This article is from the perspective of a non-Native social worker working in a Native social work program. He speaks of the harsh realities that First Nations people have endured and how working in this program has enlightened his perspective immensely. His overall understanding of cultural competency and Aboriginal issues is beneficial is assisting and providing the level of support needed in crisis. He speaks of his interest in working in the Native Social work program and the obstacles he faced due to being non-Native. He understood that he required some background knowledge so enrolled in as many Aboriginal courses he could. He came to understand that First Nations people were one of the most oppressed group, and because of this, what better group to teach people about oppression and resilience.
This Brown University website recognizes the importance of culture in learning. It lists the “What”, “Why” and “How” of the seven aspects of culturally responsive teaching. These aspects include positive perspectives on parents and families, communicating of high expectations, as well as allowing students to learn within the context of their culture. Furthermore, teacher instruction should be student-centred and culturally mediated. These principles can be applied to our everyday classroom.
The First Nation Education Resources (FNER) blog contains a plethora of online educational resources for both educators as well as students. The goal of the webmaster is to improve the lives of Aboriginal students across Canada as well as to inform educators on how to engage First Nations students in the classroom. Educational resources are separated into subject matter and provides examples of thematic units, Aboriginal student projects, as well as resource kits available for teachers. Student resources links users to Aboriginal awards as well as online games and apps. For the purposes of ETEC 521, the webmaster has compiled a large number of papers and articles under the heading of Professional Development. This website is very useful for day-to-day education of First Nations populations.
To access the content of this blog, proceed to this website address: https://fner.wordpress.com/
The Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium in conjunction with Alberta Education has created a website to assist educators in providing an authentic learning experience which reflects the values and traditions of the First Nations, Metis and Inuit populations. These groups have chosen to provide resources which focus on both literacy and numeracy. In addition to free resources which are embedded within this website, there is a travelling classroom library which can be requested by educators. This library provides students with culturally responsive books for loan. The cultural awareness section is meant for educators and administrators who are unaware or require additional information on the needs of these students and their families. This website is an excellent resource for teachers of Aboriginal students. For the purposes of our course, this website provides an insight on the reality of how few literary resources are available for students. For students reading (or seeing) literary representations of themselves is important for empowering them within their communities.
To access this website, go to: http://empoweringthespirit.ca/
Ronaye Kooperberg (Module 3 – Post 5 – Community Reality)
The Aboriginal Multi-Media Society is an Aboriginal communications society dedicated to serving the needs of Aboriginal people throughout Canada. The mandate of the AMMSA is to provide an objective view of news, education and technology to the Canadian aboriginal community. This organization publishes Windspeaker and Alberta Sweetgrass as well as a wide-reaching radio station. This website is quite useful in viewing how current events are interpreted or impacting the First Nations of Canada. Furthermore, this website connects the aboriginal community with current events to use in the classroom while respecting the values of the Indigenous people. I happened upon this website while exploring current barriers to post-secondary education for aboriginal students.
To access this website, go to: http://www.ammsa.com/content/home
This site represents the collaboration of 6 first nations groups working together to advocate for land ownership, jurisdiction & law making, culture heritage, natural resources etc.
It serves as another example of how technology is being used to strengthen communication among various bands to strengthen native issues and create meaningful change that will facilitate the preservation of culture and ensure its continued development.
This site is a catalog of various Aboriginal languages. The site provides linguistic and cultural links for those interested in researching the subjects. Their mission is “dedicat[ion] to the survival of Native American languages, particularly through the use of Internet technology.”
This site is very basic in design but contains an enormous amount of content. Those researching protection of Aboriginal culture through technology and specifically protection of languages will benefit from its use.
This literature review explores the following question: “To what extent do teacher attitudes, norms, values, basic assumptions, and behaviour influence authentic inclusion, infusion, and embedding of Aboriginal perspectives in the Alberta Social Studies Program?” Ottman and Pritchard (2010) discuss why it is difficult for many teachers to integrate Aboriginal cultures and perspectives as they have not had the appropriate educational background to prepare them for such diverse classrooms. They introduce culturally responsive classrooms and how teachers can prepare for teaching that is more culturally sensitive, including: self-reflection, evaluation of values and beliefs, using resources, teaching material, and instructional strategies that respect the culture, life experience, and the learning needs of each student; and acknowledging the contribution that each student has made to the culture and learning dynamic of the classroom.
Fiona Nicholl has adopted a different approach to teaching race relations or indigenous studies in the classroom. She calls it critical whiteness theory and the focus here is on “exploring whiteness as a problematic, critical whiteness theory reverses the tendency of white academics of every political persuasion in Australia to focus investigation on Aboriginal ‘issues’ or ‘problems.” (Nicholl, 2004). This seems to fits a ‘culturally responsive form of teaching where the focus is not on the other but includes a study of white culture and values in the context of humanity and places all subjects on an equal footing where they look at one another to gain a greater understanding of one another.