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Category: Community Engagement

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.

Smoking Among Off-Reserve First Nations, Métis, and Inuit High School Students

Source: International Indigenous Policy Journal , Scholarship@Western > IIPJ > Vol. 9 > Iss. 2 (2018)

Summary: Using data from the 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS), this study investigated associations between smoking and a number of schools, peer, and family characteristics among off-reserve First Nations (n = 2,308), Métis (n = 2,058), and Inuit (n = 655) high school students aged 12 to 21 years. Logistic regressions revealed important group differences in Indigenous youths’ correlates of smoking.

Characteristics that were negatively associated with smoking included attending a school with a positive environment or having peers with high educational aspirations among First Nations students; participating in school-based club extra-curricular activities or living in a smoke-free home among Métis; and living in higher-income families among Inuit. A consistent risk factor for smoking among all Indigenous students was having close friends who engaged in risk behaviours.

Reviving your Language through Education

Source: First Nations Schools Association of British Columbia

Summary: This workbook is designed to assist First Nations language advocates, educators and communities to develop a clear vision for language education, fully understand their current language situation and resources, and exit with a comprehensive plan for achieving their vision.

Topics include background information for language planning, understanding how new language speakers are created, language education planning steps, engaging parents, teacher training and education, curriculum building, funding and more.

Chronic Absenteeism

Source: The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate Newfoundland and Labrador

Summary: Chronic absenteeism is a quiet problem and it makes children disappear from school. It is complex and establishes itself early in a child’s school career and has the potential to create negative impacts for a life time. It is difficult to address and often goes unaddressed. This report describes chronic absenteeism, factors influencing it, its impacts on students, and the promising strategies available to address the problem. It also makes recommendations to government departments and agencies that have shared responsibility for solutions.

Chronic absenteeism is defined as unexcused school absences resulting in a student missing at least ten percent (10%) of the school year, or 18 days. Rates of chronic absenteeism vary widely. Canada has no systematic approach to collecting data, and information is incomplete on provincial/territorial government web sites. The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District (NLESD) produced data for school year 2016-17 which indicated that 10% of approximately 66,000 students were absent for at least 18 days, both excused and unexcused.

A Handbook for Parents of Aboriginal Students District No.73 (Kamloops/Thompson)

Source: School District No.73 (Kamloops/Thompson)

Summary: The First Nations Education Council recognizes the primary responsibility that Aboriginal parents have in supporting the education of their children. In addition to providing direct support in the schools and developing culturally relevant school programs and services, the Council continues to explore ways to further support Aboriginal learners in their communities and homes.

The First Nations Education Council will continue to work in partnership with School District No. 73 and work toward success for all Aboriginal students in the District. It is our wish that this handbook will be used by parents in their quest to realize successful educational experiences for their children.

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