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Deepening Knowledge.

Professional Development:  Resources for Deepening Your Understanding



Teaching First Nations Children-Lakehead University

This pdf document highlights what teachers need to understand when teaching First Nations children such as the history, diversity, culture, role of the community, and contemparary issues. In addition, this document notes the importance of self-awareness among teachers and the principles of honouring First Nations.  


FEDCAN Blog: Everything is alive and everyone is related: Indigenous knowing and inclusive education

by Jean-Paul Restoule, Jan. 25, 2011.

University of Victoria professor and Chair of Indigenous Education Jean-Paul Restoule on why incorporating Indigenous Knowledge into all curriculum is important. (For teachers)

FEDCAN Blog: Changing the subject in teacher education: indigenous, diasporic, and settler colonial relations

by Martin J. Cannon, May 17, 2011.

OISE professor Martin J. Cannon authors another entry regarding teacher education and indigenous, diasporic and settler colonial relations.

STARS Anti-Racism and Indigenous Education Resource Blog: Becoming and Being an Ally of Aboriginal Education

By the Student Teachers Anti-Racism Society (STARS), Sunday, January 30, 2011.

A summary of Dr. Verna St. Denis's  research findings regarding the characteristics of Aboriginal education allies.


Books, Non-Fiction

First Nations 101

By Lynda Gray, 2011.

From the First Nations 101 website:   "...an easy to read primer that provides readers with a broad overview of the diverse and complex lives of First Nations people.  It is packed with more that 70 subjects including veterans, youth, urbanization, child welfare, appropriate questions to ask a First Nations person, feminism, the medicine wheel, Two-spirit (LGBTQ), residential schools, the land bridge theory, and language preservation."  (For adults)

Integrating Aboriginal Perspectives in the School Curriculum

By Yatta Kanu, 2010.

From Google Books: “From improved critical thinking to increased self-esteem and school retention, teachers and students have noted many benefits to bringing Aboriginal viewpoints into public school classrooms. In Integrating Aboriginal Perspectives Into the School Curriculum, Yatta Kanu provides the first comprehensive study of how these frameworks can be effectively implemented to maximize Indigenous students' engagement, learning, and academic achievement.” (For teachers)

American Indians:  Stereotypes & Realities

By Devon A. Mihesuah, 2009.

Synopsis from Clarity Press, Inc. :  "American Indians: Stereotypes & Realities provides an informative and engaging Indian perspective on common misconceptions concerning American Indians which afflict public and even academic circles to this very day. Written in a highly accessible stereotype/reality format, it includes numerous illustrations and brief bibliographies on each topic PLUS these appendices:

* Do's and Don'ts for those who teach American Indian history and culture * Suggested Guidelines for Institutions with Scholars who Conduct Research on American Indians * Course outline for American Indian history and culture survey with suggested projects * Outline for course "American Indian Women in History" with extensive bibliography."  (For teachers)

Peace, Power and Righteousness

By Taiaiake Alfred, 2008.

From Google Books: "This visionary manifesto, first published in 1999, has significantly improved our understanding of First Nations' issues. Taiaiake Alfred calls for the indigenous peoples of North America to move beyond their 500-year history of pain, loss, and colonization, and move forward to the reality of self-determination. A leading Kanien'kehaka scholar and activist with intimate knowledge of both Native and Western traditions of thought, Alfred is uniquely placed to write this inspiring book. His account of the history and future of the indigenous peoples of North America is at once a bold and forceful critique of Indigenous leaders and politics, and a sensitive reflection on the traumas of colonization that shape our existence."  (Post secondary and up)

The Truth About Stories

By Thomas King, 2008.

From the University of Minnesota Press: "Illuminates the relationship between storytelling and the Native North Amercian experience...Thomas King explores how stories shape who we are, and how we understand and itneract with other people.  From creation stories to personal experiences, historical anecdotes, to social injustices, racist propanganda to works of contemporary Native literature, King probes Native culture's deep ties to storytelling."  (For teachers)

Ending Denial: Understanding Aboriginal Issues

By Wayne Warry, 2007.

This book is an introduction to Aboriginal issues for all Canadians. Warry explains the current issues facing Aboriginal communities by exploring the past and revealing present connections.  (For adults)

Canada’s First Nations: A History of Founding Peoples From Earliest Times

By Olive Dickason, 1992.

From Amazon.ca: "Canada's First Nations is a comprehensive history of Canada's original inhabitants. Using an interdisciplinary approach that combines techniques from history, anthropology, archaeology, biology, sociology, and political science, the story of the more than 50 First Nations of Canada is carefully woven together. A central argument in the text is that Amerindians and Inuit have responded to persistent colonial pressures through attempts at co-operation, episodes of resistance, and politically sophisticated efforts to preserve their territory and culture. The fourth edition has been fully updated to include current topics such as the effects of global warming on the Innu, the Ipperwash Inquiry, and the Caledonia land claims dispute. This is a text that transcends the familiar and narrow focus on Native-White relations to identify the history of the First Nations as a separate and proud tradition." (Post secondary and up)



The Experimental Eskimos

From the website:  In the early 1960s the Canadian government conducted an experiment in social engineering. Three 12-year-old Inuit boys, Peter Ittinuar, Zebedee Nungak and Eric Tagoona, were sent to live with White families in Ottawa, to be educated in White schools. The consequences for the boys, their families, their identity, and their culture were brushed aside.

The bureaucrats who brought the boys South did not anticipate the outcome of their experiment. The boys grew up to become leaders of their people, and lifelong thorns in the side of the government. The battles they fought and won were instrumental in the establishment of aboriginal rights in Canada, and led to the creation of Nunavut, the world’s largest self-governing aboriginal territory. But it all came at enormous personal cost.

The Experimental Eskimos is the untold story of how an experiment in assimilation, not only changed three boys, but changed a nation. The trailer for The Experimental Eskimos can be found here.


Other Resources

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Published by the United Nations, 2008.

From the PDF: Affirming that indigenous peoples are equal to all other peoples, while recognizing the right of all peoples to be different, to consider themselves different, and to be respected as such...

First Nations Education Steering Committee

From the website: The First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) is an independent society led by a strong and diverse board of about 100 First Nations community representatives. FNESC is committed to improving education for all First Nations students in BC.

Since its establishment in 1992, FNESC has worked to communicate the priorities of BC First Nations to the federal and provincial governments and to support First Nations communities in working together to advance education issues. Communications, research, partnership-building and advocacy are all central to FNESC’s activities.

First Nations Education: Shannen's Dream

From the Website: Shannen Koostachin of Attawapiskat First Nation had a dream - safe and comfy 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.

BC First Nations Studies Guide

Published by the Ministry of Education, British Columbia.

From the guide: This resource guide gives namy suggestions for incorporating local content into the course, assisting teachiers and students to analyze topics in the student resource as they relate to the local First Nations.

Legacy of Hope Foundation

From the website: "The Legacy of Hope Foundation is a national Aboriginal charitable organization whose purposes are to educate, raise awareness and understanding of the legacy of residential schools, including the effects and intergenerational impacts on First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, and to support the ongoing healing process of Residential School Survivors".

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