Issue 125

Classroom Practice: Elementary

Source: David A. Robertson, Author

Focus: Primary Students

Summary: A read-a-long book that introduces the history of Residential Schools to primary students.

Classroom Practice: Secondary

Source: Historica Canada

Focus - Grades 9-10

Summary: Students will be required to conduct research on the relocation of the Mushuau Innu from coastal Labrador to the settled location of Davis Inlet. Students will examine the reasons why the federal government chose this course of action. In addition, students will study the effects the forced relocation had on the Innu community.

Community Engagement

Source: The Daily: StatCan

Summary: The study examines the characteristics of Indigenous people who have completed upgrading or high school equivalency programs. It also examines whether completing such a program helps people achieve better outcomes later in life, in terms of both educational achievement and labour market participation.

The study is based on data from the Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS), a national survey of First Nations people living off reserve, and Métis and Inuit aged 15 and older. In 2017, the APS focused on the topics of employment and skills and training. It also collected information on education, health, languages, income, housing and mobility.

Multi Media

Source: Government of Alberta

Focus: Students, teachers, general community

Summary: Two graphic novels and motion comics on youth suicide prevention have been created by and for First Nations and Métis youth. These resources support youth suicide prevention and mental health promotion for Indigenous children, youth and families.

Over 100 Indigenous youth from across Alberta, in addition to First Nation and Métis producers, writers and artists, were engaged in the development of these novels. The novel and motion comic "Tomorrow’s Hope" reflects the experiences of First Nation youth, while the experiences of Métis youth are reflected in "Strength of the Sash".

The novels reflect Indigenous voices and respects the uniqueness of First Nation and Métis cultures and traditions in Alberta. They are intended to help youth, their friends, families and trusted adults discuss youth suicide prevention.

Professional Development

Summary:  A Collection of Resources

Related Links

Source: David Philpott, Dennis Sharpe, Rose Neville, Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology

Summary: This paper outlines the findings of a study that explores perspectives of e-learning for Aboriginal students in five coastal communities in Labrador, Canada. The rural nature of many communities in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, coupled with a dramatically declining enrollment, has resulted in expanding use of e-learning as a means to provide quality high school curriculum. Recently, a Community University Research Alliance partnered with stakeholders to explore the success of e-learning in the province. Through one of the projects of this alliance, the authors examined the success of this mode of delivery for Aboriginal students from the perspective of the students themselves, as well as the perspective of parents and educators. Additionally, student performance was examined in comparison to provincial peers. A wealth of data emerged which affords insights into factors that support and hinder e-learning in coastal areas and also informs educators about the diverse learning characteristics and needs of Aboriginal students. As Canadian educators are increasingly challenged to address achievement issues that continue to characterize Aboriginal populations, this study offers important data on the viability of e-learning as a mode of curriculum delivery.

Relevant Research

Source: Bonnie Stelmach University of Alberta, Margaret Kovach University of Saskatchewan, Larry Steeves, University of Regina. Faculty of Education, University of Alberta

Summary: What do teachers do (or not do) that makes you want to go to school? A team of Saskatchewan researchers asked Saskatchewan Aboriginal high school students this question about the aspects of instructional practice that helps and hinders their learning. While responses pointed to several aspects, teacher relational instincts and capacities were the most influential in school engagement for this group of Aboriginal students. Students in this study described three relational capacities of effective teachers: a) empathetic responsiveness to the student as whole being, b) the degree to which teacher disposition influenced the relational dynamic with students, and c) teachers’ responsiveness to the full context of the student’s life (including a sensibility of the student’s Indigenous culture). Through a case study process, focus group interviews were conducted in six Saskatchewan schools. The study included 75 Aboriginal high school students from six schools (urban, rural, provincial, and First Nations Band schools) in Saskatchewan, Canada. The qualitative case study research design was informed by Indigenous principles, and the theoretical lens employed in the analysis relied predominately upon an Indigenous theoretical perspective, as articulated by Smith and Perkins (as cited in Kovach, 2014). The findings point to the teaching attributes of relationality, responsibility, and understanding of contextuality identified within an Indigenous theoretical framework as influential in fostering engaged learning environments for this group of Aboriginal high school students.