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Category: Classroom Practice: Secondary

Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements

Source: British Columbia Ministry of Education, Aboriginal Education Branch
Focus: K-12

Summary:An Educational Enhancement Agreement (EA) is a working agreement between a school district, all local Aboriginal communities, and the Ministry of Education designed to enhance the educational achievement of Aboriginal students. The EA establishes a collaborative partnership between Aboriginal communities and school districts that involves shared decision-making and specific goal setting to meet the educational needs of Aboriginal students.

EAs highlight the importance of academic performance and more importantly, stress the integral nature of Aboriginal traditional culture and languages to Aboriginal student development and success. Fundamental to EAs is the requirement that school districts provide strong programs on the culture of local Aboriginal peoples on whose traditional territories the districts are located.

Enhancement Agreements:

  • are intended to continually improve the quality of education achieved by all Aboriginal students;
  • support strong cooperative, collaborative relationships between Aboriginal communities and school districts;
  • provide Aboriginal communities and districts greater autonomy to find solutions that work for Aboriginal students, the schools and the communities;
  • and require a high level of respect and trust to function.

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.

Aboriginal Literatures in Canada: A Teacher’s Resource Guide

Source: Curriculum Services Canada
Focus: Senior level English (Grades 11-12)

Summary: This teacher resource guide serves a double purpose. First, it encourages the teaching of Aboriginal literature in English high school curricula across the country allowing Aboriginal students to be taught texts they can relate to. Second, it provides the opportunity for non-Aboriginal students to be educated about Aboriginal culture, history and contemporary life through the richness of Aboriginal writing with its innovative uses of the English language.

Mathematics in Indigenous Contexts Project

Source: Aboriginal Education Board of Studies New South Wales, Australia
Focus: Mathematics and Numeracy (K-6) and (7-10)

Summary: The Mathematics & Numeracyproject involved developing teaching and learning programs consistent with the aims of the K–10 learning continuum, using the curriculum content that underpins mathematical learning within Mathematics K–6 and 7–10 syllabuses in New South Wales. These units of work demonstrate a variety of approaches to teaching, including subject contextualisation and multi-staged curriculum development.

Each of the teaching programs was developed through cooperative efforts between schools and Aboriginal community members. The results illustrate the educational benefits to students’ learning, and to the community in general, that are possible when parents and communities are actively involved in their children’s education.

Of great significance to the schools represented on this website were the links and long-lasting partnerships the schools built with their local Aboriginal communities as a result of the collaboration. These relationships help define the stories that chart each school’s journey.

Arctic Circle: Virtual Classroom

Source: Support for the Arctic Circle World Wide Web Project has come from many sources including the University of Connecticut Research Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Arctic Institute of North America, the American Philosophical Society, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Canadian Government.

Focus: Senior secondary students interested in understanding the people and environment of the Arctic Circle.

Summary:The overall goal of Arctic Circle is to stimulate among viewers a greater interest in the peoples and environment of the Arctic and Subarctic region. This ‘electronic circle’ has three interrelated themes: natural resource; history and culture; and social equity and environmental justice. In addressing these issues, the presentations utilize a range of textual and photographic materials, and in the near future, sound and short video recordings.

Specific topics include discussions of Sustainability, Equity, and Environmental Protection; Northern Development and the Global Economy; Ethnographic Portraits of indigenous peoples in Alaska, Canada, Northwest Siberia, etc.; and specific studies dealing with the impact of petroleum, gas, hydroelectric, and other forms of large scale natural resource development in selected regions of the Circumpolar North.

Backcheck: Hockey for Kids – Aboriginal Hockey

Source: Library and Archives Canada
Intermediate and Senior students

Summary: This digital project’s primary focus is on the early days of hockey. Materials from the collection of Library and Archives Canada (LAC) are presented to trace the development of Canada’s national winter sport.

The site includes a chronological presentation of hockey stories from English and French language newspapers, providing a valuable resource for online hockey research. The site also includes feature articles, rare items from the collection of LAC, as well as a guide to hockey resources at LAC.

Exploring Aboriginal Art in Canada

Source: Curriculum Services Canada
Focus: Grades 9-12– Building literacy skills through Visual Arts


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, analysing imagery to learn about culture and society. The resource uses a structured inquiry and research methodology combined with the artistic process. The resource describes how visual arts and resource centre teachers can collaborate in presenting an integrated study.

British Columbia First Nations Studies 12: Integrated Resource Package

Source: British Columbia Ministry of Education
Focus: Grade 12 Native Studies

Summary: This Integrated Resource Package (IRP) provides basic information teachers will require in order to implement British Columbia First Nations Studies 12. It focuses on the diversity, depth, and integrity of the cultures of British Columbia’s Aboriginal peoples. In emphasizing the languages, cultures, and history of First Nations peoples, the course addresses an important part of the history of British Columbia. Designed to introduce authentic Aboriginal content into the senior secondary curriculum with the support of Aboriginal peoples, the course provides an opportunity for British Columbia students to acquire knowledge and understanding of the traditions, history, and present realities of British Columbia Aboriginal peoples, as well as a chance to consider future challenges and opportunities.

British Columbia First Nations Studies 12 addresses the richness and diversity of First Nations languages and cultures by exploring them within their own unique contexts. It is intended to provide a conceptual foundation for all learners to develop an appreciation and respect for the similarities among and differences between the diverse cultures of the world. As such, it will help to promote understanding of First Nations peoples among all students. A curriculum that concentrates on Aboriginal content can lead to enlightened discussion of Aboriginal issues and can also contribute to Aboriginal students’ sense of place and belonging in the public school system.

Integrated Resource Package 2008 – British Columbia Ministry of Education

Source: The First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) has developed curriculum pursuant to a jurisdictional agreement with the Province of British Columbia. This agreement represents a departure from past practice with respect to both the development of provincially prescribed curriculum and the provision of resource documentation to support for provincially prescribed curriculum. This distinctive development process is intended to ensure that teaching and learning with respect to First Peoples in British Columbia’s school system is based on authentic knowledge and understanding, as articulated by Elders, educators, and other content experts from within British Columbia’s First Nations and Métis communities decisions affecting teaching and learning with respect to First Peoples in British Columbia’s school system take appropriate account of the advice and opinion of community leaders from within the province’s First Nations and Métis communities.

Focus: Grade 12 English – First Peoples

Summary: English 12 First Peoples provides opportunities for all students to engage with indigenous creative expression to enter the worlds of First Peoples provincially, nationally, and internationally. The course focuses on the experiences, values, beliefs, and lived realities of First Peoples as evidenced in various forms of text, including oral story, speech, poetry, dramatic work, dance, song, film, and prose (fiction and non-fiction).

The Atlas of Canada Natural Resources Canada

Source: Natural Resources Canada
Focus: Secondary History, Geography and Social Studies

Summary:The current 50 languages of Canada’s indigenous peoples belong to 11 major language families – ten First Nations and Inuktitut. Canada’s Aboriginal languages are many and diverse, and their importance to indigenous people immense. This map shows the major Aboriginal language families by community in Canada for the year 1996, and it is a part of a series of three maps that comprise Aboriginal Languages. The “get info from map” function provides detailed and specific information for each community.

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