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Issue #68
July, 2015

Raising achievement in primary schools: How innovative schools improved equity of out-comes

Source: Education Review Office, NZ
Focus: Teachers and researchers

Summary: Innovative schools had focused on inequity within their student populations and had improved outcomes for individual Māori and Pacific students. Teachers and leaders in these schools used effective teaching and leadership strategies, provided a rich curriculum and built high quality re-lationships in their response to underachievement. This section includes examples of two schools’ responses. The following section includes more detailed examples of what schools did to acceler-ate progress for individual Māori and Pacific students.

Mentors, Ventures and Plans – The Spirit Lives

Source: Kwakiutl District Council, Wawatay Native Communications Society Inc., and a nationwide network of Aboriginal advisors
Focus: Secondary Students

Summary: The Spirit Lives is a series of six half-hour video programs and a 72-page User’s Guide for Aboriginal teachers, trainers, and economic development officers to assist in the delivery of entrepreneurship instruction.

The videos profile approximately 30 Aboriginal entrepreneurs who were selected through a process involving input from a nationwide network of aboriginal advisors representing business, education, and economic development. The entrepreneurs profiled have created and launched new, innovative ventures through traditional and non-traditional enterprises. They reflect a wide variety of Aboriginal people, languages, and cultures and include male, female, old, young, rural, and urban case studies.

Wiiji Kakendaasodaa: Let’s All Learn

Source: Julia O’Sullivan, PhD Chief Advisor to Wiiji Kakendaasodaa
Focus: Researchers

Summary: Wiiji Kakendaasodaa was a four-year (2010 to 2014) project designed to improve student achievement in reading and writing.

  • Reading and writing are essential for school success
  • At the age of 9 or 10, students need to read well enough to learn from text and to write what they know and think, or they risk falling behind in all areas in school
  • Reading proficiency at the age of 9 or 10 is the most reliable school-based predictor of high school graduation

Partners in the project were:

  • Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation
  • Walpole Island First Nation
  • Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative
  • Pathy Family Foundation and the Lawrence and Judith Tanenbaum Foundation
  • Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto


Source: M’Chigeeng First Nation
Focus: Teachers, educators, those interested in learning Ojibwe

Summary: Baadwewedamojig “Those that come sounding” is a project to convert Volume 1 of Ojibwe Texts, collected by William Jones, from the obsolete phonetic orthography into the current Fiero (aka double vowel) orthography. This collection of Ojibwe stories written in the Ojibwe language is a treasure that should be shared with Ojibwe (Anishinaabemowin) language learners, teachers, and scholars. This website has some of the transliterated texts as well as some audio files so that students can hear the words spoken. More transliterated texts and their audio files will be added as they are processed.

Baadwewedamojig started when Dr. Alana Johns met Alan Corbiere at a meeting and asked if students enrolled in Fall 2012 offering of the University of Toronto Linguistics Department course Language Revitalization (LIN458) could assist in any projects. Mr. Corbiere had been working on a long term project transliterating the texts collected by Fox Linguist William Jones, and said that the students could assist in transliterating the stories collected. The Revitalizing Languages course prepared these students to understand the complex issues that communities and language activists within these communities face, in their efforts to strengthen their language.

Success Stories – Education Partnership Programs

Source: First Nations Education Council 2014
Focus: Schools and Communities

Summary: The goal of the Education Partnerships Program (EPP), launched in 2012, is to encourage First Nations communities in establishing important partnerships with schools, school boards, or other educational organizations. First Nations communities were called on to develop activities to facilitate the school transition for students.

The First Nations Education Council (FNEC) is proud to present these success stories from its participating member communities. Readers will see how communities have actively taken advantage of this program to organize engaging activities to support First Nations youth.

Storm Spirits – Aboriginal New Media Art

Source: Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC)
Focus: Secondary Students

Summary: Storm Spirits is the newest project of the Urban Shaman Gallery (Winnipeg). Urban Shaman is a public not-for-profit art gallery mandated for the exhibition, dissemination and articulation of contemporary art by Canadian and international Aboriginal artists.

New media work is increasingly taking its place as fine art medium. However, new media by its nature is best contextualized in a computer/digital based environment. By creating gallery spaces not constrained by the “white cube” of traditional arts institutions, we allow for the work to be exhibited and disseminated within its own contextual environment.

Learning, Growing and Leading 2012

Source: Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre and Vancouver Island University Aboriginal Early Childhood Development, Linda McDonell and Danielle Alphonse
Focus: Agencies and Policy Makers

Summary: In the late Spring 2011, Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre (Tillicum Lelum) approached the Aboriginal Early Childhood Development (AECD) Regional Innovation Chair at Vancouver Island University (VIU) to propose the two organizations work together on a project that would examine current research and trends in AECD related to two specific areas. Tillicum Lelum and VIU agreed to undertake a collaborative project that would incorporate the following goals:

  1. Developing a collaborative, community-based model on which to build culturally relevant AECD programs and services at Tillicum Lelum (in partnership with VIU and other organizations and agencies).
  2. Identifying a culturally relevant, holistic, philosophical framework for AECD programs and services that appropriately reflect the values of Tillicum Lelum and the community they serve.

The research and information gathering process included the following:

  • A literature review of unique management models in AECD and of current trends in theoretical frameworks that guide service delivery for young children and their families.
  • A survey of managers of selected AECD services/programs in the Vancouver Island region and other areas of BC to explore unique management models of service delivery and the values and ideals that guide those programs
  • A focus group discussion that explores the needs of the Tillicum Lelum community members such as Elders, parents and extended family, caregivers, and others. Participants share ideas about types of services needed for children and their families and the features of good quality AECD services.
  • After the information gathering process, recommendations are proposed regarding options for the management and philosophical framework that will guide Tillicum Lelum’s AECD work at their new facility.

A number of recommendations were made that were based on the research undertaken and were believed to influence the type of programs/services provided as well as the quality of those programs/services.

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