Author Archives: erin howard

Module 4 Weblog- Erin Howard

I must say that this weblog assignment has been vital to my learning in the class. Through my research and “web-travels”, I went down many necessary rabbit holes and discovered amazing resources. I have also learned through the posts of my peers. This is a site I will bookmark and continue to refer to throughout my career as an educator.

University of Saskatchewan Indian Teacher Education Program (ITEP)

Many of the readings and videos in the last two modules spoke to the need for trained teachers in Northern areas who were a part of the community and made long lasting connections with students. The students in the videos spoke about how important it was to have Indigenous teachers from their very own communities. As I watched, I wondered how Canadian post-secondary institutions were addressing this need through their programming. I found a great example from the University of Saskatchewan that supports Indigenous students who would like to become teachers. Applicants are encouraged through a coordinator and also flexible admission for new and mature students. The curriculum integrates subject matter that will prepare teachers to work with Indigenous students. I came across another related page that showed how U of S also offers an Indigenous Languages Certificate for any educator to enrich their education.

Think Indigenous Podcast

The Think Indigenous Podcast comes out of the ITEP program (linked in above posting) at the U of S. The podcast is situated at the intersection of “digital media, education, and Indigenous storytelling” and features many interesting and knowledgeable guest speakers. I just discovered this podcast and will need to catch up on past episodes, but it is incredibly relevant to this class as it is all about Indigenous education. A description on its websites promises that the program “peels back the layers, shines a light on and celebrates best practices in Indigenous education!”. It is available for free on many platforms and there is even an accompanying conference that people can attend. I am very impressed at the Indigenous education initiatives coming out of the University of Saskatchewan!

Redefining How Success is Measured in First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Learning- Canadian Council on Learning

This document is about 10 years old but the principles in it are very relevant to today when we are looking at strategies to assist with Indigenizing curriculum. It is also very applicable to any level in education (K-post secondary) that serves indigenous students. The document outlines best practices in several areas: understanding FNMI learners, redefining how Indigenous success in education is measured and looking at holistic learning models and forms of assessment. Place based learning is explored throughout the document, as well as the need to integrate community, language, and Elders into education. The document is full of statistics, quotes from educators, evidence-based recommendations and great graphics. It really brings many of the topics we have explored in our ETEC class together! 

First Peoples Principles of Learning Blog Site

This resource is a WordPress site created by BC educator Jo Chrona. For those of you who use Twitter, Jo (@luudisk) is definitely a must-follow as she posts a lot on the topic of Indigenous education and often shares her viewpoint on issues as well as some rich resources. Her blog site is equally full of tools for educators, and is a thoughtful compilation of research, resources, professional development activities and links to other initiatives in BC and Canada. A quick look at her reference page demonstrates many of the readings that we did in our ETEC class- there is no mention but I wondered if this was possibly an assignment related to this class as it was posted in 2014- worth looking at for any Canadian educator!

Elder in The Making (Film/Series)

Although this resource doesn’t really fit with the theme of the other items in my weblog, I could not resist the need to share it with my classmates as I enjoyed viewing it so much and would recommend it to anyone. Elder in the making is a film (broken into 6 episodes- and free to watch on YouTube) that showcases the journey of Chris Hsiung, a Chinese Canadian from Calgary and CowboyX, a young Blackfoot man from southern Alberta, and their quest to discover their own heritage and how someone comes to be an Elder. One thing I have learned in this class is that in order to understand other cultures, we must first do a self-examination of our own relationship to culture. This documentary is stunningly beautiful, honest, emotional, and educational. In the final episode, an unexpected event leaves Chris and Cowboy to mourn the loss of a friend, yet is inspirational and renews hope for the future. This film is created by local artists and really brings together what we’ve learned in our ETEC class and shares it through the use of technology and storytelling. I ended up watching all the episodes in one day- a must see!

Module 3 Weblog- Erin Howard

In this module 3 weblog, I am beginning to narrow my search to some of the institutions and organizations that are leading and supporting Indigenization strategies for post secondary. I am finding that so much good work has been done, but there are also many lessons documented for the future. Here were some great sites I found this module:

Indigenous Education Protocol: Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan)

Colleges and Institutes Canada (CiCan) recognizes that colleges serve many Indigenous students throughout Canada, the North included. The organization has clearly defined seven principles aimed at Indigenization of colleges and has encouraged institutions to become signatories by implementing in these principles. So far, there are 54 signatories across Canada. Additional links such as background of the protocol, member documents, resources and FAQ’s are included in the site.

Inspiring Relationships Indigenization Plan: Comosun College

This document was created by Comosun college (Vancouver Island) and was implemented in 2013 and 2014. Although it is a few years old, it has a strong framework for how they approached Indigenization at their institution. They base their strategy on four “corner posts”: curriculum development and delivery, services for students, policy and strategic planning and employee education. Each of these four areas has clear goals and actions to complete. The plan and is laid out in an easy-to-understand format. It includes a comprehensive section on strengths, challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned.

First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC)

FNESC recognized that they needed a collective organization that was dedicated to the betterment of education for all Indigenous learners from K to post secondary. THis organization practices at the provincial level and works to improve success in education to BC’s Indigenous population through research, communication, advocacy, and networking. This site includes comprehensive annual reports, resources for students and educators, media (videos and images), and opportunities to become involved. They put on a yearly conference that looks fantastic (in fact, it is already full for this coming year!)

