Educational Resources

Search Resources:
Browse Resource Categories:

Issue #28
March, 2012

Nurturing the Learning Spirit of First Nation Students: The Report of the National Panel on First Nation Elementary and Secondary Education for Students on Reserve

Source: The National Panel on First Nation Elementary and Secondary Education for Students on Reserve

Summary: The National Panel on First Nation Elementary and Secondary Education for Students on Reserve was established by the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations to engage First Nations and Canadians in an exploration of First Nation education and to make recommendations for change and improvement. The Panel met with hundreds of people including students, parents, Elders, First Nation educators and leaders, representatives of provincial education systems and the private sector. They conducted 8 regional roundtable meetings and a national roundtable meeting, visited over 30 First Nation communities and 25 First Nation schools. Multiple submissions were received from interested parties through a website and directly during visits and meetings.

This report is intended as a road map or pathway forward for improving education outcomes for First Nation elementary and secondary students who live on reserve. It also provides recommendations for improving governance and clarifying accountability for First Nation education.

School Drop outs: Who are they and what can be done?

Source: John Richards. C.D. Howe Institute

Summary: While Canada has made progress in the past two decades in terms of lowering high-school dropout rates, those rates remain unacceptably high for boys and certain groups characterized by poverty and cultural traditions that do not stress formal schooling. The male share of the dropout population continues to rise, with five males now dropping out for every three females. As well, some groups of immigrants, those living in rural areas and Aboriginals exhibit a worrisome lack of educational achievement compared with the Canadian average.

The author recommends strategies to address the problem. Among them – education authorities should collect and use reliable data on student performance in core subjects, and should experiment aggressively on initiatives targeted to improve education outcomes for vulnerable groups of Canadians.

The Atlas of Canada – Natural Resources Canada

Source: Natural Resources Canada
Focus: History and Geography

Summary: There are two methods that may be used to study these patterns. The first is to look at Canada at a specific point in time. For example, the study of settlement patterns in Canada circa 1891 will look at such factors as where people live, their numbers, ethnic origin and occupations. The second is to observe changes to the spatial pattern over a period of time. For example, the map series concerning Aboriginal peoples in Canada documents changes to the settlement patterns of the Aboriginal peoples over time. This allows us to view the impact of European settlement on North America and the subsequent competition for the land and its resources.

What is essential to the study of spatial patterns is the requirement to reconstruct past geographies through an understanding of the cultures, economies and politics that governed the people and their relationships to each other and to their environment. This level of interpretation can only be derived from a detailed analysis of the historical record as provided by written documents, maps and archaeological studies. Historical geography plays an important role in learning about our country as it was in the past, thereby helping us to understand many issues which confront us today.

List of History Topics:

Early Childhood Education and Care Policy in Canada

Source: OECD Directorate for Education in Canada

Summary: The report is the outcome of an intensive review of early childhood policies and services in Canada by an OECD review team in September/October 2003. The review was initiated by an invitation to the OECD Directorate for Education from the Department of Social Development, Canada, and centred on the provinces of Prince Edward Island, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Chapter 1: the Introduction outlines the goals and framework of the OECD early childhood education and care (ECEC) reviews. A premise of the OECD approach is that the development of young children depends greatly on equitable social structures, on energetic public management and financing of the sector; and on the informed practice of qualified professionals who provide – in a caring environment – structured environments and programmes appropriate for young children.

Chapter 2: Contextual issues shaping ECEC policies in Canada, is descriptive in emphasis, and describes Canadian demographic developments, women’s participation in the labour market, social and economic issues, and other factors related to the organisation of early childhood services.

Chapter 3: Current ECEC policy and provision in Canada, outlines the key features of the current system. It describes the broad structure of the services, regulatory procedures, funding, access and provision, staffing and training, research and monitoring. It examines how these indicators compare with one another across different forms of provision and among different groups. It also describes recent policy initiatives at both federal and provincial levels, with a special section devoted to the four provinces reviewed.

Chapter 4: Issues for ECEC in Canada explores the coherence of current policies from the point of view of quality, access and equity. It considers in particular the situation of Aboriginal children, and challenging organisational and financing issues.

Chapter 5: Conclusions and recommendations. This final chapter puts forward for consideration by the Canadian authorities a number of suggestions and recommendations. They are based on first-hand observation of services and on discussions with the ministries and the major stakeholders in the early childhood field in Canada.

Wabanaki: People of the Dawn Part I

Source: Nova Scotia Office of Aboriginal Affairs
Focus: Grade 10 & 11 History and Native Studies

Summary: This learning guide was developed in collaboration with a Mi’kmaw Advisory Committee to ensure that the activities provided are culturally relevant. The video, Wabanaki: People of the Dawn (Part One) provides a snapshot of the history and culture of the Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia as revealed by the discovery of artifacts in the Mersey River area of Nova Scotia. It also begins to unravel the connection between the archaeological past and the lives of the Mi’kmaw as conveyed through oral history and traditions. The video gives us a glimpse of how the Mi’kmaq may have lived thousands of years ago and demonstrates the interconnectedness of the land and water with the lives of the Mi’kmaq.

Wabanaki: People of the Dawn Part I is a video resource that will be of interest and of use to students and teachers in Mi’kmaq Studies 10 and Canadian History 11. The video complements both the content of these courses and the inquiry approach inherent in all high school social studies courses in Nova Scotia. Depending on the approach taken, and on the context within which it is shown, the video may help address a number of different specific curriculum outcomes in Mi’kmaq Studies 10 and Canadian History 11. The video will not, by itself, address any one outcome. Combined with prior learning, however, and with additional activities and research (like the suggestions in this guide), teachers may use Wabanaki: People of the Dawn Part I to help address any one of a number of outcomes.

Gateway to Aboriginal Heritage: Making do with what you have

Source: Canadian Museum of Civilization
Focus: Kindergarten to Grade 4, Quebec Cycle 1-2

Summary: Students learn about the history and cultures of aboriginal peoples by identifying plant and animal materials used to make everyday objects, completing the Match the Object to the Material Activity Sheet, and engaging in a classroom discussion about materials people use to make objects.

  • Making Do With What You Have – Lesson Plan (PDF 220k)
  • Match the Object to the Material – Activity Sheet (PDF 495k)
  • Match the Object to the Material – Teacher’s Answer Sheet (PDF 480k)

Sign up to receive monthly PPW Educational Resource outreach: