Educational Resources

Search Resources:
Browse Resource Categories:

Issue #45
August, 2013

Voices of the Elders

Source: Canada’s Digital Collection, Industry Canada
Focus: Secondary Students and Teachers

Summary: For thousands of years the Algonquin people have preserved their history and culture by passing oral histories from generation to generation. Algonquins did not have a written language, in fact even today application of the roman alphabet to the Algonquin language is difficult and controversial. For example, one may see the word Megwetch, Meegwech, or Meegwetc. Each means the same thing, “thank you”, and each spelling is considered correct.

The Algonquin language has preserved our history, Canada’s pre-history and the culture of Algonquin people. It is with this in mind that we present to you the recent histories of three Algonquin First Nations – Barriere Lake, Timiskaming and Wolf Lake – in audio format.

Over the last twenty years interviews were conducted with members from the three communities, producing nearly 200 tapes. We have gathered these tapes and compiled them into a digital library. The following is but a sampling of the interesting and informative stories dating from as early as the 1890’s up to present day.

Building Student Success with Aboriginal Parents

Source: Manitoba Education and Literacy

Summary: The Building Student Success with Aboriginal Parents (BSSAP) was launched in September 2004. The goal of BSSAP is to increase the involvement of Aboriginal parents in education. The funding has assisted schools in developing partnerships and programs with parents and the community which will contribute to the educational success of Aboriginal students.

To be eligible for funding under the initiative, engagement strategy proposals from schools and divisions needed to address the following requirements:

  • Identify improving academic achievement of Aboriginal students as a priority in school and divisional plans,
  • Involve Aboriginal parents and organizations,
  • Reflect coherence with the Aboriginal Academic Achievement grant, and
  • Support overall school planning and programming.

School division proposals could include single and multiple school sites or partnerships between and among neighboring school divisions. 

Schools have taken the lead in forming and maintaining effective family-school partnerships that positively influence all students’ learning. The strong relationships have changed the future – not just for students and their families, but also for schools – in the form of these educational partners jointly implementing approaches intended to enhance student motivation, engagement with school, academic progress, school attendance levels, sense of wellbeing, and lower dropout rates. Families and schools are working together as real partners. The scope of these partnerships is wide and includes support by school leaders for family involvement in school activities, a strong commitment by all partners to student learning success, a welcoming school atmosphere and two-way communication. The partnerships that this fund supports will become models of the way we would like school communities to function.

Building Student Success with Aboriginal Parents (BSSAP) directly supports the education priority in Manitoba’s Aboriginal Education and Employment Action Plan through Goal 1: “Student Engagement and High School Completion”.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Insights into the Goal of Transformative Education

Source: Karina Czyzewski, University of Toronto, International Indigenous Policy Journal, Volume 2, Issue 3, Article 4

Summary: In 2006, the Government of Canada announced the approval of a final Residential Schools Settlement Agreement with the collaboration of the four churches responsible (United, Anglican, Presbyterian, Catholic), the federal government and residential school survivors. Schedule “N” of the Agreement lists the mandate of the TRC; therein, the TRC states one of its goals as: (d) to promote awareness and public education of Canadians about the system and its impacts. Can education – as the TRC hopes to engender – truly be transformative, renewing relationships and promoting healing in the process of forging these new relationships? The literature reviewed and the conferences attended highlighted that generating empathy may be a necessary ingredient for the instigation of social change, but is insufficient. Transformation through education or reconciliation through truth-telling, testimonial reading and responsible listening would mean claiming a genuine, supportive responsibility for the colonial past. Educational policy and media initiatives are fundamental to creating awareness, developing public interest and support of the TRC’s recommendations. However, authors also stress the importance of critical pedagogy in the whole process of truth and reconciliation, and that real reconciliation would require confronting the racism that initiated these institutions and allowed for a decontextualization of their impacts.

WNCP Common Tool for Assessing and Validating Teaching and Learning Resources for Cultural Appropriateness and Historical Accuracy of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Content

Source: Western and Northern Canadian Protocol for Collaboration in Basic Education, Aboriginal Education Research Centre, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Summary: The Western and Northern Canadian Protocol (WNCP) is a cooperative group of Canadian provinces and territories that develops common curriculum frameworks.

