• July 25, 2018

First People Principles of Learning posterAs a Ministry of Education Provincial Outreach Program, SET-BC would like to acknowledge, at our Provincial Centre located in Vancouver, BC, we live, learn, work and play on the unceded and traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil Waututh) and sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) Coast Salish people. As well, we want to acknowledge and honour the collective knowledge shared by the vast number of Elders, knowledge keepers, Indigenous community members, story-tellers and teachers, who graciously provided their perspectives and wisdom through the interviews, books, articles, stories and conversations that are referenced here.

Thanks also to FNESC (First Nations Education Steering Committee www.fnesc.ca) for their informative First Peoples Principles of Learning poster which has helped guide this resource. This poster is available from the FNESC website here.

Click poster image to enlarge

“The inclusion of Aboriginal perspectives and knowledge is based on the understanding that Aboriginal perspectives and knowledge are a part of the historical and contemporary foundation of BC and Canada. An important goal in integrating Aboriginal perspectives into curricula is to ensure that all learners have opportunities to understand and respect their own cultural heritage as well as that of others…” BC Curriculum – Aboriginal Education

Inherent in the First Peoples Principles of Learning is the concept and philosophy of the interconnectedness of life and learning within daily life.  Thus, the principles should not be seen as a list of criteria or standards to be met in the curriculum, but rather, a way of understanding the world and perspectives through the lens of our First Peoples of British Columbia.

This course explores examples and strategies of ways teachers can use technology-based projects aligned with the First Peoples Principles of Learning to begin infusing a First People’s perspective into their classroom environment and community.

Feature learning artifacts and work samples were generously submitted and shared by teachers and students who participated in SET-BC’s 2017-2018 Aboriginal Education Synergy Projects.  The projects were supported by SET-BC through an equipment bundle loan of 5 iPad Pros, 5 Smart Keyboards for iPad Pros, 5 Apple pencils and a software bundle of art, music, and storytelling apps (Explain Everything Class, iMovie, Keezy Suite, Garageband, Sketchbook, Adobe Photoshop Express and/or Adobe Photoshop Mix).  Teachers inquired into various areas of Aboriginal education using technology supports to express and document student learning.

Why is it important for BC educators to incorporate the First Peoples Principles of Learning into the daily classroom environment?

At the heart of the First Peoples Principles of Learning is an articulation of First Peoples’ experiences, values and beliefs with the purpose of reflecting First People’s epistemological and pedagogical approaches in our current lived realities.  These principles are becoming widely recognized as effective and powerful educational perspectives for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal learners and as such have been integrated prominently throughout BC’s redesigned curriculum.  For example, the First Peoples Principles of Learning resonate in much of the Core Competency proficiencies in the curriculum, as life-long learning, thinking and reflection, personal and social responsibility and communication are highlighted as learning goals that promote a holistic approach to child development.  This increased emphasis on Aboriginal ways of knowing, both formally in the BC curricula and in practice as teachers begin to articulate and apply the principles to daily classroom life and activities, pays tribute and respect to our BC First Peoples and places a lens of respect and reconciliation on our current educational landscape.

Indigenous learning perspectives and Aboriginal education is a whole new area of understanding for me – where should I start?

To begin incorporating Aboriginal worldviews and the First Peoples Principles of Learning into the classroom learning environment, it is paramount that teachers understand that authentic Indigenous studies involves a holistic approach that reflect First Peoples’ values around teaching and learning.  Authentic First Peoples Education should not merely involve disembodied Indigenous content, but rather embody authentic, holistic learning opportunities that reflect the historical and geographical context, values, relationships and experiences of the First Peoples of British Columbia.

As BC educators begin to increasingly incorporate Aboriginal content into their classrooms and teaching practices, there have been many rightful discussions occurring around cultural appropriation and the improper integration of Indigenous stories and knowledge into classroom learning.  While most educators understand that it is never appropriate for non-Aboriginal people to simply take elements of Indigenous knowledge as their own without acknowledgement and permission or perpetuate stereotypical/misrepresented First Peoples’ world-views, some may still struggle with finding sources of information and knowledge that are authentic and appropriate to incorporate into their pedagogy, especially in light of the reality that teachings and protocols in BC vary from Nation to Nation, depending on the locale.

Educators want to consider carefully the authenticity of the content being presented, as well as the proper process for obtaining that knowledge. To start, educators should consider making connections with community Elders and knowledge keepers within the local First Nation(s) to gain understand about authentic Aboriginal perspectives on teaching and learning within the local area.

In 2006, the BC Ministry of Education published the resource “Shared Learning: Integrating BC Aboriginal Content K-10” to support educators looking for authentic opportunities to integrate Aboriginal content into their classrooms.   The resource provides helpful introductory information and ideas for teachers beginning to integrate Indigenous perspectives and content into their classrooms.

As a Non-Indigenous person I am concerned about how to incorporate the First Peoples Principles of Learning in a respectful and appropriate way.  How can I take steps to ensure that I do this?

Inherent in the First Peoples Principles of Learning is the concept and philosophy of the interconnectedness of values and learning within daily life.  Thus, the principles should not be seen as a list of criteria or standards to be met in the curriculum, but rather, as a way of understanding the world and perspectives through the lens of our First Peoples of British Columbia.  In practice, teachers looking to incorporate the First Peoples learning principles into classroom learning will notice that many principles could be highlighted within a single learning experience.  Indeed, “Learning is holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential, and relational (focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, and a sense of place)” and the First Peoples Principles of Learning should be grasped as a ubiquitous thread that courses through teaching and learning, within the classroom and beyond.  In this way, the First Peoples Principles of Learning addresses the philosophy of teaching and learning and highlights the significance placed by BC’s First Peoples on communal and personal values within education.  As such, teachers planning to incorporate the First Peoples Principles of Learning into their learning communities, could begin by working towards gaining a deeper personal understanding of the First Peoples Principles of Learning and the Indigenous values they embody, and then practicing those perspectives within the daily learning community with students. To begin, educators may wish to explore the blog First Peoples Principles of Learning by Jo-Anne L. Chrona.  This resource is recommended by the BC Ministry of Education as a rich introduction to the First Peoples Principles of Learning and provides a good discussion of the background surrounding the First Peoples Principles of Learning, as well as an exploration of each principle within an Indigenous context.

Is this resource a teacher’s guide for incorporating First Peoples Principles of Learning into my classroom pedagogy?

This resource provides examples and ideas that teachers can use as a guide to spur on their own pedagogical pursuits towards instilling First Peoples Principles of Learning into their classroom learning activities.  Samples found within this resource are descriptions of learning activities designed by BC teachers as endeavours to incorporate an Aboriginal perspective and Indigenous content into their daily classroom context. Educators looking to do the same may view the provided examples and resources as specific illustrations a practical application of the highlighted First Peoples Principle of Learning.

Can I directly use the sample teaching materials found within this resource?

Yes. Sample lesson templates found within this web resource are generously shared with BC educators by the teachers who participated in the 2017-2018 Aboriginal Education Synergy Project.

