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Issue #107
October, 2018

Seabird Island school joins First Nations literacy project

Source: Agassiz Harrison Observer

Martin Family Initiative’s literacy project advances reading and writing skills

Literacy is proven to be key to predicting high school graduation and preparing students for academic success. That’s why the Seabird Island Community School is excited to join the Martin Family Initiative’s Model Schools Literacy Project, a program that helps ensure First Nations students can read and write well enough by the end of Grade 3 to support continued school success.

The Model Schools Literacy Project was launched in Ontario in 2009 with a five-year Model Schools Pilot Project in two elementary schools. Five years after the program started, results showed a 68 per cent increase in reading proficiency in grade three students – higher than Ontario’s province-wide average.

Implementing Indigenous Education Policy Directives in Ontario Public Schools: Experiences, Challenges and Successful Practices

Source: The International Indigenous Policy Journal, 8(3). [Retrieved from: h p:// DOI: 10.18584/iipj.2017.8.3.2.]  Emily Milne, MacEwan University

Summary:  The Ontario Ministry of Education has declared a commitment to Indigenous student success and has advanced a policy framework that articulates inclusion of Indigenous content in schooling curriculum (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2007). What are the perceptions among educators and parents regarding the implementation of policy directives, and what is seen to encourage or limit meaningful implementation? To answer these questions, this article draws on interviews with 100 Indigenous (mainly Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, and Métis) and non-Indigenous parents and educators from Ontario Canada. Policy directives are seen to benefit Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. Interviews also reveal challenges to implementing Indigenous curricular policy, such as unawareness and intimidation among non-Indigenous educators regarding how to teach material. Policy implications are considered.

Teacher Leadership: Success Story: Adolescent Literacy and Teacher Leadership Development at the Wikwemikong Board of Education (WBE)

Source: Curriculum Services Canada (CSC)

Summary: Teacher leadership development in adolescent literacy is critical to influencing quality instruction for students of the 21st century. Student ability (or inability) to locate, understand, evaluate, and use written information in their personal and academic lives will profoundly affect their learning and the trajectory of their adult lives. It is not an understatement to say that their futures depend on their ability to read, write, and communicate well. All of this leads to one conclusion: teacher leadership development focused on adolescent literacy with specialized instructional support can increase success for students.

Connecting Communities – Heard Museum Community Videos Arizona

Source: Heard Museum

Summary: Arizona is fortunate to be home to 22 tribal nations, each with its own distinct language and cultural traditions. With support from American Express™ in 2010 and 2011, the Heard Museum worked with 20 tribal nations to produce short videos—virtual tours that offer an introduction to and aid in connecting to these communities. Many of these communities have their own websites that will help you to learn in more depth about the tribes. The website of the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona includes links to member websites.

In some cases, the tour features a museum or cultural center that we hope you will want to visit someday. In some instances, you’ll hear firsthand about economic and cultural development projects in each community at the time of the interview.Four Iroquois Kings Visit London, England.

The Aboriginal HIPPY Program | Mothers Matter Centre | Indigenous | Canada

Source: British Columbia-based Mothers Matter Centre
Focus: Parents and community support for pre-schoolers

Summary: Since 2013, the Saskatoon Tribal Council has been taking part in the Aboriginal HIPPY Program, which is administered by the British Columbia-based Mothers Matter Centre. The program empowers Indigenous parents to deliver a culturally relevant learning program to their preschool youngsters. This video from 2016 outlines the Tribal Council’s success with the program.

Heightening our Awareness of Canada’s Native Peoples

Source: OSSTF
Focus: Grade 11 English

Summary: Socially-based Curriculum Unit

This unit, developed for ENG3E (English, Grade 11, Workplace Preparation), uses W.P. Kinsella’s short story anthology Dance Me Outside for a study of the past and present treatment of Natives in Canada, but also for an understanding of the behaviour of non-Natives.

The big ideas that students will understand include: tolerance, awareness, and acceptance of Native culture. The key knowledge concepts include:

  • learning about different types of values and value systems as they apply to individuals and different cultures;
  • learning more about the definitions of stereotypes, discrimination and racism as they apply to the stories studied;
  • learning about standard and non-standard language usage and their place in different societies;
  • differentiating between connotation and denotation.

Skills that the students will learn as a result of this unit include reading for meaning and analysis, and critical thinking skills.

The unit culminates in a comparison of the book with its film adaptation.

Turtle Island Conservation : Curriculum- Based Educational Bundle

Source: Toronto Zoo
Focus: Junior grades

Summary: Turtle Island Conservation (TIC) is a conservation programme that utilizes a First Nations cultural lens in the commitment to preserve water, and the biodiversity of wetlands creatures that inhabit these sacred spaces and places.

In honouring the traditional teachings of First Nation ancestors, TIC has partnered with First Nation communities who still inhabit their traditional territories around the Great Lakes of Ontario to encourage environmental stewardship, awareness and action.

Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Traditional Knowledge, reflected through worldviews, beliefs, and stories that speak to the fundamental principle of ensuring sustainable relationships with the land has shaped the multi-layered components of this Educational Bundle.

Educational Bundle Components:

  • The Ways of Knowing Earth’s Teachings
  • Walking with Miskwaadesi or Walking with A’nó:wara
  • Turtle Island Conservation Miskwaadesi and A’nó:wara Curriculum-based Activities Guide
  • Ontario Curriculum-based Expectations Outline for teachers
  • Species Identifier Laminated Cards In Ojibway (Phonetic /Double Vowel) or Mohawk
  • Frog Calls CD in Ojibway or Mohawk languages
  • Turtle Island Conservation Programme Pamphlet
  • Teacher Survey
  • Online access to: “Sacred Spaces and Special Places” cultural map Incentive: 13 Moons Calendar

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