Educational Resources

Search Resources:
Browse Resource Categories:

Issue #58
September, 2014

Staying in School: Engaging Aboriginal Students

Source: Congress of Aboriginal Peoples

Summary: Aboriginal Education, notably the inclusion of Aboriginal content in curricula and programs and the success of Aboriginal students, has received focused attention across Canada in recent years. Substantial efforts have been undertaken at the federal and provincial levels to address the differences in rates of achievement by Aboriginal and non‐Aboriginal Youth (e.g. Kroes, 2008; Levin, 2009).

Historically, there have been gaps in measured outcomes between Aboriginal and non‐Aboriginal Peoples of all ages, particularly in literacy rates (Statistics Canada, 2005), and enrolment to post‐ secondary education (Statistics Canada, 2010a). Although enrolment to post‐secondary education by Aboriginal Peoples is increasing, it is still below the rates of non‐Aboriginal Peoples. Across Canada rates of Aboriginal Peoples completing high school lag far behind non‐Aboriginal Peoples

When examining high school completion rates for youth ages 20 to 24, the earliest age group where all students could be expected to have completed high school, the discrepancies are undeniable. According to Statistics Canada 2006 census data, 40% of Aboriginal Peoples aged 20 to 24 did not have a high‐school diploma, compared to 13% among non‐Aboriginal Peoples. The rate of non‐ completion is even higher for on ‐reserve Aboriginal Peoples (61% had not completed high school) and for Inuit Peoples living in rural or remote communities (68% had not completed high school). Gender differences on the 2006 census are also evident, as 43% percent of male Aboriginal Peoples in Canada between the ages of 20 and 24 had not completed high school, compared to 37% of female Aboriginal Peoples of the same age group (Statistics Canada, 2010a).

Nationalism in the North: Exploring Land Claims and Treaties with the Historical Timelines of the North West Territories: A Resource for Teachers of Social Studies

Source: NWT Education, Culture and Employment
Focus: Grade 11 Social Studies

Summary: The Nationalism in the North Teacher Guide uses the McGraw-Hill Ryerson (2008) texts (Exploring Nationalism and Understanding Nationalism) and the Oxford (2008) text (Perspectives on Nationalism) to ensure teachers have a match with what they are required to teach. McGraw-Hill Ryerson explores the concept of nationalism through the integration of multiple perspectives. Each chapter in the text opens with an issue and an activity that encourages the students to think about and discuss what the visual represents. The text encourages the use of relevant quotations to provide alternative points of view and perspectives and invites students to examine their own points of view on specific questions. It is also organized to provide a forum for discussing issues.

The Medicine Room: A Teaching Tool for Elders and Educational Opportunity for Youth

Source: Fidji Gendron, Carrie Bourassa, Danielle Lisa Cyr, Elder Betty McKenna, Lauren McKim, First Nations University of Canada

Summary: Recognizing the knowledge and understanding Elders hold about sacred medicines, plants and their uses, the First Nations University of Canada and Elders joined efforts to develop a Medicine Room and offer workshops for youth. In 2009, through a partnership with Elders and researchers, plants for the Medicine Room were collected at different stages of growth for display. Starting in 2011, schools in and around Regina were invited to visit the Medicine Room. During the visits, Elders spent time with the youth, shared their knowledge about protocol and examined the plants with the youth.

This paper examines the ways in which this process was developed and carried out. The results of an evaluation which was conducted after 10 visits from over 300 students and 23 teachers reveals that the youth really appreciated seeing and learning about the different types of plants, meeting and interacting with Elders, and hearing traditional stories and legends.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis Essential Skills Inventory Project (FIMESIP)

Source: Government of Canada Office of Literacy and Essential Skills
Focus: Teachers and senior students

Summary: The Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF) in partnership with Employment and Social Development Canada’s Office of Literacy and Essential Skills, the Assembly of First Nations, the Métis National Council and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami began research to develop a comprehensive inventory of Essential Skills (ES) initiatives for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The First Nations, Inuit and Métis ES Inventory Project’s (FIMESIP) goals are to better understand the state of practice with respect to ES initiatives tailored to First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth and adults living in diverse communities throughout Canada and to share these insights and lessons learned with the larger community of practice. Through FIMESIP, we have identified factors (Markers of Promising Practice) that contribute to the success of ES programming and resource development. The Markers, Inventory, Case Studies and an Evaluation Toolkit are available on this site.

Virtual Journey – Signing of Treaty Nine – 1905

Source: Canada’s Digital Collection. Industry Canada

Summary: This is a summary of the journey taken by Duncan Campbell Scott and his party in 1905 and 1906 to offer Treaty Nine to the Ojibway and Cree people. This is a presentation of a historical event that occurred during the signing of Treaty Nine and therefore it does not reflect the opinions and views of Oshki-Pimache-O-Win Institute, Nishnawbe Aski Nation or the First Nations of Nishnawbe Aski Nation.

Improving the early life outcomes of Indigenous children:Implementing early childhood development at the local level

SourceAustralian Government, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Summary:There are wide gaps in the early life outcomes of Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations. This is evidenced by:

  • the significant gap between the mortality rates of Indigenous and non-Indigenous children aged under 5
  • the higher rate of poor health conditions, low birth-weight, hospital admissions and poor nutrition among Indigenous children compared with other children
  • the higher prevalence of clinical, behavioural and emotional disorders among Indigenous children, and
  • the low performance of Indigenous children on tests for literacy and numeracy compared with other young Australians.

Indigenous children are in greater danger developmentally, owing to risk factors originating within the family environment, the community where the child grows up, and the type of early childhood development (ECD) programs that Indigenous children are exposed to. Specific risk factors include:

  • smoking during pregnancy
  • drinking during pregnancy
  • stressful intra-uterine conditions
  • poor health and nutrition during pregnancy
  • challenges faced by parents
  • problems in parenting
  • disadvantaged socio-economic conditions , and
  • insufficient availability and effectiveness of early childhood development programs and services.

Promoting healthy Indigenous early childhood development is complex. It requires multiple responses and multi-stakeholder interaction to promote physical, social-emotional and language-cognitive domains of development and to tackle the longstanding ‘upstream’ family and community challenges that contribute to disparities in early life outcomes. Localised early childhood development aims to address this complexity and achieve a community-wide shift in early life outcomes. Locally based early childhood development initiatives comprise multiple programs and services that are responsive to local context, culture, priorities, needs and strengths and build on the core expertise and capacity of different organizations. The processes of localised early childhood development emphasise Indigenous leadership and involvement in governance, action planning and program delivery and prioritise community capacity building.

Classroom Resources – AADNC

Source: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Focus: Elementary students

Summary: This page has lots of information about First Nations, Métis and Inuit culture. Whether you are a student in need of help with your homework, or a teacher looking for fun and exciting ideas for your classroom, you have come to the right place.

You will also find more stories and resources in Multimedia.

Be sure to check out our Publications Catalogue as well.

Sign up to receive monthly PPW Educational Resource outreach: