FOR ABORIGINAL EDUCATION · PDF file 2016-07-11 · • Aboriginal art •...

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Transcript of FOR ABORIGINAL EDUCATION · PDF file 2016-07-11 · • Aboriginal art •...

  • The following activities are designed to stimulate a current events discussion. Generative in nature, these questions can be a launching point for additional assignments or research projects.

    Teachers are encouraged to adapt these activities to meet the contextual needs of their classroom.

    In some cases, reading the article with students may be appropriate, coupled with reviewing the information sheet to further explore the concepts and contexts being discussed. From here, teachers can select from the questions provided below. The activity is structured to introduce students to the issues, then allow them to explore and apply their learnings. Students are encouraged to further reflect on the issues.

    Core Skill Sets:

    These icons identify the most relevant core skills students will develop using this resource. Learn more about the Learning Framework at

    VOLUME 10 | ISSUE 6


    BACKGROUND INFORMATION ! • The 2011 Census of Canada found that

    48.4 % of Aboriginal peoples aged 25 to 64 had some form of post-secondary qualification. 14.4% have a trades certificate, 20.6% have a college diploma, and 9.8% have earned a university degree. Among non- Aboriginal Canadians, 64.7 % have a postsecondary qualification. 12.0% have a trades certificate, 21.3% have a college diploma, and 26.5% have a university degree. (Statistics Canada) !

    • Inuit peoples are the least likely to have a post-secondary qualification—only 35.6%. Only 41% of Inuit have even completed their high school education. (Statistics Canada) !

    • According to research by the Assembly of First Nations, 70% of First Nations youth want to get a post-secondary education, but face barriers like the cost of education. 27% of youth surveyed said that lack of funding was preventing them from getting a post- secondary education. (AFN) !!!

    ! • The Canadian government has a program

    called the Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP) which provides funds to help Aboriginal youth cover tuition, travel and living expenses to attend college or university. (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada) !

    • According to the Assembly of First Nations, in 2008 the PSSSP gave $300 million to support more than 22,000 Aboriginal students. However, $724 million is what was actually needed to properly support those students. There are thousands more students ready to enrol in post-secondary education who cannot because there isn’t enough funding for them. (AFN)


    KEY TERMS Aboriginal peoples—A general term that covers First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada.

    Post-secondary education—Any course of education taken after high school graduation, most commonly college or university programs.

    Tuition—The basic yearly or per-term fee to attend college or university.

    Bursary—A grant of money to help a student attend college or university.



    The Longhouse (First Nations House for Learning), University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Photo source: Arpad Benedek, Getty Images.


    • Themes: Education, Local Issues, Values and Ethics

    • Course Connections: Language, Social Studies ! MATERIALS

    • Front board

    • Student journals or note paper


    Students will:

    • Develop and express responses to issues and problems.

    • Reassess their responses to issues on the basis of new information.

    • Participate in active group work and class discussions.

    • Communicate effectively in writing, orally or visually.

    • Demonstrate the ability to think critically.

    • Develop, express and defend a position on an issue. ! MAP IT Have students locate the different regions mentioned in the article to gain an understanding of the expanse and involvement of this issue.

    • Toronto, Ontario • Victoria, British Columbia

    • Winnipeg, Manitoba !! DISCUSS

    1. What is culture shock? Have you ever experienced culture shock? If so, can you describe your experience?

    2. What are some things that define a culture? (i.e., music, language, art, etc.)

    3. Why might Aboriginal youth experience culture shock in college or university? What do you suggest colleges and/or universities do to create a welcoming and supportive space for Aboriginal youth?

    4. The article discusses some of the challenges faced by Aboriginal communities that make it difficult for their youth to envision a future with post-secondary education. What are these challenges?

    5. How important do you think education is? Why? How can access to higher education help Aboriginal youth succeed and become role models and contributors to their communities? What sort of resources can the Canadian government invest in to encourage Aboriginal youth to consider post-secondary education? !!

    DIVE DEEPER ! To begin organize the class into groups of two to three students. Ask each group to list programs, extra-curricular activities or services that are offered in their school.

    After each group has generated a list ask them the following:

    • Is there an Aboriginal program in our school? If not, do you think one should be put in place? Explain what it should be.

    • Do you think Aboriginal programming should be incorporated into our school? Why or why not?

    • Does our school have programs or services that can support the needs of every student?

    • How can we create a welcoming space in our classroom for Aboriginal students?

    • How can we integrate Aboriginal-based topics and themes into our classroom? !

    Explain to students that one way to create a welcoming and supportive space for young Aboriginal students is to learn more about their culture as a class. In their same groups ask students to brainstorm Aboriginal-based topics or themes they would like to learn more about. Ask them to create a list in their notebooks. You may also want to write the following suggestions below on the board to get the brainstorm session started:

    • Aboriginal art • Aboriginal history in Canada

    • Aboriginal languages • Traditional Aboriginal music and dance

    • Different Aboriginal beliefs and traditions

    Once students have created a list, ask one member from each group to share their ideas and create a master list on the board. Based on their preferences choose one or two topics they would like to further explore in class. ! WE Day provides educators with a collection of lesson plans that promote Aboriginal studies. These lesson plans are part of the We Stand Together campaign that raises awareness of the challenges facing Aboriginal Canadians as well as celebrating their successes and contributions to our society. The resources for We Stand Together are categorized into grades and subject. Below are suggestions of lesson plans that can be used in the classroom to further explore Aboriginal topics or themes:

    • Grade 1-3: The Arts- The significance of drums in First Nations’ Cultures Arts.pdf ! • Grade 2: Social Studies- Culture and Traditions Elementary_SocialStudies.pdf ! • Grade 4-6: The Arts- Cultural history through art Arts.pdf ! • Grade 7-8: Language- Family stories and oral traditions Elementary_Language.pdf ! • Grade 7-8: The Arts- Contemporary First Nations and Inuit

    music: Powwow step and solo throat singing Music.pdf ! Find more information on We Stand Together at: ! Access more We Stand Together lesson plans at: