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Category: Community Engagement

Engaging Indigenous Families and Community with Ontario’s Schools

Source: Sandy Yep ( Indigenous Education and Well Being Division

Summary: A Power Point Presentation which can be used in community engagement showing how Culturally Responsive and Relevant Transitions and Supports into a New Community can be achieved.  

  • What are some effective strategies or programs used by school boards and schools to transition, orient, and integrate Indigenous families into a new school environment?
  • What are some examples of interesting practices that enhance relationships between board/schools and neighboring Indigenous communities?

Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework

Source: Government of Canada

Summary: The Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework represents the Government of Canada and Indigenous peoples’ work to co-develop a transformative Indigenous framework that reflects the unique cultures, aspirations and needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children across Canada.

The Framework sets out a shared vision, principles and a path forward for Indigenous early learning and child care—a Canada where all Indigenous children have the opportunity to experience high-quality, culturally rooted early learning and child care programming.

Alongside a distinctions-based approach that respects the specific priorities of First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation, the Framework describes an overarching vision for a comprehensive and coordinated early learning and child care system led by Indigenous peoples, establishes shared principles, and includes specific gender and geographic considerations that represent the views of all Indigenous children and families.

Indigenous Early Childhood Development in Canada: Current State of Knowledge and Future Directions

Source: National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health. Regine Halseth and Margo Greenwood, PhD

Summary: Indigenous Peoples experience a disproportionate burden of ill health associated with the socioeconomic context of their lives. Investing in quality early childhood development and care (ECDC) programs for Indigenous children is critical to redressing these health imbalances (BCACCS, 2014). This paper provides a brief overview of the current state of knowledge and knowledge gaps on the health and well-being of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis young children and highlights future directions for Indigenous ECD programs and policies.

White Cloud Head Start Program

Source: Indigenous Education: The National Centre for Indigenous Collaboration

Summary: The White Cloud Head Start Program provides Aboriginal preschool children with a positive sense of themselves, their culture e.g., start each morning with smudging and offers an opportunity to develop and learn skills to be successful going forward in the school system. Utilization of Elders, cultural teachings, Cree Language, field trips, and a classroom setting that encompasses Indigenous culture and life.

Creation Stories: Creating Strong Families through Our Stories

Source: Indigenous Education – The National Centre for Collaboration

SummaryCreation Storiesis a community-based research project that focuses on personal interviews with Elders and Knowledge Keepers who share their life experience stories to help expectant and new parents/guardians pass on positive teachings to their children. Parents/guardians can create their own stories to add to these teachings.

This lesson plan is based on an actual project that took place in Prince Edward Island, the goal of which was the creation of a handbook that provides insights and inspiration for new and expectant parents/guardians to “. . . ground yourself in your creation story, to take control of your story, so you can reframe your life, beliefs, and practices to create the best story for your family” (p. vii, Creation Stories: Creating Strong Families through Our Stories).

This lesson plan outlines an approach to this community-based research project and can be delivered as a multi-session program. This project can be led by organization members and/or educators, or by university and/or college students to use as a community-based research project for academic credit.  For example, the ‘Creation Stories’ project can be facilitated through a Friendship Centre, an Early Childhood Education Centre, or Pre-natal/Midwifery organizations. 

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.

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