Author Archives: RobertTelford

The British Columbia First Nations Education System

This is a link to a video jointly made in partnership by the First Nations Education Steering Committee and the First Nations Schools Association. It serves to highlight the evolution and development of the British Columbia First Nations Education System.

Throughout the video are examples of First Nations Education in action, in classrooms.

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First People’s Center for Education

The following link,, is to a grassroots website with a focus to “improve and support teacher effectiveness in Native communities.”

The creators of the site believe in education as a means to empowering Native American self-determination.

To support this goal the site has resources and training available to teachers of Native American children.

Module 2, post 4.

First Nations Capacity Building Handbook

This is a link to a pdf publication:

This document was prepared by Barbara Kavanagh for the First Nations Schools Association of BC. It has as a goal the development of First Nations control over First Nations Education. It came out of the findings of a Capacity Building Focus Group on First Nations Education.

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First Nations Schools Association

Here in BC there are approximately 130 First Nations Schools.

This website,, is created by the First Nations Schools Association. It exists as an advocacy group for these schools. Its directors are representatives from these schools.

This site offers a lot of different resources including curriculum for teachers, progress reports, and topical news in the area of First Nations Education.

I’ll be using this as a resource on First Nations Education Systems in my comparative research with 21st Century Learning.

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First Nations Education Steering Committee

This website: is a hub for issues, discussions, and resources in First Nations Education.

This committee came out of a 1992 Provincial First Nations Education Conference. It was there that they “determined the need for a First Nations-controlled collective organization focused on advancing quality education for all First Nations learners, and they set out FNESC’s commitment to supporting First Nations in their efforts to improve the success of all First Nations students in BC.”

Resources for teachers interested in integrating/incorporating Aboriginal content and ways of learning are available on this site.

For my research on comparing 21st Century Learning and Aboriginal Education systems this site provides valuable input on the latter.

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Nuymbalees Cultural Centre

This is a link to the Nuymbalees Cultural Centre’s website.!form__map/c24vq

This cultural centre is located on Quadra island in the village of Cape Mudge. Their mission is a broad one centred on cultural preservation and reinvigoration. In so doing they collect and preserve traditional artifacts, record traditional stories, offer language courses in the Kwak’wala language, and much more.

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The Ethnographic Film Unit at UBC

This link takes you to the website of the ethnographic film unit at UBC. Situated in the department of Anthropology, it undertakes research and film production from the perspectives of anthropologists, filmmakers, students, and community members (I assume at least some of whom are aboriginal, based on the topics of their films).

Many of their films and related curriculum packages have First Nations themes and topics. These resources are available for sale on their site.

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Dr. Nancy Turner

Dr. Nancy Turner is a distinguished professor at UVic and the Hakai Chair of Ethnoecology.

I had the good fortune almost 20 years ago to attend Dr. Turner’s environmental studies course on ethnobotany, the study of plants in the traditional contexts of the people who use them.

When we attended traditional activities like a beach pit cooking it was possibly my first (non museum) introduction to living, breathing First Nations culture. We made many things with our hands in her class, like pine needle baskets. But this was not your stereotypical basket weaving course, the kind you’d sign up for to pad your course load.

This is a woman who has dedicated her life’s work to understanding and championing Traditional Ecological Knowledge. This is her personal website.

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Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Traditional Ecological Knowledge (or TEK) is deep understanding and knowledge of a land and its flora and fauna, gained and passed on through many generations by its inhabitants.

Forests and oceans for the future ( is the work of a broadly attended research group. It is a website that presents itself as a database or repository of digitized TEK. People from many different agencies and communities were brought together to create it, including members of the Gitxaala Nation and UBC faculty.

It provides many resources (including lesson plans for teachers) with the goal of discovering TEK solutions to many natural resource challenges.