Teachers have a new resource to help bring Aboriginal culture, history and perspectives into their classrooms and into the lives of students - the ‘Aboriginal Worldviews and Perspectives in the Classroom: Moving Forward’ resource booklet.
Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation John Rustad announced the new resource on behalf of Minister of Education Mike Bernier today at the annual B.C. Cabinet First Nations Leaders’ Gathering in Vancouver.
‘Aboriginal Worldviews and Perspectives in the Classroom’ provides teachers with new ways to incorporate Aboriginal content into schools in every subject and in every grade.
The booklet is based on key themes, including: Relationships; Language and Culture; Community Engagement; Engagement with the Land, Nature, the Outdoors; History; Local Focus; Emphasis on Identity; Power of Story; Experiential Education; and Traditional Teaching.
‘Aboriginal Worldviews and Perspectives in the Classroom’ supports the revised curriculum being introduced into B.C. schools over the next three years. The new curriculum provides a flexible and innovative plan to help B.C. students gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed.
From January to March of this year, the ministry met with First Nations, Métis and school district leaders, teachers, support staff, students, post-secondary institutes and agency partners during public gatherings in five communities throughout the province.
‘Aboriginal Worldviews and Perspectives in the Classroom’ will be used alongside the ‘Indian Residential Schools and Reconciliation Teacher Resource Guides’, developed by the First Nations Schools Association and the First Nations Education Steering Committee for teachers in grades 5, 10, 11 and 12 to make the most of the curriculum in those grades. The grade-specific Residential School guides aim to help students of all cultural backgrounds gain an understanding of the history of the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal People over Canada’s history.
B.C.’s Aboriginal curriculum and these two resources were under development before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission made its recommendations in June of this year and deliver on the recommendations on many of the education requirements.
Aboriginal student learning will also be the focus of the ministry-designated non-structional development day this year. This is the first time Aboriginal education will be the sole focus for this day throughout the province, which will help educators incorporate Aboriginal content and perspectives into their classrooms.
Mike Bernier, Minister of Education –
“Teaching our kids about Aboriginal history and culture is critical to strengthening our relationships, communities and province. This new resource provides teachers with the framework they need to ensure that Aboriginal content is being taught in the classroom to help our children appreciate, understand and value the importance of Aboriginal culture and history.”
John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation –
“It is vital that Aboriginal history is included in our school curriculum to educate our youth on Aboriginal culture and ensure the legacy of residential schools is not forgotten. This guide is not only an important step toward helping our children understand the Aboriginal perspective but also a step towards reconciliation.”
Scott Benwell, superintendent, school district of Vancouver Island North –
“The themes that emerged across territories and communities inspire a call to action. New constructs for leadership, Indigenous pedagogical practices, Aboriginal perspectives and content, and a vision for decolonizing mind-sets were among the wealth of ideas expressed as to how we move forward both individually and collectively. It is our responsibility to sustain this conversation and to make commitments to ensure that we are successful.”
Kaleb Child, director of instruction for First Nations programs, school district of Vancouver Island North –
“The inspiration for this project was to support and build upon a regional dialogue that would lead to further strategies and clear commitments from all educators as we work to serve each learner, families and communities.”
- The resource will be available on the Ministry of Education’s new curriculum and the Aboriginal Education website. It will also be provided to school districts across the province.
- The resource aligns with the education recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada; and supports British Columbia's ongoing work to improve the success of Aboriginal students and education of Aboriginal People in B.C. and Canada.
- B.C. increased the amount of targeted funding, in 2014-15 to help school districts provide improved services to Aboriginal students.
- In June 2015, B.C. signed a relationship protocol with the First Nations Education Steering Committee to ensure continued ongoing collaboration.
- For 2015-16, B.C. is investing $66.2 million into Aboriginal education.
‘Aboriginal Worldviews and Perspectives in the Classroom’ resource booklet: https://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/abed/awp_moving_forward.pdf
Aboriginal education, Ministry of Education: https://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/abed/
Tripartite Education Framework Agreement: https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1327671439967/1327674065864