Source: Alberta Education. Aboriginal Services Branch and Learning and Teaching Resources Branch
Focus: Teachers, administrators
Summary: This resource will help classroom teachers and staff better serve the needs of their Aboriginal students. The process of development was one of consultation, information gathering, drafting, more consultation and re-drafting. The contributors to this resource include Aboriginal Elders, teachers and psychologists as well as other members of Alberta’s Aboriginal communities.
Culturally relevant approaches effectively serve the learning needs of Aboriginal students. The term Aboriginal refers to the descendants of the original inhabitants of North America. The Canadian Constitution recognizes three groups of Aboriginal peoples: First Nations, Métis and Inuit. Traditional and contemporary Aboriginal cultures offer a number of frameworks for understanding, guiding, learning from and teaching students.
The relationship between student and teacher is the heart of Aboriginal education. The teacher’s relationship with each student is based on observing and learning about the individual child and his or her unique learning needs in order to help the child grow holistically – spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. Education is very important to Aboriginal people. It is a key to the future for Aboriginal children and their families.
This resource offers information about Aboriginal cultures and perspectives, practical ideas, and sample strategies that will help teachers meet the needs and recognize the gifts of Aboriginal students. Many of the sample strategies are good for all students and are relevant for a range of educational settings and contexts.