How do I determine whether a lesson idea in an appropriate activity (ie. Are the ideas and lessons presented respectful of the traditions, protocols and cultural guidelines of the local First Nations communities)?

It is important to note that the First Peoples Principles of Learning identify common elements of teaching and learning found within many First Peoples communities.  That being said, the purpose of the First Peoples Principles of Learning is not meant to be viewed as a single authority on Indigenous educational perspectives.  Rather, the First Peoples Principles of Learning are generally recognized as reflecting commonly accepted BC First Peoples perspectives on education, and are useful for providing context and background to educators who are planning to incorporate Indigenous content into their classrooms. Thus, it is important for teachers to also acknowledge, consult and invite Elders and knowledge keepers within their local community to add their local Indigenous perspective into the teachings happening in that specific context.

The significance of context is paramount.  Whenever possible, educators seeking out authentic resources to build their teaching activities upon should consult with their community Elders and knowledge keepers on local protocols around teaching and sharing within the specific context of the local land.  Clearly though, the preeminent source of authentic First People’s teaching and knowledge would be the Elders and members of the local nation(s) themselves. Establishing authentic relationships with local First Peoples within the community is a key step to begin “building student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect.”  Against this backdrop, the First Peoples Principles of Learning can demonstrate the spirit of genuine respect and mutual exchange that is required as building blocks for authentic dialogue and Reconciliation to occur.

SET-BC Provincial Centre

#105-1750 West 75th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V6P 6G2
Telephone: 604-261-9450

SET-BC is a Ministry of Education Provincial Resource Program.  For information about SET-BC, please visit www.setbc.org.

For questions or to report an issue with the resources contained in this area of our website, please contact training@setbc.org.

Territorial Acknowledgment

Overcast sky above a river - Image: www.pixabay.comIn Canada today, many official gatherings now commence with an Aboriginal acknowledgment of the land as the traditional home of Canada’s Indigenous people who have occupied that land for generations.

Click image to enlarge

Territorial acknowledgment honours the land and the connected, reciprocal relationship between that land and its people. In Canada today, many official gatherings now commence with an Aboriginal acknowledgment of the land as the traditional home of Canada’s Indigenous people. In this module we explore how educators can, by observing this practice, incorporate the First Peoples Principles of Learning into educational practice.

In Canada today, many official gatherings now commence with an Aboriginal acknowledgment of the land as the traditional home of Canada’s Indigenous people, who have occupied that land for generations.

Educators observing this practice may recognize the process as recommended protocol, possibly mandated by their particular school district. However, the roots of the territorial acknowledgment stem back to the traditions of the Indigenous people themselves, dating back centuries. At its heart, the territorial acknowledgment honours the land and the connected, reciprocal relationship between that land and its people. Learning is…focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, and a sense of place. Thus, the incorporation of a territorial acknowledgment at the beginning of official gatherings within our education system may be an apt beginning step to exploring the incorporation of the First Peoples Principles of Learning into educational practice.

In practice, it should be noted that there is no single acknowledgment for First Nations territory in Canada. Rather, an acknowledgment should be tailored to note the specific nations and territory upon which the acknowledgment is made. As well, an acknowledgment should not been viewed as a script or a creed for non-Indigenous Canadians, but rather, the acknowledgment should be considered as a respectful expression and recognition of the current relationship with Indigenous nations and the land. Some points to consider when drafting an acknowledgment may be:

  • Why is this acknowledgement happening?
  • How does this acknowledgement relate to the event or work you are doing?
  • What is the history of this territory? What are the impacts of colonialism here?
  • What is your relationship to this territory? How did you come to be here?
  • What intentions do you have to disrupt and dismantle colonialism beyond this territory acknowledgement?

– Native-Land.ca

For educators working in British Columbia’s public education system, most school districts already have specific protocols in place for the appropriate and respectful acknowledgment of Indigenous nations and territories that can be used by educators and students within their district. When working within a specific school district, educators are encouraged to seek out and access the recommended district protocol for Aboriginal acknowledgment. Often information about this can be found online within a district’s official webpage. As well, educators are encouraged to contact the district’s Aboriginal Education coordinator for further information and discussion.

Clearly, for Canadian educators, it is paramount to differentiate between an acknowledgement made as a token gesture and a meaningful, intentional acknowledgment to the land and people of the territory. For non-Indigenous Canadians, the act of acknowledgment should be an act towards reconciliation:

“To think about land activation and land acknowledgement is to remember that there are these rich Indigenous governances that still exist, that are ongoing and that will go into the future…”
– Karyn Recollet, University of Toronto Professor of Women and Gender Studies Institute, CBC News

The website Native-Land.ca is an interactive map resource curated as an Indigenous response to traditional, colonial maps and the colonial philosophy and thinking behind them. Within the website’s discussion around territorial acknowledgement and the purpose behind it, educators are encouraged to consider the meaning and intent behind the words and consider why an acknowledgement is significant in our current climate of reconciliation:

“All settlers, including recent arrivants, have a responsibility to consider what it means to acknowledge the history and legacy of colonialism. What are some of the privileges settlers enjoy today because of colonialism? How can individuals develop relationships with peoples whose territory they are living on in the contemporary Canadian geopolitical landscape?…”
– Native-Land.ca

As educators begin to grapple with the complicated realities of true efforts towards Reconciliation, protocols such as territorial acknowledgements may stir up more conflicting questions and uncomfortable conversations than answers. However, these uncomfortable positions should not be reason to abandon the effort to make acknowledgement, but rather be the impetus to start real conversations with students, colleagues and community members. The inclusion of an Aboriginal territorial acknowledgement serves as a beginning step to rectify the erasure of the Indigenous narrative from our country’s history, by now giving honour and respect to the land and the governance of the land by the First Nations for centuries before now. It is not an answer, but it is a beginning:

“As a Ministry of Education Provincial Outreach Program, SET-BC would like to acknowledge, at our Provincial Centre located in Vancouver, BC, we live, learn, work and play on the unceded and traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil Waututh) and sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) Coast Salish people.

As well, we want to acknowledge and honour the collective knowledge shared by the vast number of Elders, knowledge keepers, Indigenous community members, story-tellers and teachers, who graciously provided their perspectives and wisdom through the interviews, books, articles, stories and conversations that are referenced here.”

References

Preface: Territorial Acknowledgment

University of British Columbia: Territory Acknowledgment
(Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, UBC, 2016)

References

Module 1: Introduction to First Peoples Principles of Learning

Sunset reflected in still water - Image: www.pixabay.comLearning is holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential, and relational (focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, and a sense of place).

Click image to enlarge

Inherent in the First Peoples Principles of Learning is the concept and philosophy of the interconnectedness of values and learning within daily life. The First Peoples Principles of Learning are generally recognized as reflecting commonly accepted BC First Peoples perspectives on education. In this module we explore how educators may use these principles to providing context and background when planning to incorporate Indigenous content into their classrooms.

