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Issue #124
March, 2020

DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Towards skills development and inclusion of Indigenous Peoples in the new economy

Source: Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

Summary: Digital technologies are transforming our jobs, businesses and economies in every industry across the globe. Companies are adopting cloud and automation to make their enterprise far more agile and responsive, in order to provide superior experiences to their consumers. While these exciting changes are under way, an important point to remember is that by 2022, 52% of all jobs are expected to require cognitive abilities such as creativity, logical reasoning and problem sensitivity as part of their core skill set.  In this new world of work, companies across almost all sectors have the responsibility to develop talent that engages in computational thinking, innovation excellence and is digitally fluent. With the rise of the innovation economy and higher demand for employees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related professions in recent years, Indigenous Peoples are facing yet another era of significant transformation. This changing economic landscape lays out two roads for Indigenous business and workers in Canada.

Aboriginal Language and School Outcomes: Investigating the Associations for Young Adults

Source: Guevremont, A., Kohen, D. (2017). Aboriginal Language and School Outcomes: Investigating the Associations for Young Adults. The International Indigenous Policy Journal, 8(1). Retrieved from:

Summary: Being taught an Aboriginal language at school has generally been associated with positive school outcomes for Aboriginal children but not adults. This study attempted to understand this discordance by examining three possible explanations: (a) confounding variables, (b) a cohort effect, and (c) differences in the timing and duration of Aboriginal language instruction. Confounding variables (school attendance on reserve, parental education, and family residential school attendance) and duration of Aboriginal language instruction (six or more grades) were important contributors; whereas the presence of a cohort effect and the timing of Aboriginal language instruction were not found to be significant. Future studies of Aboriginal language instruction should consider family educational experiences, location of schooling, and the duration of Aboriginal language instruction.

Moosehide Campaign Learning Platform K-12

Source: Moose Hide Campaign Development Society

Summary: Education is the key to ending violence against women and children in a broad and systemic manner: one person at a time.

Experience tells us that learning values and perceptions happen at a very early age. When done in an open, ethical and non-judgmental space, education can be a powerful platform for students to examine their own biases and those of their family and community. The Moose Hide Learning Journey is designed to support teachers in offering just such a learning environment while providing students with opportunities to explore alternative values and perspectives that respect and honour women and children.

Exploring Aboriginal Art – OSSTF

Source: Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF)

Focus: Secondary students

Summary: For this assignment, students create a collaborative art piece that expresses Aboriginal identity in a variety of areas. The collaborative art piece consists of many individual pieces of art that form together to form the word “pride.” Each letter has a group assigned to it, and each letter is assigned a theme/idea (i.e., clanship, land claims, traditional teachings, community activities, etc.) that is researched and then expressed in the artwork of each letter and presented to the class.

Starting Late: Study of the Early Development Instrument Findings

Source: Institute of Urban Studies, University of Winnipeg 

Summary: The Early Development Instrument (EDI) is a 103-item checklist that assesses readiness for school (i.e., “age-appropriate developmental expectations”) in kindergarten. In Manitoba, the EDI is completed province-wide (37 school divisions) by kindergarten teachers in the second half of the school year every two years. Some independent and First Nations schools participate voluntarily. Parents may opt their children out of the assessment. The items on the EDI are grouped into five domains: physical health and well-being, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive development, and communication skills and general knowledge. Children are assessed as “ready” or “not ready” for school in each of the five domains based scoring above or below the 10th percentile using Canadian norms as a cut-off.

The objective of this study was to determine how Metis children fare on the EDI compared to children who are not Metis. As well, we examined performance by EDI domain, sex, and region.


Social Studies – Alberta

Source: Alberta Education

Focus: Grades 9-10

Summary: This sample lesson plan supports Education for Reconciliation through the inclusion of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit perspectives and experiences, with learning outcomes identified in the current Alberta programs of study for high school social studies and art.

This sample lesson plan includes content(s) or context(s) related to one or more of the following aspects of Education for Reconciliation:

  • diverse perspectives and ways of knowing of First Nations, Métis, or Inuit, including values, traditions, kinship, language, and ways of being;
  • understandings of the spirit and intent of treaties; or
  • residential schools experiences and resiliency.

Links and relevant information in Guiding Voices: A Curriculum Development Tool for Inclusion of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspectives Throughout Curriculum and Walking Together: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspectives in Curriculum are provided to support understandings of First Nations, Métis, or Inuit ways of knowing. Both online resources are accessed through

Equitable Education for All

Source: Speak Truth to Power Canada, Karihwakè:ron Tim Thompson

Focus: Grades 5-12

Summary: How to use this lesson

Global and Canadian Defenders for human rights have changed societal conditions and provide inspiration for students. The overall goal of Speak Truth to Power Canada is to raise student awareness that advances in human rights come through the actions of individuals.

In this lesson plan on Equitable Education for All you will find:

  • An interview with Tim Thompson including his biography.
  • Student activities that support the theme of this lesson, including activities related to First Nations Education in Canada, Shannen’s Dream, and an opportunity for students to assess the level of Aboriginal resources in their classrooms and schools.
  • Three brief community defender profiles are provided to expand the lesson and encourage students to identify with a variety of defenders for human rights.

To support the lesson on Equitable Education for All, you will also find:

  • Sections or articles of selected legal instruments that are tied to the theme of Equitable Education for All.
  • A student activity that links the Moments in Time timeline of advancements and setbacks in human rights from a Canadian perspective.
  • You can, of course, choose to use any or all of the suggested student activities.

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