Tag Archives: Aboriginal Education

Indigenous Peoples, Technology, and our Post-Secondary Institutions (Mod 1 Post 4 & 5)

With our recent class discussions on the cultural neutrality of technology and the difference of educational goals in our Indigenous communities, I realize there is strong evidence for and against Indigenous use of technology and the extent of its benefit. However, for the non-Indigenous community, I believe that technology been an invaluable tool to help increase awareness and understanding as well as helping to promote advocacy for Indigenous communities.

Many have a willingness to learn but not always the tools or resources at their disposal.  Technology helps reduce boundaries by increasing our learning networks.  One of these learning networks is the MOOC/EdX course run by Jan Hare through UBC on Reconciliation through Education.  This free online course starts Oct 16, 2017 and covers the following program outcomes:

  • Explore personal and professional histories and assumptions in relationship to Indigenous peoples histories and worldviews
  • Deepen understanding and knowledge of colonial histories and current realities of Indigenous people
  • Engage with Indigenous worldviews and perspectives that contextualize and support your understanding of the theories and practices of Indigenous education
  • Develop strategies that contribute to the enhancement of Indigenous-settler relations in schools, organizations, and communities
  • Explore Indigenous worldviews and learning approaches for their application to the classroom or community learning setting
  • Engage in personal and professional discussions in an online environment with others committed to understanding and advancing reconciliation

Additionally, another post-secondary resource from UVic sees the revitalization of Aboriginal languages. Technology and western education has contributed to the diminishment of Aboriginal languages,  but now it is also being used to revitalize the languages not only with the descendants of native tongue speakers but with the non-Indigenous community as well.   While this course, unfortunately, is not free, it does offer courses that are face-to-face with Indigenous community members as well as career opportunities to work in and with various Indigenous communities upon completion of the course.  The program outcomes are as follows:

  • Learn foundational knowledge and skills in linguistics that are needed to undertake language preservation and revitalization work.
  • Build knowledge and skills in language preservation and revitalization.
  • Develop your ability to analyze language preservation issues relevant across Indigenous cultures and specific to your own communities.
  • Enhance your capacity to develop responsive strategies and programs designed to preserve and revitalize Indigenous languages.
  • Earn a comprehensive and respected certificate.
  • Create a foundation for subsequent academic studies in related areas, such as education, cultural resource management and linguistics.

 

Module 1-3 “Hands Back and Hands Forward”

I have selected our school district’s Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement as a resource because it informs educators in our district – keeping at the forefront our “why”.

As the Agreement states:

“It is the expectation of this Agreement that the following partners will work together for the benefit and success of our Aboriginal students:

  • Elders
  • Máthexwi, Kwantlen, Katzie First Nations
  • Waceya (M̀etis Nation)
  • Inuit
  • Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Society(Urban Aboriginal Community)
  • Xyolhemeylh (Fraser Valley Aboriginal Children& Family Services Society)
  • Cultural Presenters
  • ya:əstə “Working Together” (Aboriginal Advisory board)
  • School District #35 (Langley)
  • Lexwey (Aboriginal Support Workers)
  • Parents/Guardians
  • Students
  • Families
  • Ministry of Education

The goal to promote the success of all aboriginal students in our schools by surrounding our students with community.

Dr. Vincent Slogan, a Musqueam Elder and his teaching “Hands Back and Hands Forward” inspired the logo design and continues to inspire powerful conversations in our district.

https://district.public.sd35.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2015/10/Aboriginal-Education-Enhancement-Agreement.pdf

Texts in the classroom. What’s appropriate and where to find them? (Mod 1-Post 3)

B.C. teaching exercises that references ‘squaw’ 39 times pulled

Recently published in the Canadian News was a mothers outrage over the use of the term “Squaw” used 39 times in the book “Susanna Moodie: Roughing it in the Bush,” printed by Second Story Press which was being used in the classroom and included teaching materials.  The teacher gave students a test that had students matching the derogatory terms to correct “definitions or appropriate language”. Being able to see a few questions above, you can tell that this test is discussing the prejudice and background of when or why these terms were used.  One can hope that further discussion was implemented about such content. But this raised a few questions for me:

Was the teacher in the wrong for using the resource, despite it being an approved teaching material?

Was this content appropriate for 14 year olds?  If not, what age is?

Assuming the teacher did her due diligence in both prepping and unpacking such topics, are there certain topics teachers should not address, that are too controversial?

This book was published in 1852.  Is it considered a classic or are our reading lists that outdated (most likely due to budget cuts in recent years)?

How easy/difficult is it for teachers/districts to get new reading materials in that perhaps might be more appropriate as well as more engaging for students both from indigenous and non-indigenous communities.

I’d like to share some resources that I and my colleagues have used recently in the classroom that have been well received. I would also like to open it up and ask for more suggestions of any books/audio books that you have used or come across.  Additionally, after speaking with an Aboriginal Success Teacher for one of the nearby school districts, she directed me to the Canadian Aboriginal Books for School list which has quite an extensive list.

“Secret Path”  by Gord Downie, Illustrated by Jeff Lemire

“Three Day Road” by Joseph Boyden

“Trudy’s Rock Story” by Trudy Spiller, Illustrated by Jessika von Innerebner

“Wenjack”by Joseph Boyden

“Three Feathers” by Richard Van Camp

Teaching the Students (Mod 1 Post 2)

To play off Natalie’s post, I find that Wab Kinew’s videos are informative and popular with students.  Like Natalie says, it’s important to get the right information and I try to find sources of information about Indigenous peoples BY Indigenous peoples. He is a great speaker and tackles issues like residential schools and First Nations stereotypes.  He was also recently within the past 24 hours elected as the leader of the Manitoba New Democrat Party.  There are a lot of great resources out there and not always time to get through them.  Thats why I enjoy posting links to different videos found both by myself and other students for them to watch on their own time.  I find it very rare that they ever just watch the one video but watch multiple videos connected with the original post.  Technology is always a double edged sword.  And in the same way one can get sucked into watching multiple cat fail videos, students can also get sucked into an issue or topic brought up in class using the same technology medium if we provide them the right guidance.

Module 4 – Weblog – Tanya Walsh

The list of resources below continues my research into Indigenous spirituality and its incorporation into education. A more recent theme found is the link between spiritual strength and resiliency among Indigenous people.

  • Fleming, J., & Ledogar, R. J. (2008). Resilience and Indigenous spirituality: A literature review. Pimatisiwin, 6(2), 47-64. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2956755/pdf/nihms762.pdf
    • This article discusses the uniqueness of Indigenous spirituality in that it is closely bound to cultural practices and daily living. Therefore, when researching the topic of Indigenous spirituality and resiliency, a holistic approach is needed.
    • One conceptual framework suggested is that of ‘enculturation’ or the degree to which spirituality is integrated within the culture which, in turn, leads to protective factors, such as better academic achievement and lower substance abuse.
    • Another framework is ‘cultural spiritual orientation’ which is also predictive of protective factors against substance abuse and suicide, but which can be distinguished from the specific spiritual beliefs of the tribe in question.
    • The goal of the research is to enable communities to use their own cultural and spiritual traditions to promote resilience.

 

  • Grieves, V. (2009). Aboriginal spirituality: A baseline for Indigenous knowledges development in Australia. The Candian Journal of Native Studies XXVIII(2), 363-398. Retrieved from http://www3.brandonu.ca/cjns/28.2/07Grieves.pdf
    • This article discusses how essential it is to include spirituality in any study looking at Indigenous knowledge. Spirituality is the basis for the cultural concept of ‘personhood’ which involves their relationship to others and to the world. It is intricately tied to the notion of well-being and thus must be included in any discussions of healing from colonization.

