Educational Resources

Search Resources:
Browse Resource Categories:

Issue #98
January, 2018

Principals in First Nations schools find support through U of T’s new online course

Summary: Isolation, lack of adequate funding, limited resources, complex social issues – these are just some of the challenges principals face while working in First Nations schools.

“I always say that these principals are the loneliest people in Canada,” says Carlana Lindeman, one of the key people behind a new professional  development course for principals in First Nations schools, offered by U of T’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

“They don’t have a network, they don’t have, in many cases, a school board type structure. They’re one-school communities, and the buck usually stops at the principal’s desk,” says Lindeman.

That’s why OISE’s Continuing and Professional Learning program started the First Nations Schools Principals’ Course. The e-learning class addresses the specific needs of principals, vice principals and aspiring school leaders working in band-operated First Nations schools.

The 10-month, 200-hour course is the result of a partnership of the Martin Family Initiative, OISE scholars with expertise in Indigenous education, and an advisory board made up of First Nations leaders and educators from communities across Canada.

Conversation Method in Indigenous Research

Source: First Peoples Child and Family Review. Margaret Kovach

Summary: In reflecting upon two qualitative research projects incorporating an Indigenous methodology, this article focuses on the use of the conversational method as a means for gathering knowledge through story. The article first provides a theoretical discussion which illustrates that for the conversational method to be identified as an Indigenous research method it must flow from an Indigenous paradigm. The article then moves to an exploration of the conversational method in action and offers reflections on the significance of researcher-in-relation and the inter-relationship between this method, ethics and care.

Full Text (PDF)

Teaching in a First Nations School: An Information Handbook for Teachers New to First Nations Schools

Source: Prepared by Barbara Kavanagh for the First Nations Schools Association (FNSA)

Summary: This Handbook was created by the First Nations Schools Association (FNSA) to assist teachers who are considering or preparing to work in a First Nations school for the first time. It describes the many benefits as well as the unique challenges that teachers may experience while working in a First Nations school. In addition, the handbook highlights tips that have helped other teachers make a successful transition into a First Nations school setting.

This handbook also provides information to help teachers become familiar with issues related to First Nations education and First Nations schools specifically. The FNSA believes that teachers who choose to work in a First Nations school will benefit from understanding the history of the schools, the reasons why they were created, and their special circumstances. Ideally, that information will help teachers make an easier transition into the new teaching environment, and will also help them to better relate to students and parents.

It is important to note that this Handbook includes information related to First Nations schools throughout the province. Including general information is possible because First Nations in BC share a number of important similarities. It is critical to remember, however, that the communities and schools also vary tremendously. Teachers are therefore encouraged to investigate how the issues outlined in this Handbook relate to the specific place in which they will be working and, perhaps, living.

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR)

Source: University of Manitoba

Summary: A shared vision held by those affected by Indian residential schools was to create a place of learning and dialogue where the truths of their experiences were honoured and kept safe for future generations. They wanted their families, communities and all of Canada to learn from these hard lessons so they would not be repeated. They wanted to share the wisdom of the Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers on how to create just and peaceful relationships amongst diverse peoples. They knew that Reconciliation is not only about the past; it is about the future that all Canadians will forge together. This vision is the legacy gift to all of Canada.

As the permanent home for all statements, documents, and other materials gathered by the TRC the NCTR will ensure that:

  • former students and their families have access to their own history;
  • educators can share the Indian Residential School history with future generations of students;
  • researchers can more deeply explore the Residential School experience;
  • the public can access historical records and other materials to help foster reconciliation and healing; and
  • the history and legacy of the residential school system are never forgotten.

Native Drums

Source: Carleton University, Ontario
Focus: Grades 9-12

Summary: Welcome to Native Drums, an exciting and innovative website devoted to the rich heritage of First Nations culture and music in Canada. Canadian teachers of Grades 9-12 classes can find free, downloadable, printable Teachers Resource Kits directly relating to provincial curricula. These materials are usable as is or customizable for use in the classroom, and include lesson plans, references to background materials, in-class exercises, quizzes, and grading rubrics. We hope you find these materials useful.

With games, videos, and moving image galleries for Kids, in-depth interviews and articles for students, the image research database for scholars, and downloadable resource kits for teachers, Native Drums has something for everyone!

Native American Language Immersion Programs: A Promising Approach to School Preparation, Economic Opportunity and Language Preservation

Source: National Congress of American Indians 10th Annual Tribal Leader/Scholar Forum St. Paul, Minnesota June 30, 2015
Focus: Early years’ teachers

Summary: Research shows that high-quality early childhood education has a positive impact on children’s school performance and provides the foundation for future workforce skills. Consistent with this research, early childhood Native American language immersion programs have the potential to help children prepare for school and life as well as support efforts to increase the number of Native language speakers. When implemented with sufficient resources and high quality, early language immersion programs seem to support the goals of preparing children for school, developing future workforce skills, and preserving Native languages with little downside risk to any of these outcomes.

Exploring Aboriginal Art in Canada

Source: Curriculum Services Canada (CSC) © Larry Maenpaa and Clarice Kloezeman
Focus: Grades 9-12

Summary: This cross-curricular visual art and information literacy resource is designed to help students develop skills to help find meaning in Aboriginal art and culture. The tasks using information literacy skills require students to determine the extent of their information needs, to access a variety of materials to satisfy these needs, then to synthesize and communicate information within the context of the assignments. The visual literacy tasks teach students to “read” pictures as documents, analyzing imagery to learn about culture and society.

The Visual Arts Department and the Library Resource Centre collaborate since literacy skills (reading, researching, etc.) and visual arts skills can build upon each other. Students research and write about topics using a structured inquiry and research methodology. The tasks demand higher order thinking skills including analysis, interpretation, synthesis, and reflection. Key art elements include art history, art criticism, drawing, design elements and principles, and the creative process. Students follow the creative process, beginning with the all-important step of inquiry and research, and culminating in a visual art product that is a synthesis of what they learned.

First Nations and Stereotyping in Math

Source: Centre for Urban Schooling, University of Toronto OISE
Focus: Intermediate grades

Summary: First Nations and Stereotypes in Math (6 lessons in total), 2 Subtopics:

Sign up to receive monthly PPW Educational Resource outreach: