Jump to Main Content
Decrease font size Reset font size Increase font size
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto Home| OISE| U of T| Quercus| Site Map | Contact Us | Accessibility | Feeling Distressed?
INSPIRING EDUCATION | oise.utoronto.ca
Deepening Knowledge.

Contemporary Aboriginal Identities



Seeing Ourselves, Being Ourselves: Broadcasting Aboriginal Television in Canada

This article outlines the history and development of Aboriginal broadcasting in Northern Canada.


From the original website:  "Agokwe explores unrequited love between teenage boys from neighbouring reserves. They meet briefly at a post hockey-tournament party where they bashfully confess their desire for each other. However youth, distance and isolation strive to pull the threads apart when tragedy intervenes."

Young, indigenous leaders: 5 under 20 to watch for

CBC News, Chantelle Bellrichard, January 25, 2015

Teaching About the Mi'kmaq

From the resource: "The content shared throughout this resource has been carefully discussed, sorted, and chosen. Although the resource provides just a glimpse into the rich history of who we are as Mi'kmaq, it is a beginning." 


Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

This blog addresses Indigenous Knowledge (Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences).


Books, Fiction

Claire and Her Grandfather

An interactive online storybook. Includes games, a colouring book and teacher section. A text-only version is also available. (Primary)

April Raintree

By Beatrice Culleton Mosionier, 1992.

This story follows the lives of two Metis sisters living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It raises themes of identity, family, and native ancestry. Mature subject matter.  (Senior)

Morning on the Lake

By Jan Bourdeau Waboose, 1997.

A story about the relationship between a boy and his grandfather, and the lessons about the world that the boy learns through his grandfather’s guidance.  (Primary)

Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message

By Jake Swamp, Erwin Printup, 1995.

This book has been adapted for children by a Mohawk chief. The words in the book originated with First Nations people of upstate New York and Canada, and are based on the belief that the natural world is a precious one and rare gift that should be cherished. (Primary|Junior|Intermediate|Senior)

When the Shadbush Bloom

By Carla Messinger and Susan Katz, 2007.

An illustrated storybook about the past and present cultural experiences of two Aboriginal girls. Appropriate for young students. (Primary)


Books, Non-Fiction

First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples: Exploring Their Past, Present, and Future

By John A. Roberts, Fredrick C. Sproule, Randy Montgomery, 2006. (for Teachers)

The Sacred Tree

By Phil Lane Jr., Judie Bopp, Michael Bopp, Lee Brown, and Elders, 2004.

This book has an easily accessible introduction to many of the themes which run through most (but not all) First Nations cultures. It is helpful, but must be used with the knowledge that First Nations cultures are not monolithic.

Lessons from Turtle Island:  Native Curriculum in Early Childhood Classrooms

By Guy W. Jones and Sally Moomaw, 2002.

A guide to creating an inclusive curriculum for all students, with  a focus on being sensitive to Aboriginal issues. (Kindegarten|Primary)


Film & Video

Recapturing Our Collective Awesomeness

Youtube, 2014 (7:06 min)

Stan Wesley some of the history and culture of parts of Northern Ontario.

Canada Celebrates National Aboriginal Day

YouTube, 2009 (3:24 min)

Recent video of a pow wow. Contains young children and a few adults dancing.

First People - Ethan is 9 years old

YouTube, 2009 (3:06 min)

This video highlights Ethan as he and his family speak about his regalia. Includes a short interview.

Wab Kinew - Heroes

YouTube, 2010 (3:55 min)

This video is set to the song Take a Minute by K'naan with words by contemporary Aboriginal artist Wab Kinew. The song and corresponding images discuss Aboriginal Heroes like Louis Riel and Buffy Ste. Marie.  (Intermediate|Senior)

Mi`kmaq Family = Migmaoei Otjiosog

National Film Board, 1994 (27 min)

From the NFB website: “Mi'kmaq filmmaker and mother, Catherine Anne Martin takes a reflective journey into the extended family of Nova Scotian Mi'kmaq society.”

Nonoonse Anishinabe Ishichekewin Ka Kanawentank

National Film Board of Canada, 1980 (10 min)

From the NFB website: “ Filmed on Lake Manitoba, near the Ebb'n'Flow Reserve, Nonoonse is both a clear description of sugar-making and a quiet statement on the importance of the tradition to the Saultaux Indians of the region.”

Spudwrench – Kahnawake Man

National Film Board of Canada, 1997.

From the NFB website:  “Randy Horne is a high-steel worker from the Mohawk community of Kahnawake, near Montreal. In this clip we watch men walking on the beams of a skyscraper under construction. Randy talks about his work on the 86th floor of the World Trade Center. He was known as "Spudwrench" during the 1990 Oka Crisis. This is the third film in Alanis Obomsawin's series on the events of 1990.”

Expressions of Aboriginal Youth

The video from Access to Media Education Society, 2004 (19:55 mins) can be found in three parts on Youtube: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

From the Expressions of Aboriginal Youth Resource Guide website: "This guide is designed to bring issues affecting Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people into the classroom in a manner that speaks directly to youth. Built around the work of three emerging First Nations video artists, this piece explores the role video is playing in helping Native youth recover their culture and develop a powerful voice."



Revision Quest

With Darrell Dennis.

A fabulous CBC radio show with episodes on numerous Aboriginal topics.  The episodes are humorous and informative, and are meant to act as an introduction to these topics.  (Intermediate|Senior)


Circle of Stories Website

From the PBS website: “Circle of Stories uses documentary film, photography, artwork and music to honor and explore Native American storytelling.”

These resources are engaging, and easily incorporated into lesson plans. Content is focused on the Native American experience. Includes lessons and activities in the ‘For Educators’ section.

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Official government website about National Aboriginal Day. Includes information on  the historical background of the celebration. Links to further resources are provided at the bottom of the page.

The Virtual Museum of Métis History and Culture

Metis Museum is an online and interactive history and culture museum.  (Junior|Intermediate|Senior)

Allen Sapp Gallery: Through the Eyes of the Cree

This website provides access to the paintings in the Allen Sapp Gallery/Gonor Collection in North Battleford, SK.  The website also provides links to interviews with Cree elders, Allen Sapp performing songs from his childhood and the extensive "Allen Sapp's Art - Teacher's Resource Guide".

Allen Sapp Gallery: The Gonor Collection

This website provides access to the paintings in the Allen Sapp Gallery/Gonor Collection in North Battleford, SK.

Listen to Allen Sapp perform songs from his childhood

This webpage provides links to six songs performed by Allen Sapp.

OISEcms v.1.0 | Site last updated: Friday, January 4, 2019 Disclaimer | Webmaster

© OISE University of Toronto
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1V6 CANADA