Author Archives: fadibi

5 links on language and indigenous ways of teaching

Toward a First Nations Cross-Cultural Science and Technology Curriculum. Retrieved from

This is an interesting article that discusses the contrasts between indigenous and western views on nature and science. It gives examples of cultural border crossing when western-style teachers work with indigenous students. In many instances, the difference in culture either creates misunderstandings or can blur the original view of the indigenous learners with a new mechanical perspective that does not fit their cultural background.


TVO Agenda – The Future of Aboriginal Education: Language. Retrieved from

In this video clip, 25 year old Ryan DeCaire of Wáhta Mohawk Territory gives his view on the importance of encouraging indigenous youth in learning their traditional languages. He welcomes the audience in Mohawk language and explains that many more youngsters are being born in their traditional languages now. He says that in his community, there is a large gap between the age of the youth and older people who speak the indigenous language. This clip shows me the interest and also the affordability of youth in revitalizing their language, as opposed to the generation before them who were victims of the residential schools.


In Their Own Words. The fight to preserve the Cree language. Retrieved from

This article writes about the fight to preserve the Cree language in the Onion Lake community, especially in the Kihew Waciston school. The teachers of this school are native Cree-speakers and the school curriculum emphasizes the land-based education. Students learn language art, math and science, along with skills such as building campfires and plucking geese. The article gives an overview of the history of the Cree language and its survival, as well as an interesting short explanation of the organization of the language itself.


First Nations Pedagogy Online. Retrieved from

This website provides online resources to support best practices for learning initiatives intended for indigenous students, instructors, and curriculum developers. It involves many resources such as videos, explanations and online activities that would support the organization of indigenous-based teachings. The site gives helpful explanations on the pre-colonial ways of teaching and how to incorporate them into today’s teaching.


Four Directions Teachings. Retrieved from

This is an interactive website which offers a learning experience about indigenous knowledge and ways of learning through audio-narrated and pictures. It is done beautifully and it offers learners the perspectives of five different indigenous peoples’ teachings in Canada: Blackfoot, Cree, Ojibwe Teaching, Mohawk and Mi’kmaq. The site also offers learning activities that can be incorporated into teachings. It’s a great teaching and learning resource for anyone!

5 links on decolonization and its link to education

Cultural Connection and Tech Make School More Relevant for Indigenous Teens. Retrieved from

The article displays two projects undertaken by a high school teacher in northern Ontario to encourage indigenous students’ engagement in school. Through the projects, students were connected with the indigenous communities. Indigenous heritage was worked into their subjects with the help and involvement of their communities. The project was successful and it showed that building relationship with Indigenous students is an important factor in getting them engaged. What I found very interesting is that the Lakehead District School Board to which this school belongs, has created an Elder-Senator Protocol to assist school staff to understand how to engage elders’ help for school activities.


What works? Research into Practice. Retrieved from

This is a paper written by Dr. Pamela Rose Toulouse on Integrating Aboriginal Teaching and

Values into the Classroom. It is based on the claim that raising indigenous students’ self-esteem is a key factor in their success at school. The article lists strategies on how to create and nurture educational environments that honours the indigenous culture and language. It stresses that meaningful representation of indigenous people’s contributions and innovations should be incorporated in schools.


Charles Clarke success story – Aboriginal Human Resource Council. Retrieved from

This site has many success stories of indigenous youth. However, the one that struck me the most is the story of Charles Clarke. From having picked up the identity of the school clown at the elementary school, through a life of addiction, and finally being stabbed at the age of 21, he finds his identity after a six-week treatment at a center on Six Nations reserve. His healing happened through teachings of aboriginal people and made him find his spirituality. He eventually went back to school and went on to post-secondary education.


Aboriginal Education in Timmins. Retrieved from

This is an interview about aboriginal students in Timmins. All three interviewees talk about lack of confidence being a major issue for indigenous students. These are some of the issues raised:

  • First Nations schools are federally funded and they are underfunded. This causes a gap between students’ levels when they come to city schools from reserve schools.
  • Bringing the culture into the school and classroom makes the students proud and increases their self-esteem.
  • The way education was used to oppress people has affected many parents to not value education. Some even protect their children by not sending them to school.
  • Now, there is a process called Education Jurisdiction, where First Nations people will have more control over funding and more control as to what programs are run to better meet the need of the students.
  • First Nations people are just beginning to be empowered, but it will take time.
  • To gain self-esteem, the history of aboriginal people has to be taught in schools since there is still racism and stereotype out there.


