Wednesday, November 4, 2015

FNESC Conference now open for registration!

FNESC Annual Aboriginal Education Conference
November 26th (evening), November 27-28, 2015
The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver, BC
Showcasing innovative curriculum, inspiring people and networking opportunities, the First Nations Education Steering Committee Annual Aboriginal Education Conference draws several hundred educators each year.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Aboriginal Resources

Aboriginal Education Resources


A UBC resource on the histories, politics, and cultures of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada. This website provides instructors, researchers and the public with a place to begin exploring topics that relate to Aboriginal peoples, cultures, and histories.


A closer look at the First Peoples Principles of Learning (FPPL).


A UBC resource that focuses on Indigenous perspectives, curricular resources (e.g. links, texts, children’s literature), multimedia, and literature that links theory to practice.

The BC Ministry of Education Aboriginal Education portal has key documents and links archived, including BC maps, and the cross-curricular document, Shared Learnings K-10 (find under Learning Resources on this page).

The First Nations Education Steering Committee.  Go to the Learning First Peoples classroom tab to see the curricula for English First Peoples (gr.10-12) and Math First Peoples (gr. 8-9), as well as  Authentic Resources K-7, to access a list of authentic First Peoples texts, and Primary Resources K-3,  which contains a document called, “In Our Own Words: Bringing Authentic First Peoples Content to the K-3 Classroom”.

The Canadian government website for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development/Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.  Go to All topics, then Aboriginal Arts, Culture and Heritage tab, kids’ stop tab, classroom resources tab to access Learning Circle resources with lesson ideas and stories for students ages 4-16.


Teaches elementary mathematics through Aboriginal storytelling.  Series of videos can be viewed under stories/movies tab.

A BC resource for Aboriginal knowledge about local plants and their uses as food and medicines.

Resources on anti-discrimination education, including video resources.
CBC series about contemporary Aboriginal issues, with teacher guide.

Residential Schools Websites:
Project of heart is an inquiry-based project about the history of Aboriginal people in Canada.
This is the website of the truth and reconciliation commission of Canada.   Under resources
tab, click on They Came for the Children for a teacher’s guide.

Residential Schools Videos:
We Were Children.  2012 National Film Board film on Canadian Residential Schools available for booking from the DRC.
Savage.  6 minute film by Canadian Anishinaabe filmmaker Lisa Jackson.


District blog of professional learning opportunities, district and community initiatives and events.

District blog for teachers sharing out their lived classroom experiences teaching with an Aboriginal focus.


Richmond’s District Resource Centre (DRC).  On Richnet, go to the DRC Media Manager Catalog and search “Aboriginal Content” or “Aboriginal Kits”.
UBC library for the First Nations House of Learning.  Alumni can borrow for free with an Alumni Card.

A local company that sells authentic Indigenous resources, and provides lesson plans for some titles.

Aboriginal Education Resources #2

Aboriginal Education Resources #2


BCTF interactive ebook with clickable links on the tiles to other resources such as videos, documents, and activities.

Three downloadable resources developed by FNESC for Grades 5, 10/11, and 12 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, with a focus on the BC experience.


List of the top storytelling resources, as compiled by participants of UBC’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education (2015).

Virtual bonfire to add ambience to oral storytelling.


Lesson plans for Grades 4 and 9 using an animated and unfinished Bill Reid story  to explore identity.


Inter-disciplinary resource based on David Suzuki’s film, Force of Nature, for grades 9-12.  This guide focuses on different worldviews, concerning stewardship of our planet, especially those held by Aboriginal people.

A documentary film, educational curriculum for Grade 5/6, and a public policy research article that explores how reconciling the relationship between Aboriginal people and the rest of Canada can lead to healthier water.

Allows free download of lesson plans, activities and background information related to the ecosystems, cultures and industries connected to the Fraser River, with recommendations for connections to the new curricula for Grades 1-9.


An online resource centre for teachers, offering cross-curricular lesson plans to engage students and facilitate their understandings of Coast Salish culture and art.


First Nations Journeys of Justice honours oral history and teaches concepts and practices of justice from the perspective of First Nations ways of knowing.  Contains modules for grades 1-7.


Lesson ideas for sharing the seven sacred teachings to elementary school students through puppetry.


An interactive website called  A Journey Into Time Immemorial that gives entrance into the lives of the Sto:lo people hundreds of years ago.  Includes educator connections for science, social studies, and language arts, as well as audio and video resources.

Publication of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre providing synopses of Canadian Aboriginal book titles.

Local Vancouver store that sells Aboriginal products.

Education supply store based in Winnipeg.  A beautiful Seven Teachings kids carpet is available for purchase.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015

Orange Shirt Day

September 30th is Orange Shirt Day which, in the spirit of reconciliation, honours the survivors of Indian Residential Schools, and remembers the thousands of children who did not survive.  Attached is a poster to display in schools and classrooms.

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in the spring of 2013.  It grew out of Phyllis Webstad’s account of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission School and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually.  The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year.  Orange Shirt Day is also an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.

For more information see:

  • If you are interested in purchasing an orange shirt, limited quantities (including both adult and children's sizes) are available for purchase at:Native Northwest - Garfinkel Publications - 1640 W. 75th Ave., Vancouver B.C. Canada V6P 6G2
  • - p: 604-266-9044 - f: 604-266-9058

Friday, June 19, 2015

Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education

UBC Faculty of Education delivering a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) titled, Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education.  This is a free 6-week online course that begins on September 29, 2015.

Participants will learn about Indigenous Education through the lens of reconciliation, and will engage with educational leaders and resources that provide direction for how education programs and teaching practices can be modified in order to meaningfully integrate Indigenous knowledge worldviews and pedagogies in classrooms, schools and communities.

