Integrating Aboriginal Perspectives - Primary School

General Resources

Some general background information about integrating Aboriginal perspectives into the classroom. These are resources that discuss strategies for overcoming potential challenges, and provide some examples of successful strategies, as well as historical background.

Web resources:

American Indians in Children's Literature

American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL) provides critical perspectives and analysis of indigenous peoples in children's and young adult books, the school curriculum, popular culture, and society. 

Aboriginal Perspectives: A Guide to the Teachers Toolkit

This is a collection of online resources from the Ontario Ministry of Education designed to help primary and secondary teachers bring Aboriginal perspectives into their classrooms. It contains both an overview of curriculum expectations regarding the inclusion of Aboriginal content as well as ideas for doing so. Various resources from the Toolkit are mentioned throughout this guide but you are highly encouraged to peruse the site on your own.

Deepening Knowledge 

A project of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), Deepening Knowledge provides resources to educators and students for and about Aboriginal Education. It contains links to lesson plans, guides, books and other tools that teachers can use. Please be sure to respect copyright and give authors credit when using any of these resources.

Aboriginal Art Protocols

Prepared by Maaiingan Productions at the request of the Ontario Arts Council, this video is a series of interviews with people working in the field of Aboriginal arts. It discusses protocols to follow and also what to avoid. 

Infusing Indigenous Perspectives in K-12 Teaching (OISE)

This guide is designed to help Initial Teacher Education students find materials that centre or focus on First Nations, Métis, and Inuit worldviews, experiences and knowledges for teaching in the K-12 classroom.

Books:

Residential Schools & The Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Residential Schools

 

With origins going back to New France, Indian Residential Schools were government-sponsored religious boarding schools for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children, designed to assimilate them into Euro-Canadian culture and eradicate their Aboriginal culture. Harshly punished in residential schools for speaking their languages, children in these institutions experienced physical, psychological and sexual abuse. While reports of these abuses were prevalent throughout their existence, the last residential school did not close until 1996.

The residential school system has inflicted intergenerational harm upon Aboriginal people in Canada in terms of language, culture, mental health, and many other issues. The process of healing and reconciliation is on-going.

Learning about the historical circumstances that led to the Indian Residential Schools system, and its aftermath, is essential in order to holistically understand the implications of Residential Schools on Canadian identity, as well as to effectively teach about these subjects in an ethical manner. This is a painful chapter of Canada’s history but one that must be examined and understood  if we are to move forward towards reconciliation and a more just, inclusive society. The Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada was established with this goal in mind.

Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia

What is the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC)?

The Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) is a component of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. The goal of the TRC is inform Canadians about Indian Residential Schools and to document the truth about what happened to anyone affected by the Residential School system, including survivors, families and communities. The TRC aims to guide and inspire all Canadians on the path to reconciliation and a society based on mutual understanding and respect.

Please visit the TRC's Frequently Asked Questions page for background information

A mid-term report from the TRC detailing the survivor experience and continuing legacy of residential schools

 

They Came for the Children (2012)

 

Below, a link to the TRC's final report, as well the Calls to Action

 

The TRC final report (2015)

 

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls

Indigenous women in Canada are currently and have historically been disproportionately affected by violence. Nowhere is this more obvious than the in the cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls ((MMIWG across Canada. In 2004, Amnesty International published a report, Stolen Sisters, condemning the country’s lack of attention to this issue, and documenting some of the underlying causes of this violence. In 2009, Amnesty released No More Stolen Sisters, which further explored the discrimination and inequality that Indigenous women continue to experience. In August of 2016, the Federal Government launched a two-year independent national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

The CBC has an on-going investigation into the many cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Please visit this page to for information on individual cases and general data.

The Walking With Our Sisters project was born out of a desire to honour those who were lost and to raise awareness about this issue. The commemorative art exhibition will travel to various locations across North America. Please visit the website to learn more about history and scope of the project.