 

  • Ontario Human Rights Commission. (2017). Policy on preventing discrimination based on creed: 11. Indigenous spiritual practices. Retrieved from http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/policy-preventing-discrimination-based-creed/11-indigenous-spiritual-practices
    • This website discusses the duty to accommodate Indigenous spiritual beliefs and practices under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
    • It begins by discussing the historical context of the suppression of Indigenous spirituality due to colonialism and the desire to prevent any further denigration of Indigenous spiritual practice.
    • The site discusses the legal framework which protects the rights of Indigenous people to practice their spiritual traditions.
    • It then goes on to describe some ceremonial practices and customs, including the scheduling of such events and the need for access to sacred sites and objects.

 

  • Stevens, N. (2010, November.) From the inside out: Spirituality as the heart of aboriginal helping in [spite of?] western systems. Native Social Work Journal, 7. Retrieved from https://zone.biblio.laurentian.ca/bitstream/10219/389/1/NSWJ-V7-art8-p181-197.pdf
    • This piece discusses the reclamation of traditional spiritual practices within Indigenous communities and specifically how spiritual strength fosters general resiliency.
    • It is written from a social worker’s perspective on how to honour and integrate the spirituality of Indigenous clients.
    • Stevens sees spirituality as an important component of healing for everyone, but for Indigenous peoples, it is also central to identity, purposefulness and resilience which can be seen to be manifested in their daily living.

 

  • Wane, N. N., Manyimo, E. L., & Ritskes, E. J. (Eds). Spirituality, Education & Society: An Integrated Approach. Toronto, ON: Sense Publishers. Retrieved from https://www.sensepublishers.com/media/973-spirituality-education-society.pdf
    • In this book, each chapter is filled with stories of how a limited recognition of spirituality decreases the richness of learning experiences, especially for those who see the world holistically, wherein everything is interconnected.
    • In addition, an absence of spirituality in education, under the auspices of ‘rationality’,  undermines the knowledge foundations of Indigenous societies and belies the fact that we are connected to each other and the world in subjective ways.

 

 

Module 4 – Indigenous Education and the Environment

Indigenous Environmental Education for Cultural Survival 

https://nycstandswithstandingrock.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/simpson-2013.pdf

  • This paper, written by an Ojibwe PhD student at Trent University, addresses a number of “serious and complex environmental issues” facing Indigenous communities in the Canadian context. It is focused predominantly on post-secondary environmental education programs, and touches on the importance of Indigenous philosophies in education, including elders in program development, language, Indigenous ways of knowing, the connection to land. This document also touches on the ways in which Western science plays into supporting Indigenous education. I found it particularly interesting to explore the ways in which Indigenous education is addressed and promoted at a post-secondary level, and my predominant focus has been on earlier education.

 

Indigenizing Environmental Education: Conceptualizing Curriculum that Fosters Educational Leadership

http://www.mfnerc.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Section4_Indigenizing-Environmental-Education-Conceptualizing-Curriculum-that-Fosters-Educational-Leadership.pdf

  • This article reviews various reforms that have taken place in the public education systems across Canada that continue to exacerbate a gap between Indigenous knowledge and mainstream environmental education by highlighting two dichotomous perspectives. It further considers how to bridge this gap, by suggesting activities and ways for students to develop a meaningful understanding and sense of importance for place. Topics include oral story-telling, intergenerational knowledge sharing, and how to incorporate one’s environment into curricula in alternative ways.

 

Aboriginal Cultural Programs

http://www.cheakamuscentre.ca/programs/aboriginal-education-programs

  • This website provides information on a variety of educational programs available to students and adults to broaden their understanding of the Squamish Nation territory in British Columbia. The Cheakamus Centre was formerly known as the North Vancouver Outdoor School, and as the name implies, its main focus it centred on providing educational experiences based in nature and the surrounding environment. It also has an active role in the conservation of various areas on the North Shore.