The WNCP employed researchers from the Aboriginal Education Research Centre (AERC) at the University of Saskatchewan to conduct a research project entitled Cultural Authenticity and Historical Accuracy (2009). The research project resulted in the document, Guidelines for Assessing and Validating Teaching and Learning Resources for Cultural Authenticity and Historical Accuracy of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Content (2009). The guidelines are based on an analysis and synthesis of current WNCP provincial and territorial (regional) strategies used to assess and validate First Nations, Métis and Inuit content in teaching and learning resources.

Teaching and learning resources that are culturally authentic, historically accurate and respectful of the diversity of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people’s identities and experiences will encourage students and educators to:

  • recognize the importance of Elders and Knowledge Keepers in preserving and sustaining languages and cultures;
  • recognize that First Nations, Métis and Inuit education enriches Western education systems;
  • value and support First Nations, Métis and Inuit languages and cultures;
  • adequately represent and reflect First Nations, Métis and Inuit languages and cultures; and
  • affirm and support the engagement of First Nations, Métis and Inuit parents/caregivers and communities as traditional teachers in the education of children.

To better ensure that First Nations, Métis and Inuit content is culturally authentic and historically accurate, the WNCP Working Group has designed an assessment and validation tool to assess cultural appropriateness and historical accuracy. This tool can be adjusted locally, to reflect each region’s needs.

Aboriginal Institutes – Ontario

Source: Government of Ontario
Focus: Students

Summary: Are you an Aboriginal student? Find out more about resources and opportunities for study in Ontario.

Aboriginal Institutes partners with colleges and universities to offer:

  • student degree programs
  • apprenticeships
  • certificate programs and
  • diploma programs.

Some Aboriginal Institutes also provide secondary school programming, continuing education, literacy and basic skills training. Aboriginal institutes may also offer native language education programs.

The site provides links to Aboriginal colleges and universities in Ontario.

Partnering With Parents and Community – Maximizing the Educational Experience for Inuit Students

Source: Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Donald M. Taylor McGill University

Summary: This report addresses a pedagogical standard that is fundamental and primary for Inuit success from preschool through to post‐secondary education: students must arrive at school everyday, all day, physically and psychologically healthy, and eager to learn.

To achieve this fundamental standard and maximize the potential for every Inuit student, the school needs to partner with parents. The school and parents have an equal responsibility, but for the present report we focus on parents.

The report analyzes the impact of colonization on parents and the challenges this poses for parents in terms of supporting their children for school success. In order to accelerate the decolonization process, a constructive intervention is proposed designed to build a genuine partnership between parents and the school.

The report is divided into four parts, and concludes with four specific recommendations:

  • Part I: Research Methodology
  • Part II: Bilingual Education in Nunavik
  • Part III: Partnering with Parents
  • Part IV: Research as a Vehicle for Constructive Social Change

The Recommendations Conclude:

  1. The use of Inuktitut in all schools needs to be promoted.
  2. Formal education needs to be made concretely relevant in all communities.
  3. A formal survey of parental experience and attitudes with respect to school be implemented in every community with two aims:
    1. to obtain the views and insights of each and every parent, and
    2. to initiate a partnership between parents and the school, and
  4. Institute a policy of reserving 10% in the budget of all pedagogical projects for research designed to document the measurable outcomes.

Deepening Knowledge OISE

Source: OISE University of Toronto Ontario
Focus: Elementary and Secondary students

Summary: The Deepening Knowledge Project seeks to infuse Aboriginal peoples’ histories, knowledges and pedagogies into all levels of education in Canada. The project is a part of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, which is located on the territories of Anishinaabe and Onkwehonwe peoples.

On this site you’ll find information about the history and traditions of First Nations, Métis, Inuit and Native American cultures, information about the challenges facing Aboriginal communities today, and curricula for incorporating this information into your teaching practice.

The Deepening Knowledge Project seeks to help teachers infuse their practice with the histories, knowledges and pedagogies of Aboriginal peoples. For teachers working at all grade levels, you will find curriculum resources such as: lesson plans, a bestselling list of recommended books, class field trip suggestions, and links to other resources.

Sign up to receive monthly PPW Educational Resource outreach: