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Issue #160
March, 2023

Toolkit for Parents and Teachers

Source: Mel and Enid Zuckerman School of Public Health, University of Arizona

Summary: To provide parents and teachers with the best guidance on how to communicate with children about the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak, Dr. Patricia Haynes led a team of faculty and students in the Department of Health Promotion Science to gather these materials into a Toolkit. The Toolkit will help us all work with our kids to understand the outbreak and stay healthy.
Click through the digital version of the coronavirus comic book with your kids! Good information, fun to read: Coronavirus Comic Book. You can also download the comic book for kids: “Exploring the New Coronavirus,” and associated Teacher Guide which can be an especially useful activity to help children understand the outbreak.

Encouraging Aboriginal Cultural Identity at Home and in Child Care

Source: CCCF FCSGE (Community of Early Childhood Educators)

Focus: Families and Child Care Practitioners

Summary: In many ways, quality early learning and child care programs for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children are similar to any program. For example, they must offer safe and nurturing care by qualified practitioners, and encourage opportunities to learn and develop skills. In other ways, however, quality child care programs for Indigenous children are different.

Unlike mainstream programs, programs designed specifically for Indigenous children play a key role in supporting children to develop their cultural identity – an important aspect of social well-being. They encourage learning about culture and language and work to instill a sense of pride and belonging. Mainstream programs too, however, with a little work, produce the same positive results.

Native Land Digital

Source: Native Land Digital

Focus: Secondary students and researchers

Summary: We are pleased to present our new and revised Teacher’s Guide, released March 2019. This version includes detailed instructions on how to use Native Land, as well as exercises for use by teachers of different levels, from kids to adults. The Guide discusses the pros and cons of the map itself, the importance of learning more about colonialism, and provides resources for teachers to learn more.

Climate Atlas

Source: Climate Atlas of Canada

Summary: The Climate Atlas of Canada combines climate science, mapping, and storytelling together with Indigenous Knowledges and community-based research and video to inspire awareness and action.

Supporting Success for Indigenous Students

Source: OECD Directorate for Education and Skills

Summary: Indigenous peoples are diverse, within and across nations. At the same time, Indigenous children have not generally had access to the same quality of education that other children in their country enjoy. This situation arises, in part, because school leaders and teachers have not always been effectively prepared to teach Indigenous students, nor are they necessarily provided with resources to help them develop their capabilities and confidence. Some teachers and schools are successfully supporting Indigenous students. Indigenous students report feeling supported when the people at their schools:

  • Care about them and who they are as Indigenous People;
  • Expect them to succeed in education; and,
  • Help them to learn about their cultures, histories and languages.
  • OECD research indicates several ways that teachers can make a big difference in supporting success for Indigenous students:
  • Extra support for students: Finding ways to change the experiences of individual students goes a long way.
  • Engaging families: Mutually respectful relationships between schools and parents can have significant benefits for students.
  • Monitoring and reporting: Tracking progress with data helps educators and families understand where progress is being made.

The Intergenerational Legacy of Indian Residential Schools

Source: Maggie E.C. Jones, University of Victoria

Focus: Researchers

Summary: From the late nineteenth century until the end of the twentieth century, colonial governments in the United States, Canada, Greenland, Australia, and New Zealand, operated, in collaboration with Christian churches, a network of boarding schools for Indigenous children. The purpose of this system was to culturally and economically assimilate; Indigenous children were taken from their families and placed into residential schools where they were to be converted into the Eurocentric culture of the dominant society.

Using a unique restricted-access database from Canada that asked Indigenous respondents about their family history with residential schools, in addition to questions on a variety of socioeconomic outcomes, I study the intergenerational effects of these schools. Despite previous research showing that residential schools led to increased human capital accumulation among those who attended, I find that residential schools are associated with lower educational attainment among subsequent generations. I present evidence consistent with the notion that both cultural detachment and a breakdown in family relationships contributed to a reversal of the standard relationship between the human capital of parents and children. Encouragingly, I find that cultural interventions may provide a buffer to the harmful legacy of this historical trauma, suggesting an avenue for the direction of future policy.

A Critical Perspective on the Canadian Education Gap: Assessing First Nation Student Education Outcomes in Canada May 2021

Source: Strategy Core Institute of Public Policy and Economy

Summary: Understanding the impacts of education institutions on First Nation communities requires consideration of both the history of education and its role in the erasure of sociocultural and spiritual practices, as well as its ongoing shortcomings to meet reconciliation goals and address the gaps in educational achievement. This paper aims to unpack the history of First Nations education in Canada, provide an overview of recommendations over the last several decades brought forth by First Nation and government bodies, outline the First Nation student learner outcomes in Canada, associated education gaps, and the key barriers to achievement, and initiate a critical path forward through three key recommendations. These recommendations are premised on the requirement that decision-making be in the hands of each individual First Nation, fully living up to “First Nation control of First Nation education.”

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