Author Archives: janelle therien

A Selection of Authentic Implementation Guides

Something I have realized through this course is something Einstein once said (don’t worry, I am not comparing myself to Einstein :P), “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” I completely imagined myself creating a nice little framework to provide a context and background for educators and then creating resources for the classroom.  I realized two things; no such framework can exist, the context and background I was referring to can only be gleaned through the process of trying to understand, not in a nice little package.  Second, I lack the expertise to create authentic resources in this area.  It would be an exercise in futility, and a huge irony that a Westerner is advocating “authentic indigenous perspective integration” while creating inauthentic resources… In light of this, I focused my final weblog on collecting quality, authentic resources that already exist. Enjoy!

(Please note that the titles are links to the full documents)


First Nations Education Steering Committee

The First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) has created a resource on residential schools and reconciliation for grade 5, 10, and 11/12.  They offer detailed lessons, progressions, curricular connections, and supplementary resources such as books, videos, and handouts. They offer high-level critical thinking activities that encourage critical thinking; each at an age appropriate level.2

Authentic First Peoples Resources

This is also a compilation of resources by FNESC. It analyzes a large selection of literature for use with grades K-9. It provides descriptions of each, reading levels, curricular areas, themes, and the nation represented.  One caveat of this one is its organization, which is alphabetical rather than by grade level, theme, or subject.  It makes it a bit arduous to find what you need, but you can easily tag the pages that will be of interest to you for quick reference later!


In Our Own Words

Again produced by FNESC, this resource varies from those above in that it provides a framework of background, understandings, and attitudes for educators.  It directly speaks to the apprehension teachers might feel in authentically integrating Aboriginal perspectives. It highlights themes and ways of knowing that are important to indigenous cultures before going on to present a selection of complete, and detailed, classroom units for grades K-3.



The Learning Circle
This is a resource produced by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. It is targeted at ages 8-11 and id developed thematically with themes such as transportation, communities, families, and environment. Each unit provides main ideas and objectives, background information for the teacher, and classroom activities.  One thing I do notice about this one is it is primarily devoted to “traditional” practices.  That is, it does not frame Aboriginal cultures as a current and ongoing culture of practices and understandings, but rather relegates it to the past.  It would need to be supplemented or framed correctly to be used well.  For example, perhaps examining Western and Aboriginal cultures in the past, and then comparing the present.

Guide to Canadian Aboriginal Resources

This document is essentially a weblog itself!  It provides brief descriptions and links to a variety of Canadian Aboriginal resources.  These are arranged thematically with topics such as Aboriginal arts, activism, history, and social problems.  The compiled resources are targeted to a variety of age groups, but will take a bit of further investigation to fins what you are looking for!


Shared Learning

Shared Learning is a document produced by the Aboriginal Education Enhancements Branch of the British Columbia Ministry of Education. The resource begins with an overview of the document and its uses and then provides information on the history, foundations and attitudes needed to utilize the resource. It is organized thematically and by age group, so the same themes carry through all age groups in age appropriate ways. Each component is further divided into the sections of Shared Learnings, Instructional Strategies, and Resources. An addition benefit of this resource is that it positions Aboriginal cultures as contemporary and evolving, not as a relic of the past.

Traditional Ceremonies and Traditional Cooking!

My web hunting has yielded a couple of gems in this module.  Two regarding ceremonies, one regarding Métis cooking, one regarding the education of educators, and one last compilation resource that I am not sure about (I would love some feedback on the last one; mishmash, or valuable?)


This video on the Sundance Ceremony shows the preparation that is involved in this ceremony from multiple perspectives.  It also includes elements of history and how they have impacted the way ceremonies are hosted and celebrated today.

This video is about the Blood Tribe of South Western Alberta. Though the piece itself is dated, it speaks of the divide between past and present generations and the ways each has known, and currently knows, the world.  This includes the shift in culture from attending Sundance camps to attending rodeos instead. It also may be something to consider the two above documentaries in comparison to each other.  How do the different groups experience the Sundance ceremony? How are the perspectives shown the same/ different? Why might that be?


This Métis cookbook could be such a great piece of enrichment for an Aboriginal studies course of unit! It contains history in the form of an introduction and as personal recollections distributed throughout the book.  It offers a large variety of recipes from wild game to breads to jellies.  It also offers a comparison of traditional preparations versus how one might prepare a similar dish today. In addition, it contains nutrition information throughout.


This website is a compilation of resources.  It contains categories on a large number of things; from relevant or related news articles, recipes, genealogy, the pow wow circuit, obituaries, and classified ads.  However, I am having trouble identifying the authenticity of this site.  I am hoping for some perspectives on this one!

The First of Many Relevant Resources!

Hello Everyone! 

I am excited to get going on this blogging adventure!  There are so many resources available pertinent to indigenous education, that it is difficult to know where to begin!  I have started with a collection that touches on a few areas; including resources that will be valuable for increasing educator’s background, knowledge, and awareness of indigenous groups, resources that can be used directly for teachers, resources for seeking resources and initiatives aimed at Aboriginal learners, and even one that utilizes technology to help revive the Cree language.

I am looking forward to utilizing the resources of my peers as well!




Where Are the Children is a comprehensive website by The Legacy of Hope Foundation.  This site chronicles the timeline and impacts of the residential school system in Canada; with the aim to create a record of the events, as well as to create awareness. It contains elements such as timelines, personal stories (in video and transcribed interviews), and a reading list, sorted by appropriate age, of residential schools materials.


2. is not in and of itself an Aboriginal resource, however, it contains a plethora of related material.  For example, it contains many documentaries by CBC such as Aboriginal Education and Starvation Politics: Aboriginal Nutrition Experiments.  It also links directly to resources that support each provincial curriculum.  You can see an example of resources supporting Alberta’s Aboriginal Studies Curriculum here. It also contains curated selections based on themes such as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.


The Metis peoples are often forgotten in the discussion of Aboriginal issues. The Gabriel Dumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research has complied this resource including many documents about Metis families and history.  While much of the information on this site is text based, it contains many interesting elements including organized collections, exhibits, and learning resources.  This site would primarily beneficial for educators looking to expand their understanding of the metis plight prior to teaching events such as the Red River Rebellion and about Louis Riel.  Of particular interest to myself is this article about Chief Papasschayo and Laurent Garneau, who was my great, great grandfather.



This site provides videos, images, and artifacts from the James Bay Crees, or the Aanischaaukamikw. The site is offered in English, French, and Cree. Artifacts are organized by event and category, offering a 360° view of each artifacts.  This might be particularly useful when discussing traditional ways of living, as viewing original artifacts can help to develop context and relevancy.



The Four Directions Interactive Teachings is a collaborative resource created through Canadian Heritage, Canada’s Cultural Gateway, and The National Indigenous Literacy Association. It introduces five tribes across Canada through engaging videos which explain crucial elements of each of the tribes. One may navigate through the various elements for each tribe; for example, information about ceremonies, structures, and the importance of each of the directions for the Cree people. The website also includes teacher resources for each tribe at various educational levels from primary through high school.



Promising Practices in Education is a website that has a number of functions.  It offers real-world examples of classroom practices that support Aboriginal learners, professional development opportunities (in various Canadian locations and online), a collection of relevant research, as well as updates through multimedia and other news outlets of current challenges and successes in Aboriginal education.