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Educational Resources

Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements

Source: British Columbia Ministry of Education, Aboriginal Education Branch
Focus: K-12

Summary:An Educational Enhancement Agreement (EA) is a working agreement between a school district, all local Aboriginal communities, and the Ministry of Education designed to enhance the educational achievement of Aboriginal students. The EA establishes a collaborative partnership between Aboriginal communities and school districts that involves shared decision-making and specific goal setting to meet the educational needs of Aboriginal students.

EAs highlight the importance of academic performance and more importantly, stress the integral nature of Aboriginal traditional culture and languages to Aboriginal student development and success. Fundamental to EAs is the requirement that school districts provide strong programs on the culture of local Aboriginal peoples on whose traditional territories the districts are located.

Enhancement Agreements:

  • are intended to continually improve the quality of education achieved by all Aboriginal students;
  • support strong cooperative, collaborative relationships between Aboriginal communities and school districts;
  • provide Aboriginal communities and districts greater autonomy to find solutions that work for Aboriginal students, the schools and the communities;
  • and require a high level of respect and trust to function.

Reading to Learn: English Literacy

Source: Aboriginal Education, Board of Studies, New South Wales, Australia
Focus: Aboriginal students and teachers

Summary: Perhaps the greatest single challenge in Australia today, for Aboriginal students and their teachers, is literacy in English. Reading and writing in English are the fundamental skills that all students need to succeed in school. The abilities to read independently and to learn from reading across the curriculum are the foundations for engaging in school learning, as writing across the curriculum is the foundation for demonstrating what has been learnt. However numerous state and Commonwealth reports, and teachers’ experience in the classroom, indicate that too many Aboriginal students do not have the reading and writing skills they need for success.

The Board of Studies is committed to assisting teachers with strategies for the learning and teaching of literacy. The Reading toLearn project is a highly successful literacy program being used in Australia.

Career Trek

Source: University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg, and Red River College, British Columbia – change to Career Trek Inc
Focus: 10-11 year old students with perceived barriers to entering post-secondary education.

Summary: Career Trek is a not-for-profit organization that provides innovative educational programming for young people with perceived barriers to entering post-secondary education. The program is designed to educate students (and their families) about the importance of staying in school, aspiring to a post-secondary education and career options.

Each September select schools and community groups nominate candidates for the Career Trek program. These groups have been previously selected by the program for their ability to provide young people who meet the program’s admission criteria. From the nominees, Career Trek then selects its participants. The number of young people chosen for the primary program is 240.

Program participants are nominated on the basis of simple criteria: first that the individual has, in the estimation of the sponsoring school or organization, the potential for going on and completing a post-secondary education, while recognizing that the young person in question is in danger of not doing so. The nominee may be at-risk of not pursuing a post-secondary education for any number of reasons, including such factors as socio-economic status, gender, disability, lifestyle, transiency, or attitude towards school. As well, nominated participants must be in a position to attend and make the time commitment required to complete the program. Finally, participants must show respect for all fellow participants and staff.

The Career Trek program runs for 20 Saturdays, October to April. Each group starts at one of the three participating institutions: the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg, and Red River College where it remains for five Saturdays (one “term”). At the conclusion of 5 weeks, each group rotates to a new set of departments/faculties. In total, the participants receive 80 hours of direct programming. At each institution, participants spend 4 hours a day in hands-on programming. These 4 hours are divided equally between 4 select departments, programs or faculties. Participating departments, programs and faculties are chosen on the basis of their enthusiasm for the program and its client group, as well as their ability to provide an excellent curriculum. Activities are designed and modified to meet the needs of the individual age groups and lecturing is kept to a minimum. Classes are engaging, hands-on and innovative and are designed to increase participants’ awareness about a particular field, and its associated careers. All activities are structured to maximize those skills generally accepted to be vital to the changing workforce. Career Trek is a “homework-free” zone.

