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Issue #37
December, 2012

Actua: National Aboriginal Outreach Program

Summary: Actua provides young Canadians with positive hands-on learning experiences in science and technology. By stimulating young people’s natural curiosity, they develop self-confidence, creativity and critical thinking skills – and inspiration to become learners for life.

Actua in the North, an outreach program for youth across the Arctic, was the recipient of an RBC Award for the Far North in Ashoka Canada’s Changemaker Initiative: Inspiring Approaches to First Nations, Métis and Inuit Learning. The competition, which welcomed submissions from across Canada and around the world, recognizes innovation in educating Aboriginal people in and beyond the classroom.

Actua’s National Aboriginal Outreach Program supports the development and delivery of science, engineering and technology camps, workshops and community outreach initiatives to young Aboriginal Canadians. Through a community-based approach, they deliver confidence-building programming that is locally and culturally relevant. They expose youth to Aboriginal role models and other young and energetic mentors in a variety of science fields and demonstrate how traditional knowledge plays a significant role in the study of science.

The National Aboriginal Outreach Program helps address the urgent need to engage Aboriginal Canadians in STEM fields, both to ensure future prosperity within Aboriginal communities and to contribute to the creation of a diverse Canadian workforce.

Since Actua’s first northern camp took place in Iqaluit over 10 years ago, they have engaged ten of thousands of Northern youth in dynamic, culturally relevant programming. The Suncor Energy Foundation, GE Canada and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency continues to support this program.

Canada, Aboriginal Peoples and Residential Schools: They Came for the Children

Source: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

Summary: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada is publishing this history as a part of its mandate to educate the Canadian public about residential schools and their place in

Canadian history. The Commission was established by the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. The agreement was reached in response to numerous class-action lawsuits that former students of residential schools had brought against the federal government and the churches that operated those schools in Canada for well over 100 years. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has been mandated to inform all Canadians about what happened in the schools and to guide a process of national reconciliation.

For the child taken, and for the parent left behind, we encourage Canadians to read this history, to understand the legacy of the schools, and to participate in the work of reconciliation.

Learning with Family

Source: Northern Territory Government, Australia
Focus: Parents and Guardians of pre-school children

Summary: About this book: The early years of a child’s life are the most important for learning and development. A child’s teachers in those early years are parents and families. They have a pivotal role in providing the foundation for a child’s ongoing education and life course. The Families as First Teachers program supports families to give their children the best possible start in life.

This resource has been developed for professionals to use with remote Indigenous families to increase knowledge of child development, early learning and underlying issues effecting developmental outcomes.

Optimizing the Effectiveness of E-learning for First Nations

Source: Conference Board of Canada

Summary: This report looks at how to optimize the effectiveness of e-learning to improve the educational outcomes of First Nations people living on a reserve.

E-learning can help close the education gap between First Nations people living on a reserve and Canada’s non-Aboriginal population. Based on a brief literature review and interviews, this report found that optimizing the effectiveness of e-learning in improving the educational outcomes of First Nations people living on a reserve requires: better engagement of First Nations in e-learning program development and implementation; the development of an e-learning strategy; an increase in funding amounts and the extension of funding terms for e-learning; the assessment of community needs and educational outcomes; building tools and capacity to support e-learning; the development of a strategy to improve teacher engagement; consideration of generational differences among students; the promotion of student commitment; the expansion and increased flexibility of programs, with holistic program delivery; and better integration of e-learning under the overall Indian and Northern Affairs Canada education umbrella.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Summary: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) supports Aboriginal people (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) and Northerners in their efforts to:

  • improve social well-being and economic prosperity;
  • develop healthier, more sustainable communities; and
  • participate more fully in Canada’s political, social and economic development – to the benefit of all Canadians.

AANDC is one of the federal government departments responsible for meeting the Government of Canada’s obligations and commitments to First Nations, Inuit and Métis, and for fulfilling the federal government’s constitutional responsibilities in the North. AANDC’s responsibilities are largely determined by numerous statutes, negotiated agreements and relevant legal decisions. Most of the Department’s programs, representing a majority of its spending – are delivered through partnerships with Aboriginal communities and federal-provincial or federal-territorial agreements. AANDC also works with urban Aboriginal people, Métis and Non-Status Indians (many of whom live in rural areas) through the Office of the Federal Interlocutor.

AANDC’s mandate, responsibilities and key priorities are shaped by centuries of history, and unique demographic and geographic challenges. AANDC is one of 34 federal departments and agencies involved in Aboriginal and northern programs and services.

Mi’gmaq Mi’kmaq Micmac Online Talking Dictionary



Summary: The talking dictionary project is an Internet resource for the Mi’gmaq/Mi’kmaq language. The project was initiated in Listuguj, therefore all entries have Listuguj speakers and Listuguj spellings. In collaboration with Unama’ki, the site now includes a number of recordings from Unama’ki speakers. More will be added as they are recorded. Eventually this site will include the Smith-Francis spellings used there.

Listuguj is in the Gespe’g territory of the Mi’gmaw; located on the southwest shore of the Gaspè peninsula. Unama’ki is a Mi’gmaw territory; in English it is known as Cape Breton.

Each headword is recorded by a minimum of three speakers. Multiple speakers allow one to hear differences and variations in how a word is pronounced. Each recorded word is used in an accompanying phrase. This permits learners the opportunity to develop the difficult skill of distinguishing individual words when they are spoken in a phrase.

Thus far over 3500 headwords have been posted. The majority of these entries include two to three additional forms.

Diverse Peoples – Aboriginal Contributions and Inventions

Source: Reproduced with permission from First Nations and Inuit Contributions and Inventions Colouring Book, published under the authority of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Ottawa, 1998.
Focus: Junior Social Studies

Summary: This site provides information flashcards and colouring pages that describe contributions and inventions made by Aboriginal people that are used in everyday living.

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