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.