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Issue #71
October, 2015

Shkoday Abinojiiwak Obimiwedoon – A Holistic Study of the Biwaase’aa Program on Participating Students in Thunder Bay – 2014

Source: Julian Kitchen, John Hodson & Erin Hodson
Focus: Teachers and community care-workers

Summary: The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of the four major focuses of Biwaase’aa: Cul-tural Activities = Spiritual, Structured Activities = Emotional, Academic Activities = Mental, Food Security Activities = Physical through the experiences of Grade 6 Aboriginal students en-rolled in Biwaase’aa for a minimum of two to a maximum of three years.

The objectives of the study are:

  1. To qualitatively assess the impact of the Biwaase’aa Cultural Activities—including Cultural Teachings, Pow Wows, Singing, Regalia & Dance, and Curriculum Supplementation—on the spiritual well-being of participating students.
  2. To qualitatively assess the impact of the Biwaase’aa Structured Activities—including Field Trips, Life Skill Courses, Role Models/Mentors, and Girl Power—on the emotional well- being of participating students.
  3. To quantitatively assess the impact of the Biwaase’aa Academic Activities—including Litera-cy Enhancement, Numeracy Enhancement, and Homework Support—on the mental well-being of participating students.
  4. To qualitatively assess the impact of the Biwaase’aa Food Security Activities—including: Healthy Supplements, Traditional Teachings, Kids Can Cook, and Sports Activities—on the physical well-being of participating students.

Aboriginal Report 2009-10 2012-13 – How Are We Doing?

Source: British Columbia Ministry of Education
Focus: Teachers and Administrators

Summary: The Aboriginal “How Are We Doing?” report provides information about Aboriginal student (including adult) performance in public schools.

You will notice that there are changes to historical and trend data. Once a student has self-identified as being of Aboriginal ancestry, the student is included in all reported outcomes for Aboriginal students. This approach to tracking student outcomes and demographics will correct inconsistent self-identification of Aboriginal students from year to year. In the past, there were occurrences of students identifying as Aboriginal in multiple school years, and then not identifying when they moved to a new school or enrolled in senior grades.

The report includes Aboriginal students who have self-identified as being of Aboriginal ancestry (First Nations: status and non-status; Métis, and Inuit) on September 30th. You will notice changes to historical and trend data. Once a student has self-identified as being of Aboriginal ancestry, the student is included in all reported outcomes for Aboriginal students.

Since Time Immemorial – Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State

Source: Office of Native Education Washington State
Focus: Elementary/Secondary students

Summary: This site houses resources, materials, lessons, and entire units to support the teaching of tribal sovereignty, tribal history, and current tribal issues (within the context of OSPI recommended units for Washington and US history in the elementary and middle school levels and US history and Contemporary World Issues in the high school level). Select the curriculum menu item and select your grade level to connect yourself to a wealth of information, videos, and resources surrounding what was and is happening in Indian country.

Infinity of Nations: Cultural Quest

Source: Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
Focus: Intermediate/Senior students

Summary: Travel to each region on the map, and complete the activity. You will gain specific knowledge about a Native nation, its environment, and an object. For each activity you complete, you will earn a badge that proves your knowledge. Collect all ten badges to become an Infinity of Nations Culture Quest Leader.

Engaging First Nations Parents in Education: An Examination of Best Practices

Source: Lise Chabot
Focus: Parents and Community Workers

Summary: Parental involvement in education is not a concept that is distinct to First Nations people in North America nor is it a struggle that only First Nations people embark upon. What distinguishes the First Nations situation from others is the culture, languages and world view that they bring to the equation – none of which exist anywhere else in the world – and the number of stakeholders – departments, ministries, school boards – that must be cajoled to realize First Nations’ goals. These groups have posed and will continue to pose the biggest challenge to accomplishing a meaningful degree of parental and community involvement in First Nations education. At the same time, however, given the difficult realities these same groups are now encountering in the realm of education, they may also prove to be our greatest allies.

Aboriginals: Treaties and Relations

Source: Canada in the Making
Focus: Secondary Students

Summary: Since the time of European First Contact, the course of Aboriginal history in Canada has been deeply altered by relations with Europeans and the laws they imposed on Aboriginals – laws like the Indian Act. Furthermore, major and minor treaties played a significant and important role in charting the course of European-Aboriginal relations within the country.

This section of the Canada in the Making site looks at these treaties and laws, and the events that preceded and followed these changes.
1492 – 1779: From First Contact to the Peace and Friendship Treaties
1763 – 1791: Royal Proclamation (1763) and Québec Act (1774)
1764 – 1836: Pre-Confederation Treaties I
1811 – 1867: Pre-Confederation Treaties II
1867 – 1870: British North America Act, 1867 and Sale of Selkirk Treaty Lands (1869)
1871 – 1875: First Five Numbered Treaties
1876 – 1877: The Indian Act, 1876 and Numbered Treaties Six and Seven
1878 – 1898: Deculturation
1899 – 1922: Last of the Numbered Treaties
1923 – 1950: Williams Treaties and Land Transfer Agreements
1951 – 1981: Aboriginal Rights Movement
1982 – 2003: Constitutional Reforms and Crises

Buffalo Gone: Appreciating Natural Resources

Source: Canada’s History. Ken Marland, 2002 Governor-General’s Award Recipient
Focus: Grade 3 History, Math, Geography, Social Studies, Environmental Science

Summary: This lesson is one example taken from a unit on the Plains Bison and First Nations People. As part of this unit, the students observed bison in their natural setting, built a life-sized sculpture of a bison, and researched and recreated artifacts and activities related to the hunt. Students also prepared and presented a 45-minute drama at the Children’s Festival using masks, hides and other props. The drama explained the habits of the bison, the relationship between the bison and First Nations people, and the arrival of the Europeans.
Part of understanding the bison is knowing that millions of them once lived on the prairies. Most people have difficulty conceptualizing large numbers. The students learned that over 60,000,000 bison once roamed the great plains of North America. They also learned that by the late 1800s, there were only 18-35 animals left. The students could recite this information but they could not comprehend such an enormous loss.

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