The cost to participants for enrolling in Career Trek is $20 per term (4 terms). Participants must pay their first $20 before entering the program. However, if a student remains in the program, the first term payment is “rolled over” and used to pay for the second term. This process is repeated for the third term and fourth terms. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are then provided with a yearbook of their experiences.

iPortal – Indigenous Studies Portal Research Tool

Source: University of Saskatchewan

Summary: The Indigenous Studies Portal (iPortal) connects faculty, students, researchers and members of the community with electronic resources: books, articles, theses, documents, photographs, archival resources, maps, etc. The vision of the Indigenous Studies Portal is to provide one place to look to find resources for Indigenous studies.

The Indigenous Studies Portal is an initiative of the University of Saskatchewan Library. As of July, 2009, the iPortal has more than 17,000 records, including the Our Legacy archival records recently harvested. This includes photos, anthropological field notes, diaries, correspondence and other textual documents.

The iPortal also links to Indigenous programs and events at the University of Saskatchewan.

Alaska Native Knowledge Network

Source: Alaska Native Science Commission

Summary: This site provides background information on the role and activities of the Alaska Native Science Commission as it relates to science research policies and practices impacting Alaska Native people.

The site is designed to serve as a resource for compiling and exchanging information related to Alaska Native knowledge systems and ways of knowing. It has been established to assist Native people, government agencies, educators and the general public in gaining access to the knowledge base that Alaska Natives have acquired through cumulative experience over millennia.

Aboriginal Documentary Heritage: Historical Collections of the Canadian Government

Source: Canadian Memory Fund of Canadian Culture Online, Department of Canadian Heritage, Library and Archives Canada
Focus: Secondary Students and Teachers

Summary: This Web exhibition recounts first-hand information illustrating the complex and often contentious relationship between the Canadian government and Canada’s Aboriginal people from the late 1700s to the mid-20th century.

The website presents three thematic sections with essays and selected documents about the Red and Black Series (the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs’ administrative records of Aboriginal people from 1872 to the 1950s), Treaties, Surrenders and Agreements, and Aboriginal Soldiers in the First World War. The site features searchable databases of digitized records from the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs and the soldiers of the First World War.

Free to Learn: Giving Aboriginal Youth Control over their Post-Secondary Education

Source: True North – March 2010 [The MacDonald Laurier Institute for Public Policy]

Summary: A research paper by principal writers Calvin Helin and Dave Snow concludes that: “Aboriginals continue to fare worse than all other Canadians on almost every social and economic indicator. Since education, particularly higher education, is the great contributor to social and economic success, Canada must embark on a sustained effort to get Aboriginal youth into higher education”.

Inuit Art: Cape Dorset Artists

Source: Library and Archives Canada
Focus: Art students and the general education public

Summary:On this site you will see slides of the work of some of the outstanding pioneer artists of whom two (Kenojuak and Napatchie) are still alive and continuing to contribute their art to the unbroken tradition of the annual print collection. Many of these slides are linked to information on Inuit life and culture, and you can access this information by going to Inuit Cultural Perspectives.

Aboriginal Literatures in Canada: A Teacher’s Resource Guide

Source: Curriculum Services Canada
Focus: Senior level English (Grades 11-12)

Summary: This teacher resource guide serves a double purpose. First, it encourages the teaching of Aboriginal literature in English high school curricula across the country allowing Aboriginal students to be taught texts they can relate to. Second, it provides the opportunity for non-Aboriginal students to be educated about Aboriginal culture, history and contemporary life through the richness of Aboriginal writing with its innovative uses of the English language.

Portrait Gallery of Ontario: Four Kings and One Queen

Source: Library and Archives Canada
Focus: Grades 4-6

Summary: This resource is particularly well suited to classrooms investigating the traditional culture of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples and their historical relationship with European powers in the early 18th century. This activity also supports aspects of the Visual and Language Arts curricula. It explores themes of Canadian history, identity and portraiture through lesson plans that interpret the portrait collection.

It includes easy-to-use activities designed for classrooms across Canada with clear curriculum connections for use in Social Studies, Language Arts and Visual Arts.

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