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Category: Community Engagement

Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre

Source: University of British Columbia

Summary: The Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre (IRSHDC) at UBC addresses the colonial legacy of residential schools and other policies imposed by the Canadian government on Indigenous Peoples, and ensures that this history is acknowledged, examined, and understood within the UBC community. The Centre works with partners across disciplines, at UBC and beyond, to facilitate dialogues and access to records and information that support engaging the legacies of the residential school system and the on-going impacts of colonialism in Canada. This work supports teaching and learning at UBC, and the work of UBC’s Indigenous Strategic Plan, by supporting Indigenous Peoples’ self-determination and working in partnership with partners and communities. The Centre is quickly establishing itself as a leading institution for culturally informed, reciprocal, community-led research, education and dialogues in partnership with Indigenous communities, Survivors and UBC. As a Survivor-centred, trauma-informed space, the Centre works in service to Indigenous communities and peoples of Canada. 

What matters in Indigenous education: Implementing a Vision Committed to Holism, Diversity and Engagement

Source: People for Education

Summary: Dr. Pamela Toulouse explores an Indigenous approach to quality learning environments and the Measuring What Matters competencies and skills. The paper draws out the research, concepts and themes from Measuring What Matters that align with Indigenous determinants of educational success. It expands on this work by offering perspectives and insights that are Indigenous and authentic in nature.

First Nations Communications Toolkit

Source: Government of Canada

SummaryThe First Nations Communications Toolkit is a unique resource jointly developed by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, BC Region, and Tewanee Consulting Group. The toolkit was originally developed in 2007 and continues to provide a good basic overview of communications planning, activities and tools. While the fundamentals of communication such as engaging your audience and developing clear messages have not changed, some aspects continue to evolve. As a result, this edition of the toolkit has been updated to reflect changes in communications practices, particularly the use of social media tools.

This toolkit was designed explicitly for First Nations communicators and is based on input from First Nations communicators and administrators working for First Nations organizations. It offers information on many topics, including communications planning, publications, events and media relations, from a First Nations’ perspective. The best practices and practical lessons learned that have been included in the toolkit are drawn from Tewanee Joseph’s experience working on communications projects with over 30 First Nation communities.

5 Ways You Can Educate Yourself and Support Indigenous Communities in Canada

Source: Global Citizen

Summary: The horrific discovery of 215 bodies in a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C., has brought renewed attention to the ongoing struggle of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. In the wake of this tragedy, media coverage and political denunciation of the legacy of residential schools has intensified, prompting Canadians to reflect upon this cruel and heart-wrenching chapter in their country’s history.

But it is important to remember that the fight for Indigenous rights is far-reaching and goes well beyond the scope of residential schools. In particular, the struggle for sovereignty and human rights in Indigenous communities has proven to be a long-term and complex issue that struggles to gain recognition from the wider population.

Canadians can do a great deal to become more educated about the issue of Indigenous rights and learn how they can help.

Elder’s Room / Core Alberta

Source: Healthy Aging CORE Alberta

Summary: The film Elders’ Room developed out of an educational initiative at the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. Students received a scholarship to undertake an initiative at their high school operated by the Blood Tribe in southern Alberta. Kainai High School students, with their teachers and guidance counsellors, reached out to Elders and together they planned and realized Elders’ Room. When Shirley Steinberg, the director, learned about the initiative, she reached out to documentary filmmaker Michael MacDonald and together they worked with Kainai students, teachers, guidance counsellors, and Elders.

Socioeconomic inequalities in psychological distress and suicidal behaviours among Indigenous Peoples living off-reserve in Canada

Source: CMAJ 2019 March 25;191:E325-36. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.181374


BACKGROUND: Indigenous Peoples in Canada have high rates of psychological distress and suicide. We sought to assess the socioeconomic inequalities in psychological distress and suicidal behaviours, and the factors that explain them within Indigenous peoples living off-reserve.

INTERPRETATION: Substantial income related inequalities in psychological distress and suicidal behaviours exist among Indigenous peoples living off reserve in Canada. Policies designed to address major contributing factors such as food insecurity and income may help reduce these inequalities.

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.

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