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Issue #9
August, 2010

A Study of Aboriginal Teachers’ Professional Knowledge and Experience in Canadian Schools: March 2010

Source: Canadian Teachers’ Federation supported by the Canadian Council on Learning. Lead Writer: Verna St. Denis, University of Saskatchewan
Focus: Teachers and the broader community

Summary: This qualitative study, initiated by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation and its Advisory Committee on Aboriginal Education, explored the professional knowledge and experiences of Aboriginal (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) teachers. The rationale for the study was to address the urgent need to improve and promote Aboriginal education in public schools. This study asks the question: what can we learn from the professional knowledge and experiences of Aboriginal teachers who teach in public schools about how to better promote and support the success of Aboriginal education in public schools? The continuing goal of this study is to promote on-going dialogue and learning about Aboriginal education within teacher organizations and the broader educational community.

Using Aboriginal Media Sources to enhance History or Aboriginal Studies

Source: A collaboration between Saskatoon Catholic Schools, Saskatoon Public Schools, Aboriginal Multi-Media Society, Eagle Feather News and Indian and Métis Education Development Grant
Focus: Senior History and Aboriginal Studies

Summary: This site presents a series of activities requiring the students to act as researchers. The tasks focus on five areas that are necessary in order for the students to have a foundational understanding of Aboriginal peoples in an historical context and as present contributors to Canadian society. Students can use a variety of strategies to present their understandings.

The five areas are:

  1. Aboriginal & Treaty Rights
  2. Governance
  3. Land Claims & Treaty Land Entitlements
  4. Economic Development
  5. Social Development

Teaching Treaties in the Classroom: A Treaty Resource Guide for Kindergarten to Grade 6 (2008)

Source: Saskatchewan Ministry of Education
Focus: Primary/Junior teachers

Summary: This documentrepresents the Saskatchewan Government’s commitment to strengthen K-12 education by undertaking a number of initiatives. One of these initiatives is to “ensure that Treaty education is made mandatory in the K-12 curriculum”.

To support mandatory Treaty education, the Ministry of Education worked with the Office of the Treaty Commissioner to develop Teaching Treaties in the Classroom: A Treaty Resource Guide for Kindergarten to Grade 6 (2008). This resource guide supports the achievement of the Goals of Education for Saskatchewan.

Career Trek

Source: University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg, and Red River College, British Columbia – change to Career Trek Inc
Focus: 10-11 year old students with perceived barriers to entering post-secondary education.

Summary: Career Trek is a not-for-profit organization that provides innovative educational programming for young people with perceived barriers to entering post-secondary education. The program is designed to educate students (and their families) about the importance of staying in school, aspiring to a post-secondary education and career options.

Each September select schools and community groups nominate candidates for the Career Trek program. These groups have been previously selected by the program for their ability to provide young people who meet the program’s admission criteria. From the nominees, Career Trek then selects its participants. The number of young people chosen for the primary program is 240.

Program participants are nominated on the basis of simple criteria: first that the individual has, in the estimation of the sponsoring school or organization, the potential for going on and completing a post-secondary education, while recognizing that the young person in question is in danger of not doing so. The nominee may be at-risk of not pursuing a post-secondary education for any number of reasons, including such factors as socio-economic status, gender, disability, lifestyle, transiency, or attitude towards school. As well, nominated participants must be in a position to attend and make the time commitment required to complete the program. Finally, participants must show respect for all fellow participants and staff.

The Career Trek program runs for 20 Saturdays, October to April. Each group starts at one of the three participating institutions: the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg, and Red River College where it remains for five Saturdays (one “term”). At the conclusion of 5 weeks, each group rotates to a new set of departments/faculties. In total, the participants receive 80 hours of direct programming. At each institution, participants spend 4 hours a day in hands-on programming. These 4 hours are divided equally between 4 select departments, programs or faculties. Participating departments, programs and faculties are chosen on the basis of their enthusiasm for the program and its client group, as well as their ability to provide an excellent curriculum. Activities are designed and modified to meet the needs of the individual age groups and lecturing is kept to a minimum. Classes are engaging, hands-on and innovative and are designed to increase participants’ awareness about a particular field, and its associated careers. All activities are structured to maximize those skills generally accepted to be vital to the changing workforce. Career Trek is a “homework-free” zone.

The cost to participants for enrolling in Career Trek is $20 per term (4 terms). Participants must pay their first $20 before entering the program. However, if a student remains in the program, the first term payment is “rolled over” and used to pay for the second term. This process is repeated for the third term and fourth terms. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are then provided with a yearbook of their experiences.

iPortal – Indigenous Studies Portal Research Tool

Source: University of Saskatchewan

Summary: The Indigenous Studies Portal (iPortal) connects faculty, students, researchers and members of the community with electronic resources: books, articles, theses, documents, photographs, archival resources, maps, etc. The vision of the Indigenous Studies Portal is to provide one place to look to find resources for Indigenous studies.

The Indigenous Studies Portal is an initiative of the University of Saskatchewan Library. As of July, 2009, the iPortal has more than 17,000 records, including the Our Legacy archival records recently harvested. This includes photos, anthropological field notes, diaries, correspondence and other textual documents.

The iPortal also links to Indigenous programs and events at the University of Saskatchewan.

Alaska Native Knowledge Network

Source: Alaska Native Science Commission

Summary: This site provides background information on the role and activities of the Alaska Native Science Commission as it relates to science research policies and practices impacting Alaska Native people.

The site is designed to serve as a resource for compiling and exchanging information related to Alaska Native knowledge systems and ways of knowing. It has been established to assist Native people, government agencies, educators and the general public in gaining access to the knowledge base that Alaska Natives have acquired through cumulative experience over millennia.

Aboriginal Documentary Heritage: Historical Collections of the Canadian Government

Source: Canadian Memory Fund of Canadian Culture Online, Department of Canadian Heritage, Library and Archives Canada
Focus: Secondary Students and Teachers

Summary: This Web exhibition recounts first-hand information illustrating the complex and often contentious relationship between the Canadian government and Canada’s Aboriginal people from the late 1700s to the mid-20th century.

The website presents three thematic sections with essays and selected documents about the Red and Black Series (the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs’ administrative records of Aboriginal people from 1872 to the 1950s), Treaties, Surrenders and Agreements, and Aboriginal Soldiers in the First World War. The site features searchable databases of digitized records from the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs and the soldiers of the First World War.

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