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Category: Professional Development

How can we create conditions for Aboriginal student success in public schools?

Source: EdCan Network

Summary: Aboriginal children under age 14 make up 7% of all children in Canada and the Aboriginal population is the fastest growing demographic in this country. Eighty percent of Aboriginal children attend off-reserve provincial schools. In terms of school success, there are significant gaps in learning outcomes and graduation rates between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students.  

Nationally, provincially, and territorially, public school educators are committed to closing these gaps, and some success has been realized. For example, in classrooms where Aboriginal content and perspectives were incorporated into a high quality learning program, Aboriginal student grades increased significantly.

Strong leadership is critical to the development of high quality learning programs designed to provide Aboriginal students with every opportunity to succeed in Canadian public schools.

Indigenous Education Modules

Source: OISE – University of Toronto, Jean-Paul Restoule

Summary: This set of learning modules has been created to support and inspire educators and future teachers to gain a deeper understanding of Indigenous perspectives and an appreciation of how Indigenous knowledge and worldviews can assist all learners in their educational journey. The goal of the modules is to provide an introductory grounding to key issues affecting Indigenous people in Canada as a foundation for further and deeper learning. The modules are meant to work well independent of one another (they are not sequential) but they are also complementary. Please feel free to share these resources and use them in your own work. You can assign them as required or supplementary material supporting your course that students review on their own or you can use them in the classroom. The modules include suggested activities for further application of the concepts. Everything is free and open source.

Career Journeys First Nations Career Role Model Program

Source: First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC)

Focus: Intermediate/ Senior students

Summary: First Nations youth who start thinking about and planning for their post-secondary education and career journeys from an early age have more options available to them when they graduate.

The Career Journeys First Nations Career Role Model Program was developed by the First Nations Education Steering Committee and First Nations Schools Association.  It features First Nations Role Models in a variety of career fields, and aims to raise the awareness of First Nations youth and their families about career possibilities, and to show examples of how to navigate education and training pathways to those careers.

The materials are intended for elementary and secondary level students and include video interviews, a teacher resource book, a parent and student guide, and classroom posters.

Indigenous Education Resources – Teach Ontario

Source: TVO Teach Ontario

Summary: Teachers, teacher candidates, students, and citizens are ALL lifelong learners. Enhancing your capacity as a teacher begins with assessing where you are today. Coming to know is based on where you are.

“Teachers in particular have a sacred responsibility to ensure that all their children, regardless of their heritage, are able to think about four key questions throughout their education: where do I come from, where am I going, why am I here, and most importantly, who am I?”

— Murray Sinclair, Honourable Senator Justice, Commissioner for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Sixties Scoop

Source: The Alberta Teachers’ Association

Summary: What is the Sixties Scoop and how can understanding its impacts contribute to reconciliation?

FIRST STEPS

In the 1950s and 60s, compulsory attendance at federally governed residential schools began to be phased out, although it continued for children whose families were deemed “unsuitable” to care for them.1 Indigenous children were expected to attend the provincial public education stream. This shift was coupled with a 1951 amendment to the Indian Act that enabled provinces to deliver child welfare services to Indigenous people where none had formerly existed. Indigenous children went from being forcibly removed from parents to attend residential schools to being forcibly removed from families by provincial child welfare agencies.

The underlying root of the forced removals aligned with aggressive assimilation policies. Genocidal tactics of residential schools aimed at “killing the Indian in the child” continued with the transfer of responsibility to provincial child welfare agencies because of existing court structures and provincial policies.

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.

Available as a free pdf.

Indigenous Education Resources – BC

Source: British Columbia Ministry of Education

Focus: Teachers K-12

Summary: Indigenous education resources are being developed to support the redesigned K-12 curriculum. The intent of these materials is to help further incorporate Indigenous knowledge and perspectives into B.C. classrooms.

The Indigenous Education Resource Inventory is a non-comprehensive list that includes guides, books, articles, videos and web links to support Indigenous learning.

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