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Issue #65
April, 2015

Solid Kids

Source: Led by the Child Health Promotion Research Centre (CHPRC) in partnership with the Combined Universities Centre for Rural Health (CUCRH) and the Telethon Institute for Child Health Re-search (TICHR).

Summary: In Australia, there is much information about bullying among non-Aboriginal school-aged children and young people. However, there is very little information about the bullying experiences of Aboriginal children. This makes it difficult to help Yamaji kids involved in bullying. From 2006-2009 the Solid Kids, Solid Schools project worked with Yamaji communities in Western Australia to find out about bullying experiences. Aboriginal community members of all ages (Elders, children and young people, parents and carers, and Aboriginal school staff) talked with us about bullying actions, why they think bullying happens, and how it feels to be Aboriginal and bullied.

Indigenizing the Curriculum: The Importance of Story

Source: Helen Armstrong, Brandon University
Focus: Teachers and Researchers

Summary: This article tells a more academic story of a research program funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), under their Community University Research Alliance (CURA) initiative. Our program, entitled Community Based Aboriginal- Based Curricu-lum Initiatives received funding from 2005 to 2012. There are interrelated stories, but the focus is on the importance of story for indigenizing the curriculum and making a difference in schools for all children and youth as they learn about First Peoples. Addressing how the hegemonic story of Aboriginal peoples has been created in North America is important in providing the initial framework for this story of our research.

Transition Guide: Strengthening Transitions for First Nations Métis and Inuit (FNMI) Students at TVDSB

Source: Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB)
Focus: Teachers and Resource staff

Summary: Thames Valley DSB identified seven most common transition points that FNMI students may face at different phases of their educational experience and has provided best practices and additional resources to support students in these transitions.

1.     Home to Elementary School

The first entry point into formal education is when a child is starting school for the first time. Therefore, effective transitioning at this stage helps children and their families feel comfortable, valued and more successful in school.

2.     Federal (First Nations school) to Provincial (TVDSB school)

Many First Nations communities across Canada govern their own education through federal funding provided by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC). As a result, many First Nations set local education policy and manage their own operations by running their own elementary schools (and some secondary schools) on the First Nation. Should a First Nation community not be in a position to provide a level of education (e.g., secondary), they will arrange to send their students to provincially funded and publicly operated elementary and secondary schools at different points of entry.

3.     Provincial (public school) to Provincial (TVDSB school)

According to Ontario’s Ministry of Education, “seventy-eight percent of the Aboriginal population live off-reserve, with 61% living in urban centres” (FNMI Policy Framework, 2007).

4.     Grade 8 to Grade 9

The transition from elementary to secondary school is widely recognized as a challenge for most students. However, in addition to these demands, FNMI students may face dramatic cultural shifts and changes in jurisdictions.

5.     Early Departure

Many students complete high school by the age of 18. However, for many different reasons some students leave school early to return later. For many students, Alternative Education can be considered a second chance as well as a change from the mainstream system’s larger classes.

6.     Secondary to Workplace

Many secondary students choose direct pathways into the workforce upon completion of their diploma.

7.     Secondary to Post-Secondary

The transition from secondary to post secondary is one of the most exciting times in a young person’s life. Research indicates that many FNMI students face delayed transitions between secondary and post-secondary when compared to non-FNMI students

Aboriginal Documentary Heritage

Source: Library and Archives Canada

Summary: Welcome to Aboriginal Documentary Heritage: Historical Collections of the Canadian Government. This Web exhibition recounts first-hand information illustrating the complex and often contentious relationship between the Canadian government and Canada’s Aboriginal People from the late 1700s to the mid-20th century.

The website presents three thematic sections with essays and selected documents about the Red and Black Series (the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs’ administrative records of Aboriginal people from 1872 to the 1950s), Treaties, Surrenders and Agreements, and Aboriginal Soldiers in the First World War. The site also features searchable databases of digitized records from the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs (RG 10) and the soldiers of the First World War, as well as a Gallery with select images for each of the three sections. Please note, the database for the First World War includes every individual in Canada who served in this war. Aboriginal soldiers can be searched by their given names and surnames, and regiment numbers.

The Learning Circle: Five Voices of Aboriginal Youth in Canada – A Learning Resource for ages 14 to 16

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

Summary: Five Voices of Aboriginal Youth in Canada is the product of a series of 15 interviews from five different Aboriginal communities across Canada—three youth in each community. The interviews, conducted by a team from McGill University, were tape recorded and then synthesized to produce five narratives, each drawing accurately from the three youth responses to the interview questions in that community. Following this, an educational team created a selection of education activities to complement the narratives, and a number of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal experts in education and in First Nations and Inuit cultures reviewed the document. Before finalizing this written resource, it was also reviewed by panels of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth and by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal educators to gauge the effectiveness of the material in terms of cultural accuracy, youth engagement, readability and potential for acquired awareness. The suggestions and comments gathered from these panel reviews were then incorporated into the original document to generate the final publication.

As an interdisciplinary, student-centred educational unit, this document is designed to enhance the understanding non-Aboriginal students have regarding issues and realities facing First Nations and Inuit youth today. The depth and complexity of the issues, history and cultures of First Nations and Inuit are not completely presented in these narratives. It is recommended that educators and students pursue and investigate additional resources to deepen and broaden their understanding.

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; as well as 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.

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