Context:

“Aboriginal Knowledge is a living process to be absorbed and understood, not a commodity to possess.”
– First Nations Pedagogy Online

The BC Ministry of Education and the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) recognize that authentic Indigenous Studies involves a holistic approach that reflect First Peoples’ values around teaching and learning. Authentic First Peoples Education should not merely involve disembodied Indigenous content, but rather embody authentic, holistic learning opportunities that reflect the historical and geographical context, values, relationships and experiences of the First Peoples of British Columbia.

Origins:

Through the development process of the English 12 First People’s course in 2007, the First Peoples Principles of Learning sprung forth as a guide articulated by an Advisory Committee of Indigenous Elders, knowledge-keepers and scholars in an effort to focus the curriculum more authentically on First People’s beliefs, values and experiences.

It is important to note that the First Peoples Principles of Learning identify common elements of teaching and learning found within many First Peoples communities. That being said, the purpose of the First Peoples Principles of Learning is not meant to be viewed as a single authority on Indigenous educational perspectives. Rather, the First Peoples Principles of Learning are generally recognized as reflecting commonly accepted BC First Peoples perspectives on education, and are useful for providing context and background to educators who are planning to incorporate Indigenous content into their classrooms. Thus, it is important for teachers to also acknowledge, consult and invite Elders and knowledge keepers within their local community to add their local Indigenous perspective into the teachings happening in that specific context.

Approach:

Inherent in the First Peoples Principles of Learning is the concept and philosophy of the interconnectedness of values and learning within daily life. Thus, the principles should not be seen as a list of criteria or standards to be met in the curriculum, but rather, as a way of understanding the world and perspectives through the lens of our First Peoples of British Columbia. In practice, teachers looking to incorporate the First Peoples learning principles into classroom learning will notice that many principles could be highlighted within a single learning experience. Indeed, “Learning is holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential, and relational (focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, and a sense of place)” and the First Peoples Principles of Learning should be grasped as a ubiquitous thread that courses through teaching and learning, within the classroom and beyond. In this way, the First Peoples Principles of Learning addresses the philosophy of teaching and learning and highlights the significance placed by BC’s First Peoples on communal and personal values within education. As such, teachers planning to incorporate the First Peoples Principles of Learning into their learning communities, could begin by working towards gaining a deeper personal understanding of the First Peoples Principles of Learning and the Indigenous values they embody, and then practicing those perspectives within the daily learning community with students.

The First Peoples Principles of Learning:

References

Module 1: Introduction to First Peoples Principles Of Learning

Province of BC: Aboriginal Worldviews and Perspectives in the Classroom
(Province of British Columbia, 2016)

References

Module 2: Context and Authentic Sources

Waterfall in forest - Image courtesy: www.pixabay.comLearning recognizes the role of indigenous knowledge. Learning Involves recognizing that some knowledge is sacred and only shared with permission and/or in certain situations.

Click image to enlarge

As BC educators begin to increasingly incorporate Aboriginal content into their classrooms and teaching practices, there have been many rightful discussions occurring around cultural appropriation and the improper integration of Indigenous stories and knowledge into classroom learning.
In this module we explore the importance of educators exercising careful consideration over the authenticity of the content being presented, as well as the proper process for obtaining that knowledge.

Learning recognizes the role of indigenous knowledge

Context:

“Call 63: We call upon the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada to maintain an annual commitment to Aboriginal education issues, including: … iii. Building student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect.”
– Calls to Action, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

At the heart of the First Peoples Principles of Learning is an articulation of First Peoples’ experiences, values and beliefs with the purpose of reflecting First People’s epistemological and pedagogical approaches in our current lived realities. These principles are becoming widely recognized as effective and powerful educational perspectives for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal learners and as such have been integrated prominently throughout BC’s redesigned curriculum. For example, the First Peoples Principles of Learning resonate in much of the Core Competency proficiencies in the curriculum, as life-long learning, thinking and reflection, personal and social responsibility and communication are highlighted as learning goals that promote a holistic approach to child development. This increased emphasis on Aboriginal ways of knowing, both formally in the BC curricula and in practice as teachers begin to articulate and apply the principles to daily classroom life and activities, pays tribute and respect to our BC First Peoples and places a lens of respect and reconciliation on our current educational landscape.

Learning Involves recognizing that some knowledge is sacred and only shared with permission and/or in certain situations.

Authentic Sources:

As BC educators begin to increasingly incorporate Aboriginal content into their classrooms and teaching practices, there have been many rightful discussions occurring around cultural appropriation and the improper integration of Indigenous stories and knowledge into classroom learning. While most educators understand that it is never appropriate for non-Aboriginal people to simply take elements of Indigenous knowledge as their own without acknowledgement and permission or perpetuate stereotypical/misrepresented First Peoples’ world-views, some may still struggle with finding sources of information and knowledge that are authentic and appropriate to incorporate into their pedagogy, especially in light of the reality that teachings and protocols in BC vary from Nation to Nation, depending on the locale.

Educators want to consider carefully the authenticity of the content being presented, as well as the proper process for obtaining that knowledge. In “Authentic First People’s Resources” and other publications, the First Nations Education Steering Committee and First Nations Schools Association outline for teachers some key components of Authentic First Peoples texts:

Authentic First Peoples texts are historical or contemporary texts that

  • Present authentic First Peoples voices (i.e., are created by First Peoples or through the substantial contributions of First Peoples)
  • Depict themes and issues that are important within First Peoples cultures (e.g. loss of identity and affirmation of identity, tradition, healing, role of family, importance of Elders, connection to the land, the nature and place of spirituality as an aspect of wisdom, the relationships between individual and community, the importance of oral tradition, the experience of colonization and decolonization)
  • Incorporate First Peoples story-telling techniques and features as application (e.g., circular structure, repetition, weaving in of spirituality, humour)

– Authentic First People’s Resources, 2011

The significance of context is paramount. Whenever possible, educators seeking out authentic resources to build their teaching activities upon should consult with their community Elders and knowledge keepers on local protocols around teaching and sharing within the specific context of the local land.

Clearly though, the preeminent source of authentic First People’s teaching and knowledge would be the Elders and members of the local nation(s) themselves. Establishing authentic relationships with local First Peoples within the community is a key step to begin “building student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect.” Against this backdrop, the First Peoples Principles of Learning can demonstrate the spirit of genuine respect and mutual exchange that is required as building blocks for authentic dialogue and Reconciliation to occur.

Suggested Reference:

  • Gray, Lynda. First Nations 101. Adaawx Publishing., 2012.

References

Module 2: Context and Authentic Sources
Bonnie Harvey, Ktunaxa Story Teller: Do you need permission to tell a story? (Tremblay, 2017)


References

References

Module 3: Digital Storytelling

Fern leaf closeup - Image courtesy: www.pixabay.comLearning is embedded in memory, history, and story.

Click image to enlarge

Storytelling and the oral tradition is a significant aspect of Aboriginal ways of learning and knowing. Stories connect the listener to memories and history as they are passed on from one listener to another, from knowledge keeper to child, from Elders to the community, from student to family. In this module we explore the power found within stories and how they highlight the voice and culture of our First Peoples in BC.

