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Category: Professional Development

Ontario Ministry First Nation, Métis, Inuit Education Policy Framework

Source: Aboriginal Education Office – Ontario Ministry of Education
Focus: Teachers and Researchers

Summary: Ontario and Aboriginal leaders recognize the importance of education in improving lifelong opportunities for First Nation, Métis, and Inuit children and youth. Ontario’s New Approach to Aboriginal Affairs commits the government to working with Aboriginal leaders and organizations to improve education outcomes among Aboriginal students.

Acting on this commitment, the Ministry of Education has identified Aboriginal education as one of its key priorities, with a focus on meeting two primary challenges by the year 2016 – to improve achievement among First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students and to close the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students in the areas of literacy and numeracy, retention of students in school, graduation rates, and advancement to postsecondary studies. The ministry recognizes that, to achieve these goals, effective strategies must be developed to meet the particular educational needs of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students.

The Ontario First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Education Policy Framework, as presented in this document, is intended to provide the strategic policy context within which the Ministry of Education, school boards, and schools will work together to improve the academic achievement of the estimated 50,312 Aboriginal students who attend provincially funded elementary and secondary schools in Ontario (18,300 First Nations, 26,200 Métis, and 600 Inuit students who live in the jurisdictions of school boards, and 5,212 living in First Nations communities but served under a tuition agreement).

The framework also clarifies the roles and relationships of the ministry, school boards, and schools in their efforts to help First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students achieve their educational goals and close the gap in academic achievement with their non-Aboriginal counterparts.

Aboriginal Perspectives: A Guide to the Teacher’s Toolkit – Ontario

Source: Ontario Ministry of Education
Focus: Teachers of Elementary and Secondary students

Summary: Ontario’s revised curriculum has provided teachers with many new opportunities to enrich teaching and learning in Ontario schools through the introduction of Aboriginal themes, topics and perspectives.

The Teacher’s Toolkit has been developed to provide Ontario teachers with the support they need to bring Aboriginal perspectives to life in the classroom. Here’s how:

Part I: Great ideas for teaching and learning

As part of the curriculum review process, expectations are being incorporated into many areas of the elementary and secondary curriculum to help teachers bring First Nation, Métis and Inuit histories, cultures and perspectives into the classroom. These documents provide teachers with a handy reference to those expectations contained in revised curricula released as of November, 2007.

Part II: Practical teaching strategies

This series provides teachers with professionally developed teaching strategies created by experts from across Ontario. Each strategy is designed to address one or more curriculum expectations, and many incorporate effective cross-curricular connections.

Sound Foundations for the Road Ahead: Fall 2009 Progress Report

Source: Ontario Ministry of Education
Focus: Teachers and Educators

Summary: The Aboriginal Education Strategy was launched with the release of Ontario First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Education Policy Framework, 2007. The framework is the foundation for delivering quality education to all First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students who attend provincially funded elementary and secondary schools in Ontario.

At the launch of the framework, the ministry committed to reporting publicly on implementation progress every three years. This report provides an overview of the steps the ministry, school boards, schools, and community partners have taken to implement the strategies outlined in the framework and to support First Nation, Métis, and Inuit student success.

This report is not intended to be an evaluation or an assessment of individual boards. Rather, it offers an update on the progress made to date, and shares recommendations on ways in which all partners can work together effectively to reach every student, build capacity, and raise awareness.

Resources for Aboriginal Studies

Source: University of Saskatchewan Libraries and University of Saskatchewan Archives
Focus: Teachers, senior students and researchers

Summary: The first phase of Resources for Aboriginal Studies project began in June 1995. During this phase the University Libraries and the University Archives began indexing and digitizing archival and published materials relating to aboriginal and Mètis studies. The project team created four databases with 2900 records, digitized more than 300 photographs, 60 documents and 60 law cases. Since 1995, work has continued. There are 647 photographs entries, 363 archival materials, and 527 law cases.

The University of Saskatchewan Libraries and University of Saskatchewan Archives began this project because of the enormous increase in demand for First Nations materials, from the University, First Nations communities and the general public. Providing electronic access to materials by, for and about Saskatchewan First Nations peoples through indexes and full text documentation to these materials would be a cost-effective means of increasing their availability.

UNESCO, 2009, Learning and Knowing in Indigenous Societies Today

Source:This publication is a collaborative effort of: The Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (LINKS) Programme, Natural Sciences Sector, The Intangible Heritage Section, Culture Sector, and The Division of Cultural Policies and Intercultural Dialogue, Culture Sector

Summary: Education, as it is understood in a Western context, is highlighted by many as both a major cause of the decline of indigenous knowledge, and also as a potential remedy for its demise. This 124 page document discusses the loss of specialized knowledge of nature and how it is a grave concern for many indigenous communities throughout the world.

The document is organised into three sections. The first addresses the link between indigenous knowledge and indigenous language, and explores the opportunities this interconnection provides for understanding and countering declines in both. The second section examines how the loss of indigenous knowledge due to insensitive school programmes may be countered by integrating indigenous knowledge and languages into school curricula. The third section explores the need for the revitalisation of indigenous ways of learning, generally outside of a classroom environment, and how this may be practically viable in modern contexts.

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