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Issue #76
March, 2016

Treaty Education

Source: Government of Saskatchewan
Focus: Secondary Students

Summary: This section will provide a variety of links that are video, print-based, or web-based all in support of Treaty Education

Treaty Map:

These Treaty Guides provide a brief, easy to understand summary of each treaty along with available additional resources, including historical interpretations, transcripts, printer-friendly maps and photographs of the people who participated in the development or signing of these historical treaties. In addition, text from treaties as far back as the mid 1700’s to the early 1900’s is formatted and clearly typed for easy reading and printing.

Expedition Arctic

Source: Virtual Museum of Canada
Focus: Secondary Students

Summary: Take a journey to the Arctic, one of the richest and most spectacular places on earth, with students from Students on Ice and preeminent scientists from the Canadian Museum of Nature.

Towards a Further Understanding of What Indigenous People Have Always Known: Story-telling as the Basis of Good Pedagogy

Source: Jennifer Davis, University College of the North
Focus: Teachers and Researchers

Summary: We are living in a time when there is a growing interest in traditional wisdom across many areas of life. What Indigenous people have always known, and what the elders have taught for centuries is now being given a second and third look by various Western academics and scientists. The increased emphasis on natural medicines, holistic healing, the necessity of leading a balanced life, caring for the Earth, and acknowledging our global connections to each other and the universe as a whole, are only some examples of ‘new’ waves of thought that are rooted in ancient teachings. These topics fall under the modern disciplines of Medicine, Psychology, Anthropology, and Political Science, but Education is also experiencing a renewed interest in an ancient practice: that of storytelling. Over the last few years, more and more non-Aboriginal educators are joining their Aboriginal peers, hearing the whispers of narrative and being drawn into the circle of listening.

Residential School System in Canada: Understanding the Past – Seeking Reconciliation – Building Hope for Tomorrow

Source: Northwest Territories Education, Culture and Development
Focus: Teachers and Grade 10 students

Summary: Welcome to the Canadian residential schools module developed for use in Nunavut, the NWT, and beyond.

It is our hope that the information and activities in this module will give teachers and students the resources they need to examine the histories, memories, and impacts of the Canadian residential school system. Generations of Aboriginal peoples have been impacted by this system, and all Canadians have a part to play in learning about the past and in continuing to build more respectful relationships in the present and future.

The first section of this Teacher’s Guide includes background and overview information intended for teachers only. This section was developed to help teachers familiarize themselves with the Canadian and northern contexts for residential schools, which in some cases are similar and in other cases, somewhat different. Students will access this background information through the activities themselves.

The activities in this book were prepared and reviewed by educators, subject specialists, former residential school students, and leaders from both the NWT and Nunavut to ensure that they meet the needs of both students and teachers of grade 10. The teachers who participated in the pilot and those who used the first edition made many recommendations about how to prepare to deliver this module.

This resource consists of twelve activities, each of which helps students examine and develop an understanding of aspects of the history and legacy of the residential school system. It also helps students participate in the journey towards reconciliation.

Task Force Report on Aboriginal Students

Source: Saint Mary’s University
Focus: Senior Students, Teachers, Administrators

Summary: The disappearance and murder of Saint Mary’s University student Loretta Saunders in February 2014 captured national media attention. Ms. Saunders’ murder highlighted the tragedy of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada. As a student, Ms. Saunders’ experience also highlighted significant gaps in the programs and services available to Aboriginal students at Saint Mary’s University. The murder of Loretta Saunders served as a catalyst for students, staff, faculty and administration to begin the process of building a better university experience for Aboriginal students.

At the Loretta Saunders Memorial Service, the President of Saint Mary’s, Dr. J. Colin Dodds, committed to establishing a Task Force to provide guidance on how the Saint Mary’s University community could enhance learning opportunities and the education experience for Aboriginal students. The Task Force completed its work during the Spring and Summer of 2014. The Task Force report has been organized around three major, and interconnected questions:

  1. What are the structural/foundational elements upon which Saint Mary’s University can start to build institutional transformation?
  2. How does Saint Mary’s University engage and support success among aboriginal learners, including those in university and those who aspire to attend?
  3. How do we indigenize the academy?

Enhancing the learning opportunities and education experience of Aboriginal students will include space, staff, resources and a sustained commitment to cultural change. The seventeen recommendations contained in this report describe both concrete steps that can be taken immediately and longer-term goals that will promote positive cultural change, in collaboration with Aboriginal communities. The report is pragmatic and can lead to immediate action.

Building Leaders: Early Childhood Development in Indigenous Communities

Source: Canada’s Public Policy Forum / Forum Des Politiques Publiques du Canada Halifax Roundtable Summary 2015

Summary: In the summer of 2014, Canada’s Public Policy Forum launched Building Leaders: Early Childhood Development in Indigenous Communities, a national initiative to advance early childhood development (ECD) in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities. As part of this project, the Forum is convening a series of multi-sector round tables across the country to explore opportunities for enhancing the outcomes of ECD programs in Indigenous communities.

On January 22, 2015, the Forum convened a round table in Halifax. Hosted by Dalhousie University, this invitation-only event brought together a small group of ECD practitioners, policymakers, academics, and community leaders to share best practices, key challenges, and new avenues for greater impact.

Learning Circles: Curriculum Links for Ontario Teachers

Source: Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO)
Focus: Grades 3-6


The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario has created curriculum support resource material, “Learning Circles – Grades 3-6, Curriculum Links for Ontario Teachers”. This resource material was developed in partnership with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC). ETFO developed its curriculum support resource material as a companion document to INAC’s teacher resource package, “The Learning Circle, Classroom Activities on First Nations in Canada – Ages 8-11”. Both documents must be used together. In so doing, teachers and their students will maximize their experience using the tools, techniques and strategies outlined within an Ontario context.

While the target group for these resources is Grades 3-6 Ontario teachers, these materials can be adapted to suit students in other grades, as well as classrooms beyond the province of Ontario. By using these resources, all students will benefit from participating in meaningful experiences that broaden their knowledge and understanding of First Nations in Canada.

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