BC has recently revamped its curriculum and one of the main new components is the focus on Canada’s Indigenous Peoples. However, the teacher training and educational resources to support this new curriculum are not all in place. This article from the Tyee Newspaper is a reminder that sometimes the best sources of knowledge and teaching can come from the students. While I would never advocate putting a child on the spot to talk about their heritage in front of the rest of the class, if a student is willing to share his/her personal experiences and ideas on a subject, it often has a much more impactful and intrinsic connection with the students (and teacher) receiving this teaching.
The following are resources (articles, videos, websites) on ideas and initiatives focused on Indigenous knowledge, learners and education:
Conestoga College. (2017, March 20). Indigenizing Post-Secondary Education [Video file].
This video explores the experiences of a few post-secondary Indigenous students, within their courses and on-campus supports. The students provide suggestions on going beyond a Euro-centric style of teaching and infusing Indigenous content and teaching methods into the education system, as well as ways to help build stronger relationships among Canadians.
Project of Heart. (n.d.). Project of Heart.
This is an “inquiry based, hands-on, collaborative, inter-generational activity” that helps students learn about the history of Aboriginal people in Canada, including the legacy of the residential school system. It is tailored to different grade levels, including post-secondary, but is not only tied to educational institutions: it can be used by anyone.
Province of BC. (2013, October 25). Changing Results for Young Readers: Laura Tait, First Peoples Principles of Learning [Video file].
This is a presentation by Laura Tait, an educator and administrator. She covers ideas such as Indigenous identity, pedagogy, reflective practice, relationships and understanding. Tait invites viewers to look at the world through an Indigenous lens. She shares some activities that teachers can use with their students and resources for their professional development.
Simon, J., Burton, K., Lockhart, E. (2014). Post-secondary distance education in a contemporary colonial context: Experiences of students in a rural First Nation in Canada. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning 15(1).
This article shares some of the challenges of and opportunities through post-secondary online/distance education in rural and remote First Nation (Indigenous) communities in Canada. The Elsipogtog First Nation community in Nova Scotia is profiled. Student experiences using videoconferencing technology are shared.
University of British Columbia. (2017, February 17). Learning from Story [Video file].
This video is part of a non-credit massive open online course (MOOC), “Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education,” which focuses on strategies, teaching examples and resources supporting teaching and learning of Indigenous ways of knowing. The video focuses on the use of Indigenous storytelling and the benefits of utilizing it as a teaching strategy.
This video introduces teaching resources that can be used to introduce Residential Schools in British Columbia. It includes all of the necessary teaching components needed to introduce the topic sensitively and in a culturally sound way.
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The Centre for First Nations Governance is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting First Nations groups in Canada as they return to self-governance. The website provides news, workshop toolkits, research and educational information.
The are some PDF’s which can be used in the classroom to educate students about the First Nations history. In particular, the interactive historical timeline of First Nations Governance is something that could engage students.
The National Film Board of Canada has a collection of 39 films about the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada. The collection covers a wide range of topics such as the arts, government relations, spirituality, and urban life.
The short documentary film, PowWow at Duck Lake, covers a discussion at Duck Lake, Saskatchewan. Indian-Métis problems, such as education, and lack of opportunities for Native youth, are are discussed in a gathering of Native and white community members.
This podcast by mediaINDIGENA discusses James Daspchuk’s book Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life, and Canada’s Aboriginal policy of displacement through starvation.
“Western Canada lost a third of the population within six years.”
The mediaINDIGENA site is a a multimedia, interactive e-magizine which is a collection of works by 10 Aboriginal bloggers.
The article, Fight the Power: 100 Heroes of Native Resistance, Women Warriors, by Vincent Shilling lists Native women warriors who fought heroically against colonization. The stories of these warriors illustrate non-stereotypical depictions of historical Indigenous women. This article is part of a series posted on the Indian Country Today Media Network.com.
This article provides an insightful view into the historical relationship between Aboriginal peoples and the European settlers. It reiterates that education is the key to recognizing the wrongs that have been committed and by acknowledging the broken past, bridges to a more positive relationship can be made. It includes information about the major historical events and what kind of impact they have had on the lives of Aboriginal people. It brings to light the notion of incorporating Aboriginal content in ways such as creating a foundation for a solid classroom community or recognizing how our individual actions affect those around us.
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This website offers Cancer patients information on traditional First Nation’s healing, including topics like the ceremonial use of tobacco and smudging. I found it particularly useful because the website goes to great paints to speak respectfully whilst still indicating that the use of traditional healing has not been scientifically studied.
I see this as an opportunity for researchers to examine the use of traditional healing methods that look at the whole human (medicine wheel) for treatment, instead of simply treating the body (chemo), and to examine biomarkers of disease or whole health outcomes (e.g. death rates) for those treated using traditional methods plus evidence-based western medicine. Many traditional healing methods have recently shown themselves successful in clinical trials (e.g. massage therapy & acupuncture), and I suspect that there are likely elements of traditional healing that will hold up to scientific rigor and help to support their use in broader populations.
One of the main themes for all of the different curriculums has been the importance of culture and history, and using stories to teach and help students connect with information and develop their skills. I was interested to see if there were resources for incorporating some of the oral history that has been documented.
This site has videos of different stories, plus teaching resources and information about including First Nations pedagogy into a classroom.
This website discusses oral culture, including drums and music, and also has a companion site for dancing. Along with printed information there are pictures, audio-visual clips, interviews, etc.
This is part of the archives of Canada and includes documents that have recorded some traditional stories. Only the documents are included in the site, no extra information.