Author Archives: allison kostiuk

Allison’s Cyber Travelling Reflections Part 4

UN Convention
of the
Rights of the Child


This resource showcases the rights of the child developed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Right that childhood is entitled to special care and assistance. This is just a snapshot of the 42 articles outlined in the PDF. The following children’s books also outline these articles in kid-friendly language:


I think this will be especially pertinent to touch on when dealing with the topic of Residential Schools and which rights they violated. Some children will be influenced by the wording in these rights, but many will be affected by the pictures detailed in these books.

Operation Street Angel
Ktunaxa Nation


Operation Street Angel is a local program in my area designed to assist those facing poverty. It follows the Ktunaxa Nation vision statement:

Strong, healthy citizens and communities, speaking our languages and celebrating who we are and our history in our ancestral homelands, working together, managing our lands and resources, within a self-sufficient, self-governing Nation.

It is important to be aware of local services available in our own communities. A colleague at my school has been making mittens out of recycled sweaters and her proceeds from selling these are going to the Street Angels. Our students are going to be involved in this project to help give back to our community and grow a connection to the services available.

In Our Own Words:
Bringing Authentic First Peoples Content to the K-3 Classroom


This resource was developed by the First Nations Education Steering Committee. With specific primary resources, units include All About Me, Gifts from the Earth, Stories of the Seasons, Our Animal Neighbours, The Spirit of Celebration, The Power of Stories, Making Our Ancestors Proud, and Stories from the Sky. This authentic resource with Aboriginal content also contains a link to a resource guide listing more authentic resources available on these topics. In addition, this resource contains contact information for teachers to connect with local Aboriginal contacts. There are many tips throughout this resource that will help guide teachers through the content while maintaining respect and authenticity.

Two Worlds Meet
Inquiry Project


This link is the link to resources I obtained from a conference I attended this weekend. This presentation was based on an inquiry project that the presenter engaged with her students and schools on Aboriginal topics. Their inquiry project included educating intermediate students using concepts of indigenous knowledge and history in BC’s new redesigned curriculum. Students were put into multi-age and multi-class groups of 5-6 students. Together they created a field notebook and engaged with material containing Aboriginal content. In this notebook students would record images, connections, feelings, and emotions to the content they were learning. Next, students developed deep questions and decided on an inquiry project of interest and meaningful to them. The end result of this project was a museum and community event in their gym with project information on display. I really connected to the format of this inquiry project and hope to try it out with my own students soon.

All About Explorers


This website was designed by teachers to educate students on authentic sources and research on the internet. The website design appears to be a legitimate place to find information about various explorers including Christopher Columbus, Samuel de Champlain, Jacques Cartier, John Cabot, and more. Selecting an explorer takes the viewer to a page of information. At first glance and scanning through much of the information appears to be accurate. However, open a closer read you will encounter some outlandish claims such as Samuel de Champlain founding the Quebecois nordique NHL and Christopher Columbus being fascinated by laptops and cell phones of the First Nations people he encountered. The purpose of this site is to show students how easily one can be misled with information on the internet. I think this will be important for me to use when doing any research projects with my students that includes online research.

Allison’s Cyber Travelling Reflections Part 3

First Nations Education Steering Committee

I chose to feature this site because it is based on British Columbia and has sections containing authentic First Peoples resources for kindergarten to grade nine students. Of particular relevance to me and my research is a section dedicated to Indian Residential Schools complete with history, photographs, and information. It also contains specific links and information to use when teaching the new social studies curriculum in the primary classroom.


Ktunaxa Nation

The Ktunaxa Nation surrounds the area in which I live. The Residential School, St. Eugene Mission, is one of the places I will be focusing my project on and how we can teach elementary students appropriately about residential schools. This website incorporates many local resources for language, social and emotional development and support opportunities. I hope that this resource will provide me with some contacts to assist my project and planning.


First Peoples’ Cultural Council

I came across this website as I was revisiting the First Voices website that I wrote about it my first post. The First Peoples’ Cultural Council is a First Nations-run Crown Cooperation with a focus on the revitalization of Aboriginal language, arts, and culture in British Columbia. This site appears to be regularly updated and maintained to include relevant local news on issues around British Columbia. It also includes links to support Aboriginal languages, heritage toolkits for First Nations cultural workers, grants to facilitate Aboriginal artists connecting to Aboriginal youth and communities, as well as information on internships and language and culture camps.


Orange Shirt Day

I was directed to this site through Mary Sikkes’ post during our class discussion #8. Orange Shirt Day is held at the end of September in BC as a reminder that “every child matters”. This day is in recognition of the abuse incurred at Residential Schools, inspired by Phyllis’ story, a 6-year old girl who had her clothes taken away from her on her first day of school at the St. Joseph Mission residential school. The resources page on this site lists background information, sample agendas and video showing community ceremonies, and discussion guides. This will be an especially helpful resource for me to include in my final project on teaching elementary students about Residential schools.


