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Issue #79
June, 2016

English First Peoples

Source: First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC)
Focus: Secondary Students

Summary: English First Peoples (EFP) is an exciting addition to the high school curriculum that offers students of all backgrounds the opportunity to explore First Peoples’ worldviews through literature, founded on the First Peoples Principles of Learning.

The courses have been developed in a unique, collaborative way by First Nations educators and the BC Ministry of Education. They are a direct result of the First Nations education jurisdiction agreements reached in BC and FNESC has facilitated the course development from the very beginning.

Project of the Heart – Illuminating the History of Residential Schools in BC

Source: The BC Teachers’ Federation: Educating for truth and reconciliation
Focus Secondary students

Summary: For more than a century and a half, Aboriginal children across Canada were stolen from loving homes and healthy communities and forced into residential schools under a government policy to assimilate Indigenous people. As a top government official said at the time, the system was “geared towards the Final Solution to the Indian problem.” It was expressly designed “to kill the Indian in the child.”

In British Columbia, there were at least 22 residential schools mandated by the federal government and operated by the Roman Catholic, Methodist, Anglican, Presbyterian, and United Churches of Canada. Attendance at residential schools was made mandatory by law and parents who refused to send their children were threatened with fines or imprisonment.

This publication is dedicated to the more than 150,000 Aboriginal children across Canada who endured the Indian Residential School system, and to the memory of at least 6,000 children who perished in it.

Our goals are to honour the survivors and their families, and to help educate Canadians about the atrocious history and ongoing legacy of residential schools. Only when we understand our shared history can we move forward together in a spirit of reconciliation.

Aboriginal Worldviews and Perspectives in the Classroom: Moving Forward

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

Summary: The Province of British Columbia (BC) … is embedding Aboriginal perspectives into all parts of the curriculum in a meaningful and authentic manner; this includes extending Aboriginal perspectives into the entire learning journey. From Kindergarten to graduation, students will experience Aboriginal perspectives and understandings as an integrated part of what they are learning.

In order to better support this initiative, educators within the BC school system have asked for guidance and support that addresses the following questions:

  • What is meant by Aboriginal education and by Aboriginal worldviews and perspectives?
  • What is required of them and of the education system in order to provide appropriate and authentic teaching in line with the First Peoples Principles of Learning? For example, what changes can they usefully make in their pedagogical practices? What learning resources should they be using with students?
  • Where can they turn for guidance and support in modifying their practice to incorporate new content and approaches (some educators have expressed concern about missteps in attempting to incorporate Aboriginal perspectives and knowledge into their practice)?

This resource is designed to help address some of these questions.

Elders in Schools Handbook. A Guide for District Education Authorities and Divisional Education Councils in the Northwest Territories

Source: Government of the NWT – Education, Culture and Development
Focus: Elementary and Secondary Students

Summary: Leadership and education offered by Elders is a key ingredient in building a school system that:

  • is substantially shaped by traditional knowledge and experiences,
  • reflects local needs and values, and
  • supports life-long learning.

Elders, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, pass on knowledge intergenerationally through their wisdom and stories. Elders will participate in the instruction of school programs, collaboratively and with the support of the school staff and classroom teachers.

Elder involvement in educational programs can help teachers to become familiar with Aboriginal ways of knowing and doing. Elders can also help strengthen the relationships between teachers and their students and parents and the community at large. Elders will not replace teachers, instructs or supervise students without assistance.

Canadian Inuit Community Engagement in Suicide Prevention

Source: Michael J. Kral, Patricia K. Wiebe, Kari Nisbet, Catherine Dallas, Looee Okalik, Nubiya Enuaraq, James Cinotta, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign & University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. Health Canada, Ottawa, Canada. Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Ottawa, Canada.
Focus: Educators and Community Workers


Objectives – To review suicide patterns among Inuit in Canada and highlight new developments in Inuit-driven and community-based suicide prevention.

Study design – Narrative overview of suicide among Inuit in Canada, strides towards Inuit autonomy, and community and government action towards suicide prevention.

Methods – Review of Inuit meanings of mental health, movements towards Inuit control across Inuit Nunaat (the 4 Inuit regions) of Canada, and of community and government action towards suicide prevention.

Results – Economic advancement is occurring in Inuit Nunaat following land claim settlements, and territorial and provincial governments are overseeing Inuit well-being. Inuit community engagement in suicide prevention is taking place and studies are being planned to evaluate the efficacy of such action for suicide prevention and community mental health. Initial evidence demonstrates that community control over suicide prevention itself can be effective towards preventing suicide.

Indian Residential Schools and Reconciliation Resources – Grades 5 and 10-12

Source: FNESC

Summary: The Indian Residential Schools and Reconciliation Teacher Resource Guides, developed by the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) and the First Nations Schools Association (FNSA), were inspired by the interim report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s recommendation that departments of education develop age-appropriate educational materials about residential schools for use in public and First Nations schools.

These unique, British Columbia (BC) specific resources for Grades 5, 10, 11 and 12 are intended for all students and use literature, archival resources, and videos to increase students’ under-standing of the historical context of residential schools and to promote awareness and engagement in the reconciliation process.

The development of these resource guides was informed by an advisory committee of FNESC, FNSA, Ministry of Education, and BC Teachers’ Federation representatives. The instructional materials include a wealth of lesson plans, suggestions for student activities, reproducible black line masters, videos and archival materials. The units and lessons support the BC Ministry of Education curriculum learning standards. In addition, due to the nature of the subject matter, the resources contain suggestions for how to deal sensitively with the topic of residential schools.

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