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Issue #54
May, 2014

The Debate on First Nations Education Funding: Minding the Gap

Source: Don Drummond, Ellen Kachuck Rosenbluth. Queen’s University Policy Studies
Focus: Teachers, researchers

Summary: Funding alone will not solve the issues plaguing First Nations education – the very structure of the education system is fraught with problems. Moreover, there are myriad social, health and economic challenges confronting First Nations communities, which have a profound and negative effect on the ability of First Nation students to succeed. Yet adequate funding is essential and conflicting messages over funding creates confusion and perpetuates mistrust – perspectives that ultimately will undermine potential progress on First Nations education. This paper attempts to understand and clarify the funding discrepancies as presented by the federal government and First Nations advocates. Closing the education gap is one of Canada`s most compelling public policy issues. Solving only the funding issue will not close the education gap.  Understanding the stakeholders` positions, however, may help clarify the issues and support the development of policies necessary to meet the educational needs of First Nations students and enable them to succeed.

First Nations in New France

Source: The Virtual Museum of New France, Canadian Museum of Civilization
Focus: Secondary students

Summary: The land of America has been home to the First Nations for thousands of years. With the arrival of Europeans, a new era began that would have profound changes on the lives of Native societies.

At its peak, New France covered a vast territory that extended from Hudson’s Bay to Louisiana, including a good portion of the Great Plains, all the way to the foot of the high mountains of the West.

The traditions of the Aboriginal peoples, who through the ages had developed lifestyles that were adapted to these very distinct environments, were disrupted by European contact.

Getting to Know Turtle Island: Incorporating First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspectives K-8

Source: Limestone District School Board, Ontario
Focus: K-8 Teachers

Summary: The Ontario Ministry of Education has mandated that:

  • First Nation, Métis and Inuit students in Ontario will have the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to complete their elementary and secondary education in order to pursue post secondary education, training or to enter the workforce
  • all students in Ontario will have knowledge and appreciation of contemporary and traditional First Nation, Métis and Inuit traditions, cultures and perspectives. The Limestone District School Board has created this resource to enable kindergarten and elementary teachers to know how and where to incorporate a variety of specific First Nation, Métis and Inuit cultures, histories, arts, worldviews and issues into existing ministry curriculum. 

This resource builds on the ministry document, Aboriginal Perspectives: The Teacher’s Toolkit and provides a coherent, developmental approach for elementary classrooms from Kindergarten to Grade 8 and acknowledges the contributions, histories and diverse cultures of the local First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples.

This document was created by teachers for teachers. It is intended to provide suggestions for how to incorporate First Nation, Métis and Inuit content into elementary classrooms in a way which builds in cognitive complexity from grade to grade and minimizes repetition.

Aboriginal Bursaries Search Tool

Source: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC)
Focus: Secondary and post secondary students

Summary: The Aboriginal Bursaries Search Tool is a searchable list of 771 bursaries, scholarships and incentives across Canada.

Click on the name of the bursary to view more information about the award including a description, value, institution, deadline (if applicable) and contact information. You can filter the bursaries using the drop down menus.

Early learning programs that promote children’s developmental and educational outcomes – Australia

Source: Linda J Harrison, Sharon Goldfeld, Eliza Metcalfe and Tim Moore, 2012. Australian Government, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Australian Institute of Family Studies.  

Focus: Early Childhood Educators and Parents

Summary: The early years of life are the best opportunity to lay the foundations for a child’s future. The early years are a critical period where the pathways to a child’s lifetime social, emotional and educational outcomes begin. Although early experiences do not determine children’s ongoing development, the patterns laid down early tend to be very persistent and some have lifelong consequences.

Early learning programs in Australia encompass early childhood education and care programs for children aged from birth until they enter the first year of formal schooling. In Australia, this is usually at the age of 5. In general, early learning programs are formal, government-regulated, non-compulsory programs provided or supervised by an early childhood qualified educator in a location away from the child’s own home. Early learning programs are delivered by a range of government and non-government organisations through a variety of settings, including schools, dedicated community-based and privately owned centres, mobile or outreach programs held in shared or temporary premises, and family or home care settings.

The programs aim to promote children’s early development and enhance their long-term educational outcomes by addressing key areas that make long-term contributions to learning, development and wellbeing. They also aim to support parents in their role as a child’s first teacher.

Maps of Treaty Making in Canada

Source: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC)

Summary: The process of dealing with Aboriginal title and rights through formal agreements began shortly after contact was established between Europeans and First Nation peoples and has evolved over more than 300 years.

In this section, view maps illustrating the Historic Treaties of Canada that were negotiated between 1725 and 1923. These treaties cover most of Ontario, the Prairie Provinces, parts of Vancouver Island, Northwest Territories and Atlantic Canada.

Firsts: From Aboriginal Peoples to Pioneers

Source:  Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO)
Focus: Grades 3 and 6

Summary: This ETFO resource complements the Ontario curriculum. It is appropriate for the heritage and citizenship strand of the Grade 3 Ontario Social Studies Curriculum. It is also suitable for the heritage and citizenship strand for Grade 6 – Aboriginal Peoples and European Explorers.

The Grade 3 expectations are outlined at the beginning of each focus. Grade 6 expectations are found in the Ontario Curriculum Social Studies Grades 1-6; History and Geography, Grades 7 and 8.

The resource is divided into 12 sections. Each section contains a series of learning experiences. Social Studies curriculum expectations and related curriculum expectations are identified for each focus. There are opportunities for extended learning and making home connections within the experiences, as well as suggestions for modification and assessment.

Each learning experience is outlined under the following headings:

  • Materials and Resources
  • Multiple Intelligences Addressed
  • What the Teacher Does
  • Modifications and Extensions
  • Assessment

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