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Issue #109
December, 2018

The Five R’s for Indigenizing Online Learning: A Case Study of the First Nations Schools’ Principals Course

Source: Danielle Tessaro University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education; Jean-Paul Restoule University of Victori; Patricia Gaviria, Joseph Flessa University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education; Carlana Lindeman Martin Family Initiative; Coleen Scully-Stewart University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

Summary: This article focuses on the creation, implementation, experiences, and research surrounding the first online professional development course for principals of First Nations schools across Canada, named the First Nations Schools’ Principals Course (FNSPC). First, we describe the contexts, goals, and designing of the FNSPC. Second, we outline the complexities of bringing Indigenous values into an online educational space. Lastly, we describe how using the Five R’s (Kirkness & Barnhardt, 2001; Restoule, 2008) of respect, relevance, reciprocity, responsibility, and relationships recasts the challenges of Indigenizing online education into opportunities for spaces of traditional and non-traditional Indigenous learning through the FNSPC.

Accord on Indigenous Education

Source: Association of Canadian Deans of Education (ACDE). The Accord was developed under the leadership of Jo-ann Archibald University of British Columbia, John Lundy Laurentian University, Cecilia Reynolds University of Saskatchewan, Lorna Williams University of Victoria.

Summary: Establishing mechanisms and priorities for increased Indigenous educational engagement, establishing partnerships with Indigenous organizations and communities, and using educational frameworks based on Indigenous knowledge are trends that have important implications for the Association of Canadian Deans of Education (ACDE). New ways of engagement are required in order to address these trends. The time is right for a concerted and cooperative effort that creates transformational education by rejecting the “status quo,” moving beyond “closing the gap” discourse, and contributing to the well-being of Indigenous peoples and their communities. At the same time, ACDE recognizes that it has a role and responsibility to expand educators’ knowledge about and understanding of Indigenous education.


Level Up

Source: Ophea

Focus: Grades 1-12

Summary: Level Up is a free online resource that supports educators and program leaders in promoting positive mental health and overall well-being with children and youth ages 6-18.

By using a proactive approach to create a supportive environment, Level Up addresses healthy living through a variety of sensitive topics related to substance use, and healthy eating.

Level Up includes easy-to-use activity cards that are linked to the Health and Physical Education (H&PE) curriculum Living Skills expectations. The resource also includes videos and posters to encourage student engagement and discussion.

Level Up is managed by Ophea and funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care through the Healthy Communities Fund.

CPA Martin mentorship program for Indigenous high school students

Together, CPA Canada and the Martin Family Initiative co-sponsor the CPA Martin Mentorship Program for Indigenous High School Students.

The goals of our program are to support Indigenous students through their high school years, help them understand the benefits of pursuing post-secondary education, expose them to the business environment, and help them consider potential job opportunities, including careers in business, finance and the accounting profession.

The program is currently available in 26 schools in seven provinces across Canada: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Quebec.

Talking About Special Education – BC

Source: First Nations Schools Association of British Columbia

Summary: The Talking About Special Education Series is provided by the First Nations Schools Association and First Nations Education Steering Committee to share information with educators and families about how to support First Nations students.

We hope that these pamphlets provide a useful overview of key special education topics, representing an introduction to issues that some people may want to investigate in more detail. Any BC First Nations school educators / administrators who require more information or have specific questions are welcome to contact the FNESC/FNSA special education staff.

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