Module Four – Culturally Responsive Inclusion of Stories

Taking into account the importance of involving community members along with educators as co-creators of culturally responsive education with a sense of place, I wanted to explore what resources support or exemplify such partnerships and approaches to learning and storytelling.

(1) Listening to Our Past

With the community support and involvement of sixty-seven Nunavut elders, ten scholars, dozens of students and numerous interpreters, translators and proofreaders, twelve books were made available online on this site, most of which were produced as a research project, Iqaluit Oral History. It is a tri-lingual site with dynamic links to imagery and stories spanning a range of relevant topics. The Francophone Association of Nunavut hosts his website, produced in partnership with multiples parties including the Nunavut Arctic College, the Iqaluit Elders Society, Laval University, the governments of Nunavut and Canada, and many others.

(2) National Film Board of Canada Unikkausivut – Sharing Our Stories

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB), in collaboration with a number of Indigenous government and community organizations, selected more than 60 films from its collection that represent all four Canadian Inuit regions (Nunatsiavut, Nunavik, Nunavut and Inuvialuit). Some are available in Inuktitut. Filmmaking reflects multidisciplinary and highly collaborative work, exemplified in some of the traditional stories found on the NFB site. For example, animator Co Hoedeman’s work is represented in films such as Luumaq, The Owl and the Raven, The Owl and the Lemming and The Owl Who Married a Goose. Although NFB is famous for animation and documentary, and many of its Indigenous stories are documentaries, traditional stories, produced in collaboration with a range of community members, are present in the collection.

(3) Culturally Responsive Instructional Resources for American Indian/Alaska Native Students

The Center on Standards and Assessment Implementation (CSAI) is a collaboration of WestEd and CRESST, two American leaders in the standards and assessment field. This page on their site provides an extensive list of resources that support culturally responsive teaching for American Indian/Alaska Native students and whose lessons can be applied to other Indigenous contexts. CSAI defines culturally responsive teaching as “the application of cultural knowledge, prior experiences, perspectives, and performance styles of AI/AN students to develop more personal connections to classroom learning.”

(4) Principles for Culturally Responsive Teaching

The Education Alliance at Brown University has published a page dedicated to communicating the principles of culturally responsive teaching. This is a simple and useful reference (with resources) that could be modeled or adapted by educational organizations seeking to define and educate its stakeholders, and hold itself accountable for its own approaches to culturally responsive education. It defines the characteristics that the institution operates according to, by explaining What, Why and How under each of the following:

  • Positive perspectives on parents and families
  • Communication of high expectations
  • Learning within the context of culture
  • Student-centered instruction
  • Culturally mediated instruction
  • Reshaping the curriculum
  • Teacher as facilitator

(5) Miscellany: Publications

The following publications cover a range of pedagogical and social issues that can inform culturally responsive Indigenous education in Canada. They are listed in no particular order, reflecting diverse geographic and social perspectives that contribute to the larger discussion.

 

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