“Rendering knowledge as story is an attribute of Aboriginal ways of learning; making this happen in many ways in the classroom is desirable…”
– participant, ?Aq’am, Aboriginal Worldviews and Perspectives in the Classroom

Storytelling and the oral tradition is a significant aspect of Aboriginal ways of learning and knowing. Stories connect the listener to memories and history as they are passed on from one listener to another, from knowledge keeper to child, from Elders to the community, from student to family. As learners listen to, learn from, and live out their own stories, the First Peoples values of connectedness and relationship, identity and well-being of self, respect for land and place, emerge from the histories told and the memories honoured. The power found within stories highlight the voice and culture of our First Peoples in BC.

Stories From Here – JV Humphries Elementary, Kaslo, BC

At JV Humphries Elementary and Secondary School in Kaslo, British Columbia, the teachers and students participated in an inquiry project to explore local Aboriginal stories and to create their own. To provide context and to honour the voices and stories of the territory, the team invited Bonnie Harvey, a Ktunaxa Story Teller – from one of the local nations in whose traditional territory the school district operates within – to come and share her perspectives on stories and story-telling.

School District 8 (Kootenay Lake) Videos
Bonnie Harvey
Ktunaxa Story Teller

Why are stories important?How do we listen to a story?How do we learn from a story?Do we need permission to tell a story?Who Tells Stories?How do you choose a story to tell?












Suggested Digital Storytelling Learning Activities:

Digital Storytelling can take form in various formats and stories can be documented using a variety of technologies and apps. Listed here are a few suggestions and sample ideas for digital storytelling projects that can be used to feature the retellings of traditional, local stories, new stories inspired by Indigenous stories and the traditional stories of the local land.

  • Dramatic retelling of traditional and created stories of local First Peoples and the surrounding land
  • Puppet Show using student-created puppets and backgrounds, digitally created puppets, or a mixture of both mediums
  • Digital stories created on various creative apps that allows stories to be documented through voice recording, drawing, photos, text and animations
  • Stop Motion stories
  • Green Screen stories that use green screen technology to provide realistic backgrounds and context to traditional stories

Suggested Digital Tools and SET-BC Resource:

References

Module 3: Digital Storytelling
School District 44 (North Vancouver) Explain Everything Student Storytelling Sample: The Story of How Seymour Mountain Came to Be
(Keys, 2018)
School District 82 (Coast Mountains) iMovie Dramatic Retelling Student Sample: The Origin of the Skeena River (Plewak, 2018)School District 82 (Coast Mountains) Stop Motion Student Storytelling Sample: The Legend of the Waterfall (Plewak, 2018)






References

Module 4: Origin Stories

Hands cupping tree sapling - Image: www.pixabay.comLearning requires exploration of one’s identity. Learning ultimately supports the well-being of self, the family, the community, the land, the spirits, and the ancestors.

Click image to enlarge

Stories play an integral role in Aboriginal teaching and learning. Origin stories form an integral part of one’s identity and culture, influencing in turn, how one perceives and interacts with the world. In this module we explore the importance of storytelling as the foundation for building relationships and shared values through experiential learning.

“The exploration of one’s identity includes developing an understanding of one’s place in the world…In addition to using this understanding to help one grow in life, knowing one’s own strengths and challenges is a part of the responsibility a person has to his or her family and community, as people are considered to have a duty to use them to contribute to others (family, community and land)”
– J.Chrona, First Peoples Principles of Learning Website

Stories play an integral role in Aboriginal teaching and learning. Storytelling is one of the main traditional methods used by First Peoples to pass on cultural beliefs, values, history, customs and rituals and Aboriginal ways of life. Storytelling forms the foundation for building relationships and shared values through experiential learning.

When Kelly McCarthy and Kathleen Meiklejohn, two teachers from Spencer Middle School in Langford, B.C. wanted to introduce their Grade 8 students to a more holistic understanding of the political landscape surrounding the issue of Reconciliation and the Calls to Action recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, they began by engaging their students in discussions around worldview and identity.

“Culture is an expression of a worldview which in turn is the core of a person’s identity. Since the beginning of time, First Nations people have had very distinct and unique cultures… Culture provides people with a sense of belonging, a connection to their Creator and each other, and a feeling that they are a part of something bigger than their individual selves. Culture provides a communal bond and common understanding of our roles within a community and the world.”
– First Nations 101, p. 22, 2011

Origin Stories – Spencer Middle School, Langford, BC

Origin stories form an integral part of one’s identity and culture, influencing in turn, how one perceives and interacts with the world. Thus, a dialogue that begins with an introspective exploration of oneself, would be a natural segue into the discussion of the importance of culture, identity and worldview for our First Peoples and the need for Reconciliation for the disruption and loss of that identity due to the negative legacy of residential schools in our country.

To begin their discussion, Kelly and Kathleen read with their students “Saanich Flood Story“, a local SENĆOŦEN origin story, to introduce ideas around origin, culture and personal identity. As well, they introduced several memoirs written by young, indigenous authors. Using these authentic sources as a foundation, Kelly and Kathleen worked with their students to identify elements of Aboriginal origin stories. Students were then tasked with writing their own origin story using these elements.

To start students on the path to exploring their origins, Kelly and Kathleen provided them with a set of questions meant to spur their exploration around facets of their origin, self, family, heritage and community. From there, students wrote their origin story. As a vehicle to showcase the origin stories, Kelly and Kathleen decided to have their students create iMovie trailers for their personal origin story. They provided students with an Origin Story planning sheet, framing their origin story (and subsequent movie trailer) with some elements taken from Aboriginal origin stories such as “What teachings are you hoping the reader will take away with them?”

Once written, students created movie trailers using iPads to film videos clips that were then edited in the iMovie app as a trailer. Students were then able to share their trailers as an introduction to their personal origin story.

Suggested Origin Stories Learning Activities:

  • Origin Story Digital Book
  • Origin Story Picture Book
  • Origin Story Trailers
  • Origin Story Animation/Stop Motion Videos
  • Origin Story Comic Book

Suggested Digital Tools:

Suggested References:

  • “Island Kids” by Tara Saracuse – Memoirs written by Aboriginal children of B.C. exploring topics ranging from daily life and coastal experience to BC residential schools
  • #IndigenousReads (Twitter)

References

Module 4: Origin Stories

School District 62 (Sooke) Sample: Memoir Trailer
(Spencer Middle School, April 2018)

References

Module 5: Slam Poetry and Reconciliation

Colorful moth on tree - Image: www.pixabay.comLearning involves recognizing the consequences of one’s actions. Learning involves generational roles and responsibilities.

