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Issue #46
September, 2013

Successful Transitions for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Students

Source: FNMI and Field Services, Alberta Education
Focus: Teachers

Summary: Albertaʼs High School Completion Strategic Framework.

The focus of the Successful Transition strategy is on ensuring students have the supports to help them make successful transitions between grades and from school to work. Numerous factors can affect the complexity of transitions for individual students. The transition from grade to grade, school to work, and school to further education can be particularly challenging for some students. The probability of a successful transition is significantly increased when schools work with parents/caregivers, employers, community agencies and providers of further education to develop coordinated transition strategies for these students.

This transitions workbook is designed as a starting point to assist school leaders in supporting FNMI students in the transition process. It is not intended to be exhaustive or prescriptive. Alberta Education recognizes that successful initiatives are built at the jurisdiction and school level with consideration of the local context. The intent of this workbook is to stimulate thinking about how best to develop strategies in schools to ensure the successful transition of FNMI students throughout and beyond the education system.

NOEL Northern Ontario Education Leaders

Summary: Webliography of related and useful Links including:

Assembly of First Nations

Nishnawbe Aski Nation

Grand Council Treaty No. 3

Union of Ontario Indians

Native Online, Symbol Definitions

Storytelling The Art of Knowledge from Canadian Museum of Civilization

Storytelling in the Classroom, Story Arts

Animal Stories, Legends and Teachings, Shannon Thunderbird


Wampum Interactive – Parks Canada

Source: Parks Canada Jennifer Wemigwans (Ojibwe) – media producer, writer and PhD candidate at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.
Focus: Secondary students

Summary: Interactive Website/Touch Screen Kiosk

Wampum Interactive features introductory teachings on the meanings behind the Wampum to bring understanding to the representation of living agreements entrenched in Indigenous principles and laws. Commissioned by Parks Canada, this piece is now on display as touch screen at Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

First Nations Early Childhood Programs Improving Outcomes

Source: Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, Shirley Kraus 2013
Focus: Early childhood educators and Policy Makers

Summary: Research strongly supports the belief that investing in early learning and childcare greatly contributes to returns in healthy well adjusted children, readiness for school, improved educational outcomes, improved labour market outcomes, and ultimately a more prosperous society. It is established that quality early childhood experiences from birth, learning programs, and child care structures are essential in early childhood development and school readiness.

This report:

  • Reviews literature that must inform dialogue, policies, services and programming in the areas of early learning and child care;
  • Recognizes the voice of First Nations People as critical in dialogue and in shaping policies, services and programming in the areas of early learning and child care;
  • Describes established supports, services, programs that are in place both on and off reserve;
  • Identifies and discusses challenges;
  • Presents promising practices; and
  • Discusses opportunities to resource and support early childhood programs and services in order to better serve First Nations children and their families and to improve early childhood outcomes.

The goal is to provide a catalyst to improve early childhood outcomes for First Nations children so as to better prepare them for lifelong learning, and provide for smoother transitions to formal schooling (school readiness). Challenges that impact services and programs have been identified. Many innovative ways to serve young children and their parents both on and off reserve are presented as promising practices. Creating opportunities to resource and support early learning and building on what we have can only improve outcomes.

Aboriginal Rights and Titles

Source: Canadian Heritage Canada
Focus: Grade 11

Summary: This lesson uses background narratives from the Union of British Columbia Indian Chief’s website, “Our Homes Are Bleeding” and primary sources drawn from the website to explore continuity and change through the 20th century in both aboriginal and non-aboriginal perspectives on issues of aboriginal rights and land title.


  1. Students will:
    Compare two (or more) documents from different time periods and explain what changed and what remained the same over time. (Continuity and change)
  2. Understand multiple perspectives of historical actors as a key to understanding developments in the past.
  3. Use historical narratives to inform judgments about moral and policy questions in the present. (The moral dimension)

Assembly of First Nations Languages and Cultural Impacts on Literacy and Student Achievement Outcomes: Review of Literature

Source: Katenies Research and Management Services, Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, Dr. Rose- Alma J. McDonald

Summary: The objective of this paper is to give an overview of First Nations language programs, resources and research that describe the impact of student and teacher cultural competency in First Nations language and culture on literacy and student achievement and outcomes.

Based on the priorities reported by First Nations through research, national positions, community dialogues and international rights, this study is a review of the overall impacts of student and teacher cultural competency in First Nations language and culture on literacy and student achievement. The literature clearly states that indigenous knowledge inclusion is essential to positive student achievement and outcomes in a First Nations context. This knowledge is imbedded in education programming through:

  • Teacher practices
  • Multi-media technology
  • Indigenous charter schools
  • Regional curriculum development
  • Mentorship programs
  • Effective teacher education
  • Community/parent relationships

Study of North Pacific Coast People and the Potlatch

Source: National Museum of the American Indian
Focus: Grades 6-8

Summary: With this poster students will learn about the Kwakwa’wakw (pronounced: kwock-KWOCKY-wowk) people of British Columbia, Canada. The focus is on Kwakwa ka’wakw traditions that express concepts of wealth, values of giving, and the importance of cultural continuity. Students will learn about the Kwakwa ka’wakw potlatch practice: its history, the values inherent in it, and the important role it plays in establishing and maintaining family connections to the past, to ancestors, and to the spirits of all living things. Students will use Kwakwa ka ’wakw concepts and discuss differences in value systems. For an audio pronunciation guide, visit the website at:

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