 

TEDxDarwin – Chris Garner – Transforming the Teacher in Indigenous Education

  • This Ted Talk sees Australian educator Chris Garner challenge the ways in which educators can evolve in their practice to meaningfully improve Indigenous student success by engaging in school and increasing their graduation rates. Stories and example are in an Australian context but are very relatable and transferable to our communities in Canada. Chris Garner asks how we can make activities relevant to each student’s real life and desired outcomes, versus treating and assessing each student the same way.

 

Clearing

clearingmagazine.org

  • CLEARING is a nonprofit organization based in the United States that serves as “an online and print magazine for environmental literacy education in the Pacific Northwest and Cascadia bioregion.” It is a useful resource for educators looking for tools and strategies to connect environmental education/issues with their curricula, and offers best practice strategies. The bottom of the Monthly Newsletter section provides a useful, wide-ranging search option that allows you to browse information by theme or topic.

Resources on Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Culturally Responsive Education

Infusing Aboriginal Perspectives into Your Teaching Practice 

http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/deepeningknowledge/Teacher_Resources/Infusing_Aboriginal_Content_and_Perspectives_into_Your_Teaching/Infusing_Aboriginal_Perspectives.html

  • This source comes from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), and is a collection of various topics relevant to indigenous education, ranging from incorporating indigenous ways of knowing into mainstream curricula to video interviews with Elders sharing their perspectives on education. Formats include books, videos, resource guides, and websites. This curated selection is noteworthy for its range of perspectives.

 

The Challenge of Indigenous Education: Practice and Perspectives 

http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0013/001347/134773e.pdf

  • This document from UNESCO is divided into 3 parts: challenges to indigenous education, criteria for good practice, and lastly, case studies surrounding quality education of indigenous peoples. It is especially interesting to view the case studies, as they are focused in various parts of the world, and the way in which challenges were presented and dealt with in the given cultural setting. Not all case studies pertain to preK-12 education, but also highlights training, and community learning settings.

 

Culturally Responsive Pedagogy: Towards Equity and Inclusivity in Ontario Schools

http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/CBS_ResponsivePedagogy.pdf

  • This document from the Government of Ontario provides short points that are easy to read, and hence offers an efficient reminder of characteristics of a culturally responsive classroom, and ways to achieve it. It is a well-organized document for reading purposes, and provides guiding questions along the way to help facilitate one’s own practice. It also includes a plethora of relevant references at the end, on related topics. This source is developed in collaboration with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

 

First Peoples Principles of Learning 

https://firstpeoplesprinciplesoflearning.wordpress.com

  • As stated on the website’s homepage, the resource was developed “to help educators in British Columbia understand how they might incorporate the First Peoples Principles of Learning (FPPL) into their classrooms and schools.” It is set up as a blog that includes background information on the FPPL, and insight into what “authentic” resources are. There is also an activity section created to coincide with each of the principles, and to promote conversation about indigenous learning in the community.

 

Strong Nations

http://www.strongnations.com

  • This website is a resource full of books related to the First Nations in Canada, as well as in the United States. It is a great resource for educators looking for supplementary material about indigenous cultures, by providing books and lesson plans for sale. The site is definitely a “store,” and thus will work for anyone looking to buy materials for their classroom, but not useful for gaining any free knowledge.

 

First Nations Eduction Steering Committee

http://www.fnesc.ca

  • As an added source, I thought I would shed light on this one again, though I have previously posted relevant information from it, but only regarding specific content on the site. It offers many resources, links, information about programs and events, and more on indigenous education. As our discussion has grown to incorporate a large variety of topics and challenges, it seems fit to include the wider site as relevant, since it also provides information on language, local education agreements, special education, and relevant publications. The Committee behind the website was founded in Vancouver by a group of participants at a First Nations education conference.