Click image to enlarge

As Canadians and the government of Canada begin to make a concerted effort to move towards the recognition and implementation of the rights of Indigenous people in Canada, educators are recognizing the crucial opportunities that can be found within Canadian classrooms to join the movement towards Reconciliation. In this module we follow the journey of Spencer Middle School in Langford, B.C. as students use diverse texts and multimodal approaches to explore their worldview and identity.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: What Happened? – Commissioner Dr. Marie Wilson

Learning involves recognizing the consequences of one’s actions:

Article 8

  • Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture.
  • States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for:
    1. Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities;
    2. Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources;
    3. Any form of forced population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights;
    4. Any form of forced assimilation or integration;
    5. Any form of propaganda designed to promote or incite racial or ethnic discrimination directed against them.
  • United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2008

Learning involves generational roles and responsibilities:

Article 13

  • Indigenous peoples have the right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places and persons.
  • States shall take effective measures to ensure that this right is protected and also to ensure that indigenous peoples can understand and be understood in political, legal and administrative proceedings, where necessary through the provision of interpretation or by other appropriate means.
  • United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2008

As Canadians and the government of Canada begin to make a concerted effort to move towards the recognition and implementation of the rights of Indigenous people in Canada, educators are recognizing the crucial opportunities that can be found within Canadian classrooms to join the movement towards Reconciliation.

Indigenized Slam Poetry – Spencer Middle School, Langford, BC

For Kelly McCarthy and Kathleen Meiklejohn of Spencer Middle School in Langford, B.C., that opportunity came in the form of a year-long project focusing on teaching their English/Social Studies 8 students how to write “Slam Poetry” – spoken word poetry written to be performed, often against a backdrop of musical and multimedia representations – on the Calls to Actions put forward by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in 2015.

Their project aims to have students use diverse texts and multimodal approaches to explore their worldview and identity.  Working with local community partners (Aboriginal Elders and communities) students have the opportunity to inquire more deeply into Indigenous rights and issues around Reconciliation in Canada. Students are then mobilized to create a digital, multimedia “Slam Poetry” piece that explores the personal, cultural and historical events and experiences that highlight specific calls within the 94 calls to action, with the purpose of galvanizing fellow Canadians to join the action for Reconciliation.

Their project culminates in a Slam Poetry performance evening, where family, friends, Elders and members from the local Nations and local politicians are invited to join in a celebration and call-to-action for Reconciliation.

Afterword:
“Chief Russ Chipps came up to me and he told me, ‘This is what Reconciliation is. Politicians, everyone, they are all talking about it; but this – seeing those kids, 13 and 14 year-olds, middle-schoolers, and they get it – that gives us all hope.’ “
– Kelly McCarthy

Chief Russ Chipps, the Chief Councillor of Scia’new (Beecher Bay) First Nation, who was in attendance at the Slam Poetry Performance that evening, approached Kelly to provide his congratulations and express his thoughts on the performances.  He was so impressed by the students’ poems and authentic grasp of the issues highlighted by their calls to action, that he contacted the local media outlet, the Times Colonist, to feature Kelly and Kathleen’s work in an article about their project.

Suggested Supporting Digital Tools:

Suggested References and Websites:

References

Module 5: Slam Poetry and Reconciliation
School District 62 (Sooke) Sample: Student Slam Poem (Poetry): You Don't Know Me (Spencer Middle School, April 2018)


References

School District 62 (Sooke) Sample: Student Slam Poem (Poetry): You Don't Know Me (Spencer Middle School, April 2018)School District 62 (Sooke) Sample: Student Slam Poem (Multimedia Presentation: How Many (Spencer Middle School, April 2018)




References

Module 6: Medicinal Garden

Moss and fern growing on rock - Image: www.pixabay.comLearning involves patience and time. Learning involves generational roles and responsibilities.

Click image to enlarge

Learning involves generational roles and responsibilities, and the passing down of knowledge from one generation to another. In this module we learn how Charles Dickens Elementary School in Vancouver used a medicinal garden project as an intergenerational learning platform. Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal young learners acknowledged and participated in the sharing of Aboriginal ways of knowing and traditional wisdom through working with local Elders and community knowledge keepers as they grew the medicinal garden together.

“Each territory has its own indigenous plants that were used by our ancestors… As more of us learn about and accept the value of our traditional medicines, we must also have those who will become the knowledge carriers to ensure that these teachings are passed on to future generations. Who has this knowledge now in our individual communities? Who are they training? Are the medicines still grown in our territories; if not, how do we reintroduce them? Are people aware of the traditional medicines from their communities?”
– Lynda Gray, First Nations 101, p. 219

Documenting our Local Ecology – Charles Dickens Elementary, Vancouver

Learning involves patience and time. Kelly Kent and her students at Charles Dickens Elementary in Vancouver, B.C. learned that first hand through their project on growing a Medicinal Garden featuring traditional, local First Nation medicinal plants. When the greenhouse they built blew off their rooftop garden during a January windstorm or when winter was uncharacteristically cold and long for typically temperate Vancouver, students had to practice patience and tenacity to keep at their goal of growing a garden filled with plants that have medicinal significance with local First Nations people. Yet despite the challenges presented by nature, Kelly Kent’s project is making strides in promoting intergenerational learning as Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal young learners acknowledge and participate in the sharing of Aboriginal ways of knowing and traditional wisdom through working with local Elders and community knowledge keepers as they grow the medicinal garden together.

Students were also tasked with documenting their learning through multiple means of expression – drawing, writing and scrap-booking “Wildcrafting Journals” and translating their work into digital e-books featuring photos of plants, their Aboriginal names, excerpts about their uses, and personal reflections and learning.

Kelly Kent’s vision for the project was to develop the school’s outdoor learning space into a garden growing Indigenous food and medicine. Students in the project worked with Indigenous elders to learn their perspectives around traditional plants and medicines and to gain insight into Indigenous people’s relationships with the living world.  The approach taken by Aboriginal people towards traditional medicines is a holistic one:

” …we understand that our plant-based medicines not only help us to fight physical health problems, but they also help us to connect to the Creator and purify, protect, and heal ourselves emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Some of the medicines that we use in ceremony or prayer include sage, sweetgrass, tobacco, and cedar; others are not shared publicly. The use of these medicines helps to clean us, heal us, and take our prayers to the Creator.”
– Lynda Gray, First Nations 101, p. 219

Through growing the garden, students learned to identify native plants in their local ecology and to differentiate between introduced species and native plants.  Local Elders and community knowledge keepers came in to teach the students about the nutritional and medicinal uses of native plants and to help students appreciate how introduced invading plants have made it difficult for native species to flourish. Demonstrating the interconnectedness of living organisms, the garden became a working model for the holistic and interconnected approach highlighted in the First Peoples Principles of Learning, helping students understand the holistic and interconnected nature of learning, passed on through generations, requiring patience and time, and revealing the consequences certain actions may have on the environment. Indeed Kelly’s students, when learning about the invading plant species, began to draw some parallels between the introduction of foreign plant species into the local ecology and the impact of colonization on local First Nations people:

“On Monday aka yesterday we went to a forest biome at Stanley park (sic) to learn about invasive and native plants. We also met a native elder named Senequlia Wyss she (sic) was Squamish and she brought her daughter. She taught us about different species of plants and what their used (sic) for. It was Interesting we learned that invasive species take a lot of resources from other plants, like sunlight, water, and soil. It was very tiring pulling out the ivy and finding the roots were very, (sic) tiring but I learn that English ivy roots can grow very, (sic) long.

