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Category: Classroom Practice: Secondary

Stepping Stones – Music and Dance

Source: The Alberta Teachers’ Association

Focus: Secondary Students

Summary: First Nations, Métis and Inuit music and dance embody cultural identity. For example, “First Nations people had songs for grieving, for birth, for joy, for prayer, and for so many other significant ceremonies and events. No ceremony, feast, or event could function without the prayers, dances, and songs of the First Nations people. Singers, drummers, and ceremonial people are treated with respect and honour for their gift of song.”  The First Nations, Métis, and Inuit spirit and intent of music and dance is at the heart of music and dance.

First Nations music and dance were outlawed by the Indian Act as a tool of forced assimilation and cultural destruction. As a result, First Nations, Métis, and Inuit music and dance went underground for many years. During the dark times of cultural persecution and banishment, the Métis jig remained, due to its European origins and Inuit forms of music and dance were marginalized.

The Indigenous Student Success Strategy Activity Book

Source: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Focus: Secondary students

Summary: The Indigenous Student Success Strategy was developed to provide all Indigenous students with a student experience that incorporates Indigenous ways of learning and knowing into every aspect of your education. Our services include:

 • A summer transition program.

 • Access to Indigenous students’ centres.

 • Indigenous student advisors.

 • Financial support through a number of scholarships and bursaries.

 We also employ an Indigenous community liaison to raise awareness about Sask Polytech in Indigenous communities, both urban and rural.

Métis Memories of Residential Schools: A Testament of Strength to the Métis

Source: University of Calgary

Focus: Secondary students

Summary: This powerful educational resource was designed to acknowledge, highlight, and share Métis residential school survivor experiences in collaboration with respected Métis Elder Angie Crerar, Author Jude D. Daniels, Canadian artist Lewis Lavoie, Métis community, Rupertsland Institute, and Werklund School of Education.  Mural image inspired by Métis Artist Samantha Pratt.

First Nations in Canada

Source: Government of Canada

Focus: Secondary students

Summary: First Nations in Canada is an educational resource designed for Canadian youth, high school educators and students, Indigenous communities, and anyone interested in First Nations history. Through this document, readers will have a better understanding of the major events that affected Indigenous communities from the time before the arrival of Europeans to the present day.

The first part of this text, entitled “The First Nations of Yesteryear,” presents an overview of the various cultures of the original First Nations, grouped according to the six main geographic regions in Canada. This section looks at the main differences between these six groups in terms of social organization, food resources, housing, modes of transportation, clothing, and spiritual ceremonies and beliefs.

Parts two to six of the text discuss the relationship between Indigenous Pople and newcomers to Canada, from the first meeting to the historic apology offered by the government in June 2008 to all former residential school students. With these apologies, the Government of Canada has expressed deep regret for the suffering caused to residents and their families. It also recognized the harm caused by these residential schools and the policies of assimilation into the culture, languages and heritage of the First Nations.

Indigenous Sports Heroes Education Experience

Source: Canadian Sports Hall of Fame

Focus: Secondary students

Summary: Since the early development of various sports in history: the power of sport to make change, to bring people together, to have fun, to save lives became a very important purpose. One of the primary results from participating was and is holistic health, together with happiness and hope. For most children any positive and mental activity of play has one or more of the above benefits. The best source of the power and spirit of sports and games at this stage is the imagination and creativity of the child. You can create or make your own game that can bring your friends together, invite others, have fun and bring happiness. The hidden power is the call of hope to do it again every chance you get. Sooner or later it may become friendly competition and healthier lifestyles that motivates or encourages you to try your best, to pursue excellence or being the best you, you can be.

Traditionally, for Indigenous Peoples, what are now some mainstream competitive sports were and are traditional games that were actually a way of survival and life. Running, cross country, steeplechase were a part of hunting, for example: deer, elk, moose. Walking to gather herbs or berries. Archery was also used to hunt on foot or on horseback; canoeing and swimming were skills necessary for fishing. In the winter: snowshoeing, shooting, cross country skiing (biathlon), javelin or harpoon. These are some examples but there is also a uniqueness in that as a part of our culture, these activities all have ceremony and thanksgiving as part of the doing. In other words, there is a spiritual aspect for each which makes sports and traditional games a holistic perspective. So as we learn from each other we experience the balance necessary for success in every endeavour.

The stories you will read or have read about our “Hall of Famers” and what this all means is the importance of sports in the promotion of sacred teachings and especially the promotion of peace.

My Seasonal Round: An Integrated Unit for Elementary Social Studies and Science

Source: Open School BC

Focus: Elementary students

Summary: This cross-curricular unit presents a teacher-led, inquiry-based approach to exploring the seasonal round in the four geographic regions of BC, through the perspective of the Indigenous groups in these regions. Themes include: habitat, natural resources, stability and change, and living and non-living components of habitats.

Their Voices Will Guide Us – Student and Youth Engagement Guide

Source: National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Focus: Secondary students

Summary: Their Voices Will Guide Us is an education initiative of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Our intent is to facilitate critical thinking, purposeful reflection, and dialogue around the perceptions and lived realities of Indigenous women and girls, including members of 2SLGBTQQIA communities. This initiative is designed to engage students and teachers in meaningful learning about the important roles of Indigenous women and girls in their families, communities, and nations, highlighting their strength, agency, and traditional responsibilities as Indigenous women and girls as well as to engage students and teachers in examining the impact of the high levels of violence that Indigenous women and girls experience. This guide will help learners understand how violence violates Indigenous women’s and girls’ inherent, Treaty, Constitutional, and human rights. These rights must be upheld for Indigenous women and girls to reclaim their power and rightful place in Canadian society. We all have a role and responsibility for ensuring that Indigenous women and girls are respected, valued, loved, and protected, recognizing their strength, agency, and leadership in the broader societal context of decolonization, transformative social justice, and reconciliation.for 

Curriculum and Reconciliation: Introducing Indigenous Perspectives into K-12 Science

Source: Conference Board of Canada

Focus: K-12

Summary: In the years following the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, all kinds of teaching materials and pedagogical advice have been produced to help teachers incorporate Indigenous perspectives in their classrooms. However, without endorsement by provincial curricula, these resources have had limited impact. If education is to support reconciliation and effectively integrate Indigenous learners, it will require reforms that go beyond the production of new teaching materials. Curriculum reform has to drive change.

To better understand the state of science curriculum reform across Canada, we scanned Canadian K–12 science curriculum for references to Indigenous perspectives, and talked with a range of experts involved with science educational renewal.

Curriculum and Reconciliation: Introducing Indigenous Perspectives into K–12 Science briefly and visually outlines the landscape of school science curricula across the country. Several jurisdictions integrate Indigenous content, perspectives, and ways of knowing, while others have yet to include references to Indigenous perspectives.

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