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Issue #134
January, 2021

Residential Schools Resistance Narratives – Digital Stories

Source: University of Victoria: Centre for Youth and Society

Summary: Digital storytelling is an engaging and effective way to share personal narratives, research, and ideas with a broad audience. Several of the Centre for Youth & Society’s projects make use of digital stories to foster engagement between participants and the wider public, and to encourage digital literacy skills.

How can we create conditions for Aboriginal student success in public schools?

Source: EdCan Network

Summary: Aboriginal children under age 14 make up 7% of all children in Canada and the Aboriginal population is the fastest growing demographic in this country. Eighty percent of Aboriginal children attend off-reserve provincial schools. In terms of school success, there are significant gaps in learning outcomes and graduation rates between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students.  

Nationally, provincially, and territorially, public school educators are committed to closing these gaps, and some success has been realized. For example, in classrooms where Aboriginal content and perspectives were incorporated into a high quality learning program, Aboriginal student grades increased significantly.

Strong leadership is critical to the development of high quality learning programs designed to provide Aboriginal students with every opportunity to succeed in Canadian public schools.

Comment pouvons-nous créer les conditions propices à la réussite des élèves autochtones dans nos écoles publiques?

Source: Le Réseau EdCan

Sommaire: Les enfants autochtones de moins de 14 ans représentent 7 % de tous les enfants du Canada et la population autochtone constitue le segment démographique dont la croissance est la plus rapide au pays. Quatre-vingts pour cent des enfants autochtones fréquentent des écoles provinciales situées à l’extérieur des réserves. Pour ce qui est de la réussite scolaire, on constate des écarts importants en matière de résultats d’apprentissage et de taux de diplomation entre les élèves autochtones et non autochtones. 

À l’échelle nationale, provinciale et territoriale, les éducateurs des écoles publiques sont déterminés à combler ces écarts et des progrès ont été réalisés. Par exemple, dans les salles de classe où un contenu et des points de vue autochtones ont été intégrés à un programme d’apprentissage de haute qualité, les notes des élèves autochtones ont augmenté de beaucoup. 

Employment Key to Improving First Nations’ Community Health

Source: C.D Howe Institute

Summary: Increased employment is crucial to improving the well-being of First Nations communities, and should be a high priority in the Prairie Provinces that have the lowest employment rates and lowest per capita regional incomes across Canada, says a new report from the C.D. Howe Institute.

In “No Easy Answers: Insights into Community Well-being among First Nations,” author John Richards looks at data from Indigenous Services Canada’s Community Well-Being Index (CWB) for all First Nation and Inuit communities, and reveals Prairie trouble spots where community well-being lags.

Measuring socio-economic well-being for communities across Canada over time, the CWB has four components: education, labour force activity, income and housing. For comparative purposes, CWB scores are also calculated for non-Indigenous communities.  

Language-in-education policies and Indigenous language revitalization efforts in Canada: Considerations for non-dominant language education in the Global South

Source: McIvor, Onowa; Ball, Jessica. University of Victoria – UVic Space

Summary: Indigenous languages are struggling for breath in the Global North. In Canada, Indigenous language medium schools and early childhood programs remain independent and marginalized. Despite government commitments, there is little support for Indigenous language-in-education policy and initiatives. This article describes an inaugural, country-wide, federally-funded, Indigenous-led language revitalization research project, entitled NE?OL?EW (one mind-one people).

The project brings together nine Indigenous partners to build a country-wide network and momentum to pressure multi-levels of government to honour agreements enshrining the right of children to learn their Indigenous language. The project is documenting approaches to create new Indigenous language speakers, focusing on adult language learners able to keep the language vibrant and teach their language to children. The article reflects upon how this Northern emphasis on Indigenous language revitalization and country-wide networking initiative is relevant to mother tongue-based education and policy examples in the Global South. The article underscores the need for both community level initiatives (top-down) and government level policy and funding (bottom up) to support child and adult Indigenous language learning.

Diverse family characteristics of Aboriginal children aged 0 to 4

Source: Statistics Canada

Summary: Highlights:

  • 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.

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

Source: Statistique Canada

Sommaire : 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.

Frontier School Division Early Years K-4

Source: Frontier School Division

Focus: Early Years Kindergarten to Grade 4

Summary:  This page is the gateway to Kindergarten – Grade 4 Social Students/Native Studies (SS/NS) resources that can be integrated into the provincial Social Studies curricula. They may consist of material with an Aboriginal focus or relevant new information not available in existing texts. The inclusion of culturally-sensitive materials is based on the belief that affirmation of one’s culture and history can promote confidence and self-esteem, and lead ultimately to greater success in life. This is especially critical for Aboriginal students (defined here as Status and Non-Status Indians, Metis, and Inuit) within Frontier School Division.

Thus, one of the SS/NS Department’s main roles is the creation/acquisition of materials with an Aboriginal focus. Not only can such materials have a positive impact on Aboriginal students, they can also help non-Aboriginal students become aware of and sensitive to Aboriginal concerns.

BC First Nations Land, Title, and Governance Teacher Resource Guide (2019)

Source: First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC)

Focus: Grades 2-12

Summary: The BC First Nations Land, Title, and Governance Teacher Resource Guide is designed to support the understanding of traditional and contemporary forms of First Nations governance specific to First Nations in BC. It provides background information relevant to all teachers and students, and provides suggested activities and resources for grades 2 to 12.

This guide is divided into six different multi-grade thematic units as well as additional support material.

The introduction offers key information to support and guide teachers in facilitating the respectful and meaningful inclusion of Indigenous knowledge and perspectives in the classroom. While the first four units are organized by grade level, teachers will find activities in all of them that can be adapted to other grades as needed. Unit 5 and 6 can be applied to Grades 4-12.

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