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Deepening Knowledge.

Resources for Teachers


The resources in this collection cover a broad range of topics in Aboriginal Studies.  

Accompanying each resource is a suggested grade level, indicated in brackets. These ratings are only a guide, and it is up to the individual teacher to determine what is appropriate for her or his classroom.

To access resources, click on the appropriate link on the left hand column.


The Secret Path - Incorporating Residential School stories into your classroom

The following are a series of links to introduce The Secret Path into your classroom. Resources include background articles and information for teachers, as well as various lessons and tools that can be used to enhance your students understanding and experience with this material. There are excellent works by Indigenous authors about Residential Schools that we recommend using with The Secret Path. See here for additional resources.

We do not recommend showing The Secret Path to primary grade students. For all other suggestions and resources, is it up to the individual teacher to determine what is appropriate for their classroom.

The Story of Chanie Wenjack 

(Film and Music) The Secret Path by Gord Downie & Jeff Lamire

(News) Toronto Star: The Secret Path and History

(Radio and Upcoming Book) Wenjack by Joseph Boyden

(Music) Willie Dunn

(News) CBC: Pearl Wenjack

(News) Globe & Mail: Joseph Boyden and Canadian Responsibility

Chanie Wenjack in Your Classroom and School

(News) CBC: Wab Kinew and The Secret Path in Schools

Residential Schools

(Article and Children's Books) ActiveHistory: Deconstructing Children's History Books

(Blog) Apihtawikosisan: How to teach children about Residential Schools

(Blog) Apihtawikosisan: How children can teach each other about Residential Schools

(Website) DKP: Residential School Resources

(Website) Legacy of Hope

(Website) Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Primary Grades: Building Understanding

Introducing younger students to Indigenous culture, traditions, and ways of life. We do not recommend showing The Secret Path to this age group.

(Lesson) Grade 1: "Responsbility" (Social Studies)

Additional: (Book) Shi-shi-etko

(Lesson) Grade 2: "Seasonal Traditions" (Social Studies)

Additional: (Book) Fatty Legs

Junior Grades: Making Connections

Encouraging young students to explore relevant Indigenous issues and individuals.

(Lesson) Grade 5: "Aboriginal Heroes" (Language)
FOCUS: Wenjack, Cindy Blackstock, Justice Murray Sinclair; Reidential School suvivors and Elders

(Lesson) Grade 6: "Stereotypes: Learning to Unlearn" (Language)

Senior Grades: Critical Engagement

Advancing students' critical thinking about Indigenous issues and learning about Residential Schools in Canada.

(Lesson) Grade 11: "Media Portrayals of Aboriginal Peoples" (English)
FOCUS: Analyzing converage of Indigenous issues, TRC findings, events, recommendations, etc.)

Additional: (Website) DKP: First Nations Representations in Media

(Lesson) Grade 11: "Aboriginal Peoples Rights in Canada" (Canadian and World Studies; Law)
FOCUS: Discuss Residential Schools infringement on Indigenous rights, freedom of movement, etc.

Additional: (News) APTN: Cindy Blackstock and Education Rights for First Nations Children (ongoing)

(Lesson) Grade 11: "Shaping the Political Landscape" (Canadian and World Studies; Politics)
FOCUS: Explore TRC, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, etc.

Looking Forward: Beyond 'The Secret Path'

Starting Point: Why The Secret Path is Not Enough

(Blog) Biidwewidam: The Secret Path as both Reconciliation and Not-Reconciliation

(Blog) Active History: Residential Schools are Only Part of What Happened

New Residential Schools: Child Welfare and the Under-funding of Aboriginal Education

(News) Ottawa Citizen: Cindy Blackstock - One Year Later

(Film) "We Can't Make the Same Mistake Twice"


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