Issue 123

Classroom Practice: Elementary

Source: The Grade 7 Métis Cross-Curricular Teacher Guide was developed by Métis Nation British Columbia.

Focus: Grade 7

Summary: The Grade 7 Métis Cross-Curricular Teacher Guide has been created to assist teachers in delivering lessons that focus on the Métis people of British Columbia. There are over 60,000 Métis people in British Columbia and of that over 21,000 are of elementary school age. (Statistics Canada Census 2006). Métis people settled in B.C. over the last two hundred years and are a large part of the Aboriginal population in British Columbia.

The main objective of the Grade 7 Cross-Curricular Teacher Guide is to provide teachers with lessons and resources that focus on the contemporary Métis in British Columbia. It is important that Métis people are noted for their roles in communities in B.C. and are recognized as one of the three distinct Aboriginal peoples of Canada.

The activities within the Grade 7 Métis Cross-Curricular Teacher Guide were created using “inquiry based” learning. Inquiry based learning is a process where students are involved in their learning, formulate questions, investigate widely and then build new understandings, meanings and knowledge.

Classroom Practice: Secondary

Source: Historica Canada Teaching Community

Focus: Secondary students

Summary: In this lesson, students will debate and defend different assigned perspectives involving the participants in the outlawing of the potlatch in 1885. Participation in the debate should allow students to make observations that will help them develop an understanding of moral implications today that derive from actions taken in the past. Students should also gain a better understanding of the historical context under which the people in the past operated. Students will identify the perspectives of the agents present at the time and make observations about the moral implications behind historical conflicts and how they influence today’s policymaking. They will also analyze post-Confederation government policies and jurisdictional arrangements that affected, and continue to affect, First Nations peoples.

Community Engagement

Source: Closing the Gap Clearinghouse, Australian Government. Resource sheet no. 32 produced by the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse, Daryl Higgins and Sam Morley, July 2014.

Summary: What we know

  • Engaging parents in their children’s education improves the children’s educational attainment and ongoing engagement in education.
  • A family’s level of ‘social capital’ and socio-economic position affects how they engage with their children’s school.
  • Risk factors associated with poor parental engagement include: family problems such as poverty, poor parental education; unemployment and poor job prospects; parental problems such as poor physical health, substance misuse or family violence; community and socio-economic problems such as racial prejudice, poor housing or study facilities at home, and fewer models of educational success in a formal school environment.
  • The values fostered by schools are not always consistent with the values that are important to Indigenous children, their parents and their communities.
  • These risk factors are present in many Indigenous families and communities, so Indigenous parents need more resources to overcome barriers to engaging with their children’s education.

Multi Media

Source: Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia

Summary: Over the summer, autumn and winter of 1869, fears grew within Red River Settlement that lives might be disrupted by the transfer of the territory to Canada. There was fear that a foreign government might not give the inhabitants consideration as to how their settlement would be administered. At this time a governance vacuum is seriously threatening the peace and security of the settlement. The land transfer from the Hudson’s Bay Company [HBC], to the Crown of England, and then to Canada has been suspended until such time as a peaceful settlement can be reached.

With Governor McDougall blocked at the border with 350 rifles, supposedly to arm a Canadian Party Volunteer Militia, tensions in the settlement have never been higher. The residents have formed a provisional government under the leadership of John Bruce and Louis Riel to protect their rights, homes and families.

As a member of the provisional government you must help decide the best course of action to follow for the people of the country and the settlement, their future and well-being. One of the most significant developments in Canadian history is about to unfold and you are required to assist in the process. To help with your decisions you will find a number of historic documents to guide you.

Professional Development

Source: Government of British Columbia

Summary: There are many thoughtful and authentic ways to teach Aboriginal history and culture. Use these teaching tools to create a lesson plan that’s tailored to the specific needs of your class.

First Peoples Principles of Learning

Help students start to understand First Peoples views and culture by exploring these basic principles with your class.

Teaching Guides & Textbooks

Find Aboriginal course curriculum information and supporting documents like teacher guides.

B.C. First Nations Studies Teacher's Guide

This resource guide has been created to assist you in using the student resource book, B.C. First Nations Studies.

Integrating Aboriginal Content

Learn how to incorporate Aboriginal content into all subject areas from Kindergarten through Grade 12.

Related Links

Source: Environics Institute

Summary: Executive Summary

The results of this survey reveal that youth in Canada as a whole are aware and engaged when it comes to the history of Indigenous-non-Indigenous relations and reconciliation in particular. Moreover, there is a striking alignment between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth on many of the issues covered in this research. While Indigenous youth are more apt to express definitive views, the gap with their non-Indigenous counterparts is in many cases is not significant; the similarities in perspective stand out much more than the differences.

Both populations generally agree about the country’s colonial legacy of mistreatment of Indigenous Peoples, the importance of making positive changes and the obstacles that stand in the way, about what reconciliation is all about, and a shared optimism about realizing reconciliation in their lifetime. Moreover, involvement in reconciliation

activities appears to be making a positive difference in both knowledge and outlook.
Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth in Canada share the same broad life goals, which include a successful or meaningful career, family and children, financial independence, and living a balanced life, with Indigenous youth placing greater emphasis on educational goals. Both populations express confidence in achieving at least some of their goals, but highlight both financial and emotional pressures as the greatest obstacles to having a good life.

Relevant Research

Source: Louis Riel Institute

Summary: Standing Tall was developed by the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF), as a three-year pilot project to research the effects of community involvement in education.  As a result of the preliminary findings of the pilot, there has been additional funding to continue the research and determine the next steps.  During this transitional phase, the MMF began developing an expansion plan with the support of research from the pilot project.  The Standing Tall program continues to run successfully through the Louis Riel Institute (LRI), the culture and education authority for the MMF.

The concept “Standing Tall” was based on an educational concept from New Zealand, created by and for its Indigenous people.  It is an adaptation of the Maori program, “Tu Tangata,” translated literally means “standing tall”, which denoted the pride the Elders in the Maori community had for its younger people.  “Tu Tangata” was initiated because the Indigenous community could see its children were struggling in the public school system… poor attendance, high suspension and drop-out rates, an increase in gang involvement, and drug and alcohol use.