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Deepening Knowledge.




"Yes I Am Aboriginal and I Enjoy Mathematics.”

A blog post from the FEDCAN blog.  (For teachers)


Lesson Plans

Teaching Mathematics in a First Peoples Context

This resource guide (*contains lesson plans*), for Grades 8 & 9, intends to help teachers incorporate new approaches in Mathematics that are more reflective of the realities of First Peoples in the province of British Columbia. These resources are intended to help all students appreciate mathematics within all human cultures and activities, give all students a better undersatnding of First Peoples within historical and contemporary contexts, as well as help Aboriginal students feel more comfortable in mathematics learning situations.

From the website: "This document was created by the First Nations Education Steering Committee and the First Nations Schools Association with the support of the BC Ministry of Education and the Education Partnerships Program of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada."

First Nations and Stereotypes in Math

A collection of math lesson plans from OISE Centre for Urban Studies that embed social justice issues regarding First Nations.  (Grade 6; Level Junior)

First Nations’ Games of Chance

From the website: "With this website, we have two purposes

1. to provide some meaningful and engaging contexts to enrich the classroom experiences that students may have with respect to mathematics, and

2. to support the building of cultural awareness and understanding by highlighting social games within the First Nations' cultures." (Grade 4 and up; Level Junior/Intermediate/Senior)


by Running-Horse Livingston

From the website: "Wigwametry focuses on teaching geometry through the scale-model construction of a traditional Native American structure. The goal for this workshop is to prepare teachers to help students understand the mathematical, historical and social importance of the wigwam structure in Northern Woodland cultures. Participants will learn how to help students construct a scale model of the traditional home using geometric properties of circles and spheres."  (For teachers)

Math Catcher | Mathematics through Aboriginal Storytelling

From the website: "The main purpose of the short films, which are 3-4 minutes in length, is to relate stories about the adventures of animated characters. The scenarios take place in Aboriginal cultural and physical environments. The resolution of a particular plot always requires some mathematical knowledge. Plots in our stories are a mixture of adventures and math puzzles with the aim of catching a viewer’s attention and interest (thus the title of our project). Each story closes with an open-ended question that should spark discussions and lead to further activities. The question at the end of each story is purposefully not answered in the story." (Level Junior/Intermediate)

Counting 1:1 Correspondence

Association:  Montana Ministry of Education

Description/Keywords:  From the site - ""We are going to learn our numbers from 1-10 by counting manipulatives using 1 to 1 correspondence. To do this we will be using manipulatives that have pictures and information relating to the Blackfeet Tribe that is one of the 12 tribes of Montana.  Each day we will learn our numbers, a new manipulative and how it relates to the Blackfeet Indians. It is important to remember the information or the name of the manipulative because you will be asked questions throughout the lesson. Also remember we are learning numbers and counting as well." (Level Kindergarten)

Shapes in the Blackfeet Language

Association:  Montana Ministry of Education.

Description/Keywords:  From the site - "Student will practice and recite the shapes in English and Blackfeet. They will practice the shapes by forming them on a geoboard and by using the circle on the back of the geoboard." (Level Primary)

Probability and Odds Data Analysis

Association:  Montana Ministry of Education, Blackfoot.  

Description/Keywords:  From the site - "Students will play the traditional Native American game of Ring the Stick.   Students will collect and tally the results of the games. Students will organize collected data and display data using a line plot." (Level Primary)

Buffalo Runner

Association:  Montana Ministry of Education.

Description/Keywords:  From the site - Observation of students timing, running, and measuring.  Measurement of student’s 10-second run to the nearest foot. (Level Primary)

Pow Wow Trails

Association:  Montana Ministry of Education.

Description/Keywords:  From the site - Students will complete a table that calculates the distance traveled on a particular pow wow circuit. (Level Primary)

I am Beading

Association:  Northern Cheyenne, Montana Ministry of Education.  

