Weblog #4 – Post #6 – Approved FNMI Resources List

I attended a PD session this week, in which Edmonton Public’s FNMI consultants were presenting about connecting with our students, their families, and our community.  It was interesting to sit and listen with that bit of a bias that comes with the information we have learned throughout the course.  The speakers were great, and they provided some resources to support teachers.  What was most interesting was the questions asked by my teaching peers – so different than the questions I was walking in with.  I was hoping that discussion could be focused around how we ensure that our resources, activities, and projects are reflective of all student’s backgrounds and needs, and I was thinking (with my final project at the front of my mind) about access to technology and how we can utilize technology to create a community and share our own personal stories.

Several great resources were shared that can act as a foundation as we reflect on our curriculum and change our teaching and communication practices for the better.  One was Education is Our Buffalo, which is a resources for teaching, lesson planning, and finding resources for educating FNMI students.  There is an easy to understand and clearly described history of Canadian Aboriginal culture, describing colonialism, First Nations treaties, Métis accords, and Inuit land claims.  There is also an emphasis on important definitions in order to create a common vocabulary.  This resource also provides information about Aboriginal spirituality and teachings, the legacy of residential schools, curriculum, cultural traditions, and recognition of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit achievements.

A second interesting resource was Reviews at EPSB, an site for educators that reviews resources for their appropriateness in the classroom.  Books and resources are reviewed for their content, images, and theme.  The collection of approved resources is maintained by the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Staff in Student Learning Services of EPSB.  The resources are specifically created to encompass the diversity of communities and traditions in North America, and not only are resources reviewed for authenticity and validity, but it is important they connect with the Alberta curriculum.  When possible, the review of the materials is a member of the culture represented in the book, to ensure that an expert makes the judgement.  Unfortunately, the reviewed materials are only books and resources published after 2002.  It is my hope that earlier resources will be reviewed as well.  I think it is really important that not only does the site provide approved resources, but it actively encourages educators and librarians to thoughtfully cull book collections to ensure that content is respectful.  Many resources are outdated and contain stereotypes, misinformation, cultural biases, and negative images and perspectives.

November 28, 2012   No Comments

Weblog #3 – Post #4 – Our Voices, Our Stories

Library and Archives Canada provides the Our Voices, Our Stories site which celebrates Inuit, Metis, and First nations oral stories, which document history, language, traditions, and beliefs.    The site provides stories from the past and present of the First Nations, Metis, and Inuit, as well as educational resources and additional media.  Most significantly, in my opinion is the in-depth educational resources – storytelling background, hints, lessons, activities, and assessments.  Social Studies connections are provided for all provinces/territories and grades 4-8.

November 15, 2012   No Comments

Weblog #3 – Post #3 – Virtual Museum of Metis History and Culture

Storytelling is important in Metis culture as a means to pass information from the Elders to the youth of society.  This Virtual Museum provides archived collections of Metis history, interviews, conferences, transcripts, learning resources, artistic expressions, and multimedia files honouring Metis music, dance, and storytelling.

November 15, 2012   No Comments

Weblog #2: Post #5

Council of Ministers of Education (CMEC)

This site offers information garnered on the Summit on Aboriginal Education, where education ministers and leaders from Aboriginal organizations met to improve Aboriginal education.

The summit focused on:
1. raising public awareness of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit education and the need to eliminate gaps between learners.
2. building support for partnerships with Aboriginal organizations.
3. identifying areas for action to meet the goals of Learn Canada 2020 
4. engaging federal government in Aboriginal education issues to implement policy change.
5. building networks for future collaboration.

Aboriginal Education Action Plan
Aboriginal Education Best Practices
Summit on Aboriginal Education Report 


October 21, 2012   No Comments

Metis Harvesting Rights in Alberta

Continuing my search for information related to the environmental issues surfacing in Alberta, I have stumbled upon an interesting case regarding harvesting rights of the Metis.  Harvesting refers to the rights of the Metis, First Nations, and Inuit to collect foods by fishing, hunting, and farming.

Metis Nation of Alberta Harvesting Policy

Garry Hirsekorn was found guilty of two counts under the Alberta Wildlife Act and fined $700 after killing a mule deer in southern Alberta.  It is argued that his case was a planned action by the Metis to bring attention to the harvesting rights established (Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution) by the Alberta government.  The court proceedings started in April 2009, and the ruling was

Fish and Wildlife was aware of the planned hunt, but it is argued that the hunt was used for political purposes and not for traditional purposes.  Furthermore, it is argued that there is no historical Metis community in southern Alberta, therefore Hirsekorn is guilty of illegal hunting.

News Article for Hirsekorn’s Verdict

The decision has been appealed (in August 2012), but there are 25 other Metis charged with illegal hunting and are currently awaiting trial.

Hirsekorn’s Appeal

This case refers frequently to  the case of Steve and Roddy Powley, who killed a moose in October of 1993.  They identified the moose with a Metis card, specifying it was intended to be food for the winter.  Despite this identification, Ontario Conservation Officers charged the Powleys for hunting without a license and unlawful possession of a moose.  The judge ruled that the Powleys have a right to hunt, based upon Section 35 of the Constitution Act (1982).  Charges were dismissed, but the Crown appealed.  In February of 2001, the Court of Appeal upheld the early decision, but the Crown appealed to the Supreme Court.  In September of 2003, the Supreme Court supported the initial verdict as well, and supports the Metis right to harvest year-round.

The Powley Test 


September 23, 2012   No Comments