Math Catcher

Math Catcher:Mathematics Through Aboriginal Storytelling is a site dedicated to introducing math topics via Aboriginal storytelling methods.  There are stories, video clips, background, rationale and links to conferences.  The project this site stemmed from was initiated at a First Nations Math Education Workshop held at the Banff International Research Station (BIRS) for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery.

One of the goals of this project is to promote mathematics for all peoples, but particularly in a way that will allow Aboriginal children to see themselves and their culture connected to mathematics, and to promote Aboriginal traditions amongst non-Aboriginal students.  The stories on the site are available in both English and various Aboriginal languages.


September 17, 2012   No Comments

Teaching Mathematics in a First Peoples Context

Teaching Mathematics in a First Peoples Context is a document produced by the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) that provides content, lessons, ideas and rationale for including authentic First Nations content and viewpoints in teaching mathematics.  There are suggestions for contacting local First People communities, as well as many links to websites that provide background and information for the lesson plans outlined in the 157 page document.

The FNESC is an independent society with a vision to provide high-quality, relevant education to First Nations youth.  Their website,, outlines their goals, organization and hosts a wealth of information and links regarding education and First Nations students.  One of the pages on the site, Curriculum & Teacher Resources, is designed for K-12 public educators.  The site states that:

“FNESC, the First Nations Schools Association and the provincial government have been developing new First Peoples curriculum and classroom resources in order to create more inclusive schools and classrooms and better inform all students  about First Nations issues and realities. Curriculum development work is ongoing.” (

September 15, 2012   No Comments


Ethno-Math is a site that outlines ethno-mathematics and a related study done at the College of New Caledonia in Prince George, BC.  The study was designed to investigate whether making math content more culturally relevant and reflective of different styles of learning would improve First Nations and aboriginal student success in mathematics.  A synopsis of ethno-mathematics, as found on the site, states:

“Briefly, ethno-mathematics applies a socio-cultural perspective to math allowing a new means to view student success, curriculum content, historical contributions and educational practices. For example, native content is integrated into problems and indigenous people’s contributions to mathematics are acknowleged.”

The site outlines the project that CNC undertook, as well as a pdf file containing the full final report.  The study refers to the idea that many students see math as neutral and outside of culture.  However, while recognizing students’ viewpoints, the study proposes that “there should be a more explicit discussion with students about the contributions of different cultural groups to the history and practice of mathematics: mathematics does exist in a cultural context” (McGregor & MacMillan, 2004).  I felt that the discussion relating to neutrality and the influence of culture on learning mathematics fit well within the overall discussions for Module 1.


McGregor, C. & MacMillan, P. (2004).  Program evaluation of Math030 (ethno-math).  Retrieved online at


September 15, 2012   No Comments