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COVID-19 Resources for Indigenous Communities and Individuals

Source: McGill University

Summary:  There are many helpful resources for Indigenous Peoples, with a focus on First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities in Canada and Quebec (though some international and U.S. resources are included). The following resources have been gathered by the Cultural and Indigenous Research in Counselling Psychology (CIRC) lab within the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology at McGill University.

Creation Stories: Creating Strong Families through our Stories

Source: Indigenous Education: The National Centre for Collaboration

Focus: Early Childhood

Summary: Creation Storiesis a community-based research project that focuses on personal interviews with Elders and Knowledge Keepers who share their life experience stories to help expectant and new parents/guardians pass on positive teachings to their children. Parents/guardians can create their own stories to add to these teachings.

This lesson plan is based on an actual project that took place in Prince Edward Island, the goal of which was the creation of a handbook that provides insights and inspiration for new and expectant parents/guardians to “ . . . ground yourself in your creation story, to take control of your story, so you can reframe your life, beliefs, and practices to create the best story for your family” (p. vii, Creation Stories: Creating Strong Families through Our Stories).

This lesson plan outlines an approach to this community-based research project and can be delivered as a multi-session program. This project can be led by organization members and/or educators, or by university and/or college students to use as a community-based research project.

Teaching Guides: The Secret Life of Water

Source: CBC Podcast

Focus: Secondary students

Summary: Can the foundation of Canada be traced back to Indigenous waterways and trade routes? What is the past, present, and future of this precious resource? This episode of  The Secret Life of Canada explores the importance of water to traditional trade and transportation routes, analyzes how settlement impacted Indigenous access to land and water, and investigates the current water crisis in Canada.

Possible teaching connections include Geography, History, Social Studies, Indigenous Studies, Civics, and Anthropology. 

Carving canoes, reforming the Indian Act, gathering wisdom from Elders: 6 films by Indigenous filmmakers | CBC Documentaries

Source: CBC Gem

Focus: Secondary students

Summary: Documentaries about resilience, art, and reclaiming history.

-Carving canoes to serve communities

-Educating and advocating through documentary film

-Fighting sexism in the Indian Act

-Carrying on history by caring for Elders

-Using comedy to ask tough questions

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.

First Nations Language Curriculum Building Guide K-12

Source: Marianne Ignace, Ph.D., FNESC and FNSA, British Columbia

Focus: K-12

Summary: This document was developed at the request of the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC). Recognizing the diversity and wealth of First Nations languages and cultures in British Columbia (BC) and their critically endangered state, this paper is intended to assist First Nations language teachers, members of First Nations language communities, educational staff in First Nations and public schools, and policy makers as they consider First Nations language and culture frameworks at the K – 12 level, as informed by existing and emerging research and approaches. In addition, it is also meant to serve as a guide for designing language and culture K – 12 curriculum that will provide practical tools for First Nations language groups, curriculum developers and teachers. This document builds on a prior draft document developed for FNESC, “The Breath of Our Ancestors” (2012), parts of which are included in Appendix Four of this document.

National Indigenous Economic Strategy for Canada 2022: Pathways to Socioeconomic Parity for Indigenous Peoples

Summary: This National Indigenous Economic Strategy for Canada is the blueprint to achieve the meaningful engagement and inclusion of Indigenous Peoples in the Canadian economy. It has been initiated and developed by a coalition of national Indigenous organizations and experts in the field of economic development. The Strategy is supported by four Strategic Pathways: People, Lands, Infrastructure, and Finance. Each pathway is further defined by a vision that describes the desired outcomes for the actions and results of individual Strategic Statements. The Calls to Economic Prosperity recommend specific actions to achieve the outcomes described in the Strategic Statements.

This document is not intended as a strategic plan specifically, but rather a strategy that others can incorporate into their own strategic plans. In developing this Strategy, we built upon the many reports and research findings that have identified concrete recommendations and solutions to realize the vast potential of Indigenous economies. It is our hope that this strategy offers a pathway, a guide, and an opportunity for all Canadians to share our vision for economic equality and be part of this important effort. Across Canada, progressive leadership along with vibrant Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs are strengthening communities, contributing to regional economies, supporting self-determination, and leading economic reconciliation. This represents a vast future potential that could be realized in more communities if the right conditions were in place—inclusive of all Indigenous Peoples.

The Report included findings and recommendations relating to Nation rebuilding, recognition of an Indigenous order of government, creation of an Indigenous Parliament, expansion of the Indigenous land base, recognition of Métis self-government and rights, and new initiatives to address social, education, and housing needs. The Report also dedicated significant attention to the goal of developing a viable economic base for Indigenous Peoples.

Study: Unmet health care needs during the pandemic and resulting impacts among First Nations people living off reserve, Métis, and Inuit, March 2020 to May 2021

Source: Statistics Canada

Summary: Released: 2022-08-30

The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant social, economic and health impacts on Indigenous People. Little is known about access to health care services during the pandemic and the potential effects of unmet health care needs among First Nations people living off reserve, Métis, and Inuit.

A new study released data from the Survey on Access to Health Care and Pharmaceuticals during the Pandemic, collected between March 8 and May 15, 2021, to explore the prevalence of various chronic conditions, and health care services that were needed and not received, among First Nations People living off reserve, Métis, and Inuit in the provinces. The study also explores experiences of discrimination and related barriers to access of health services and the reported health impact of service delays and disruptions on these populations.

Étude : Les besoins en soins de santé insatisfaits pendant la pandémie et leurs répercussions sur les Premières Nations vivant hors réserve, les Métis et les Inuits, Mars 2020 à mai 2021

Source: Statistique Canada

Résumé: Diffusion : 2022-08-30

La pandémie de COVID-19 a eu d’importantes répercussions sociales, économiques et sanitaires sur les Autochtones. Cependant, on en sait peu à propos des répercussions de la pandémie sur l’accès aux services de soins de santé et sur les effets potentiels des besoins en soins de santé insatisfaits parmi les membres des Premières Nations vivant hors réserve, les Métis, et les Inuits.

Une nouvelle étude publiée s’appuie sur les données de l’Enquête sur l’accès aux soins de santé et aux produits pharmaceutiques durant la pandémie, recueillies du 8 mars au 15 mai 2021, pour explorer la prévalence de diverses maladies chroniques et les services de soins de santé qui étaient nécessaires, mais qui n’ont pas été reçus, parmi les membres des Premières Nations vivant hors réserve, les Métis, et les Inuits dans les provinces. L’étude traite également des expériences de discrimination et des obstacles connexes à l’accès aux services de santé, et de l’impact sur la santé qu’ont les retards et les interruptions de ces services sur ces groupes de population.

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