Connecting to the land and connecting with others

In reading this week’s postings, I have found that many of the learning I have gained in this course is about making connections as a means of sharing learning.  Inspired by what I had read this week, I have the following resources to share:

Technology cuts through isolation for northern students

For many Aboriginal Canadians living in isolated areas, there is often little opportunity to learn and share with those from more connected communities.  Based on what has been happening in African communities, communities in Nunavut have been connected with schools in Alberta as a means of cultural exchange.  This sharing of information has helped create a larger cultural exchange between students to re-connect to the land and re-discover themselves.

Students from Moosonee and Toronto meet in Ontario’s far north

A cultural exchange a little closer to home for me, the Catholic school in Moosonee hosted students from Toronto as part of a cultural exchange.  During the visit, the students from Moosonee shared with their Toronto guests many traditional practices to gain a new appreciation for everyday life of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples and life in the north.

Aboriginal Education as Cultural Brokerage: New Aboriginal Teachers Reflect on Language and Culture in the Classroom

In this roundtable discussion, issues around education and Aboriginal cultural beliefs and practices are shared.  As I am discovering in this course, and through my experiences in Moosonee working with Aboriginal youth, traditional post-secondary education programs often offer little in preparation for working in northern communities.  The discussion shares how there needs to be more emphasis on traditional practices and customs while also providing more opportunities for holistic learning rather than book-based.

Storytelling as a Foundation To Literacy Development for Aboriginal Children

Published by the government of Alberta, the focus of this document is the sharing of a curriculum-wide narrative that students can use to trace their own cultural teachings and beliefs through education.  This document was created in response to Aboriginal youth facing many difficulties and an overall lack of cultural and land-based learning.  Using oral histories and teachings, students learn through a narrative more about literacy, their culture and themselves.

The Effects Upon Students of Supplementing Aboriginal Post-Secondary Transition Programs With Traditional Cultural Activities

This thesis shares the effects of incorporating traditional practices and beliefs into Aboriginal student transition programs as a means of helping improve student success.  Part of the findings that stands out to me the most is the need to have culturally-relevant learning opportunities that are created in cooperation with local Aboriginal communities. In the case of my students from Moosonee, such programs would profit them greatly as they prepare for post-secondary opportunities.  Based on the change of student success from those in the thesis, a program can be created for students coming from northern Ontario communities to southern schools.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.