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Category: Professional Development

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.

A Toolkit for Raising the Attendance Rates of First Nations Students in British Columbia

Source: FNSA

Summary: A Toolkit for Raising the Attendance Rates of First Nations Students in BC – Draft (2020) is intended to help First Nations and First Nations schools consider issues related to student attendance at school, including why attendance is an important issue, some of the reasons why students might not be in school, and what can be done to help.

The information will ideally be of interest to people who work with First Nations students who are enrolled in a variety of education settings – public schools, First Nations schools, First Nations adult education centres, and independent schools. It is hoped that the information will be helpful to school staff, community members who support students, First Nations Parents Clubs, and any other people who support First Nations students.

Making sure that all First Nations students have every opportunity for success by attending school consistently is an issue that is best addressed collaboratively. It is not an issue that can be left to parents or schools staff alone. Many of the successful attendance intervention programs being implemented around the world – including those for Indigenous students – have involved entire communities focusing on ways to encourage students to arrive at school regularly and on-time.

By necessity, the information presented in this Toolkit is quite general, as it is meant to apply to a wide range of circumstances. Some of the suggestions will work well in some areas, but perhaps not in others. Some of the suggestions relate specifically to school-age students, while others may be relevant to adult students, as well. All of the ideas should be considered within specific contexts, as options to adapt and build upon as relevant for each community and school setting.

Weaving Ways: Indigenous Ways Of Knowing In Classrooms And Schools

Source: Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortia

Summary: WEAVING WAYS is intended to be a complimentary guide for educators who are deepening their foundational knowledge and educational approaches to foster reconciliation.

Weaving Ways is structured with four interrelated quadrants which teachers can utilize to organize their thinking and approaches. The structure supports teachers in designing meaningful teaching and learning opportunities that weave together Indigenous ways of knowing with Western pedagogical practices for the benefit of all students and our collective journey towards reconciliation.

The four quadrants are interconnected and encourage teachers to consider how Indigenous knowledge systems can support a rich experience for students in their classrooms.

What You Need to Know: A Resource for Principals Who are New to First Nations Schools in British Columbia Draft (2021)

Source: FNSA BC

Focus:  New Principals

Summary: Through a question and answer format, this publication, What You Need to Know: A Resource for Principals Who are New to First Nation Schools In British Columbia Draft (2021), addresses common questions about teaching in a First Nation school in British Columbia.  It is intended as a resource for principals who are new to First Nation schools.

15 Strategies for Teachers of Aboriginal Students

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.

The Unforgotten

Source: Canadian Medical Association

Summary: A five-part film exploring the health and well-being of Indigenous Peoples living in Canada.

Sharing experiences of Inuit, Métis and First Nations peoples at various stages of life, this film was created to raise awareness, incite reflection and spark conversations about how to make meaningful change happen in health care.

Summary of Practices in support for self-identified Indigenous secondary students considering teaching as a potential career

Source: College of Alberta School Superintendents (CASS)

Summary: This summary has identified many successful practices that are currently being implemented by school districts to support self-identified Indigenous students to consider teaching as a potential career. Barriers to a potential teaching career and recommendations for how school districts can overcome these for self-identified Indigenous students were also stated. These practices were collected by members of the CASS First Nations Métis and Inuit Education Action committee (representatives from Treaty 6, 7, and 8; Rupertsland Institute; Alberta Métis Settlements General Council; CASS Zones 1-6; AISCA; Francophone, and Alberta Education.)

Indigenous Student Success in Public Schools: A “We” Approach for Educators

Source: Vol. 62 No. 1 (2016): Spring   Martha Moon and Paul Berger – Lakehead University.

Focus: Educators and researchers

Summary: What does Indigenous student success look like in public school boards? Seven urban Indigenous educators’ interview responses to this question were interpreted and reported by the lead author, a teacher and researcher of English, Irish, and Scottish heritage – a Settler Canadian. The “Connected Beads Model” is the result of these educator-to-educator interviews. It shows how Indigenous students’ success can be promoted when Settler and Indigenous educators take a “We” stance alongside students, families, and communities through honoring story, relationship, and holism in school. The concepts embedded in the model and its practical applications are explored through participants’’ quotations and considered alongside related literature on Indigenous education.

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