8th Indigenous Mathematics K-12 Symposium
Summary of the Day by Maria Jose Athie
Living Mathematics in our communities: Listening to the Land– this year’s theme of the 8th Aboriginal Mathematics K-12 Symposium. The Symposium brought together over 140 educators, community members, teacher candidates and researchers for a full day of exploring mathematics, community and culture. Participants from across the province including Haida Gwaii, Prince George, Quadra Island, Saanichton, Penticton, Vernon, Campbell River, Osoyoos, Bowen Island, Cochrane Albert, Mission, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Sunshine Coast, Victoria, Maple Ridge, the Lower Mainland, and also two participants from Regina and Calgary, met May 17 at the Sty-Wet-Tan Hall in the First Nations Longhouse University of British Columbia to share and discuss strategies for improving Aboriginal/Indigenous mathematics education.
Dr. Jo-ann Archibald introduced us to Sty-Wet-Tan Hall and explained the meaning of each pole. Then she shared a story about Lady Louse that prepared all of us to engage in the day’s activities. Dr. Cynthia Nicol, shared some of the work on math and land in Haida Gwaii. After exploring the Geometries of Liberation and the Grid with Dr. Ed Doolittle, participants worked on solving the bridges’ problem while discussing possibilities and implications for classrooms.
This year eight participants shared their projects. Amanda Fritzlan of the University of British Columbia, Jesse Hills of Vancouver, Janice Novakowski of Richmond School District, David Barnum of Sunshine Coast and Simon Fraser University, Kim Padington, Jennifer Harry and Mary Morrow of Campbell River, Lori Phillip of School District 22, Dana Bjornson of School District 61, and Sheloah Klausen of School District 44 participated in the Igniting the Sparkle Sharing by offering short presentations of their projects on Indigenous mathematics education with school students. Dr. Susan Gerosky, engaged participants with rope making as a traditional and cultural activity to be used in math.
Success of the Symposium was made possible with the help of 10 volunteers including graduate and teacher education students and with support from our sponsors: The First Nations House of Learning, UBC’s Faculty of Education, Indigenous Education Institute of Canada, Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences, UBC’s Indigenous Teacher Education Program, UBC’s David F. Robitaille Professorship in Mathematics and Science Education and The Actuarial Foundation of Canada.