Resources for this Issue
Early Childhood Development
Source: Jacynta Krakouer, Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)
Summary: The Australian government has increasingly recognised the importance of quality early childhood education (ECE) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, as noted in a variety of policy documents such as the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Closing the Gap targets of the Rudd government in 2008, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan 2010-2014, and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Strategy 2015 (Tye, 2014; Dreise & Thomson, 2014; Education Council, 2015). However, the focus in Aboriginal ECE is still on improving access to, and attendance at ECE centres in Australia rather than highlighting the reasons for reduced Indigenous engagement in ECE.
This paper goes beyond the rhetoric of framing Aboriginal ECE from a 'deficit' perspective to focusing on why the mainstream school system needs adapt to and accommodate Aboriginal learners. It is argued that a shift in policy thought is necessary in order to improve Aboriginal ECE in Australia, from one that attempts to 'prepare' Aboriginal children for school to one that prepares schools and educators for Aboriginal children. Only in acknowledging the cultural mismatch between home and school environments for Aboriginal children will successful ECE outcomes be achieved.
Exemplary Classroom Practice
Elementary/ Secondary Education
Source: First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC)
Focus: Grades 5, 10, 11/12
Summary: About the Resources
The Indian Residential Schools and Reconciliation Teacher Resource Guides for Grades 5, 10, and 11/12 were developed by the First Nations Education Steering Committee and the First Nations Schools Association. They are our response to the call by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada for education bodies to develop age-appropriate educational materials about Indian Residential Schools.
It is our hope that these resources will help students of all cultural backgrounds gain an understanding of the history of the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people over Canada’s history, with a focus on the BC experience. The materials are also designed to engage young people to take part in the journey of reconciliation.
Exemplary Classroom Practice: Secondary
Source: Government of Manitoba
Focus: Grades 9 and 11
Summary: From Apology to Reconciliation: Residential School Survivors was developed in response to the Government of Canada’s formal apology to Aboriginal people who attended residential schools. The project was created to help Manitoba students in Grades 9 and 11 understand the history of the residential school experience, its influence on contemporary Canada, and our responsibilities as Canadian citizens.
Focus: General Audience
Summary: Gord Downie's The Secret Path and a post-show CBC Arts live panel on the road to reconciliation. Movie length is 60 minutes. Panel discussion begins at 59:45.
Source: Dr. Lisa Lunney Borden
Summary: Dr. Lisa Lunney Borden shares her work in supporting mathematics with the Mi’kmaw community in Nova Scotia, where the graduation rate of Indigenous students is higher than that of the general population. Lisa’s work highlights the importance of “Making Meaningful Personal Connections” to mathematics including understanding Ways of Learning, Values, Language and Culture. Lisa’s practical examples and stories will support all educators to integrate these perspectives into math for all students.
Source: Dr. Catherine Gordon and Dr. Jerry White, Draft Paper Submission for Conference, Indigenous Issues in Post-Secondary Education: Transitions to the Workplace
Focus: Teachers and administrators
Summary: This paper is not an attempt to answer important questions about why we have certain patterns of educational attainment and human capital development for Indigenous peoples in Canada. That is a complex task that requires a sensitive historical analysis of the impact of colonialism, the past and on-going impacts of residential schooling and the past and on-going impacts of structures like the Indian Act. Clearly that is outside our scope here. There is an ever growing literature that approaches these important issues. A soon to be published special issue of the International Indigenous Policy Journal (iipj.org) is one source but there are many excellent discussions including the RCAP reports, publications of Aboriginal Healing Foundation (http://www.ahf.ca/publications) and many more (e.g., White et al 2009).
We have set out to give you a picture of the current levels of attainment (as measured by the National Household Survey), compare them with past censuses and draw some tentative conclusions about whether things are improving, are stagnant or are getting worse.
Source: Saskatchewan School Boards Association
Summary: Background and Purpose
The Saskatchewan School Board Association (SSBA) secured the contractor to undertake the development of a summary report to strengthen the engagement and success of First Nations and Métis students in the province of Saskatchewan. The SSBA requested the development of a survey to determine the attitudes and perceptions of provincial educators and others towards the importance of First Nations and Métis achievement.
The survey included questions to address attitudes and perceptions of provincial policy, and division and school practices regarding FNM learners and achievement…[and] about the self-declaration process and curriculum actualization to support FNM content integration. The survey was designed at the direction of the SSBA. It was meant to include the comments of school-based administrators, and teaching and non-teaching staff. This study was intended to be distributed province-wide.