This article examines the impact of culturally responsive pedagogy in an introduction to university course developed in collaboration with local and place-based First Nations communities, Aboriginal Access Studies and the Faculty of Education of the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus. In keeping with requests that Indigenous worldviews be incorporated into curriculum, the content of EDUC 104, modelled on the University of South Carolina’s University 101 Programs, was adapted to incorporate Indigenous traditions of teaching and learning. The introductory course included a holistic approach aimed at supporting the social and emotional well-being of students. Facilitated by peer mentoring, collaborative circles of learning introduced seminal concepts and facilitated the progressive use of newly learned skills. As part of a longitudinal research, the following presents the content of interviews conducted at the conclusion of the courses. Analysis indicated that three themes emerged emphasizing the importance of the circles of learning, peer mentoring, and the relationship with the instructor. In particular, the results demonstrated the perceived value of the course from the students’ perspectives.
It's one of the commonly held beliefs about First Nations people in this country: they all get free post-secondary education.
Problem is, it's not true. And the reality is much more complicated.
To help make sense of it, here's a little of what Canadians should know about First Nations people and funding for
THE PAUCITY OF WOMEN IN SCIENCE HAS BEEN documented over and over again. A 2012 Report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology reported that a deficit of one million engineers and scientists will result in the United States if current rates of training in science, technology, math, and engineering (STEM) persist (President’s Council
of Advisors on Science and Technology, 2012). It’s not hard to see how this hurts the United States’ competitive position—particularly if women in STEM meet more gender bias in the U.S. than do women elsewhere, notably in India and China.
The territories’ Aboriginal populations generally lag behind their non-Aboriginal counterparts on educational attainment and adult skills.
Key contextual factors that help explain territorial education and skills performance include language and culture, family and community support, traditional economic roles, infrastructure, and governance.
Higher educational attainment helps close the skills gaps between the territories’ Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal adult populations.
Data for the territories are scarce for most of the indicators used to benchmark education and skills attainment in the provincial report cards. More work is needed to support skills assessment of K–12 students and adults in the labour force, particularly in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.
According to the most recent Statistics Canada census data (2006), there are 242,000 Aboriginal people living in Ontario, primarily comprising three distinct groups: First Nation (158,000), Métis (74,000) and Inuit (2,000). The remaining 8,000 Aboriginal people classified themselves as “other.” Aboriginal peoples in Ontario have diverse languages, cultures and traditions. The census also identified that approximately 47,000 First Nations people live on reserves in Ontario; these are lands set aside for the use and benefit of a specific band or First Nation. There are a total of 133 First Nation communities in Ontario, each of which has its own government or tribal council. The delivery of education through schools on reserve is the responsibility of the First Nation and the federal government. The federal government is financially responsible for the education of First Nation students living on reserve, whether these students attend First Nation or provincially operated schools.
Universities have a major role to play in closing Canada’s Indigenous education gap and supporting the reconciliation process. The Indigenous community in Canada is young, full of potential and growing fast – but still underrepresented at universities across the country. Our shared challenge is to ensure that all First Nations, Métis and Inuit students can achieve their potential through education, which will bring meaningful change to their communities and to Canada as a whole.
First Nations employment in Saskatchewan is increasing, yet we continue to lag behind the other two Prairie Provinces. This report shows that if we were to employ First Nations people at the same rate as Alberta and Manitoba, we would increase provincial employment by 5.9 thousand employees in 2012, growing to 8.3 thousand by 2031. That is just by catching up with the average for the remainder of the Prairies.
Results would be better yet if we were to employ our First Nations population at the same rate as our total Provincial population. The result would be an increase in provincial employment by 17.9 thousand in 2012, growing to 25.1 thousand in 2031.
This report examines some of the key issues surrounding the education of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students and proposes a governance framework that school boards can use to improve student results.
This study provides a fact-based look at the oft-heard claim that public spend-ing on Canada’s Aboriginal population is forever inadequate. It does so by examining actual spending on Aboriginal Canadians, using four sources: the federal department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Health Canada, Employment and Social Development Canada, and provincial governments. The three federal departments were chosen because reference to First Nations spending is clearly identified in the Public Accounts. Dozens of other federal departments, as well as federal and provincial agencies and municipalities, were excluded. Thus, the estimates herein are extremely conservative. They do not capture all government spending in Canada on Aboriginal Canadians—be they First Nations, Inuit or Métis.
The clearest and most consistent message received by the Steering Committee through its working group reports and submissions from the wider community is that, as the University of Toronto seeks to respond fully and faithfully to the challenges issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (“TRC”), our focus must be on concrete action. The Steering Committee (the “Committee”) is of the same mind. Therefore, this report will be framed around a series of ‘calls to action,’ mirroring the work of the TRC itself.
For over a centur the central goals of Canada’s Aboriginal policy were to eliminate Aboriginal governments and Aboriginal rights; terminate the Treaties; and, through a process of assimilation, cause Aboriginal people to cease to exist as distinct legal, social, cultural, religious, and racial entities in Canada. The establishment and operation of residential schools were a central element of this policy, which can best be described as “cultural genocide.”
Physical genocide is the mass killing of the members of a targeted group, and biological genocide is the destruction of the group’s reproductive capacity. Cultural genocide is the destruction of those structures and practices that allow the group to continue as a group. States that engage in cultural genocide set out to destroy the political and social institutions of the
targeted group. Land is seized, and populations are forcibly transferred and their movement is restricted. Languages are banned. Spiritual leaders are persecuted, spiritual practices are forbidden, and objects of spiritual value are confiscated and destroyed. And, most significantly to the issue at hand, families are disrupted to prevent the transmission of cultural values and identity from one generation to the next.
