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. Interviews also reveal challenges to implementing Indigenous curricular policy, such as unawareness and intimidation among non-Indigenous educators regarding how to teach material. Policy implications are considered.

Related Links

Source: EdCan Network, Dr. Pamela Rose Toulouse

Summary: So what is at the core of Truth and Reconciliation in K to 12? What does it actually look like in the day-to-day classroom activities of our children, youth and young adults? This article offers a glimpse of the possibilities for relationship building, curriculum connections and personal growth.

Relevant Research

Source: UNBS, SFU and UBC

Summary: This project was undertaken to build upon previous studies of the Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements (AEEAs) within the BC school system (e.g., Castlemain, 2013; McGregor, 2013) to gain insight into the questions: How have AEEAs helped improve Aboriginal education and what improvements to the AEEAs are needed to move forward? This report provides an overview of the history and current state of AEEAs in British Columbia. It then provides insight into the successes and challenges encountered in implementing the AEEAs as well as emergent innovative and interdisciplinary practices addressing performance goals and outcomes of Aboriginal learners. Of particular interest is the discussion surrounding the sustainability of ongoing relationships between and among the Ministry, school districts, and Aboriginal communities as they negotiate the complexities of sharing best practice, promoting Indigenous knowledge and ensuring successful educational outcomes for Aboriginal learners.

With this goal in mind, from November 2015 to April 2016, the authors of this report along with the assistance of research assistants conducted a mixed methods study that included: a qualitative content analysis (QCA) of current AEEAs and their annual reports from 22 districts, a survey of these same districts, and in-depth interviews and focus groups from four districts representing: (1) Northern BC; (2) Okanagan; (3) Lower Mainland; and, (4) Vancouver Island. In this way, a better representation of the needs of those regions were identified and provide insightful recommendations that need to be considered within the context of each district to the Ministry of Education.