 

Module 3 – Weblog – Tanya Walsh

Below you will find some additional resources on Spirituality in Indigenous Education:

  • Battiste, M. (2008, March 26 -29). Nourishing the Learning Spirit: Elder’s Dialogue. Saskatoon, SK: Aboriginal Education Research Centre, University of Saskatchewwan. Retrieved from http://aerc.usask.ca/downloads/Nourishing-the-Learning-Spirit-Elders-Dialogue-8.pdf
    • This is an outline of the proceeds from a conference of elders from diverse language groups gathered to discuss the concepts of lifelong learning and the learning spirit.
    • They define the ‘learning journey’ as a “holistic outcome of diverse conditions, contexts, relationships, education, training, and connections with a living universe” (Battiste, 2008. p. 12).
    • They discuss how an acknowledgment of the spirit world is an integral part of the learning journey and must be honoured through ceremony and relationships with spiritual leaders in the community.

 

  • George, N. (2008). Aboriginal Adult Literacy: Nourishing Their Learning Spirits. Saskatoon, SK: Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre, University of Saskatchewan. Retrieved from http://fneii.ca/NourishingSpirits_LitReview_en_1_.pdf
    • This is a literature review on Aboriginal literacy designed to provide information and direction for those working in the field of Aboriginal literacy.
    • It describes people as having a body, heart, mind and spirit, with spirit being the most important part because that is the essence of who you are. Therefore, they state that it is imperative that adult educators engage learners spiritually by helping them make meaning out of what they are learning, in order to help them answer their deepest questions, as these are a people who believe that we are one with creation, not separate from it.
    • The learning spirit is the state of being that facilitates learning and will help a person fulfill his/her purpose for being in this life.

 

  • Kitchen, J., Cherubini, L, Trudeau, L., & Hodson, J. (2009, Fall). Aboriginal education as cultural brokerage: New aboriginal teachers reflect on language and culture in the classroom. McGill Journal of Education, 44(3), 355-376. Retrieved from: http://mje.mcgill.ca/article/viewFile/2853/3980
    • This is an interesting report on six Aboriginal teachers in Ontario using a talking circle to explore their roles as teachers as they prepare their students to walk between two parallel but very different worlds.
    • They state that Aboriginal education is oriented around a ‘spiritual centre’ and that it is important that aboriginal teachers attend to their own healing if they are going to be expected to heal and teach others.

 

  • Micallef, S. (2017, January 23). Our dreaming: The Indigenous link between the physical and the spiritual. SBS Radio. Retrieved from http://www.sbs.com.au/topics/life/culture/article/2017/01/18/our-dreaming-indigenous-link-between-physical-and-spiritual-world
    • “Our Aboriginal spirituality is a link from the past to the present a shared pathway that helps us to understand more about where we come from and who we are as people.” (Micalleff, 2017, para. 16).
    • This site tells a particular creation story. However, more importantly, it explains the importance of handing down ‘dreaming’ stories as part of Aboriginal education in Australia. These stories link people over time to physical places in creation. Micallef also describes how the land then becomes a cultural connection to their prehistoric history.

 

  • Weenie, A. (2012). Toward and understanding of the ecology of Indigenous education. Retrieved from http://mfnerc.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/007_Weenie.pdf
    • This article discusses the concept of ‘spiritual ecology’ which is the “application of special intellectual, ritual, psychological, and spiritual teaching tools that facilitated deep levels of learning and understanding” (Cajete, 1994, p. 223, as cited in Weenie, 2012, p. 59) and which is the essence of meaningful and constructive Indigenous curriculum.
    • For Weenie, ceremonies and traditional activities, like storytelling, provide a ‘spiritual sustenance’. In time, the deep significance of these teachings can induce direct and powerful understandings of basic truths about how to interact with the world.
    • The Elders teachings that ‘everything has a spirit’ leads to the principle of living in harmony with the environment and developing healthy communities.

Module 2 – Weblog – Tanya Walsh

The incorporation of spirituality into everyday life seems to be a value in many Indigenous communities. I am, therefore, interested in finding out how this is done within educational environments and whether or not this is even done in online learning environments. My ultimate focus will likely be on adult education, as I work in a post-secondary environment. However, at this point, I am not limiting my research to that age group.

