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Issue #106
September, 2018

Métis and Ontario Education Policy: Educators Supporting Métis Holistic Lifelong Learning

Source: Jonathan Anuik and Laura-Lee Kearns

Summary: In 2007, Ontario’s Ministry of Education published the First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework, with Métis cooperating in its development. The Framework appeared the same year as Métis published the Métis Holistic Lifelong Learning Model. We argue that those who are engaged in the Framework’s implementation understand it as a foundational teaching model. We see some teachers and educational administrators using the teachings of the model to live out the policy in their practices. Integral to living the policy is nourishing the learning spirit of the Métis as set forth in their own holistic model of learning. Three parts of the model that educators, who we profile from our survey and interviews, use in practice are: Self and People; Indigenous Knowledge and Values; and Sources of Knowledge and Knowing. Self and People represents a recognition that educators work in concert with Métis. Indigenous Knowledge and Values are teachings and ways of being in classrooms and schools. Sources of Knowledge and Knowing are roots educators, their students, and the forest of Métis learners carry when they teach and learn. The educators whose stories we share show us how educators responsible for Indigenous education policy mandates need to consider Métis at the school community level. These educators also see themselves as nurturers whose impact is felt by everyone when one reflects on Indigenous spirituality, history, teachings, and language and their affects on students. Finally, educators ask us to recognize identity and self-identification as  fluid.

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

Source: National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, University of Manitoba
Focus: Senior Secondary students

Summary: A shared vision held by those affected by Indian residential schools was to create a place of learning and dialogue where the truths of their experiences were honoured and kept safe for future generations. They wanted their families, communities and all of Canada to learn from these hard lessons so they would not be repeated. They wanted to share the wisdom of the Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers on how to create just and peaceful relationships amongst diverse peoples. They knew that Reconciliation is not only about the past; it is about the future that all Canadians will forge together. This vision is the legacy gift to all of Canada.

This site provides a collection of films and visual resources, and documentaries.

Diverse family characteristics of Aboriginal children aged 0 to 4

Source: Statistics Canada, 2016

Summary: Highlights

  • About 6 in 10 Aboriginal children aged 0 to 4 lived in a family with two parents. This was the case for 53.7% of First Nations, 71.8% of Métis and 68.8% of Inuit children in this age group.
  • More than one‑third of Aboriginal children aged 0 to 4 lived with a lone parent. This was the case for 38.9% of First Nations, 25.5% of Métis and 26.5% of Inuit children in this age group.
  • About 1 in 6 Aboriginal children aged 0 to 4 shared a household with at least one grandparent. This was the case for 21.2% of First Nations, 10.5% of Métis and 22.8% of Inuit children.
  • Aboriginal children accounted for 7.7% of all children aged 0 to 4, and about one‑half of all foster children in this age group.

Indigenous War Heroes

Source: Wasauksing First Nation, 2016. This teacher’s guide was created by authors Gerry Weaver and Brian McInnes; layout and design by David J. R. Short.

Focus: Secondary students

Summary: The Teacher’s Guide for Indigenous War Heroes, was developed by the Wasauksing War Hero and Native Veteran’s Educational Awareness and Commemoration Project.  The guide and associated website use the story of Francis Pegahmagabow as a launching point to provide educators and students with a framework and resources for understanding the military con- tributions of First World War Indigenous soldiers, as well as the cultural and political landscapes in which they lived.

The lesson plans explore the connections Francis Pegahmagabow’s life story has with many Indigenous veterans, thus helping illustrate the larger picture of Canada’s historical relationship with local Indigenous peoples. However, it is important to note there are always a diversity of stories and experiences in any complex situation. Not all Indigenous veterans’ experiences will be the same, and all unique stories are valuable contributions to our overall understanding of history.

Northwest Coast Painted Designs (k-3)

Source: The Bill Reid Centre, Simon Fraser University (SFU)
Focus: Kindergarten to Grade 3

Summary: This educational resource focuses on Northwest Coast two-dimensional painted design. It is inspired by Lyle Wilson’s exhibition “Paint: The Painted Works of Lyle Wilson,” which was conceptualized by Maple Ridge Art Gallery curator, Barbara Duncan and was shown at the Bill Reid Gallery in Vancouver, BC. These materials will provide you with an introduction to the artist, his community, and his art. They will also provide information about the links between oral history and imagery in Northwest Coast society, the basic elements of Northwest Coast design, and traditional painting techniques. In addition, these materials will offer clear connections to the British Columbia curriculum’s prescribed learning outcomes.

Students will be able to:

  • Understand that artists may get inspiration from stories to create works of art.
  • Observe and create their own images that use techniques of simplification, abstraction,     and symmetry.
  • Describe the colours, lines, and shapes used in Northwest Coast design.

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