Aboriginal Education. Retrieved from

A debate on challenges of aboriginal people to get higher education and closing the gap between aboriginal and non-aboriginals college/university attendance. Many issues are discussed, including the following:

  • There are many barriers such as remoteness of reserves where families are (lack of family support), financial barriers (Metis don’t get any funding), and culture shock from moving from reserves into large cities.
  • To apply for scholarship, students need to write an essay but this goes against their humble culture. (I found this point interesting. It shows how the western education system does not understand the indigenous values yet)
  • Non aboriginal students should also learn about the aboriginal history. Aboriginal ways of knowing should be taught in public schools.
  • There is no mechanism for a long term planning.

5 links on integration of Indigenous learning in schools

Who’s to blame for lack of indigenous history lessons in Ontario’s schools? Published on June 14, 2016 by Brittany Spencer


This article talks about the fact that although there are expectations set in the Ontario curriculum to have indigenous perspectives and history integrated in the classroom, its application depends on the level of comfort of the teachers and their understanding. A problem is that teachers’ training is not deep enough and they don’t feel confident enough to do the job properly. That’s why in 2015, the Aboriginal Education centre launched the Knowledge Building Experience Program, which offers mandatory training to deepen the understanding of indigenous culture by teachers. Teachers go through simulation experiences by working with elders and simulation leaders. The program is fairly new but there is hope that it can entail successful achievements.


School Transition Webinar Series. Retrieved from


These are a series of 4 webinars where students, school administrators and parents are interviewed on challenges of indigenous students while transitioning from elementary to secondary, from reserve-based to non-reserve school and from secondary to post-secondary schools. The interviewees discuss different challenges and emphasize on the importance to get help from indigenous support systems. The interviews also display that racism still exist and there is a talk on the significance of educating the non-indigenous people on indigenous traditions. An example is for teachers, bus drivers and others to know about morning smudging ceremonies and what is involved so they won’t make racist comments out of ignorance.


Byrnes, J. (1993). Aboriginal Learning Styles. Retrieved from:


The article talks about two-way learning where Non-aboriginal instructors get to know their aboriginal students and their history by listening to them. It states that courses should be research-based and experience-based; they should have spontaneous-approach as opposed to being structured. Learning by observation and imitation should be promoted. Planning and responding as the lesson develops will help with the outcome. We need to develop a curriculum that would benefit both cultures.


McLoughlin, C. & Oliver, R. Instructional Design for Cultural Difference. Retrieved from:;jsessionid=474609F53C7F641A64DFF32CD4E50D14?doi=


The paper stresses the importance of creating student-centered environments that are culturally inclusive. It refers to Henderson’s proposal of using a multiple cultural model which enables variability and flexibility while allowing interaction with material. It emphasizes the inclusion of multicultural realities of the learner groups and multiple cultural ways of learning.


A pedagogical model for engaging aboriginal children with Science learning. UBC Library. Retrieved from:


Stresses the importance of relationship-building, integration of effective hands-on activities, participation and giving experiments a context by relating them to student’s experience.

5 interesting links on Indigenous Knowledge

I hope you find some of these links helpful and interesting.

This article which includes a video is about a school run by the Northern Nishnawbe Education Council, a First Nations non-profit organization. The vision is to help indigenous students succeed while keeping their identities and sets of values. Students come from different reserves and they are set up in boarding homes. Each student is assigned a “prime worker”. As students cannot get education in their reserves, they leave their families to attend this school. The goal is to help them gain the skills and confidence to find employment on reserves and take pride of being part of the indigenous culture.

The information on this webpage is put together by the chiefs of Ontario.

“The Chiefs of Ontario is an advocacy forum and secretariat for collective decision-making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nations communities located in Ontario.”

The page gives a basic perspective of the indigenous peoples of Ontario’s views of their land, their rights and their culture.

This website is a multimedia teacher education program by launched by UNESCO and is a resourceful site where you can find explanations on indigenous approach to learning and a comparison with learning in western cultures.

Video called: Knowledge as a Key Site for Decolonization. In this video, Dr. Marie Battiste talks about the critique of the institutions that have created assimilation and forced integration; the fact that the western educational system has been forced on Indigenous peoples has eroded their knowledge system. She talks about the attempt to restore and regenerate the Indigenous knowledges to be able to pass them on to the next generations.

This document is prepared by Dr. Marie Battiste for the National Working Group on Education and the Minister of Indian Affairs. It does a comparative analysis of Eurocentric theory of knowledge and the Indigenous approach to learning. Its goal is to make policy-makers understand Indigenous knowledge and it makes recommendations on how to improve educational outcomes.