Author Archives: emily ansley

Storytelling as a Foundation to Literacy Development for Aboriginal Children: Culturally and Developmentally Appropriate Practices
It is determined in this article that Aboriginal children are at a severe disadvantage at school and more specifically, with literacy and literacy development.  The authors suggest that an introduction to oral storytelling is, not only an Aboriginal tradition, but it is also the first steps when learning to read and write.  Storytelling, historically and today, is the way that First Nations people share knowledge, culture and lessons and in doing this they preserve what is most important to them: language, traditions, culture and identity.   Combined with the oral and storytelling components it is also brought forward  that the  literacy resources used need to reflect First Nations culture and address the social and spiritual realities of Aboriginal learner.

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First Nations Pedagogy Online

Literacy has, historically, been continually  looked at through a mainstream lens that does not typically  fit with Aboriginal culture and needs.  It has been realized that, although, there are many literacy models out there, a few key principles are true.  For example,  First Nations children require literacy development in their traditional languages as well as mainstream language, children should be encouraged to tell stories and express themselves orally as seen in First Nations culture and finally connecting with Elders can help develop traditional literacies.

During colonization,  traditional teaching styles used to teach theory and hands on lessons were repressed; however, as we push for 21st century learning and teaching, it has been realized that these styles are extremely valuable in teaching aboriginal and non aboriginal students.

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Bridging Canada’s Digital Divide: First Nations’ access to new information technologies

This article, written in 2001, is an interesting read. It is noted that geographic or social isolation, high costs and lack of infrastructure contribute to a digital divide between First Nations people and other Canadians.  It looks at the historical context of the digital divide and how it dates back to Canada’s colonial history.

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Deepening Knowledge Resources for and about Aboriginal Education

This website from the University of Toronto has a plethora of information about integrating and bringing Aboriginal studies into the classroom. The cross curricular lessons are a good starting point, not just for First Nation study classes, but for English, Science, History, and Civic Studies.  The various links to curriculum vary from K-12 with a wide range of ideas and resources.  Interestingly, a link is provided to access numerous apps for stories that explore First Nations culture and heritage, along with apps for language acquisition.

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Land of the Shuswap

This website documents the Land of the Shuswap and shares the history, culture and language of the Secwepemc people.  The stories of the Secwepemc, that are often told orally, are talked about in great detail.  As well,  the connections the First Nations people have with the land, including various animals and nature.  It also documents the traditional aspect of songs and dance and what kind of impacts they have on their lives.

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Aboriginal Education: Beyond Words

This document gives a glimpse into what it’s like in school for many Aboriginal students.   It talks of the racism that is found within schools and how to create a more inclusive atmosphere. This is put out by the BCTF, therefore it’s primarily from the perspective of the education system; however, It does include short write ups from the perspective of Aboriginal students.

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Learning through the Arts Aboriginal Web Design

This link offers lesson plans where students learn to design a web page navigational tool and organize their web content based on the teachings of an Aboriginal Medicine Wheel.  There are numerous ideas  and teaching ideas around Aboriginal culture and student usage of the internet for educational purposes.  The students will learn how to create a website, while accessing and documenting Aboriginal heritage.

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