Making science relevant to Indigenous students

“If only we could understand how students make sense of their natural world, we could design a science curriculum so that science makes sense to all students.“ [1]

Until relatively recently, science educators taught science from the perspective of Western science, and only Western science. Which, when taken in the context of Canadian history, is not surprising given that under the Indian Act education was the tool of assimilation policies designed to alienate Indigenous Peoples from their cultures, traditions, and identities.

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Two Examples of Indigenous Education Programs

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) Report and calls to action in 2015 brought some hard facts about residential schools to the surface and into the conscious of millions of Canadians. Among many other positive outcomes, the TRC report motivated many school districts to look at how education had been used as a tool of assimilation and the impact of that usage on Indigenous students today. School districts also started to look at their curriculum - at the way in which the relationship between the government and Indigenous Peoples was portrayed and that information about the residential school system was not included in the curriculum - had it been, there would not have been such a shock wave in society when the TRC report came out. As Commissioner Murray Sinclair of the TRC said “We have to start addressing the way that we teach our children about Indigenous people.”

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24 Tips on Creating Culturally Inclusive Schools

In Culturally Inclusive Schools - Why it’s Important we looked at the effect of the comparatively low graduation rate of Aboriginal students and the impact on all Canadians. Here we offer some suggestions for schools to consider in their effort to create a culturally inclusive environment for Aboriginal students.

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Culturally Inclusive Schools - Why it’s Important

This is the first in a two part series on culturally inclusive schools. Here we look at why some believe it’s important to all Canadians and in the second part we offer 23 suggestions for schools on how to move towards and create culturally inclusive schools.

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Resources for Teachers of Aboriginal Students

Fern Perkins coordinates the Métis Education Enhancement Program for the Métis Nation of Greater Victoria and has taught Indigenous Education at UVic. She and her Métis husband, Mark, teach Métis history and culture to grade 4 – 12 students as Aboriginal resource people in School Districts 61 (Victoria, BC) and 62 (Sooke, BC). As such, they have an up close and personal perspective on the delivery of Aboriginal curriculum in the Victoria and Sooke school districts.

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Fern Perkins Métis Education Enhancement Program Coordinator

Fern Perkins coordinates the Métis Education Enhancement Program for the Métis Nation of Greater Victoria and has taught Indigenous Education at UVic.

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15 Strategies for Teachers of Aboriginal Students

“The pedagogical challenge of Canadian education is not just reducing the distance between Eurocentric thinking and Aboriginal ways of knowing, but engaging decolonized minds and hearts.” [1]

This is an interesting junction in Canadian history as non-Aboriginal Canadians wake up to the harsh reality of the residential schools, as shown by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report. This new awareness could well be the catalyst for real, fundamental change, and where more effective than in the classroom?

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What is the root cause of Aboriginal education issues

Fifty-eight per cent of young adults living on-reserve in Canada have not completed high school, according to the 2011 National Household Survey census results. And that’s an increase from the 2006 census results. How did this come about?

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10 Books about Indian Residential Schools - for young people

For parents and teachers the topic of the Indian Residential Schools system can be a difficult one to tackle - you want to present this aspect of Canadian history in terms children can relate to without overwhelming them. Age appropriate books are a great way for children to develop a base of understanding and a natural empathy for the characters.

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Keepers Of The Children Reconnect With Native American Heritage

July 30, 2013 - Reno, NV -- In 2004, Laura Ramirez published what was to be an award-winning book and a great source of wisdom and support for parents throughout America and further afield. Now almost a decade later, "Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting" continues to attract great reviews, especially amongst Native Americans looking to reconnect with traditional values.

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