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Issue #63
February, 2015

Honouring the Children

Source: KAIROS Canada

Summary: The threats to the human rights and flourishing of Indigenous peoples in Canada must not be understated. Failure to uphold both the honour of the Crown and the best interest of the child must end. With this in mind, “Honouring the Child” offers a series of recommendations to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child for consideration on the occasion of Canada’s periodic review.

These include the recommendations that:

  • Canada act immediately on the recommendations put forward by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, in particular those relevant to Indigenous children, and that the Committee engage a special study on Canada’s implementation of the UNCRC with respect to the rights of Indigenous children.
  • Canada work in collaboration with Indigenous peoples in Canada on the full and effective implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, in particular those articles relevant to Indigenous children.
  • Canada work with Indigenous peoples to allocate and structure sufficient financial, material and human resources to ensure the safety, full enjoyment of education, and cultural and linguistic rights of Indigenous children, as well as devising and implementing a comprehensive strategy and action plan to ensure that Indigenous housing is improved to a decent and healthy standard.
  • Canada in full partnership with Indigenous peoples, act immediately to ensure that government jurisdictional disputes do not impede or delay Indigenous children from receiving government services available to other children.
  • Canada act immediately to establish, in collaboration with Indigenous peoples, a national, independent mechanism empowered to implement reforms, and available to receive, investigate and respond to reports of individual and systemic child rights violation.
  • Canada base future governance and land rights discussions on the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, which includes the recognition that Aboriginal peoples are nations vested with the right of self-determination, and that federal, provincial, and territorial governments, through negotiations, provide Aboriginal nations with lands that are sufficient in size and quality to foster Aboriginal economic self-reliance and cultural and political autonomy.
  • Canada ensures its domestic laws, government policies and practices are fully consistent with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and implements immediate and effective measures to ensure indigenous children, young people and families are aware of their rights under the Convention.

The Inuit Way: A Guide to Inuit Cultures

Source: Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada
Focus: Senior students

Summary: The Inuit Way was originally published in 1989 by Pauktuutit Inuit Women’s Association. Early in the mandate, they recognized that a significant cultural gap existed between Inuit and non-Inuit in the Canadian Arctic. It had become apparent that non-Inuit were encountering challenges in some of their interactions with Inuit, challenges that had as their basis a lack of understanding and familiarity with our culture. Pauktuutit decided that a broader understanding of and empathy for Inuit culture would turn challenges into opportunities and enhance more positive interaction between members of both cultures.

The Inuit Way is much more than a simple introduction to traditional Inuit culture. It provides the reader a starting point for understanding the cultural underpinnings of modern Inuit. As a people, we have undergone immense changes in a generation. Despite the many changes our society has encountered, we retain strong ties to the land and our traditions. People coming to the north today see Inuit taking part in many aspects of modern life—working in an office environment, watching hockey on television, shopping at local stores, making political speeches. What they may not see at first is that Inuit continue to have a strong, unique culture that guides us in our everyday life— our close ties to the land, a dedication to community and a strong sense of self-reliance.

BC First Peoples Learning Resources: Books for Use in K-7 Classrooms

Source: developed by the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) and the First Nations Schools Association (FNSA) with assistance from the British Columbia Ministry of Education and support from the Education Partnerships Program of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.

Focus: K-7

Summary: The BC First Peoples Learning Resources: Books for Use in K-7 Classrooms was created to support BC elementary school teachers to make appropriate decisions about which First Peoples resources might be appropriate for use with your students. The annotated listings provided in this guide identify currently available authentic First Peoples texts that your students can work with to meet provincial standards related to literacy as well as a variety of specific subject areas.

This teacher resource guide, In Our Own Words: Bringing Authentic First Peoples Content to the K-3 Classroom (2012), has been developed to offer teachers information and guidance about how to incorporate authentic First Peoples materials into their instruction and assessment practices. Inside, you will find lesson plans, curriculum connections, assessment resources and suggested texts. This publication was developed by FNESC and FNSA, in collaboration with the BC Ministry of Education and support from the Education Partnerships Program of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

School Attendance and Retention of Australians

Source: Australian Government, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Australian Institute of Family Studies
Focus: Teachers

Summary: Engagement or participation in education is a key factor affecting the life chances of all Australians. It is particularly important for Indigenous Australians who have lower levels of educational attainment than non-Indigenous Australians.

  • Regular school attendance is important for achieving core skills, such as literacy and numeracy, and achieving adequate levels of education is one of the key factors that is likely to reduce Indigenous disadvantage.
  • A combination of home, school and individual factors is involved in students’ absence from school, although the relative importance of the various causes is contested:
    • parents and students tend to stress school-related factors (for example, poor teaching and failure to engage students); educators tend to stress parental attitudes and the home environment (for example, poor parental attitudes to school).

This paper provides information on the different approaches that have been used to improve attendance and/or retention including programs that:

  • Directly address attendance and /or retention for example through applying incentives or rewards for attendance or sanctions for non-attendance
  • Indirectly address attendance and retention issues, for example through attempts to improve literacy and numeracy outcomes
  • Improve teacher quality
  • Develop culturally relevant curriculum

Teaching for Ecological Sustainability: Incorporating Indigenous Philosophies and Practices

Source: Literacy Numeracy Secretariat and the Ontario Associations of Deans of Education
Focus: Teachers

Summary:With a renewed focus on environmental education in the Ontario curriculum, this monograph describes ways in which schools and teachers can incorporate Indigenous ecological perspectives in environmental education.

A Truthful Narrative

Source: Education Canada

Summary: This article provides educators with strategies to integrate First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) contributions into Kindergarten to Grade 12 classrooms. The self-esteem of FNMI learners and the fostering of relations with non-FNMI peoples benefits from this inclusionary approach. Building community with students by challenging stereotypes and providing a culturally rich lens that highlights the 500 Nations and their gifts is presented. Each level of education, from elementary to secondary, is briefly described with the appropriate FNMI terms, contributions and across-the-curriculum pedagogical opportunities. The developmental level of students is also a critical consideration in the presenting, positioning and acquisition of a broader and more truthful narrative about FNMI nations.


Source: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC)
Focus: Elementary and Secondary Students

Summary: Stories are fun and they tell us many important things about the people who first told them. Read or listen to the stories and learn more about your Aboriginal friends and neighbours! The stories are now available in audio format.

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