Thursday, January 28, 2016

French Secondary Aboriginal Resource

Aboriginal Content in the French Curriculum SLSS:
Created by Aviva Levin & Meghan Henrickson (in consultation with Erin Matheny and Deborah Dodds) – January 26, 2016

Possible Aboriginal enhancements
Le Grand Voyage
-        map of Canada (p.48)
o   discuss the Inuit of Quebec
§  doing basic introductions in Inuktitut syllabics
-        add slang/dialect words from different cultures around la francophonie, including Métis
o   students at SLSS seem to identify strongly with the mixed heritage of the Metis

-        Aboriginal origin words for the monsters discussed
-        (p.121) “Certains monstres du Canada ont leur origine dans les legends autochtones”
o   Find original Native myths for the phenomenon and modify for a grade 8 level
-        Music of the 60s, 70s, 80s
o   Look at the careers of Buffy Sainte Marie (Cree)
o   Robbie Robertson (Mohawk)
-        Clothing of the 60s, 70s, 80s
o   Issue of appropriation of Native traditions in popular clothing (potentially adapt the article about D2)

En Route vers la francophonie
-        See ‘le grand voyage’ (above)
-        Les accents de partout (p.20)
o   Accents of Canadians (Quebec, Acadian, Metis, Inuit French speakers)

Ça brasse
-        See ‘retro-monde’ (above)
-        Music from Canada
o   ‘Kashtin’ (Aboriginal folk)
o   social justice hip hop (Quebec)
Studio Créateur
-        showcase an Aboriginal artist
o   ex. local = Bill Reed
-        survey of different Aboriginal art styles
o   contrast to traditional European art
o   highlight the cultural diversity (non-homogeneity) of Ab. Cultures
-        opportunity to invite an Aboriginal guest artist into the classroom

En Maintenant, Passons aux nouvelles
-        include Aboriginal issues as a news item
-        expand on the info-culture: “APTN: Le reseau de television des peuples autochtones” (p.83)

Le folklore urbain
-        same as ‘phenomene’ above
-        expand on the info-culture: “l’arbre de vie” (p.140)
-        possible pen pals with a northern school district

-        love story (“la premiere couple”) in magazine (Amour 101)

Les légendes autochtones
-        unit is already almost solely Aboriginal focused

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Indian Residential Schools: resources to support teaching and learning

Janice Novakowski and Leanne McColl hosted an after school professional learning session to share a resource to support grade 5 teachers and teacher-librarians in the teaching and learning about Indian Residential Schools. For the past few years, alongside efforts of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Canadians have been learning about the travesty in Canadian history stemming from the Indian Act, particularly enacted through the mandated attendance of children at Indian Residential Schools.

The First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) has developed educational resources to support teachers in the teaching of this shared history, which is now included in the elementary and secondary Social Studies curriculum.
Although available for purchase through the FNESC website (, these teaching resources are also available to download for free, as pdf documents. The grade 5 resource is available here:
We looked through the components of the resource – enduring understandings, essential questions, literature connections, experiential learning, using primary documents, etc. We shared the literature that is referenced in the resource and teachers also prepared their own “memory bag” to correspond with the lessons in the resource.
IMG_2074 IMG_2075
Teachers at the session had many questions which we discussed as a group and shared our ideas. Other resources were provided to the teachers such as the Project of Heart document and Aboriginal Worldviews document – links to these can be found here:
Our session concluded with sharing FNESC’s Starleigh Grass’ Ted talk about reconciliation. The video can be viewed here:
Due to the popularity and interest in this session, we hope to offer another one in the spring!

Braiding Histories Workshop

Lynn Wainwright and Leanne McColl hosted a two-part series inspired by the work of Dr. Susan Dion, exploring the notion of the "perfect stranger" with regards to Aboriginal people, culture, histories and world views, and explore how those barriers can be broken down in order for teachers to begin implementing the new curriculum, and including Aboriginal content, perspectives, and pedagogy in their classrooms.

Teachers engaged in critical self-reflection, an introduction to cedar (including creating a cedar bookmark), a look into Aboriginal history in Canada (including colonization, and Residential Schools), and (re)visited the First Peoples Principles of Learning.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Tuesday, January 12, 2016



From Time Immemorial, by Diane Silvey (1999) CBC 8th fire television series.  (Also available in English at  Information from the Canadian Museum of History, including a section on Aboriginal watercraft at this link:  Audio-narrated resource about diverse Indigenous people and philosophies.  Links to many French websites.

GOVERNMENT OF CANADA RESOURCES (IN FRENCH):  Downloadable pdf teacher resource (The Learning Circle for ages 4-16)


Digital professional resource for teachers about Aboriginal ways of knowing, including the oral tradition.  Resources from UBC’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education (2015).  Our Voices, Our Stories is a government website that celebrates Canadian Aboriginal stories.

AMBIENCE:  Virtual bonfire for oral storytelling.

ANIMATED STORIES (IN ENGLISH):  The Big Rock Story is a sample of a story from the Raven Tales series that is available onYouTube.  Stop motion videos made in Haida Gwaii.  Videos to promote mathematics amongst Aboriginal learners.


ABORIGINAL STORYTELLING RESOURCES (IN FRENCH):  Stories on Stone is a film about First Nations Storytelling produced by the Royal Alberta Museum.

Audio-narrated stories in French from the Government of Canada website.

French stories narrated aloud on the Métis museum website.  This link is from, which is an incredibly rich BC Aboriginal Childcare Society website portal with many links to professional resources on story.

Historica Canada: Canadian Encyclopedia