Dr. Martin Brokenleg

I had the privilege a few years ago of attending a talk given by Dr. Martin Brokenleg. He spoke of the circle of courage, of youth at risk, and of what we need to be doing for our students in our classrooms today. I am including this resource in my list because I admire Dr. Brokenleg’s teachings and want to remember this space and links to refer back to when necessary.


Allison’s Cyber Travelling Reflections Part 2

These links are ones I have recently come across that relate to my research project on teaching elementary students about Residential Schools, as well as links that support the teaching of First Nations culture to younger students.

The Owl and the Raven: An Inuit Legend

This Inuit legend tells the story of how raven’s feathers turned black. I like this video because it is using authentic language and is engaging for young audiences. Using stop-motion video techniques allows children to get into the story and learn about a legend and culture through storytelling. Hearing an authentic voice speak the language adds to the experience of this charming story.

Common Portrayals of Aboriginal People


I came across this link in Kimberly Cook’s references in her Discussion #5 post. I chose to include it in my resources because I feel it may be important to incorporate into my research for my final project. Although at this point I intend to focus on the topic of residential schools I think it would be important to also introduce the concept of stereotypes to my students during discussions and how this related to the times when residential schools were prevalent.


YESNet First Nations Programs & Partnerships


This is a link I came across in my other course, ETEC565A. YESNet is the Yukon Education Student Network, and the First Nations section of this website contains numerous K-12 resources that are directly related to First Nations cultures both in the Yukon and the rest of Canada. These resources include curriculum on relationships, attachments, restorative practices, culturally relevant programs, and activities. You can find book lists, games, study guides and templates relating subjects such as science, math, social studies, and the arts.

10 Books About Residential Schools To Read With Your Kids


I included this link because of my love for picture books! Storytelling can be a very powerful way to get across important lessons, thoughts, and feelings. Storytelling is also an integral part of many First Nations cultures so it is fitting to incorporate stories into teachings about Aboriginal cultures and ways of life. This particular list includes authentic stories based on real events of First Nations children going to residential schools. These stories open up a space for conversation on this tough topic. The book list contains age range recommendations and a brief synopsis of each title with a picture of the book, too.

Aboriginal Worldviews and Perspectives in the Classroom


I chose this particular image to represent this resource because these Principles of Learning summarize important foundations at the root of many First Nations cultures. This resource comprises the results of meetings between five districts across BC with urban and rural aboriginal and non-aboriginal participants. This compilation contains photos of activities in classrooms as well as projects, meaningful quotes from educators and participants around the province, as well as sections on:

  • Connectedness and Relationship
  • Awareness of History
  • Local Focus
  • Engagement with the Land, Nature, the Outdoors
  • Emphasis on Identity
  • Community Involvement: Process and Protocols
  • The Power of Story
  • Traditional Teaching
  • Language and Culture
  • Experiential Learning
  • The Role of the Teacher
  • Community Engagement
  • Teacher Preservice Training and Inservice Professional Development
  • A Positive, Learner-Centred Approach

Allison’s Cyber-Travelling Reflection Part 1/4

First Voices –


This website is a language archive collection of Indigenous cultures in Canada. By selecting a province, visitors can see the various tribes and in their respective areas around the province. By choosing a specific group, you are then transported to a page with language resources. The page for the area where I live, in southeastern British Columbia home to the Ktunaxa people, contains 2500 words and 1114 phrases archived. The Ktunaxa people have even developed their own language app available in the App store. Along with audio files and an alphabet with sound to hear the language spoken authentically, visitors also have access to an art gallery, games, and community slideshow.

Fatty Legs –


This website takes you to the publisher site for the novel, Fatty Legs by Christy Jordan-Fenton & Margaret Pokiak-Fenton. This is a true story that tells of 8-year old Margaret’s own journey to a residential school in the Arctic on her quest to learn how to read.

On this site you will find a peak inside the book, a lesson plan to introduce the book, questions to ask during reading related by chapter, and activities for after reading. There is also a Book Talk resource link that ties in with themes that come up through the story, as well as a podcast by the author. This book is recommended to be read to students ages 9-12. Related books by the same authors are When I Was Eight, Not My Girl, and A Stranger At Home.

Rabbit and Bear Paws –


This site is home to the popular series “Rabbit and Bear Paws”. The Canadian authors of this series aim to teach children about The Seven Grandfather Teachings (Love – Eagle; Courage – Bear; Respect – Buffalo; Humility – Mouse; Honesty – Sabe; Truth – Turtle; Wisdom – Beaver) through children’s picture books and graphic novels.

The Learning Circle –


This collection of resources is put out by the government to assist elementary teachers in teaching about First Nations’ cultures. It provides sample lesson plans with audio files of Aboriginal stories. These units consist of lessons on storytelling, the seasons, sharing, colours, games, and National Aboriginal Day.

Project of Heart –


This project discusses the 150 years of residential schools in BC. The site provides an eBook on the project, as well as a compilation of supporting resources and activities. Originally started in Ontario, Project of Heart has spread across Canada encouraging the education about residential schools. This eBook provides specific information about schools in BC, but also the realities of residential schools all over the country. “Reconciliation is about respect” says Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.