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Deepening Knowledge.

Resources and Issues Related to First Nations Education


Integrating Aboriginal Teaching and Values into the Classroom

Research Monograph #11, by Dr. Pamela Toulouse.

This monograph is part of the research-into-practice series produced by a partnership between The Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat and the Ontario Association of Deans of Education.  It discusses how schools can support Aboriginal student success.

Our Childen, Our Future, Our Vision:  First Nation Jurisdiction Over First Nations Education in Ontario

Report by the Chiefs of Ontario, 2012.

From the Chiefs of Ontario press release:  "Today [February 8, 2012] the Chiefs of Ontario release a report titled Our Children, Our Future, Our Vision: First Nations Jurisdiction over First Nations Education in Ontario.  This report is the direct result of resolution 11/19 passed at the Ontario Special Chiefs Assembly in April, 2011.  This report does not stand alone, but instead continues the important work and objectives set out in previous reports, studies, resolutions and strategic plans of First Nations in Ontario.  The invaluable contributions of First Nations community members in this process have been especially critical to advancing collective goals in relation to First Nation education.

This report will be used by the Chiefs of Ontario as a basis to formulate an action-oriented strategy that focuses on jurisdiction, equitable funding and cultural relevance to continue charting our own path forward in education.  The report forms a solid foundation to embark on a rights-based  strategy that situates inherent and Treaty rights to education as the core element for future action."

Accord on Indigenous Education

Association of Canadian Deans of Education (ACDE), 2010.

On June 1st, 2010, Faculties of Education across Canada came together to develop and sign this national accord to ensure that indigenous perspectives, knowledge, histories and cultures have a central place in education from kindergarten through post-secondary programs.  It provides a framework offering educational programs relevant to Aboriginal people.

Decolonizing Our Schools:  Aboriginal Education in the Toronto District School Board

By Dr. Susan R. Dion with Krista Johnston and Dr. Carla Rice, 2010.

This report provides a description, evaluation, and analysis of data gathered by TDSB's Urban Aboriginal Pilot Project and its work towards the development of culturally respectful and responsive education for Aboriginal students in large, diverse urban contexts.

Shannen's Dream

Shannen Koostachin of Attawapiskat First Nation had a dream: Safe and comfortable schools and culturally based education for First Nations children and youth. She worked tirelessly to try to convince the federal government to give First Nations children a proper education before tragically passing away at the age of 15 years old in 2010.  Now it is our turn to carry her dream forward.

See the Youtube clip about Shannen and her dream, and how she received a human rights award for her work on education and children's rights.

Watch and listen to students from South Africa (grades 10 -12) share their thoughts on the impact that Shannen's Dream has made on them.

A Child Becomes Strong:  Journeying Through Each Stage of the Life Cycle

From the website:  "We created this manual to offer culturally specific teachings and information about First Nations child development/child rearing. It focuses on First Nations in Ontario. We developed this manual for a range of service providers who work with young First Nations families."

Founded in Culture:  Strategies to Promote Early Learning among First Nations Children in Ontario

From the website:  "The purpose of this First Nations early learning report is to:  review early learning policy and research that has been done with First Nations children (from birth to age 6) living in Ontario; and identify strategies to support early learning for service providers who work with First Nations parents/caregivers. The review involved a scan of relevant literature and interviews with key informants."

Guiding the Way: First Nations, Metis and Inuit a Guide for Staff 

This handbook is meant to introduce the cultures and traditions of the First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities.   

Mikinak: Teacher Awareness Guide

From the PDF document: "Mikinak is the result of an agreement between the First Nations Education Council (FNEC), the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) and the Ministere de l'Education, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS). 

Originally, Mikinak was intended as a tool to raise awareness among elementary school teachers in the Quebec public school system. However, since a large number of non-natives teach in First Nations schools, Mikinak was re-oriented to reach a wider audience of elementary school staff in general and future teachers." 

Pathways for Remembering and Recognizing Indigenous Thought in Education: Philosophies of Iethi’nihsténha Ohwentsia’kékha (Land) By: Sandra D. Styres

From the website: This book is an exploration into some of the shared cross-cultural themes that inform and shape Indigenous thought and Indigenous educational philosophy.


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