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Category: Professional Development

COVID-19 and its impact on Indigenous language revitalization

Source: University of Victoria

Summary: Indigenous communities across Canada and the world are working hard to keep their languages alive and bring them back into everyday use. Most language work takes place in person, where face-to-face interaction is an important aspect of learning, teaching, and sharing between students, speakers, Elders, and knowledge keepers.

In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic immediately interrupted our ability to gather in person, greatly impacting the majority of language work that previously took place at home, at school, and in the community. This overnight shift created both challenges and opportunities and sparked innovative responses from Indigenous language learners.

Covid-19 and In(di)genuity: Lessons from Indigenous resilience, adaptation, and innovation in times of crisis

Source: National Library of Medicine

Summary: In the midst of the global Covid-19 pandemic, educators are invited to pause and reconsider the legacies this crisis will leave for future generations. What lessons do we take forward in a post-Covid-19 curriculum? This article contemplates the value of Indigenous resilience, innovation, and adaptation in times of crisis—“In(di)genuity”, if you will—and considers its implications on Indigenous knowledge and the curricular discourse more broadly. Despite encouraging developments in Indigenous education since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a settler historical consciousness continues to pervade the modern discourse of Indigenous education, insofar as Indigenous knowledge is often perceived as outdated, irrelevant, or inferior to Western knowledge systems. This problematic misconception ignores the resilience, innovation, and adaptation that Indigenous peoples have demonstrated in the face of historical crises. This article offers an Indigenous perspective on crisis, grief, and renewal in the context of Covid-19 and advocates for the renewal of the Canadian curricular landscape.

K-12 Education Recovery Plan

Source: BC Ministry of Education

Focus: Teachers and administrators

Summary: This guide provides direction to boards of education and independent school authorities to deliver educational programs and supports in line with provincial pandemic recovery efforts in the 2021/22 school year by: clarifying provincial expectations, and providing guidance across a number of key topics, including links to additional information and resources that can support local decision-making and communication. Boards/authorities are encouraged to apply a compassionate and trauma-informed leadership lens in their recovery planning – one that places people (and their mental and social-emotional well-being) at the centre and that recognizes the importance of meeting students and staff where they are.

A Curriculum for Educating Differently/ Unlearning colonialism and renewing kinship relations

Source: EdCan Network

Summary: The difficult truth is that colonial forms of relationship denial are much more than just intellectual problems. Human beings who accept colonial worldview as natural, normal, and common sense come to embody colonial forms of relationship denial that teach them to divide the world. The field of education has become so fully informed by the assumed correctness of colonial worldview that it has become difficult to take seriously other knowledge systems or ways of being human. However, this struggle to honour other knowledge systems or ways of being is implicated in the deepest difficulties faced today in trying to live in less damaging, divisive, and ecologically destructive ways. It is clear  that the acceptance of relationship denial as the natural cognitive habit of successful human beings undermines the ability to respond to these complex challenges in dynamic ways. Thus, an urgent educational challenge facing educators today involves:

  • first decentring, denaturalizing, and unlearning colonial logics of relationship denial as curricular and pedagogical common sense, and
  • second, honouring other ways to know and be.

PEDAGOGY that embraces Indigenous ways of knowing are fostered by approaches to teaching and learning that include purposeful thinking about people, places and processes.

Source: The John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights (JHC)

Focus: Teachers

Summary: The First Nations, Métis and Inuit Professional Learning website provides educators with supports and tools to design and facilitate professional learning. It offers curricular resources that build capacity, engage learners and build paths toward reconciliation through education.

The Learning to Do pillar webpage provides a wide range of professional tools and supports that engage you in professional learning to support curricular programming. This webpage includes features to help you self-assess your capacity and a photo resource gallery with numerous links to sources, websites and resources.

This gallery includes Grades 1-12 Curricular Resources in Moodle folders that are correlated to specific subject areas and grade levels. These folders include resources and activities specific to learning outcomes in core subjects. Each folder can be downloaded and imported into a Moodle server.

Infusing Indigenous Perspectives in K-12 Teaching

Source: OISE University of Toronto

Focus: Beginning teachers

Summary: Welcome

Aaniin! Taansi! She:kon! Welcome to the research guide for Indigenous education. This guide is designed to help Initial Teacher Education students find Indigenous education resources. Inspired by OISE’s Deepening Knowledge Project, the guide aims to help teachers infuse more Indigenous content into their practice. The guide includes: 

•   Information on how to find books, movies, music, activities, and lesson plans.

•   Links to further online resources.

Supporting Success for Indigenous Students

Source: OECD Directorate for Education and Skills

Summary: Indigenous peoples are diverse, within and across nations. At the same time, Indigenous children have not generally had access to the same quality of education that other children in their country enjoy. This situation arises, in part, because school leaders and teachers have not always been effectively prepared to teach Indigenous students, nor are they necessarily provided with resources to help them develop their capabilities and confidence. Some teachers and schools are successfully supporting Indigenous students. Indigenous students report feeling supported when the people at their schools:

  • Care about them and who they are as Indigenous People;
  • Expect them to succeed in education; and,
  • Help them to learn about their cultures, histories and languages.
  • OECD research indicates several ways that teachers can make a big difference in supporting success for Indigenous students:
  • Extra support for students: Finding ways to change the experiences of individual students goes a long way.
  • Engaging families: Mutually respectful relationships between schools and parents can have significant benefits for students.
  • Monitoring and reporting: Tracking progress with data helps educators and families understand where progress is being made.

Indigenization Guide: Understanding Indigenous Values to Support Indigenous Students

Source: BC Campus            

Focus: Front line staff, student services and advisors

Summary: While there is great diversity among Indigenous Peoples, there are also some commonalities in Indigenous worldviews and ways of being. Indigenous worldviews see the whole person (physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual) as interconnected to land and in relationship to others (family, communities, nations). This is called a holistic or wholistic view, which is an important aspect of supporting Indigenous students. The Canadian Council of Learning produced State of Aboriginal Learning in Canada: A holistic approach to measuring success [PDF][1] to support diversity of Indigenous knowledges from First Nations, Métis, and Inuit perspectives. Across all three of these perspectives, relationships and connections guide the work of supporting Indigenous students.

The Indigenous wholistic framework… illustrates Indigenous values and ways of being and the direct relationship and connection between academic programs and students services in supporting Indigenous students.

Indigenous education

Source: People for Education

Summary: All students should know about the history of the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, and about Indigenous history, culture, perspectives, and experiences.

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.

Indigenous Teachers and Leaders

Source: The Alberta Teachers’ Association

Focus: Teachers and Administrators

Summary: In 2021, the Alberta Teachers’ Association, in coordination with Dwayne Donald, a researcher from the University of Alberta, conducted an evaluation of the experience of Indigenous teachers, school leaders, and central office leaders within Alberta’s public education system. The Association’s research activity was gathered through listening and learning from Indigenous teachers, school leaders and central office leaders through a survey and online focus group conversations.

The following key areas are explored within this research activity:

•    Conditions of practice and philosophy

•    Recruitment, hiring and retention process and conditions

•    Discrimination and racism in education.

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