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Issue #31
June, 2012

Joint Task Force on Education and Employment

The Government of Saskatchewan and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) in March 2012 announced the panelists who will lead the Joint Task Force on Improving Education and Employment Outcomes for First Nations and Métis people in Saskatchewan.

The task force panelists include Gary Merasty, Vice President Corporate Social Responsibility of Cameco, Rita Bouvier, researcher/writer and community-learning facilitator and Don Hoium, Executive Director, League of Educational Administrators, Directors and Superintendents of Saskatchewan.

The joint task force will focus on several key goals including:

  • Improved early childhood outcomes and transition to school;
  • Increased high school and post-secondary completion rates;
  • Improved participation in the labour force and employment; and
  • Greater quality of life and enhanced self-sufficiency.

The task force is expected to begin broad public consultations in early spring 2012, with the task force report to be complete early in 2013. Cost of the task force is $2 million.


For more information, contact:

Bonny Braden
Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration
Phone: 306–933-5846

Indigenizing the Curriculum for Student Success

Source: Helen D. Armstrong, Barry Corenblum, Barbara Gfellner

Summary: The purpose of this paper is to describe a process of collaboration among community groups, Aboriginal organizations, and university researchers toward the goal of improving school retention and graduation rates among Aboriginal youth. As a team, discussions initially focused on the scope and nature of the challenges facing Aboriginal youth and their communities, and later moved onto exploring funding opportunities to support a project that would allow us to work together in a formal capacity. That search led to a successful application to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada/Community University Research Alliances (SSHRC/CURA) for the project entitled Community-Based Aboriginal Curriculum Initiatives: Implementation and Evaluation.

This paper outlines the research process and initiates a progress report that will be continued in a future manuscript. We will also, for those who wish to access similar funding, discuss how our team worked together to write the proposal, the challenges we face, and the celebrations we value.

Inspiring Success Saskatchewan: Building Toward Student Achievement

Source: Saskatchewan Ministry of Education

Summary: The First Nations and Métis Education Policy Framework provides direction to guide strategic actions across all levels of the provincial education system. The intention of the Policy is to build capacity and achieve transformational change within the provincial education system through goals, indicators and strategies that will support significant improvement in student achievement for all learners.

Since the 1970’s, the province of Saskatchewan has supported learning opportunities that are reflective of, and responsive to, First Nations and Métis peoples. Many significant advances have been made, including culturally affirming curricula and resources, supportive policies, co-managed partnerships, and the development of holistic programs and services. Each of these advances seeks to address systemic barriers and racism that impede the success of First Nations and Métis learners. The Ministry of Education continues to work to develop system capacity so we can better address the educational needs of First Nations and Métis learners to ensure that all learners benefit equitably from the provincial education system.

Now is the time to move forward, within an ethical space, and with the common understanding of the urgency that requires our accelerated efforts to create an education system where management is shared by First Nations and Métis peoples; that includes systems of accountability; that provides all learners with knowledge of the unique contributions and worldviews of First Nations and Métis peoples; and offers outcomes that are equitable for all learners.

Profiles for Emerging Occupations

Source: Government of Alberta
Focus: Senior Secondary students and teachers

Summary: You and your students can learn about emerging occupations by visiting the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website. An emerging occupation is a new occupation that may evolve from an existing occupation or may emerge in response to consumer needs or technological advances.

For information on emerging occupations, visit OCCinfo on the ALIS website and click on Emerging Occupations. Profiles for the following emerging occupations are available:

Curriculum lesson 2 – Governance and Canada’s North

Source: Teach/Le Prof Magazine March/April 2010
Focus: Grades 9-12 Social Studies, World History, World Geography

Summary: Students will draw on the information they learned in Lesson 1 about the Inuit and their stewardship of Canada’s North, (See March/April 2010) and learn more about the struggle for sovereignty in the North (for example, why it is of such interest currently). They will be introduced to the goals, challenges and limitations of international law. They will explore the concept of sovereignty as an evolving one and the implications of this as countries vie to stake their claim to territory in the Arctic, the “last frontier.” The project engages students in learning more about the structures currently in place to establish governance of the Arctic, assessing Canada’s current activities there, and then working together on a project to evaluate and assess the international structure set up to manage these disputes and suggest alternative rules of governance.

Back to Batoche Interactive Website

Source: Virtual Museum of Canada and the Gabriel Dumont Institute.

Summary: Back to Batoche is, and will continue to be the most original and comprehensive attempt to deliver the history of the 1885 Northwest Resistance onto the World Wide Web. This interactive website will bring the colourful history of the past of Batoche as well as showcasing the abundantly rich culture of the past and present to a world-wide audience. The Flash website includes video interviews with elders, video and photo highlights from the annual Back to Batoche Festivals, Métis music, games, quizzes, photo albums, virtual tours, hundreds of pages of text to learn from, as well as a series of interactive personalized tour guides.

Hearing Loss among Aboriginal Peoples (Australia)

Source: Burrow S, Galloway A, Weissofner N (2009) Review of educational and other approaches to hearing loss among Indigenous people.

Summary: This review complements the existing EarInfoNet review of the medical aspects of ear disease (see the Review of ear health and hearing) and summarizes the available literature regarding educational and other approaches to Indigenous hearing loss. It draws together relevant information from various disciplines in a single document. Particular attention is given to the:

  • impact of hearing loss;
  • factors contributing to hearing loss;
  • prevention and management of otitis media and hearing loss;
  • education strategies addressing hearing loss; and
  • policies and policy implications for reducing hearing loss and its educational consequences.

The development of this review recognizes the need for further research and resources to address the educational aspects of Indigenous hearing loss. It is intended to assist researchers, education professionals, other practitioners and policy makers working in relevant sectors and disciplines. In-depth interpretation of the research findings from across all relevant sectors is beyond the scope of this document, but it is intended that this review make a valuable contribution to future cross-sector discussions and collaborative approaches to the development of relevant policies, strategies and programs.

This review focuses specifically on conductive hearing loss resulting from OM, but it should be noted that higher than average rates of sensorineural hearing loss have also been reported in the Indigenous population.

Curriculum Lesson 1– Multiculturalism and Canada’s North

Source: Teach/Le Prof Magazine March/April 2010
Focus: Grades 9-12 Social Studies, World History, World Geography

Summary: The goal is for students to reflect on their understanding of multiculturalism and learn how it connects to Canada’s North, including Canada’s sovereignty in the north. Students will explore the role of the Inuit and Aboriginal peoples as stewards of Canada’s north and share ways to support and enhance this role. By participating in this activity, students will research to learn more about the culture of these fellow Canadians. They will gain a better understanding of how they have been the traditional stewards of Canada’s North and reflect on whether they may be best equipped to continue as the stewards of Canada’s North.

Project North Graphic Novel: Canadian Sovereignty in the Arctic is structured in sections to mirror the themes and issues in the four lessons. It follows the progress of Alex and ZaZi as they work to help their country by finding a solution to protecting Canada’s sovereignty in the North. As students in class complete a challenge, pages of the graphic novel are then ‘unlocked’ so students can follow along with the story.

Study Canada – K-12 First Nations, Inuit, and Métis

Source: Western Washington University
Focus: K-12

Summary: One of the biggest hurdles that US teachers face when teaching Canada is a lack of effective educational resources. To help teachers become more aware of the resources available to them, K-12 STUDY CANADA has compiled a wealth of information and materials to assist teachers develop a curriculum that brings the sights and sounds of Canada to life for American students.

The following are units related to the study of Canada’s First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples:

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