Issue 110

Early Childhood Development

Source: Council of the Ontario Directors of Education (CODE)

Focus: Parents and caregivers

Summary: When you support and encourage your child to learn, your positive approach helps influence your child's success.

This resource supports parent engagement in ways that do not involve the direct teaching of mathematics. The tool kit is designed to foster the engagement of parents of elementary students in their children's mathematics learning, and to inform, support and nourish the work parents currently do as the first teachers of their children.

Exemplary Classroom Practice: Elementary

Source: Ontario Ministry of Education

Focus: K-8

Summary: Practical teaching strategies for the elementary classroom

Download these professionally developed teaching strategies, designed to help Ontario teachers bring Aboriginal perspectives into the classroom.

Exemplary Classroom Practice: Secondary

Source: Canada’s History, created by Gloria Johnson

Focus: Grades 9-12 Social Studies and History

Summary: In this lesson students explore the rich symbolism and teachings which are part of the Medicine Wheel. This lesson plan uses the following historical thinking concepts: use primary source evidence and take historical perspectives.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • develop an awareness, understanding and respect for Indigenous spirituality and perspective through the use of the Talking Circle and Medicine Wheel
  • explore and appreciate the significance of the Medicine Wheel to Indigenous Peoples
  • appreciate the role of spirituality in Indigenous culture
  • construct a Medicine Wheel

Multi Media

Source: The Native Dance web project is a diverse dialogue on culture, history and traditional knowledge with Indigenous cultural partners, educational institutions, government and private industry.

Focus: Elementary and Secondary students

Summary: With regional units, in-depth interviews and articles for students, the image research database for scholars, and downloadable resource kits for teachers, Native Dance has something for everyone! With over 100 videos of original footage, and over 900 new images, Native Dance contains a wealth of information on Dance Traditions from coast to coast in Canada.

Professional Development

Source: University of Toronto.

Summary: Creating Indigenous Themed Lessons

OISE teacher candidate Nathan Gould (2012 grad) talks about a lesson plan that he developed for a kindergarten class.

This guide is maintained by Desmond Wong, Outreach Librarian.

Related Links

Source: Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC)

Summary: Founded in 1971, the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC) works to support, advocate for, and build the capacity of member Friendship Centres across Ontario.

Emerging from a nationwide, grassroots movement dating back to the 1950’s, Friendship Centres are community hubs where Indigenous people living in towns, cities, and urban centres can access culturally-based and culturally-appropriate programs and services every day. Today, Friendship Centres are dynamic hubs of economic and social convergence that create space for Indigenous communities to thrive. Friendship Centres are idea incubators for young Indigenous people attaining their education and employment goals, they are sites of cultural resurgence for Indigenous families who want to raise their children to be proud of who they are, and they are safe havens for Indigenous community members requiring supports.

In Ontario, more than 84 per cent of Indigenous people live in urban communities. The OFIFC is the largest urban Indigenous service network in the province supporting this vibrant, diverse, and quickly-growing population through programs and initiatives that span justice, health, family support, long-term care, healing and wellness, employment and training, education, research, and more.

Friendship Centres receive their mandate from their communities, and they are inclusive of all Indigenous people – First Nation, Status/Non-Status, Métis, Inuit, and those who self-identify as Indigenous.

Relevant Research

Source: Simon Fraser University (SFU)

Summary: Post-secondary education for Indigenous people in Canada is deeply scarred by a long and disastrous history of colonialism, racism, and residential schooling. The residential school era, which began in 1870 and lasted until 1996, saw more than 150,000 First Nation, Métis, and Inuit children forcibly removed from their communities and assigned to schools in which they faced emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. Many children died at residential schools. Family units were lost and parenting skills eliminated as children were raised in isolation from their families and communities. Indigenous children and adults were forbidden to practice cultural activities or to speak their languages. The 126 years of residential schooling speak clearly to a legislated form of forced assimilation of Indigenous peoples.

Today, Indigenous peoples, and a widening population of Canada, fully recognize that residential schools caused enormous harm to Indigenous children, families, and communities.