This is how Christi Belcourt used her art for an education setting founded on a First Nation story: Sacred Fisher Story. This mural project is actually a tool guide for educators and students across Ontario based on First Nation teachings and knowledge. Lesson plans are provided, and much more.
My last post (Module 4 Post 4) drew attention to the project “What I learned in class today“, because of my particular interest with the topic, but upon further exploration I found this project’s mother-site, “Indigenous Foundations“. The site describes itself as: a website project developed by the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program. It provides an accessible starting point for instructors, researchers, and students in any discipline who want to learn more about Aboriginal cultures, politics, and histories. The information presented is concise and easily digestible, while still conveying the depth and complexities of the topics.”
On the left taskbar for the site is a run-down of past research initiatives, including “What I learned in class today”, and their current project called “Knowing the Land Beneath our Feet“. A short video made by the two coordinators provides the introduction to the project, which is about making the ‘unfamiliar’ land on which UBC resides (un-ceded Musqueam territory) once again ‘familiar’ to those who travel on it. At the moment they provide walking informational tours, but the website also says that the program plans on making a digital tour as well, which I am particularly happy to hear as I’m across the country!
When I went on a search to see if there are similar tours in Southern Ontario, the closest result I found was at the Woodland Cultural Centre, which is in Brantford and serves three support communities: Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, Six Nations of the Grand River and Wahta Mohawks. They offer a wide range of activities for elementary grades, but I would easily take a grade 9 or 10 class on some of the workshops labeled 6+. I’m glad to have found a potential resource for future school trips, but at least I know now that searching and finding these kinds of centres nearby is more possible than I would have previously thought.
One aspect that has come up in the discussions is the point that many people would like to improve our practice but are at a loss when it comes to finding resources or information to help us expand our ideas.
This website is designed specifically for educators looking to expand their knowledge about First Nations, Inuit, and Metis worldviews. Their mission is to help teachers infuse these worldviews into teaching. This is a beautifully designed website, and absolutely packed with information.
The Yukon First Nations Education Resource has curriculum type documents including lesson plans and teacher guides.
The Lime Network, or the Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education Network, represents a group of New Zealand and Australian Deans of medical education with a two-pronged goal:
- to incorporate traditional/indigenous knowledge into medical education/practical training, and
- to develop best practices in the recruitment, retention and graduation of indigenous medical students
This model is very interesting for a number of reasons, but I think of most use in a course like our own, is the page they’ve developed to share Resources & Lime Publications. On this page, the LIME network shares resources which include a collection of videos/curriculum frameworks and “good practice case studies” (much of undergraduate medical education is currently taught through case-based or problem-based learning).
I actually went looking for examples of ways that indigenous/aboriginal/first nations knowledge has been transposed or infused into the traditional classroom in Canada or elsewhere, but didn’t get far. I did find several examples of ways that indigenous teachings can be included in teacher training:
OISE at University of Toronto
Manitoba does have some resources for the actual integration of “aboriginal perspectives” into curricula, but I am not sure if that integration is mandated, suggested, or if this is simply provided information to be used at will.
This site houses 71 films grouped under 7 themes: the arts, film and representation, colonialism and racism, indigenous knowledge, history and origins, sovereignty and resistance, and youth. This project was created to acknowledge Aboriginal film and its filmmakers and assist educators in teaching about the Aboriginal people. What I really like about this site is that not only does it provide teachers with a rich online resource of films and documentaries, it also provides teachers with lesson plans and unit guides for each theme. The reason this is provided is to bring an accurate awareness and understanding of the Aboriginal People with no stereotypes.