These are the some of resources I have examined recently:

  • Astin, A. W., Astin, H. S., & Lindholm, J. A. (2010). Cultivating the Spirit: How College Can Enhance Students’ Inner Lives. San Francisco, California: John Wiley & Sons.
    • What is an academic’s role in a student’s spiritual development? Faculty are only responsible for the academic and professional progress of their students, aren’t they? Perhaps they are, but the fact remains that students are asking questions, such as: “Who am I?”, “What is my purpose in life?” and “What kind of world should I help to create?” These all have spiritual overtones.
    • This book examines the role that post-secondary education has in student spiritual development. According to Astin, et al. (2010), although religious practice may decline during these years, spiritual growth is enhanced, which in turn enhances other college outcomes.
    • So although this book does not deal with Indigenous spirituality in education, it is a good starting point for examining spirituality in post-secondary education, which is where my interests lie.

 

  • Fraser, D. (2007, January 22). Secular schools, spirituality and Maori values. Journal of Moral Education, 33(1). Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com.uml.idm.oclc.org/doi/abs/10.1080/0305724042000199996?needAccess=true#aHR0cDovL3d3dy50YW5kZm9ubGluZS5jb20udW1sLmlkbS5vY2xjLm9yZy9kb2kvcGRmLzEwLjEwODAvMDMwNTcyNDA0MjAwMDE5OTk5Nj9uZWVkQWNjZXNzPXRydWVAQEAw
    • In New Zealand, Maori education initiatives have grown to include Maori values, beliefs, and spirituality. This challenges the definition of secular education in New Zealand.
    • This article discusses the moral obligation to include Indigenous values within education in order to develop understanding and respect for their unique cultural identity. Are they broad enough concepts to have relevance for a diverse student population? Some say yes. However, others believe that even concepts such as self-worth and personal identity are too personal and intrusive to be discussed in a public classroom.
    • On the other hand, the Maori do not believe that they should be expected to fragment their lives and values and therefore wish their spiritual values to be taught alongside the intellectual, physical, emotional, and social ones. They believe that “a natural acceptance of spirituality…creates a moral space in which people’s values and beliefs can co-exist without excuse or apology in secular education”.
    • Although I had planned on keeping my focus on Canadian Indigenous peoples, this article describes some issues that I believe will be faced in Canadian society as we begin to teach about aspects of Indigenous culture in mainstream Canadian classrooms.

 

  • LaFever, M. (2016). Switching from Bloom to the medicine wheel: Creating learning outcomes that support Indigenous ways of knowing in post-secondary education. Intercultural Education, 27(5), 409-424.
    • LaFever uses the Medicine Wheel as a framework for learning outcomes. She sees it as expanding the three domains of learning, as described by Bloom (cognitive/mental, psychomotor/physical, and affective/emotional) while adding a fourth dimension of spirituality.
    • Having begun my exploration of the psychology of learning by studying Bloom, I am most interested in seeing how his theories are enhanced by Indigenous ways of knowing.

 

  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police. (2016, June 14). Native spirituality guide. Retrieved from http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/native-spirituality-guide
    • This website was found in the reference of the LaFever article. I found it intriguing that the RCMP would have a guide for their employees on the understanding of sacred practices of aboriginal peoples in Canada.
    • The RCMP sought out four different elders in creating the guide and gave additional thanks for permission to digitally publish  this knowledge, considering the fact that many elders do not consent to having their knowledge reproduced in this fashion.
    • The article goes on to list important concepts, such as the Circle of Life, the Medicine Wheel, and the Four Powers. It then outlines various ceremonies and ceremonial objects.
    • There is also a section on the treatment of medicine bundles by law enforcement officials, particular during legal searches, so that these objects are treated with the respect that they deserve.
    • Although very simplistic, the information contained on the site would be a very good starting point for someone with little or no knowledge of these sacred objects and traditions.
    • The main thing that surprised me about the website was that it did not distinguish between Canadian Indigenous cultures. Depending on what regions of the country and RCMP officer serves in, he/she will be exposed to considerable variation in belief and practice.

