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Issue #132
November, 2020

Residential Schools – Métis Experience

Source: Walking Together : Education for Reconciliation – Alberta Teachers’ Association

Summary: How were the Métis people in Alberta impacted by the Indian residential school system?

The first church-run mission schools established in western Canada beginning in the 1860s were open to First Nations and Métis children. As a result, many Métis students in the communities of Fort Chipewyan, St Albert and Lesser Slave Lake did attend school. In 1879 the Government of Canada, as part of its strategy of First Nations assimilation into the Euro-Canadian culture, entered into a partnership with the Christian churches to establish government-funded, church-run residential schools for Indigenous children. While the federal government acknowledged its responsibility for educating First Nations children, its overall policy was that the provinces were responsible for Métis children.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources and Response

 Source: First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC)

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to evolve in BC, Canada, and internationally.  This page will share the latest information from the First Nations Education Steering Committee, the First Nations Schools Association, and the Indigenous Adult and Higher Learning Association about impacts to our events or operations due to COVID-19, and links to external resources that we hope will be helpful and informative for First Nations schools, First Nations communities, and our partners. For the latest news, see the BC Government NewsFirst Nations Health Authority, and BC Centre for Disease Control.

Diverse Family Characteristics of Aboriginal Children 0-4

Source: Statistics Canada


  • 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.

Teacher’s Guide: Junior Art Activities

Teacher’s Guide: Junior Art Activities

Source: Indigenous Arts and Stories

Focus: Junior students

Summary: The Power of Four

The number four is sacred for many Indigenous people. It connects humans with the natural world. For example, we have four seasons of the year and four cardinal directions. There are four stages of life: childhood, youth, adulthood and old age. The Medicine Wheel has four quadrants. Create an original piece of art that shows why the power of four is important in Indigenous cultures.

Indigenous Cinema in the Classroom

Source: National Film Board (NFB)

Focus: Ages 6-11

Summary: These short films for younger learners are by Indigenous filmmakers from across Canada and include titles from the Nunavut Animation Lab and the Talespinners, Vistas and Stories from Our Land series.

Indigenous Cinema in the Classroom is an extension of our Wide Awake Tour for the public. It offers teachers, students and parents the opportunity to watch films selected from our collection of more than 250 Indigenous-made works.

What do first-year university students in Ontario, Canada, know about First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples and topics

Source: Canadian Journal of Education / Revue canadienne de l’éducation 41:3 (2018)

Summary: Co-designed with over 200 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit educators and community members across Ontario, the survey investigated how students are learning to think about colonialism and its relationship to Indigenous peoples and Canadian society. Statistical analysis of 2,899 student responses reveals that first-year university students who graduated from Ontario high schools are substantially unaware of Indigenous presence and vitality. The majority of students do not understand the fundamental laws structuring conditions of life for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people or the contributions Indigenous peoples make to all aspects of Canadian society. Although they know slightly more about what is happening with regard to Indigenous peoples today, students have little sense of the historical circumstances and forces that shape current events… However, when students have opportunities to engage with Indigenous perspectives and topics, it can make a difference to what students know and think. These results indicate that curricular reform is key to eradicating mass ignorance but cannot occur in isolation. Teacher education programs must play a central role in enacting the promise of new curricular emphases.

Les différentes caractéristiques des familles des enfants autochtones de 0 à 4 ans

Source: Statistique Canada

Faits Saillants

  • Environ 6 enfants autochtones sur 10 âgés de 0 à 4 ans vivaient dans une famille comptant deux parents. C’était le cas pour 53,7 % des enfants des Premières Nations, 71,8 % des enfants métis et 68,8 % des enfants inuits de ce groupe d’âge.
  • Plus du tiers des enfants autochtones âgés de 0 à 4 ans vivaient avec un parent seul. C’était le cas pour 38,9 % des enfants des Premières Nations, 25,5 % des enfants métis et 26,5 % des enfants inuits de ce groupe d’âge.
  • Environ 1 enfant autochtone sur 6 âgé de 0 à 4 ans vivait dans un ménage avec au moins un grand‑parent. C’était le cas pour 21,2 % des enfants des Premières Nations, 10,5 % des enfants métis et 22,8 % des enfants inuits.
  • Les enfants autochtones représentaient 7,7 % de tous les enfants âgés de 0 à 4 ans, et environ la moitié de tous les enfants en famille d’accueil de ce groupe d’âge.

Pensionnats – L’Expérience des Métis

Source: Walking Together : Education for Reconciliation – Alberta Teachers’ Association

Sommaire: Quelles sont les répercussions du régime de pensionnats pour les Métis de l’Alberta?

Les premières écoles de missionnaires administrées par l’Église établies dans l’Ouest canadien ouvrent leurs portes aux enfants des Premières Nations et métis dès les années 1860. Ainsi, de nombreux élèves métis originaires des communautés de Fort Chipewyan, de St. Albert et du Petit lac des Esclaves ont fréquenté l’école. C’est en 1879 que le gouvernement du Canada conclut, dans le cadre de sa politique d’assimilation des Premières Nations à la culture eurocanadienne, un partenariat avec les Églises chrétiennes dans le but d’établir des pensionnats destinés aux enfants autochtones qui seraient financés par le gouvernement et administrés par l’Église. Si le gouvernement fédéral reconnait sa responsabilité vis-à-vis de l’éducation des enfants des Premières Nations, de façon générale, sa politique consiste à confier la responsabilité des enfants métis aux provinces.

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