The invasive species had the advantage. People brought invasive species. People took things that weren’t theirs and some animals are almost extinct.”
– Brianna, Grade 5

By introducing a learning process that highlights interconnectedness, wholeness, and personal wellness as key pillars for learning, this project explicitly and implicitly points students towards an attitude of Reconciliation.

Suggested Medicinal Garden Learning Activities:

  • Digital Field Guides / “Wildcrafting” Journals
  • Garden Labels with Indigenous names and local uses of the plants written in both English and the language(s) of local Nations
  • QR Code labels to accompany Garden Labels with audio recordings (potentially recorded with a local Elder or knowledge keeper) of the pronunciations of Indigenous plant names and/or the descriptions of local medicinal uses for the plants
  • Documenting the growing and cooking of garden plants through traditional, Indigenous methods in a digital cookbook
  • Creating video documentation of traditional, medicinal uses for local plants that can be shared through blogs, school websites, or digital portfolios

Suggested Supporting Digital Tools:

References

Module 6: Medicinal Garden

Global News Feature Story: “Winning team in Science World project brings back history”
Charles Dickens Elementary – Documenting Our Local Ecology (Global News, 2018)

References

Module 7: Place-Based Learning

Looking up to sky through forest - Image: www.pixabay.comLearning is embedded in memory, history and story. Learning is holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential, and relational (focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, and a sense of place).

Click image to enlarge

Place-based education seeks to forge a holistic relationship between learners and their learning environments. Amongst the main tenets of successful place-based education many parallels can be drawn to the First Peoples Principles of Learning. In this module, a direct correlation is drawn between the practise of Place-based education and the First Peoples Principles of Learning.

“Place-based education immerses students in local heritage, cultures, landscapes, opportunities, and experiences using these as a foundation for the study of language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and other subjects across the curriculum. Place-based education emphasizes learning through participation in service projects for the local school and/or community.”
– Promise of Place

Place-based education seeks to forge a holistic relationship between learners and their learning environments. Amongst the main tenets of successful place-based education many parallels can be drawn to the First Peoples Principles of Learning. Promise of Place, a website developed through a joint project of the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, National Park Service Conservation Study Institute, and Shelburne Farms in the United States, outlines principles of successful place-based education as follows:

Principles of Successful Place-Based Education (First Peoples’ Principles of Learning

  • Learning takes place on-site in the school yard, and in the local community and environment. (Learning is…focused on a sense of place)
  • Learning focuses on local themes, systems, and content. (Learning is…relational …focused on connectedness)
  • Learning is personally relevant to the learner. (Learning ultimately supports the well-being of the self, the family, the community…)
  • Learning experiences contribute to the community’s vitality and environmental quality and support the community’s role in fostering global environmental quality. (Learning ultimately supports the well-being of the self, the family, the community, the land…)
  • Learning is supported by strong and varied partnerships with local organizations, agencies, businesses, and government. (Learning is…focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, and a sense of place)
  • Learning is interdisciplinary. (Learning is holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential, and relational…)
  • Learning experiences are tailored to the local audience. (Learning recognizes the role of Indigenous knowledge)
  • Learning is grounded in and supports the development of a love for one’s place. (Learning involves recognizing the consequences of one’s actions)
  • Local learning serves as the foundation for understanding and participating appropriately in regional and global issues. (Learning involves generational roles and responsibilities)
  • Place-based education programs are integral to achieving other institutional goals. (Learning is embedded in memory, history, and story)

There is a natural relationship that emerges between place-based education and the First Peoples Principles of Learning. As learners delve more deeply into learning on the land and learning within the environmental, economical, and cultural context of their learning environment, Indigenous knowledge steeped into the histories of the land, emerge as integral aspects of place-based learning within British Columbia:

“Although First Peoples are very diverse, most of us have a similar respect for and connection with the land. This informs our understanding of responsibilities and roles and our sense of our relationships to all living things. How do our decisions impact the land around us? How does where we are influence what we view as important and what to learn? How do our decisions about “what is important” and “how to be” relate to community? For many people, this seems philosophical, but it is actually very pragmatic, it’s your every day, it’s practical. “Look after the land and the land will look after you.”
– participant, ?Aq’am, Aboriginal Worldviews and Perspectives in the Classroom

Aboriginal Storytelling Through Digital Media – Cache Creek Elementary School and Desert Sands Community School, Gold Trail, BC

For Jade Derksen and her students at Cache Creek Elementary and Desert Sands Community School in Gold Trail, British Columbia, the question “How does place shape your identity” became the focus for their project exploring Aboriginal storytelling through digital media.

The project aimed to invite students to consider how places, within their community, their province, their country and ultimately within their world, shaped their unique identities. This exploration ultimately led students to create identity collages of places significant to them through various digital medias including photos, videos, and online presentation formats.

To help students understand the significant influence of place on identity, Jade invited local Elders and community members to share their knowledge and history of specific local sites through oral storytelling. During the project, students and local knowledge keepers visited the local sites Soda Rock and McClean Lake, to experience the living history together through the orals stories shared by the Elders and community members.

During their visits, students took photographs and videos at the local site as artifacts to be used to create their digital multi-media stories. Jade had also invited the helped of a local Nlaka’pamux artist, to support her students in creating, editing and producing their digital multimedia stories. Ultimately, due to scheduling, the local artist was unable to visit the students before the project was completed. However, Jade’s integration of local, Aboriginal knowledge keepers into the learning process is a significant aspect of place-based learning that is notable.

This project provided students with opportunities to explore how places and the lived histories within their communities shape the identities of those who dwell within them, helping to develop a newfound respect for the significance and sacredness of local Indigenous land. As well, at the project’s end, the multimedia projects were shared at an exhibition, bringing a reciprocity into the learning process as the Elders and local communities were invited to back into the presentation and celebration of the learning they supported through the sharing of their stories and histories.

“If we start from the point of where we stand, we are able to immediately and comfortably bring Aboriginal worldviews and perspectives to the classroom. We all share the history of the place on which we stand, but education needs to recognize the language and people that come originally from this place.”
– participant, Burnaby, Aboriginal Worldviews and Perspectives in the Classroom

Nanaimo Poetry Map – Cedar Community Secondary School, Nanaimo, BC

“Learning is in the land – history and story are in the land; land should be the starting place.”
– participant, Tsaxis, Aboriginal Worldviews and Perspectives in the Classroom

Place, with all its lived history, evokes narrative. Don Rinald and the Grade 8 to 11 students at Cedar Community Secondary School found voice for the narratives of the land, along with its histories, through poetry in a land-based poetry writing project initiated by their city of Nanaimo, BC.

The City of Nanaimo maintains a location-based virtual map of poetry written by Nanaimo residents called the Nanaimo Poetry Map. The map, rather than dictating routes and naming locations, provides a creative facet for places in Nanaimo, inviting visitors to experience the city through the lens of local poets.

For the project, students from Cedar Community Secondary used the poetry map to visit different locations in their community with poems written for that specific locale. They read the poems at these places, fully experiencing the poetry within the place of its inspiration. Students then practiced writing a poem inspired by the same location before finally choosing a special place of their own.