This roundtable will focus on access to capital markets to meet the needs of a growing number of First Nations businesses and communities seeking financial participation in projects that can be valued in hundreds of millions of dollars. Based on the analysis below, we propose the following key issues and questions for discussion:
This week, Harvard Business School launched its first annual Leading People and Investing to Build Sustainable Communities program, which set out to equip professionals from First Nations and native-American communities with new ideas for managing their businesses and resources.
Over 60 Indigenous people from across Canada and the United States attended the four-day course, in which professors taught investment practices and governance strategies, and provided opportunities for participants to put their heads together to solve issues in their communities back home.
The enduring impact of colonization and loss of culture are identified as critical health issues for Aboriginal populations. The authors discuss the concepts of historical and intergenerational trauma identifying steps to address the past as Aboriginal Peoples move forward to a healthy future. The authors analyze the enduring and unacceptable health inequalities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Canada. This paper emphasizes the importance of addressing the substantial historical reasons for this inequality. The authors suggest that current popular explanations for such gross differences in health are limited and lack substantive historical perspective. Post-traumatic stress disorder is discussed critically as an important concept for understanding Aboriginal health inequalities. Post-traumatic stress response, versus disorder, is presented as a less stigmatizing and potentially culturally-appropriate framework to view the inequalities in a historical and political light. A historically and politically-based stress response is proposed as a framework for understanding the health inequities between Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal people to advance healing for indigenous people worldwide.
Aboriginal, post-traumatic stress disorder/response, culture, residential schools, health, colonialism, historical trauma, intergenerational impact
• One of the best ways to improve the quality of care for Northern and Aboriginal communities is to strengthen the number of Northern and Aboriginal health professionals, and in particular nurses who form the largest category of health care providers in these regions.
• Although improvements in the number of Aboriginal nurses have been made in the past 15 years, additional efforts and strategies are needed to reach proportional representation in Saskatchewan and Canadian health workforces.
• Distributed, off-campus educational opportunities are an important way of educating residents of Northern and Aboriginal communities and establishing a local skilled workforce.
• New technologies are also making the delivery of high-quality nursing programs in rural and remote locations feasible.
As an Aboriginal therapist working out of Canada’s largest mental health and addiction treatment facility, I have found the prevailing theories on homelessness fail to provide an adequate explanation for why a growing number of Toronto’s homeless service users are people of Aboriginal origin. I work closely with homeless Aboriginal people who struggle daily for survival.
Consistently, they report a personal or family history of traumatic events that have left an indelible mark on their lives. In many cases, this has resulted in a severing of ties from both birth family and community of origin. This scenario repeats itself among a diverse cohort, with those in their early 20s sharing family histories that reflect the experience of those in their 50s
and even 60s.
While theories related to the cause of homelessness are beginning to recognize broader systemic
factors such as poverty and lack of housing, little consideration is given to the cumulative impact
government policies have had specifically on Aboriginal peoples. There is increasing evidence
that more than 140 years of social strategies aimed at the assimilation, segregation, and
integration of generations of Aboriginal children into mainstream Eurocentric culture have resulted
in personal, familial,
For over a century, the central goals of Canada’s Aboriginal policy were to eliminate Aboriginal governments; ignore Aboriginal rights; terminate the Treaties; and, through a process of assimilation, cause Aboriginal peoples to cease to exist as distinct legal, social, cultural, religious, and racial entities in Canada. The establishment and operation of residential schools were a central element of this policy, which can best be described as “cultural genocide.” Physical genocide is the mass killing of the members of a targeted group, and biological genocide is the destruction of the group’s reproductive capacity. Cultural genocide is the destruction of those structures and practices that allow the group to continue as a group. States that engage in cultural genocide set out to destroy the political and social institutions of the targeted group. Land is seized, and populations are forcibly transferred and their movement is restricted. Languages are banned. Spiritual leaders are persecuted, spiritual practices are forbidden, and objects of spiritual value are confiscated and destroyed. And, most significantly to the issue at hand, families are disrupted to prevent the transmission of cultural values and identity from one generation to the next.
What some universities are doing to weave indigenous peoples, cultures and knowledge into the fabric of their campuses.
September 1987 and Blaine Favel was sitting in a lecture hall at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., a long way from his home on Poundmaker Cree Nation, northwest of Saskatoon. Already he had an advocate’s leanings honed from growing up in a family of chiefs and protected by the thick skin he’d developed facing racial intolerance in Saskatchewan. So when his professor opened her lecture on property law with the pronouncement that all land in Canada belonged to the Queen, Mr. Favel’s hand shot up. “I asked her, ‘How did the Queen get the land?’”
The question left the rookie professor so flustered that she cancelled the rest of the class to reconsider her curriculum. Some students hissed at Mr. Favel, but he had made his point. When class resumed the next day, the professor began by teaching about aboriginal title.
The signatory institutions to this protocol recognize and affirm their responsibility and obligation to Indigenous education.
Colleges and institutes respect and recognize that Indigenous people include First Nation, Métis and Inuit people, having distinct cultures, languages, histories and contemporary perspectives.
Indigenous education emanates from the intellectual and cultural traditions of Indigenous peoples in Canada.
Indigenous education will strengthen colleges’ and institutes’ contribution to improving the lives of learners and communities.