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Issue #84
November, 2016

Shameful Neglect: Indigenous Children in Poverty in Canada

Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, May 2016

Summary: A recent surge of suicide attempts in the Cree community of Attawapiskat, Ontario drew national attention to the effects that poor living conditions and housing shortages have on Indigenous children. The outrageous reality is that the majority of children on Indigenous reserves in Canada live in poverty and their situation is getting worse. This report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives includes poverty rates on reserves and in the territories, something never before examined using the 2011 National Household Survey data. The most recently available data show that child poverty rates for status Indigenous children living on reserves rose to a staggering 60% in 2010. By contrast, poverty rates among Indigenous children living off reserve have improved somewhat, while non-Indigenous children have seen little change to their circumstances since 2005.

Contemporary Inuit Sculpture

Source: National Gallery of Canada
Focus: Secondary students

Summary: This lesson plan focuses on contemporary Inuit sculpture, dating from 1973. It presents the diverse thematic and aesthetic approaches to art making in the North.

This lesson presents 10 Inuit artists whose work reflects traditions that are thousands of years old at the same time that they bear witness to a culture that is alive and well, and in full transition today.

Learning to Read – Reading to Learn: Why third grade is a pivotal year for mastering literacy

Source: A White Paper by the Center for Public Education with the Black Council of School Board Members, Hispanic Council of School Board Members, National Caucus of American Indian/Alaska Native School Board Members and Council of Urban Boards of Education
Focus: Primary teachers and parents

Summary: The research is clear: if children cannot read proficiently by the end of third grade, they face daunting hurdles to success in school and beyond. Third grade marks a pivot point in reading. In fourth grade, students begin encountering a wider variety of texts. By then, able readers have learned to extract and analyze new information and expand their vocabularies by reading (O’Brien, 2008). But struggling readers rarely catch up with their peers academically and are four times more likely to drop out of high school, lowering their earning power as adults and possibly costing society in welfare and other supports (Hernandez, 2011).

Labrador Inuit through Moravian Eyes

Source: Canadian Heritage
Focus: Grades 7-10

Summary: This site provides information on the 250-year relationship between Moravian missionaries and the Inuit of Labrador. This interaction led to the establishment of settlements for a formerly nomadic people, their conversion to Christianity and exposure to aspects of North American culture. The information has been gathered from a variety of sources that shed light upon this unique adventure.

Canada’s Dynamic Communities: Inuit Stories

Source: Canada’s History. Amy Park, 2010 Governor-General’s Award Recipient
Focus: Grade 2

Summary: Storytelling is the oldest of the arts. It defines us, and brings us together in ways that no other form of expression does. Through this study, we will begin to discover our own personal and family histories, as well as the story threads that hold communities together throughout Canada.

Through a close examination of the artifacts and traces of history that our ancestors have left behind, we will attempt to discover the important narratives that will help guide us into the future. Travel with us as we uncover the lessons from the past and begin to understand how the stories of our ancestors have helped shape the communities of today.

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