For their chosen Nanaimo location, students created an image and penned a poem evoked by that place. Finally, students created final compositions and presentations of their poems with the appropriate image, creating their own poetry map. “Learning is embedded in memory and history.” As evidenced by some of the poetry within the Nanaimo poetry map such as “A Place of Belonging”, the stories of land inevitably can evoke the memories of the First Peoples of BC, especially as Aboriginal poets write and share their own poetry, or non-Aboriginal poets write place-based poetry inspired by the stories of local Elders and knowledge keepers.

In future years, Don and the teachers at Cedar Community Secondary hope to continue growing the project to include their own Cedar Community digital poetry map, inviting students of the school to contribute their works to the map. As well, students would be invited to record their process and readings on video, creating digital performances that could be shared on the digital map as well.

Suggested Place-Based Learning Activities:

  • Photo and Video presentations of local stories and Indigenous histories documented at sites of historical significance
  • Growing a place-based garden with local plants and foods, highlighting Indigenous approaches and Aboriginal ways of knowing
  • Place-based digital poetry or storytelling map
  • Place-based QR Code linked descriptors highlighting local sites of significance, sharing local First Peoples knowledge through videos, written text, and audio recordings

Suggested Supporting Digital Tools:

References

Module 7: Place-Based Learning

School District 74 (Gold Trail) Place-Based Learning Sample: Living History – McLean Lake
(Derksen, 2018 June 14)

School District 74 (Gold Trail) Place-Based Learning Sample: Living History – Soda Rock
(Derksen, 2018 June 6)

References

Module 8: Endangered and Disappearing Languages

Lychen growing closeup - Image: www.pixabay.comLearning requires exploration of one’s identity. Learning involves recognizing the consequences of one’s actions.

Click image to enlarge

There is much power to be found in using language – to communicate, to teach, to share, and to honour. This module is a thought-provoking conversation around the topic of Indigenous language preservation and the role of Canadian educators to step forward from past, oppressive practices and policies against the Indigenous nations of Canada, and to join in on efforts to revitalize, honour and celebrate Aboriginal cultures and languages.

“We don’t even know what we’re losing… Once we’ve lost language, we’ve lost a mainstay of culture. All the knowledge that has gone into our languages and our cultures may be needed again sometime — and may be needed sometime soon.”
– Edward Doolittle, First Nations University of Canada

“When Aboriginal people, do not know their own language, they come to rely on foreign languages to understand their world. Relearning and reclaiming Aboriginal languages is important because they provide a unique way of describing and understanding the world.”
– Canadian Teachers’ Federation, Aboriginal Languages in Canada

Royal BC Museum: Our Living Languages

Currently in British Columbia, there are 34 Indigenous languages and 61 dialects spoken amongst the Indigenous People in British Columbia. Of those languages spoken, 26 are considered to be severely endangered and 8 are nearly extinct.

“Indigenous languages contain valuable information about the unique culture of a people: their values, wisdom, knowledge, world view and overall way of being. Indigenous languages are important for Indigenous peoples, as they contribute to a sense of identity and a healthy life; they inform people about their ancestors’ sacred traditional rules and teachings. Indigenous languages are also important for all people, as they help maintain cultural diversity and offer teachings about everything from alternate values to medicines, resources and other practical information rooted in the lands of the Indigenous communities that speak them.”
– First Peoples’ Cultural Council, Endangered Language Project

Language, culture and identity are inseparably intertwined. The loss of language for the Indigenous nations in Canada not only represents a personal loss of identity and culture for Aboriginal individuals and nations, but it also points to the oppressive history in Canada against the First Peoples and the past failings of our country:

“Governments understood the importance of our languages in maintaining and transmitting cultural knowledge, which is why they made a huge effort to try to kill our languages off… Governments paid teachers across the country to stop us from speaking our languages in residential schools through shaming, threats, and physical punishment including having pins stuck through children’s tongues, so governments should be paying teachers now to help us relearn our languages.”
– Lynda Gray, First Nations 101, p. 245

The road to Reconciliation will long. However, as a start, there are currently beginning discussions and efforts made on part of the Canadian government, Canadian citizens, and in particular Canadian educators to step forward from past, oppressive practices and policies against the Indigenous nations of Canada, and to join in on efforts to revitalize, honour and celebrate Aboriginal cultures and languages.

#thelastword27 – School District 27 (Cariboo-Chicoltin)

One example of such an effort to point Canadians towards the revitalization and language preservation efforts of Indigenous nations in Canada, can be found in Isabella MacQuarrie’s project – #thelastword27 – with teachers and students from four schools (Anahim Lake, Dog Creek, Alexis Creek, Likely) in Cariboo-Chicolton, BC.

The impetus behind #thelastword27 is for teachers and students to take hold of opportunities to harness the power of social media to “spread the word” for Aboriginal language preservation and revitalization and help make a positive impact, not only within the school district, but also beyond into the province, the rest of Canada, and ultimately wherever social media can reach.

To begin the conversation, Isabella MacQuarrie set up a blog to support teachers in learning more about Indigenous languages and the issue of endangered languages and language preservation. The blog is organized as a repository of resources, set up through challenges meant to spur teachers and students on into action through social media. Teachers are presented with learning challenges that introduce them to a tool or topic to support them in going deeper into their inquiry into the topic of Indigenous language preservation and revitalization. In turn, teachers will create student challenges using the new knowledge they gain through their own exploration and inquiry. Teachers and students are given opportunities to share and exchange learning through social media platforms, including blog comments, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

Screenshot of #thelastword27 website

Credit: Isabella MacQuarrie #thelastword27 – Mother Language Meme Challenge


screenshot of #thelastword27 blog comment

Credit: Isabella MacQuarrie #thelastword27 – Blog Comment


Leveraging the communicative power of online mediums, Isabella curated a variety of lessons and discussion forums around the topic of Indigenous language preservation using social digital learning sites such as Flipgrid and Blendspace by TES.

Screenshot of Endangered & Disappearing First Nations Language Blendspace

Credit: Isabella MacQuarrie – Endangered & Disappearing First Nations Lanuages Blendspace by TES Teach


Screenshot of Learning Challenge featured on Endangered & Disappearing First Nations Languages Blendspace

Credit: Isabella MacQuarrie – Learning Challenge featured on Endangered & Disappearing First Nations Languages Blendspace by TES Teach


Screenshot of the Flipgrid Question of the Week on #thelastword27

Credit: Isabella MacQuarrie #thelastword27 – Flipgrid Question of the Week


Screenshot of the Flipgrid video discussion

Credit: Jennifer Casa-Todd: Social LEADia – Flipped Video Discussion


There is much power to be found in using language – to communicate, to teach, to share, and to honour. With the dawn of the internet, new forms of communication emerge and evolve daily. #thelastword27 is an apt example of how educators can harness the communicative power of social media as a tool for positive social advocacy for Indigenous issues, rights and culture.

