Resources for this Issue
Early Childhood Development
Source: Australian Government: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Summary: Indigenous children and their families have a unique culture and the Australian Government is committed to improving access to integrated, inclusive services that are relevant to their lives. It is known that there are differences in life experiences and outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children. Closing these gaps is a priority for the Australian Government.
International research indicates that investment in early childhood, particularly for disadvantaged children, can yield substantial benefits in the longer term through reduced expenditure on welfare, law and order and health, and increased participation and productivity. However, information surrounding the use of early childhood services indicates that Indigenous children and their families are less likely to access them because of service unavailability in some locations, service delivery fragmentation or an absence of cultural awareness and competence in services they could otherwise access.
This web site contains information about key initiatives and services for Indigenous children and their families.
Exemplary Classroom Practice: Elementary
Source: Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Catholic Principals Council of Ontario (CPCO)
Focus: Elementary Students
Summary: Walking the Path is an educational initiative that focuses on teaching Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students about the history, beliefs and cultural traditions of Aboriginal peoples. Developed and supported by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and using Anishnawbe cultural teachings as a foundation, it is designed as a way of providing all students with insight into Aboriginal culture, and for Aboriginal youth in particular, as a way to instil pride in who they are and where they come from.
Walking the Path addresses the belief that young people who have the self-respect and self-confidence to function independently are better prepared to cope with negative influences or peer pressure. Individuals who feel good about themselves are much more likely to respect others as well as the rules and laws of their communities. A positive self-image is essential for a person to function as a responsible and contributing member of society.
Through different modules, Walking the Path touches on youth empowerment strategies; promotes self-concept, self-esteem and respect for others; and deals with issues such as healing from trauma, abuse and racism, and combating stereotypes, prejudices and biases.
Exemplary Classroom Practice: Secondary
Source: South Australian Department of Education
Focus: Elementary and Secondary Students and Teachers
Summary: APAC is a project that aims to broaden and deepen students' and teachers' understanding of Aboriginal cultures and ways of being. Teaching APAC will assist all students to be able to look at the world from an Aboriginal viewpoint and understand the different Aboriginal points of view on a range of issues such as reconciliation, social justice and equality. Teaching Aboriginal perspectives involves assisting students to be able to look at the world from an Aboriginal point of view and understanding the different Aboriginal points of view on a range of issues.
The APAC project provides teachers and schools with a wide range of resources, to enable them to improve the academic performance of Aboriginal students.
Source: Canadian Heritage. Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre - Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Summary: This exhibit is part of the "Journey With Nuligak" on-line learning program prepared by the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre and the Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Centre.
"Journey With Nuligak" is inspired by the real life experiences of Nuligak (Bob Cockney), an Inuvialuk who lived in the western Canadian Arctic from about 1895 until his death in 1966. Nuligak was one of the first Inuvialuit who learned how to read and write. His autobiography, "I, Nuligak", published in 1965, is an invaluable source of information on traditional Inuvialuit life.
The Kuukpangmiut were one of several groups of people whose descendants are the Inuvialuit of the western Canadian Arctic. They emerge from the mists of time in stories told by Inuvialuit elders, such as Nuligak.
Kuukpangmiut means People of ‘Kuukpak’, or ‘Great River’, the Inuvialuit name for the Mackenzie River. Kuukpak also was the name of a Kuukpangmiut village.
Source: Dr. Jessica Ball, University of Victoria
Summary: This report summarizes what is known about language and literacy development
of Aboriginal children under six years old living in Canada. As well, the report characterizes some of the views on this topic expressed by Aboriginal leaders, parents, Elders, and early childhood educators, as well as by speech-language pathologists who have worked with Aboriginal children in Canada. Research selected for review to inform this report did not include the availability, nature, or impacts of programs for school-aged children or adults, such as basic education, reading recovery, bilingual education, adult literacy, or Indigenous language instruction or immersion. Also, given the rapid development of speech and language in the early years as the foundation for emerging literacy, this report focuses more on speech-language development than on literacy.
Summary: The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples is a nationally incorporated umbrella organization that represents the interests of its provincial and territorial affiliate organizations across Canada. Its head office in Ottawa is the center of operations for its elected executive of a National Chief and Vice Chief, an administrative core staff, program managers and coordinators, and consultants on a range of Aboriginal issues. CAP, itself, does not have individual memberships or provide programs and services directly to individuals. In effect, the "members" of CAP are its affiliate organizations.
The CAP national Board of Directors is composed of the national Chief, the national Vice Chief, and the President or Chief of each of the affiliated organizations. The Board meets several times a year to monitor and direct the activity of CAP. The Board is the decision making body of CAP between Annual General Assemblies.
The CAP Annual General Assembly is the body that sets the general policy of the organization and, through its motions and resolutions, determines much of the activity of CAP for the next year.
Source: Dr. Emily J. Faries
Scope of Research Paper: This research paper will:
- provide an overview of First Nations-specific curriculum,
- identify the curriculum needs, barriers and challenges of First Nations,
- examine examples of First Nations best practices,
- explore cost estimates for curriculum development and
- make recommendations to improve the current situation in the area of First Nations curriculum
Methodology: The methods utilized to gather the data for this research paper include the following:
- A literature review of relevant documents on First Nations curriculum.
- A questionnaire survey was conducted with First Nations schools in Ontario.
- Research on best practices in First Nations curriculum was conducted on national, provincial, regional and local levels; information was collected by telephone, fax and the internet.
- Interviews were carried out with two educators, two youth, and two parents, all of whom are from First Nations communities in Ontario. The interviews were qualitative and open-ended in nature. Participants were asked if they had been received First Nations content teaching in their education.
- A telephone survey of twenty randomly selected provincial high schools in Ontario was conducted. The schools were asked if they offered Native Studies courses, and if they did, they were asked what courses were offered.
Recommendations are proposed based on the data gathered in this research.