We'd like to invite you and your colleagues and associates in Richmond School District to join us in an online information session on June 24.  Learn more about this professional development opportunity and creating Communities of Practice engaged with the subject matter.

Please help us spread the word about this widely accessible learning opportunity with your colleagues and networks.

The announcement is available as plain text, as a one-page poster, or in HTML format (below).


Heather McGregor
Professional Development & Community Engagement 
Faculty of Education 
The University of British Columbia 

1304 ­ 2125 Main Mall | Vancouver, BC  Canada V6T 1Z4 

Musqueam Culture Tour

Delta has kindly reserved 10 spots for Richmond teachers. Pick up and drop off will be in Richmond.  If interested, please respond by Friday, June 19 by 3 pm to

Cedar Weaving, June 15, 2015

Back in April, the Richmond School District’s Aboriginal Education department hosted Alice Guss of the Squamish Nation for a morning of cedar weaving. Alice is an artist, storyteller and drummer and has been involved in the field of education for over twenty years. She does workshops around the world in drum making and weaving.
More information about Alice can be found HERE.
We invited Alice back to Richmond as part of our National Aboriginal Day celebrations and this week she worked with two of our QTL (Playful Storytelling through First Peoples  Principles) classes at Steves and then joined teachers from the project after school.
Kathleen Paiger’s kindergarten class and Ellen Reid’s grades 1 and 2 class at Steves Elementary listened to Alice singing and drumming and learned about how cedar is harvested for the purposes of weaving and making practical items and regalia. Alice shared some of items that are made from different parts of the cedar tree.
The students learned how to weave a cedar bookmark and they were quite interested in the texture and smell of the wood.
IMG_9470 IMG_9471 IMG_9472 IMG_9473 IMG_9474

The students then enjoyed listening to Alice’s stories and she said them in some dancing to her drumming, with the students taking on different animal roles.
After school, a group of teachers involved in our QTL project along with some other interested educators, came together. Alice shared her family’s history and we learned about the story of The Chief in Squamish and  of the two-headed serpent, a story important to the Squamish people. The teachers then learned more about the importance of cedar and how cedar trees that have been culturally modified (stripped for cultural purposes) can not be cut down by logging companies. An article about culturally modified trees can be found HERE.

The teachers learned how to weave a small cedar basket. There was lots to be learned during the process about persistence and learning new things and also about the natural properties of the cedar. The completed projects were cherished by the teachers and were all one of a kind.
It was an honour to have Alice join us in Richmond again and we hope to have her back again next year!

Thursday, June 11, 2015


  • Hear Our Stories: Celebrating FNMI Literature
  • "The Canadian Children's Book Centre is offering a free online theme guide that focuses on books written by and about members of Canada's First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities. It also provides activities for using these books in the classroom, library or at home. View it online or download."


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

FNESC First Nations Languages Conference, July 16 and 17, 2015

Registration is now open for the FNESC First Nations Languages Conference, In the Spirit of Sharing, happening in Vancouver on July 16 and 17, 2015 at the Coast Plaza Hotel.  Held every two years, this conference brings together Elders, teachers, linguists, administrators and others to learn and share, in order to promote quality First Nations languages education in BC.
We are pleased that Jessie Little Doe Baird, project founder of the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project, will be our keynote speaker.  Jessie has been instrumental in the continued reclamation of the Wampanoag language and she is featured in a documentary that aired on PBS called, "We Still Live Here – Âs Nutayuneân.” 

Haida Language Boot Camp: How to Host an Intensive Language Program
Getting Learners to Talk, Speak & Dialogue
Action-Based Story, Craft & Traditional Foods:  Immersion Techniques for Engaging New Adult Learners
Developing Usable Curriculum for the Classroom
Creating Quality Audio Recordings on a Budget
First Nations Languages Essential Learning Outcomes:  Moving to Implementation and the Daily Halq’emeylem
Dah Dzahge Nodeside – Getting Our Talk Back:  Sharing our Journey of Tahltan Language Revitalization
Language Immersion in Practice and Play          
Implementing First Nations Language Curriculum Frameworks and Curricular Design
Coast Salish Woven Bag
Using CFR and Portfolio – an Alberta Example
Teaching JUMP Math in Ucwalmicts – Promoting Immersion Education           
Community Language Education Planning Workbook
(subject to change)           

Language Champions
Nominate an individual for one of the four BC First Nations Language Champion awards: Lifetime Achievement Award, School Education Award, Community Education Award, Youth Award (18-30 yrs).  One champion will be selected in each of the four categories and celebrated at a recognition event at the conference on July 17th.  See the information/nomination details on our event webpage. Nominations due May 28, 2015.

For online registration, registration guide and details, visit  Register early to avoid disappointment! (Note that this is not a FNESC reimbursable event.)  


Jennifer White
Senior Communications Officer

First Nations Education Steering Committee
#113 - 100 Park Royal South, West Vancouver, BC  V7T 1A2
T: 604-925-6087 ext. 105  F: 604-925-6097  1-877-422-3672    follow us @fnesc

The information contained in this message is intended only for the use of the recipient named above and may contain confidential or undisclosed information.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Professional Learning Day at Musqueam, May 15, 2015

Today, 190 Richmond teachers and support staff were welcomed onto the Musqueam Reserve, for a great day of learning.  The day was opened by Musqueam Cultural Interpreter Alec Dan, followed by a keynote from Spirals of Inquiry authors, Judy Halbert and Linda Kaser.  Groups then broke into 3 sessions, a Residential School Simulation with Brad Marsden, and an inquiry workshop, and a Musqueam Walking and Cultural Centre Tour.  We were treated to a delicious lunch from Salishan Catering.  Our day closed with remarks from Alec Dan, and his wife and son, and an amazing Honour song by a group of our Musqueam hosts, that will be remembered by all.