Educational Resources

Search Resources:
Browse Resource Categories:

Issue #93
August, 2017

Mishchet aen kishkayhtamihk nawut ki wiichiihtonaan: Bridging the Aboriginal Education Gap in Saskatchewan

Source: Gabriel Dumont Institute, of Native Studies and Applied Research,  Eric Howe 

Summary: Bridging the Aboriginal education gap is the most significant economic challenge confronting Saskatchewan. It is also our greatest economic opportunity.

Where else in the developed world can so much money be made just from successfully creating the conditions that encourage a group of people to complete high school? Of course, even more money will be made if they also successfully go beyond high school, but high school is a lucrative start.

This study defines Saskatchewan’s Aboriginal education gap as the difference between the actu-al educational attainment of Aboriginal people and what the level would be if they had the same average levels of educational attainment as non-Aboriginal people. The definition uses current population levels. However, the Aboriginal population is disproportionately young with a high fertility rate, so it is growing rapidly. If account were taken of future populations, the economic benefit of bridging the Aboriginal education gap would be an order of magnitude larger.

The definition of the Aboriginal education gap avoids questions associated with the adequacy of the educational level of non-Aboriginal people. Saskatchewan’s levels of educational attainment trail behind the Canadian average and that of most other provinces. In fact, we need for the educational levels of Aboriginal people to exceed, not equal, the current educational level of the non-Aboriginal population. If account were taken of the inadequacy of non-Aboriginal educational levels, the Aboriginal education gap would have been even larger, as would the economic benefit of bridging it. 

Increasing School Success Among Aboriginal Students: Culturally Responsive Curriculum or Macrostructural Variables Affecting Schooling?

Source: Yatta Kanu (2007), Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education, 1:1, 21-41, 2007

Summary: Aspects of Aboriginal cultural knowledge/perspectives were integrated into the Grade 9 social studies curriculum of a high school in a western Canadian city to appraise the impact on academic achievement, class attendance, and school retention among specific groups of Aboriginal students. The results suggest cautious optimism about increasing academic achievement among these students by integrating Aboriginal perspectives. Significantly, however, the study suggests that culturally responsive curriculum and pedagogy alone cannot provide a functional and effective agenda in reversing achievement trends among Aboriginal students. A holistic and comprehensive approach that also takes into account larger social, economic, and political variables affecting schooling may provide a more meaningful and lasting intervention.

Aboriginal Statistics at a Glance

Source: Statistics Canada 

Summary: Aboriginal Statistics at a Glance provides data users with a thematic guide to Aboriginal data at Statistics Canada. It includes data for the First Nations (North American Indian), Métis, and Inuit populations. Each theme is illustrated with a chart presenting key indicators, a plain language definition of the indicator and links to related data tables and published articles to further assist users in meeting their data needs. Data sources include the 1996, 2001 and 2006 censuses of population, the 2006 Aboriginal Peoples Survey, the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey, and the 2007/2008 Adult Correctional Services Survey.

The Health, School, and Social Outcomes of Off-Reserve First Nations Children of Teenage Mothers

Source: Anne Guèvremont, Dafna Kohen, Aboriginal Policy Studies, University of Alberta

Summary: Children of teenage mothers differ in their health, social, and educational outcomes compared to children of older mothers. Even though the teen birth rate for First Nations women in Canada is higher than the national teen birth rate, there has been little research examining the outcomes of off-reserve First Nations children born to mothers who began childbearing in their teen years. Using data from the 2006 Aboriginal Peoples Survey, this study examined the health, social, and educational outcomes of off-reserve First Nations children, aged six to fourteen, who were born to teenage mothers, as compared to those born to older mothers. Off-reserve First Nations children of teenage mothers were more likely to be rated by their mothers as having dental problems, more likely to have failed a grade, less likely to be rated as doing very well in school, and less likely to have maternal reports of school satisfaction. They were also more likely to be rated as not getting along well in the last six months with their teachers, parents, and siblings. Although some of these differences were explained by socioeconomic characteristics (getting along with teachers and parents, doing well in school), differences in all three domains (dental problems, getting along with parents, grade failure and parental school satisfaction) remained. Recommendations for future research are discussed.

Full Text:  PDF

Teachers Resources. Good Intentions? Essay Writing

Source: Canada in the Making
Focus: Senior students, Social Studies/History

Summary: Teacher Guide:

It’s said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Was this the case with the treaties made between European colonial administrations and the Canadian government when dealing with Aboriginal peoples? This essay will require students to examine the motives behind treaty documents and government act and to examine the documents in order to determine whether government or colonial negotiators lived up to the promises they mouthed.

Some have suggested that Europeans wanted only to seek a peaceful coexistence with Aboriginal peoples; others have argued that Europeans wanted only one thing – space to grow, at any cost. This is an essay requiring that students describe the historical events surrounding a treaty, decide what the motives were behind the treaty, and make an argument on whether or not the treaty accomplished what it was intended to accomplish.
Research for this essay should take one to four hour-long sessions online, depending on whether students have access to a print versions of relevant documents. Note that the sources used in ECO can be printed from the browser and then photocopied.

Mala’s Eyes

Source: Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO/ FEEO)
Focus: Primary/Junior students 

Summary: Mala is a 12-year old Inuk boy who shares information about his culture and Inuit community through a first-person narrative. This resource includes lesson plans that connect to Mala’s narrative, as well as information on the customs and traditional practices of Inuit people in Canada.

Sign up to receive monthly PPW Educational Resource outreach: