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Category: Community Engagement

Working Effectively with Indigenous People

Source: Indigenous Corporate Training Inc.

Summary: This is an interesting junction in Canadian history as non-Aboriginal Canadians wake up to the harsh reality of the residential schools, as shown by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report. This new awareness could well be the catalyst for real, fundamental change, and where more effective than in the classroom?

Teachers (and school districts) with Indigenous students have the opportunity to provide transformative change, not just in the Indigenous students, but in the entire student body and the families of the student body. The ripple effect will eventually reach out into the community and beyond.

A Way Home: Youth Homelessness Community Planning Toolkit

Source: Canadian Observatory on Homelessness

Summary: Considerations for Engagement with Indigenous People

It is important to acknowledge the experience of Indigenous People in Canada if we are to truly end youth homelessness, particularly in light of their consistent overrepresentation in vulnerable populations. Indigenous homelessness is notably different; the structural and systemic determinants associated with colonialism, the Indian Act, treaty making, residential schools, and the Sixties Scoop have resulted in considerable discriminatory impacts that are in fact intergenerational.

A sense of being homeless can be experienced from diverse perspectives: cultural, spiritual or emotional. It is more than a loss of housing. The impact of colonization, residential schooling, intergenerational trauma, ongoing discrimination and racism in Canadian society has contributed to the ongoing systematic marginalization of Indigenous People, including Indigenous youth.

Ontario Native Literacy Coalition Indigenized Assessment Tool

Source: Ontario Native Coalition

Summary: This resource has been developed as a Native specific assessment tool for Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) and other employment related programs to utilize with Indigenous clients.

Consensus was that assessment for Aboriginal adults worked better and gave a clearer picture of a person’s strengths, ability and potential if they incorporated the following:

  • do assessment in a holistic manner using tools that include culturally relevant materials and topics;
  • use Aboriginal assessment practices and tools to measure success in other areas of the individual learner’s life, as well as in the learner’s classroom and learning environment;
  • use assessment as a way for learners to demonstrate what they can do, but also a way to show their learning strategies, and to inspire further learning.

Study: Upgrading and high school equivalency among the Indigenous population living off reserve

Source: The Daily: StatCan

Summary: The study examines the characteristics of Indigenous people who have completed upgrading or high school equivalency programs. It also examines whether completing such a program helps people achieve better outcomes later in life, in terms of both educational achievement and labour market participation.

The study is based on data from the Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS), a national survey of First Nations people living off reserve, and Métis and Inuit aged 15 and older. In 2017, the APS focused on the topics of employment and skills and training. It also collected information on education, health, languages, income, housing and mobility.

Engaging Indigenous Parents in their Children’s Education

Source: Closing the Gap Clearinghouse, Australian Government. Resource sheet no. 32 produced by the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse, Daryl Higgins and Sam Morley, July 2014.

Summary: What we know

  • Engaging parents in their children’s education improves the children’s educational attainment and ongoing engagement in education.
  • A family’s level of ‘social capital’ and socio-economic position affects how they engage with their children’s school.
  • Risk factors associated with poor parental engagement include: family problems such as poverty, poor parental education; unemployment and poor job prospects; parental problems such as poor physical health, substance misuse or family violence; community and socio-economic problems such as racial prejudice, poor housing or study facilities at home, and fewer models of educational success in a formal school environment.
  • The values fostered by schools are not always consistent with the values that are important to Indigenous children, their parents and their communities.
  • These risk factors are present in many Indigenous families and communities, so Indigenous parents need more resources to overcome barriers to engaging with their children’s education.

Aboriginal Bullying

Source: Indigenous Education BC

Focus: Parents and Teachers

Summary: The National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO) has created a web site on bullying for Aboriginal youth, parents and teachers.

The site contains the following.

  • Three fact sheets: one for youth, one for parents and one for teachers.
  • Three lesson plans for middle school teachers to help start discussions on bullying with their students, as well as suggestions on strategies to deal with and prevent it in their schools.
  • A PowerPoint presentation on Aboriginal bullying and lateral violence.
  • A video message by National Aboriginal Role Model Caitlin Tolley
  • A poster that can be displayed in schools and community centres.
  • A link to the Stop Aboriginal Bullying Facebook group which contains information about bullying supports and programs, as well as providing members an opportunity to discuss this issue.

The fact sheets were created with the support of Kids Help Phone, who has been a partner throughout the development of the project.

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