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Category: Professional Development

Books to Build On: Indigenous Literatures for Learning

Source: University of Calgary

Summary: You have arrived at an interactive web resource that is designed to assist educators with weaving Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and doing into their teaching and learning, starting with story. Responding to the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and to current provincial professional standards for education, this resource is intended to help teachers build foundational knowledge and competencies in Indigenous education. You will find a searchable database of Indigenous literary texts, as well as some secondary sources, that might be used within education. Our resource has two primary audiences: instructors in the Bachelor of Education program at the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary, and the K-12 teachers in all stages of their professional journeys, from B.Ed. students up to experienced teachers. However, beyond these audiences, we hope that this interactive resource will be useful to anyone interested in exploring Indigenous texts and expanding their engagements with Indigenous communities.

A Snapshot: Status First Nations People in Canada

Source: Statistics Canada and Assembly of First Nations

Summary: This is a report produced by Statistics Canada in collaboration with the Assembly of First Nations. It includes a variety of social and economic statistics regarding Status First Nations people living on and off reserve and includes comparisons with the non-Indigenous population.

Incorporating Indigenous Cultures and Realities in STEM

Source: Conference Board of Canada

Summary: When educators use a culturally responsive curriculum—one that bridges Indigenous ways of knowing with Western science—Indigenous students are more engaged and perform better.

In recent years, many organizations across Canada have established programs to help Indigenous learners get ahead in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. However, the effectiveness of these new initiatives is not well understood.

The inventory in Incorporating Indigenous Cultures and Realities in STEM lists more than a 100 different programs in Canada that specifically aim to help Indigenous learners succeed in STEM. These programs can be sorted into eight broad strategies for increasing Indigenous representation in STEM. Each strategy falls into one of three periods in the learner’s life course. Within each strategy, there are initiatives that attempt to address cultural difference.

The primer contains links to examples of every type of program.

Lighting the Fire: Experiences of Indigenous Faculty in Ontario Universities

Source: Ontario’s Universities

Summary: With a shared commitment towards advancing reconciliation, Ontario’s universities continue to work to better support Indigenous voices and peoples in university environments across the province.

The insights within the sector-driven report, Lighting the Fire: Experiences of Indigenous Faculty in Ontario Universities – the first of its kind in Canada – will serve as an important step towards gaining a deeper understanding into the experiences of Indigenous faculty members at our institutions.

While Indigenization initiatives vary across universities, they help fuel the development of knowledge and skills that will follow individuals beyond university walls.

From inclusion to fundamental transformation, Ontario’s universities are:

  • Increasing the number of Indigenous students, faculty and staff in university settings;
  • Offering support programs for students;
  • Bringing cultural elements into the university space, including practices such as smudging and events such as powwows; and
  • Adjusting aspects of university structures and spaces in order to more fully include Indigenous peoples and cultural practices, and more.

Useful Links for Indigenous Education

Source: Ontario Teachers’ Federation (OTF)

Summary: You will find valuable information on various organizations, with links to their websites and resources to help you plan your education and professional development.

Please note that these links are provided for informational and educational purposes only. New links to other resources will be added as they become available. We therefore invite you to visit this site often.

The OTF Teacher Resources Tool – Web Resources is provided to assist all teachers.

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.

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