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Infusing aboriginal perspectives across the curriculum for all students

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An understanding of First Nations, Metis and Inuit knowledge and perspectives is becoming increasingly common in our schools and classrooms. With clear links to social studies, science, sustainability and outdoor education, the Teacher Librarian and the Learning Commons are uniquely positioned to infuse Aboriginal perspectives throughout the curriculum to support all students. Learn how my school implemented a school-wide focus around the ‘Seven Grandfathers’ Teachings (truth, love, humility, courage, honesty, respect and wisdom) and their link to character education that many schools and boards observe. Our goal was to address and improve learning skills, particularly self-regulation, collaboration and responsibility through the teachings. The work done includes staff training, First Nations Elder mentorships, guest visitors and curricular integration (through collaborative inquiries, guided reading and literature circles based on First Nations books and First Nations author visits).

Published in: Education
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Infusing aboriginal perspectives across the curriculum for all students

  1. 1. Infusing Aboriginal Perspectives Across the Curriculum for All Students Ontario Library Association Super Conference February 1st, 2017 http://bit.ly/OLA7teachings
  2. 2. Joel Krentz Educator, Teacher Librarian, Reading Advocate, Digital Learner, Indigenous Education Ally You can find me @joelkrentz or at joel.krentz@tdsb.on.ca ...
  3. 3. Wilkinson Library about.me/wilkinsonlibrary … and at my school @wilkinsonTDSB
  4. 4. Daily Acknowledgement I would like to acknowledge that Wilkinson school is situated upon traditional territories. The territories include the Wendat, Anishinabek Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nations and the Métis Nation. I also recognize the enduring presence of Aboriginal peoples on this land.
  5. 5. 1 2 3 Rationale and Beginnings as a way to deliver character education and address learning skills, specifically responsibility, collaboration and self-regulation Seven Grandfather Teachings curricular connections, Learning Commons partnering - our journey so far and next steps Infusing Aboriginal Perspectives imperatives, addressing concerns, securing resources, team building and first steps Aboriginal Perspectives for All Students
  6. 6. Rationale and Beginnings
  7. 7. Learning Skills, Character Education and the Seven Grandfather Teachings From Rabbit and Bear Paws, Grandfather Teachings page by Chad Solomon - Responsibility and Self Regulation is a noticeable and growing concern, particularly amongst our younger students (K-2), - Seven Teachings ties in with existing character education traits - Seven Teachings offer are universal - traits that are shared and understood by every culture
  8. 8. We call upon the federal, provincial, and territorial governments, in consultation and collaboration with Survivors, Aboriginal peoples, and educators, to: ▷ Make age-appropriate curriculum on residential schools, Treaties, and Aboriginal peoples’ historical and contemporary contributions to Canada a mandatory education requirement for Kindergarten to Grade Twelve students. Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action for Education # 62
  9. 9. ▷ Provide the necessary funding to post-secondary institutions to educate teachers on how to integrate Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods into classrooms. ▷ Provide the necessary funding to Aboriginal schools to utilize Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods in classrooms. ▷ Establish senior-level positions in government at the assistant deputy minister level or higher dedicated to Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action for Education # 62
  10. 10. We call upon the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada to maintain an annual commitment to Aboriginal education issues, including: ▷ Developing and implementing Kindergarten to Grade Twelve curriculum and learning resources on Aboriginal peoples in Canadian history, and the history and legacy of residential schools. Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action for Education # 63
  11. 11. ▷ Sharing information and best practices on teaching curriculum related to residential schools and Aboriginal history. ▷ Building student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect. ▷ Identifying teacher-training needs relating to the above. Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action for Education # 63
  12. 12. We call upon all levels of government that provide public funds to denominational schools to require such schools to provide an education on comparative religious studies, which must include a segment on Aboriginal spiritual beliefs and practices developed in collaboration with Aboriginal Elders. Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action for Education # 64
  13. 13. We call upon the federal government, through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, post-secondary institutions and educators, and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and its partner institutions, to establish a national research program with multi-year funding to advance understanding of reconciliation. Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action for Education # 65
  14. 14. Planning with Staff Staff agreed that a teaching focus with a stronger Aboriginal focus was a good direction to take. Some overriding concerns remained: 1) did not want to mis-step and offend 2) did not want to appropriate 3) Some felt that they did not know enough to teach and share Staff were looking for answers before moving forward.
  15. 15. Best Practices Frpm a forthcoming document from the TDSB’s Aboriginal Education Centre
  16. 16. First Steps ▷ Through the school’s Equity committee, create a plan of action for the school year and beyond ▷ School wide focus on the Grandfather Teachings as a way to deliver Character Education ▷ Spirit Assemblies to focus on Grandfather Teachings ▷ Communicate with School Council so that their activities and performances reflect this focus ▷ Secure resources including print resources, funds for visiting authors, artists and elders
  17. 17. Framing Documents
  18. 18. Library Learning Commons Resources
  19. 19. Seven Grandfather Teachings
  20. 20. “To cherish knowledge is to know wisdom; To know love is to know peace; To honour all of creation is to have respect; Bravery is to face the foe with integrity; Honesty in facing a situation is to be brave; Humility is to know yourself as a sacred part of creation; Truth is to know all of these things. ~ Edward Benton-Banai from ‘The Mishomis Book’ Seven Grandfather Teachings
  21. 21. Teaching Carpet
  22. 22. Exploring emotions as they relate to totem animals - presented as a narrated slidedeck. Spirit Assemblies focusing on the Grandfather Teachings Narrated Tableau Wisdom Love
  23. 23. Infusing Aboriginal Perspectives
  24. 24. Curricular Connections Infusing Aboriginal Perspectives has clear connections to social studies, science, sustainability, outdoor education. With the help of online resources, connections to HPE, Music, Art Language, Drama and importantly, Math, were shared.
  25. 25. Place your screenshot here Online and Print Resources to Support the Teaching and Learning of Aboriginal Perspectives http://resources4learning.edublogs.or g
  26. 26. Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day
  27. 27. Author Visit with Melanie Florence
  28. 28. Podcast Interview with Melanie Florence
  29. 29. Gift of Reconciliation
  30. 30. School Council Involvement and Partnership
  31. 31. LES Plan: What in the World
  32. 32. Learning Commons Partnering
  33. 33. ▷ Develop community connection with the neighbouring First Nations School of Toronto and the Aboriginal Education Centre ▷ Invite an artist to create a mural for our front foyer ▷ Have an Elder visit (PA Day in June) to share perspectives ▷ Implement a ‘Caught Showing … ‘ program to encourage and recognise the demonstration of the Grandfather Next Steps ...
  34. 34. ▷ Creation of a junior grade unit called ‘The Courage of Shannen Koostachin’ ▷ Development of a grade 3 unit on Treaties using Google My Maps ▷ Whole school visit from Rabbit and Bear Paws author and illustrator, Chad Solomon (March 29th) ▷ Regular check-ins with the Equity Committee and leadership team to ensure we are moving along the continuum as a school Next Steps ...
  35. 35. Thank you. Any Questions? Anything to Share? You can find me @joelkrentz or at joel.krentz@tdsb.on.ca

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