Suggested Learning Activities using Social Media for Language Preservation and Advocacy

  • Create a Twitter account and follow various accounts related to Indigenous topics, people, and local nations such as #thelastword27, #indigenous, #BCAbTalks, @Rec_Can (Reconciliation Canada), @BCAFN (BC Assembly of First Nations), and join the conversation
  • Create a Blendspace, inviting local Elders and community members to come alongside and join the online conversation
  • Create a blog as a forum for inquiry and/or advocacy around the issue Indigenous language preservation
  • Create a Flipgrid forum and invite students to share their ideas, reflections and questions around various issues and topics related to Indigenous languages
  • Create a Pinterest account to curate online information, images, videos, music etc. about Indigenous languages and invite students and members of the local community to share and participate with the curation process

Suggested Supporting Digital Tools:

References

Module 8: Endangered and Disappearing Languages

School District 27 (Nanaimo-Chicoltin): Anahim Lake Found Poems
(MacQuarrie, 2018 March 2)

References

References

Aboriginalsynergyproject. (2018, June 13). What’s in a name? [Lesson plan]. Accessed July 6, 2018, from https://me2we.blog/2018/06/13/the-final-report/.

Amy. (2018, January 15). Re: ”Social LEADia book talk chapter 3, we can (and NEED to) change the current trajectory” [Blog comment]. Retrieved July 9, 2018, from https://thelastword27.edublogs.org/2017/12/18/social-leadia-book-talk-chapter-3-we-can-and-need-to-change-the-current-trajectory/#comment-45.

Battiste, Marie. (2002, October 31). Indigenous knowledge and pedagogy in First Nations education: A literature review with recommendations [Research paper]. Ottawa: Apamuwek Institute. Retrieved July 5, 2018, from http://www.afn.ca/uploads/files/education/24._2002_oct_marie_battiste_indigenousknowledgeandpedagogy_lit_review_for_min_working_group.pdf.

British Columbia Ministry of Education. (2006). Shared Learnings: Integrating BC Aboriginal Content K-10 [Electronic publication]. Retrieved July 9, 2018, from https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/education/kindergarten-to-grade-12/teach/teaching-tools/aboriginal-education/shared_learning.pdf.

British Columbia Ministry of Education. (2013). Aboriginal education [PDF]. Retrieved July 5, 2018, from https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/sites/curriculum.gov.bc.ca/files/pdf/aboriginal_education_bc.pdf

British Columbia Ministry of Education. (2015). Aboriginal worldviews and perspectives in the classroom [Electronic publication]. Retrieved July 5, 2018, from https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/education/administration/kindergarten-to-grade-12/aboriginal-education/awp_moving_forward.pdf.

British Columbia Ministry of Education. (2018). Instructional samples tagged “First Peoples principles of learning.” Retrieved July 9, 2018, from https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/instructional-samples/tagged/first-peoples-principles-learning.

British Columbia Teachers’ Federation. (n.d.). Statement of principles [Poster]. Accessed on July 5, 2018, from https://bctf.ca/AboriginalEducation.aspx?id=45195.

British Columbia Teachers’ Federation. (2002). Beyond words: Creating racism-free schools for Aboriginal learners.  Accessed on July 5, 2018, from https://www.bctf.ca/AboriginalEducation.aspx?id=13404.

British Columbia Teachers’ Federation. (2015). Timeline history of Aboriginal Peoples in British Columbia [Poster]. Accessed on July 5, 2018, from https://bctf.ca/AboriginalEducation.aspx?id=45195.

British Columbia Teachers’ Federation. (2017, July). Aboriginal ways of knowing and being [Poster]. Accessed on July 5, 2018, from https://bctf.ca/AboriginalEducation.aspx?id=45195.

Canadian Human Rights Commission. (2017, August 8). Human Rights Influencers: Chief Dr. Robert Joseph – Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada [Video file]. Retrieved July 6, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhnwIC1T0Tk#action=share.

Canadian Press, The. (2012, October 24). Once-vibrant aboriginal languages struggle for survival. CBC News. Retrieved July 9, 2018, from https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/once-vibrant-aboriginal-languages-struggle-for-survival-1.1173659.

Canadian Teachers’ Federaton. (2003). Aboriginal languages in Canada, 1996: a teacher’s resource. Retrieved on July 9, 2018, from http://www.ctf-fce.ca/Documents/AboriginalLanguages.pdf.

Casa-Todd, Jennifer. (2017, June 13). Chapter 3 [Flipgrid discussion]. Accessed on July 9, 2018, at https://www.socialleadia.org/chapter-resources/chapter-3-we-can-and-need-to-change-the-current-trajectory/.

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Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, University of British Columbia. (2016). Classroom Climate Series: Territory Acknowledgment. Retrieved July 10, 2018, from http://indigenousinitiatives.ctlt.ubc.ca/2016/09/26/classroom-climate-series-territory-acknowledgment/.

Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, University of British Columbia. (2016, September 14). Classroom Climate: Territory Acknowledgment [Video file].  Retrieved on July 11, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=LApHrjFPFp4.

Chrona, Jo-Anne L. (2014a). First Peoples’ principles of learning. [Blog]. Retrieved on July 5, 2018, from https://firstpeoplesprinciplesoflearning.wordpress.com/.

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Derksen, Jade. (2017, October 25). Our Living History Project [Blog post]. Retrieved July 9, 2018, from https://artsadventures.weebly.com/the-project.

Derksen, Jade. (2018, April 17). Living history: Soda Rock [Online presentation file]. Retrieved July 9, 2018, from https://prezi.com/view/pNoQ7bP6R8ZllPRqRVGT/.

Derksen, Jade. (2018, June 6). Living history: Soda Rock [Video file]. Retrieved July 9, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NviMf2mOaG0&feature=youtu.be.

Derksen, Jade. (2018, June 14). Living history: McLean Lake [Video file]. Retrieved July 9, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPG9j_93YTE&feature=youtu.be.

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Gray, Lynda. (2011). First Nations 101. Adaawx Publishing: Vancouver, BC.

Huber, Charla. (2018, June 17). Reconciliation — when a Chief stands with you. Times Colonist.  Retrieved July 9, 2018, from http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/columnists/charla-huber-reconciliation-when-a-chief-stands-with-you-1.23337949.

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Keys, Karen. (2018, June 7). The story of how Seymour Mountain came to be [Video file]. Accessed July 6, 2018, from https://my44.sd44.ca/public/erqv8pi/Blog/default.aspx#/.

Kkentvsb. (2018, June 5). Documenting our local ecology: final Synergy [Blog post]. Retrieved July 9, 2018, from http://division14dickens.edublogs.org/2018/06/05/documenting-our-local-ecology-final-synergy/.

MacQuarrie, Isabella. (n.d.). Endangered & Disappearing First Nations Languages [Blendspace]. Retrieved on July 9, 2018, from https://www.tes.com/lessons/oWnlo-LnReOUsA/endangered-disappearing-first-nations-languages.

MacQuarrie, Isabella. (2018a). #thelastword27: “Language is a lifeblood of a people, carrying the spirit of the past to the children of the present”[Blog].  Retrieved on July 9, 2018, from https://thelastword27.edublogs.org/.

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