 

  • Tisdell, E. J., & Tolliver, D. E. (2001, June 01). The role of spirituality in culturally relevant and transformative adult education. Adult Learning, 12(3). Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com.uml.idm.oclc.org/doi/pdf/10.1177/104515950101200305
    • Elizabeth Tisdell is also the author of the book Exploring Spirituality and Culture in Adult and Higher Education. (2003). San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass. This article briefly discusses some of the themes explored more fully in her later publication.
    • This article discusses the connection between spirituality and culture and how educational experiences that allow for their expression can be both culturally relevant and transformative to the students involved.
    • What is unique about this article is that it connects knowledge construction to the unconscious processes which are often culturally and spiritually based, such as the use of image, symbols, music, and ritual.

Module 2 – Resources for Teaching First Nations Curriculum

After the last several weeks of readings and discussions, I have become more keenly aware of the resources I use in the classroom, or at least where I look for those resources. My goal is to create a bank of useful resources that are created with an indigenous perspective, or at least in collaboration with authentic cultural input. Some of these links I have posted below are not necessarily teaching resources, but ones to instil a sense of awareness for all educators to be more culturally aware in their practice.

Working Toward Transformation and Change: Exploring Non-Aboriginal Teachers’ Experiences in Facilitating and Strengthening Students’ Awareness of Indigenous Knowledge and Aboriginal Perspectives

http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1942&context=etd

This resource is a graduate thesis that includes a discussion about culturally responsive teaching for the non-indigenous teacher. The latter half of the document delves into a qualitative research study about how non-Aboriginal educators incorporate Aboriginal knowledge and perspectives into their instruction. The conclusion falls short of making suggestions or offering resources for use in the classroom (intentionally), but does offer a critical reflection and insight on practices used, including student opinions. It could resonate with many non-indigenous educators who find themselves facilitating lessons that are similar.

 

Indigenous Principles Decolonizing Teacher Education: What We Have Learned 

http://ineducation.ca/ineducation/article/view/61/547

I predominantly like this paper for its Figure 1 chart titled “Ways of knowing” which highlights the differences between Euro-American-Centrism/Neoliberalism and Indigenous curricula. However, it is also local, and created in collaboration between non-indigenous and Lil’wat First Nation educators. Figure 2 highlights the Lil’wat principles of teaching, which I see as being valuable to incorporate into a variety of classroom practices.

 

Website: ineducation.ca

After discovering a few great articles that came from this site, I realized it is a useful platform that is a peer-reviewed, open access journal, based in the field of education. It is also out of the University of Saskatchewan, offering Canadian specific content.

 

Best Practices for Teaching Aboriginal Students 

Adapted from: Best Practices in Teaching Aboriginal Children: From an Aboriginal and Non- Aboriginal Perspective. By Theresa Wilson, (Master’s Thesis: Conversations with First Nations Educators) 2001 UVic

https://www.oise.utoronto.ca/deepeningknowledge/UserFiles/File/UploadedAmina_/Best_Practices_for_Teaching_Aboriginal_Students.pdf

This short pdf doc is an easy to read, bullet pointed  document that could be shared and distributed amongst teaching staff as a daily reminder to stay mindful of how to differentiate our teaching for indigenous students. I see it being very accessible for everyone.

 

Beyond Words: Creating racism-free schools for Aboriginal learners 

http://www.bctf.ca/uploadedFiles/Public/AboriginalEducation/BeyondWords(1).pdf

This BCTF document has a few sections I find particularly impactful for myself, and to share with my colleagues. Three sections serve as a self-reflection on one’s own teaching, as well as one’s school culture:

  • Questions for Teachers to Consider (p. 19)
  • A Self-Assessment Guide for Teacher (p. 25)
  • School Review of Inclusiveness for Aboriginal Students (p. 45)