Description/Keywords:  From the site - "Today you will learn how to create a symmetrical beading design used by the Northern Cheyenne for designing moccasins.  You will use your knowledge about patterns to help you create this complex design.  The Northern Cheyenne tribe used various types of beading." (Level Primary)

Estimating the Area of a Reservation

Association:  Montana Ministry of Education.  

Description/Keywords:  From the site - Area Worksheet, Estimated Area of Reservation: Result and Description of Method, Final Individual Performance Task, Design Your Own Boundaries Worksheet (with figure drawn on grid paper and turned in). (Level Junior)

Geometric Beadwork

Association:  Montana Ministry of Education.

Description/Keywords:  From the site - "Students will design a piece of “beadwork” on graph paper and be able to identify at least 2 lines of symmetry and 1 reflection, in which every point of the geometric figure is moved the same distance in the same direction.  They will also answer the 4th Essential Question on the back of the paper: “What makes lines of symmetry or a reflection appealing to the eye?”" (Level Junior)

Graphing Native American Populations

Association:  Montana Ministry of Education

Description/Keywords:  From the site - "Finished product will be a complete double bar graph representing five reservations and their enrolled member population that live on the reservation and the number of enrolled members living off of the reservations." (Level Junior)

Graphing Old Man’s Journey

Association:  Montana Ministry of Education.

Description/Keywords:  From the site - "Students listen to a Blackfeet creation story. Using portions of the story, students learn how to represent rates and frequencies with line graphs and histograms." (Level Junior)

Making a Star Quilt

Association:  Montana Ministry of Education.

Description/Keywords:  From the site - "Create a Star quilt block by using rhombus pattern. Use this to trace and cut the number of rhombi needed to complete each quilt (pre-plan the size and difficulty level desired).  Place the pieces as desired before gluing." (Level Junior)

Stars in the Sky

Association:  Montana Ministry of Education.  

Description/Keywords:  From the site - "Activity, creating a Big Dipper clock and drawing the transformations of a constellation. Worksheet graphing Big Dipper on four quadrant grid." (Level Junior)

My Own Blanket

(Grades K-4) Subject Strands: Language Arts, Social Studies, Visual Arts, Math.

Haida Legends: Culturally Responsive Mathematics 

From the lesson: "Using oral legends as told by Haida elders (produced by CBC Radio), we are developing mathematics lessons for us in Kindergarten-grade 12 classrooms." 

Math Catcher: Mathematics through Aboriginal Storytelling

From the lesson: "We engage Aboriginal learners in math and science through the use of First Nations imagery and storytelling." 

Blanket making as a mathematics and science practice and pedagogy 

From the video: "Deborah Sparrow of Musqueam First Nation demonstrates how blanket weaving can be used to teach students about science, history, geography, and math in a cross-curricular manner." 

Ojibwe numeracy with Jason Jones

From the video: "Dr. Nathalie Sinclair (Simon Fraser University) learning about the Ojibwe number systems with Jason Jones (Native Language Curriculum Coordinator, Rainy River District School Board)."

Math Games

Aboriginal Math Games

Aboriginal games organized by mathematical content (Grade 4 and up)

Games from the Aboriginal People of North America

Includes descriptions of a variety of Aboriginal games that promote mathematical problem-solving and games of chance, strategy and lifestyle.  (Grade 4 and up) 

The Game of Waltes

Learn about this Mi'kmaq game which includes both math and chance, and play it vs. the computer on this CBC website! 


Spatial Reasoning 

Birch Bark Biting

*Contains lesson plans.*

From the website: "With Birch Bark biting being a nearly lost art form, along with the Aboriginal cultural connections, learning about how to create Birch Bark bitings and the mathematical, scientific, social and artistic aspects behind these artworks may be very interesting and relevant to the students in your classroom.  By addressing the essential questions throughout the subjects, your students will be able to have a better understanding of the Mi’kmaw culture as well as the different cultural understandings and approaches to Science, Art and Mathematics."

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