BC Campus Indigenization Project: Environmental Scan Summary

This publication is an environmental scan completed by BC Campus that analyzes professional learning resources and opportunities that are available for staff and educators. Their findings are quite interesting and look at the type of training available, training topics, access to resources, authenticity of resources, and engagement of faculty and staff. This provides a great overview to see what is currently being offered and where gaps may still exist.

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh

I wasn’t sure if I should post this resource and have had it in my “maybe” list since the start of this course. I decided to post it for the reason that none of the indigenization strategies will be as effective unless those of us who are not Indigenous first “unpack our knapsacks” and realize that we inevitably bring our own histories, pasts, values and viewpoints to our interactions whether we are aware of it or not. Recognizing our biases is the first step in removing them and moving forward.

Module 2 Weblog- Erin Howard

In this module’s weblog, I begin to dig deeper for sites that can inform post secondary institutions and educators on how to infuse Indigenous perspectives into their curriculum through best practices and quality resources.

University of Lethbridge FNMI Curriculum Database

I stumbled upon this incredibly comprehensive database of over 1100 FNMI resources for educators. This resource has been curated by educators at the University of Lethbridge and is dedicated to Johnel Tailfeathers, an educator at the U of L and founder of the database. The database was designed for education students and teachers for the purpose of incorporating Indigenous content into their classrooms. The resource spans content areas as well as grade levels and is searchable by many fields. Resources are hyperlinked where available. It is linked off the U of L FNMI Curriculum page found here:


Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action

This document has many implications to post-secondary education. It calls for changes to programming and curriculum to provide Indigenous perspectives, protect language, and eliminate inequalities in order to begin the reconciliation after the residential school crisis. Although many of the calls to action are targeted at government, I believe that it is our job as educators to take a proactive approach to meeting these requests and allowing this to inform our practices.


Alaska Native Knowledge Network: Culturally-Based Curriculum Resources

This is another database of curriculum resources. It is from Alaska and includes resources for educators that encompass Indigenous perspectives. Some of these resources are place-based, although many would be useful to any educator. The site notes that it includes a “balanced, comprehensive and culturally-aligned curriculum framework adaptable to local circumstances”. What really caught my eye is that these resources are categorized according to an interactive theme-based curriculum spiral which is used to search. This framework challenges educators to consider not only what they are using as resources, but what values the resources may correspond to.

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Deepening Knowledge: Resources for and About Aboriginal Education

University of Toronto’s “Deepening Knowledge Project” aims to incorporate Indigenous perspectives, histories, and knowledge into Canadian education. This site includes a large database for educators, student resources, and community-based resources. I was interested in the Teacher Resources page which had a huge list of up-to-date and relevant resources such as videos, readings, and lesson plans. What also caught attention was the section on First Nation Representation in the Media which examines how Indigenous are portrayed in media and includes quality media produced and written by Indigenous artist. This site is very applicable to this class and could be used as a resource for our final projects.


Aboriginal Post Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework and Action Plan 2020:  Vision for the Future

I couldn’t find a publish date on this particular document but it is still very applicable to my class project as it has a framework and list of recommendations for post-secondary educators with clearly identified targets and milestones through to the year 2020. On pages 12 and 13 are a list of principles and a framework that inform five main goals. These are further broken down into actionable steps and targets for the province. Although this resource is slightly dated, I feel that the principles and goals give a good foundation for post-secondary institutions and educators to consider when envisioning the future.


Module 1 Weblog- Erin Howard

After completing the Module 1 readings, I decided that I would like to narrow my research to the indigenization of curriculum in Higher Education. Here are some of the resources I have discovered so far:

Towards Indigenizing Higher Ed: An Online Storytelling Series

This resource comes out of Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops. Their overall site is great and has a lot of resources, but I was drawn to the storytelling series. A four-part series that took place earlier in 2017 comprised of Indigenous Elders, educators, and students who talk about indigenizing higher education.

Walking Together: First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Perspectives in Curriculum

This site was created by Alberta Education and although it is not specifically target to higher education, I think it is an important one to include. The site is incredibly media rich and robust- with many videos, sound clips and photos. The site aims to provide educators with a resource that has been created in consultation with First Nations, Métis and Inuit and demonstrates their perspectives in teaching and learning experiences.

Kairos Blanket Exercise

I became aware of the blanket exercise as it was offered as a professional development opportunity at the college where I work. It is an incredibly powerful exercise that helps educators and students understand the relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous people in history and today. It is an exercise in empathy and sets the tone for working with indigenous students and other individuals. I included this as I think it’s a great offering for both teachers and students.  

Academica: Current Indigenous Top Ten

Academica sends out a daily blog with news articles about Canadian Higher Education. It maintains a top ten list of articles on several topics- one being the topic of indigenous higher education current events and articles. The site is refreshed daily.

100 Ways to Indigenize and De-Colonize Academic Programs and Courses

This online resource is from Dr. Shaunee Pete at the University of Regina. It is a really comprehensive resource that gives ideas for indigenizing programming in colleges and universities. It is broken down by target audience (Deans and Faculty) and gives tangible, clear instructions and suggestions for educators on how they may de-colonize post-secondary curriculum and programming.