Tag Archives: Dr. Martin Brokenleg

Module 1 Weblog – Susan Beeley

I am still working towards selecting a particular area of interest for my research but two seem likely.  The first is based on my recent experience teaching in an alternative learning center.  I work with at-risk youth and a disproportionately large number of our students (45%, far greater than the % of students throughout the district) are identified by the school district as having Aboriginal ancestry.  We spend a lot of our time making social and emotional connections with the students and follow many of Dr. Martin Brokenleg’s Circle of Courage teachings.  These teachings apply to all at-risk youth as many of them, Aboriginal or otherwise, feel a great disconnect with the community around them and this has, in many ways, contributed to their educational and life struggles.  The second possible theme of interest to me is based on 16 years experience teaching science and math based on curriculum that very much views aboriginal content as an add-on (something that became very obvious to me while marking the solar system module in a grade 8 science workbook last week).  While the new BC Curriculum offers hope for improvement by allowing a more constructivist approach to teaching and learning teachers still need to reflect upon and embrace change if it is to be successful.

Journal Article: Native Wisdom on Belonging by Dr. Martin Brokenleg

  • This link will take you to a PDF file that outlines the key developmental needs of children as presented in the Circle of Courage: Mastery, Belonging, Generosity and Independence.  These needs are compared to the value system set up by Western cultures and the importance of each is outlined.  This is a great starting point for those interested in adhering to the philosophy “it takes a village to raise a child” and developing this culture in their classroom.  A beautiful poster and summary can also be found by clicking the link.

Website:  Martin Brokenleg

  • This website contains information about cultural healing and resilience.  It is a great place to start for those looking for an understanding of the issues faced by Aboriginal populations and the role that educators can play in helping to overcome some of these issues.  The website has links to articles, power points from presentation, and Dr. Brokenleg’s summarised thoughts on different topics of interest.

Journal Article: Integrating Western and Aboriginal Sciences: Cross-Cultural Science Teaching by Glen Aikenhead

  • This article discusses the power differential that exists for Aboriginal students in a science classroom.  Practical research that offers an alternative approach that moves away from “enculturation” is introduced and a new way of teaching science is presented.  In this new approach teachers “play the role of a tour-guide culture broker” making clear to students the language that they are speaking (western science or Aboriginal science) so that students can move between the two languages without one being seen as superior to the other.

Website:  Institute for Integrated Science and Health

  • This website out of Cape Breton University helps us to “view science in a broadened and culturally inclusive way”, and is guided by the principle of Two-eyed seeing.  The website has a vast array of resources to support a changing view of science education that have to be seen and explored to be believed.

Blog: Aboriginal Mathematics K-12 Network

  • This is a great website/blog out of UBC for anyone who is hoping to introduce Aboriginal ways of knowing into the Math curriculum.  There is information on symposiums, ideas and lessons, and resources to support teachers.  Though the primary contributor seems to be Cynthia Nichol, this webpage offers hope to those of us who need some guidance with authentic ways to incorporate Aboriginal ways of knowing into the math curriculum.  It offers an amazing platform for knowledgeable individuals to share ideas and resources to support educators.

Allison’s Cyber Travelling Reflections Part 3

First Nations Education Steering Committee


I chose to feature this site because it is based on British Columbia and has sections containing authentic First Peoples resources for kindergarten to grade nine students. Of particular relevance to me and my research is a section dedicated to Indian Residential Schools complete with history, photographs, and information. It also contains specific links and information to use when teaching the new social studies curriculum in the primary classroom.


Ktunaxa Nation


The Ktunaxa Nation surrounds the area in which I live. The Residential School, St. Eugene Mission, is one of the places I will be focusing my project on and how we can teach elementary students appropriately about residential schools. This website incorporates many local resources for language, social and emotional development and support opportunities. I hope that this resource will provide me with some contacts to assist my project and planning.


First Peoples’ Cultural Council


I came across this website as I was revisiting the First Voices website that I wrote about it my first post. The First Peoples’ Cultural Council is a First Nations-run Crown Cooperation with a focus on the revitalization of Aboriginal language, arts, and culture in British Columbia. This site appears to be regularly updated and maintained to include relevant local news on issues around British Columbia. It also includes links to support Aboriginal languages, heritage toolkits for First Nations cultural workers, grants to facilitate Aboriginal artists connecting to Aboriginal youth and communities, as well as information on internships and language and culture camps.


Orange Shirt Day


I was directed to this site through Mary Sikkes’ post during our class discussion #8. Orange Shirt Day is held at the end of September in BC as a reminder that “every child matters”. This day is in recognition of the abuse incurred at Residential Schools, inspired by Phyllis’ story, a 6-year old girl who had her clothes taken away from her on her first day of school at the St. Joseph Mission residential school. The resources page on this site lists background information, sample agendas and video showing community ceremonies, and discussion guides. This will be an especially helpful resource for me to include in my final project on teaching elementary students about Residential schools.


Dr. Martin Brokenleg


I had the privilege a few years ago of attending a talk given by Dr. Martin Brokenleg. He spoke of the circle of courage, of youth at risk, and of what we need to be doing for our students in our classrooms today. I am including this resource in my list because I admire Dr. Brokenleg’s teachings and want to remember this space and links to refer back to when necessary.