The Kanehsatà:ke Education Center assumes no responsibility for off-site links.

Are you responisible for acquiring books for the school library? Or books for a class? Debbie Reese's site, American Indians in Children's Literature is an excellent resource. From the web site: “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. ” Reese also provides suggestions based on certain criteria for books to use in the classroom, or stock in the library.

Resources for Rethinking, a project developed by Learning for a Sustainable Future (LSF). LSF is a national charity that was created to integrate sustainability education into Canada”s education system.

The Resources for Rethinking (R4R.ca) database includes over 900 classroom resources (600 English resources and 300 in French). All of these resources have been reviewed by teachers, and meet rigorous sustainability and pedagogical criteria.

These resources hail from over 250 organizations, and are all linked to the curriculum of each province and territory in Canada. You can search these resources by grade (K-12), subject, curriculum unit, sustainability theme, and language! The R4R resources can be used to support teachers in meeting curriculum expectations while undertaking an action project!.

In addition, R4R includes a section on Children”s Literature. Now, visitors to the website can search for sustainability-themed children”s literature by subject, grade or theme. These books offer teachers an engaging way to introduce their students to a new topic, issue or unit.

Action Project Funding

LSF also offers action project funding through EcoLeague and Project FLOW. Through these programs, students and teachers design and implement a school/community-based Action Project to address a local sustainability issue.

Schools are eligible for up to $400 of EcoLeague funding, and up to $500 of Project FLOW funding to carry out their Action Projects. Comprehensive Water Action Projects qualify for up to $3000 in funding for projects involving multiple schools. Please find more information on these programs, including information on how to apply for funding at: r4r.ca/en/funding.

If you would like to subscribe to the LSF newsletter please go to www.lsf-lst.ca and enter your email address in the Newsletter sign-up box located on the upper right side of the page. If you have any questions or would like further information please contact angela@lsf-lst.ca.


A Letter to A Teacher

Respect My Child; He Has A Right To Be Himself

Before you take charge of the classroom that contains my child, please ask yourself, why are you going to teach First Nations children? What are your expectations? What rewards do you anticipate? What ego-needs will our children have to meet?

Write down and examine all the information and opinions you possess about natives. What are the stereotypes and untested assumptions that you bring with you into the classroom? How many negative attitudes towards First Nations will you put before my child?

What values, class prejudices and moral principles do you take for granted as universal? Please remember that “different from” is not the same as “worse than” or “better than”, and the yardstick you use to measure your own life satisfactorily may not be appropriate for their lives. The term “culturally deprived” was invented by well-meaning, middle-class whites to describe something they could not understand.

Too may teachers, unfortunately, seem to see their role as rescuer. My child does not need to be rescued; he does not consider being First Nations a misfortune. He has a culture, probably older than yours; he has meaningful values and a rich and varied experiential background. However strange or incomprehensible it may seem to you, you have no right to do or say anything that implies to him that it is less than satisfactory.

Our children’s experiences have been different from those of the “typical” white middle-class child for whom most school curricula seem to have been designed (I suspect that this “typical” child does not exist except in the minds of curriculum writers). Nonetheless, my child’s experiences have been as intense and meaningful to him as any child’s.

Like most native children his age, he is competent. He can dress himself, prepare a meal for himself, clean up afterwards, care for a younger child. He knows his reserve, all of which is his home, like the back of his hand. He is not accustomed to having to ask permission to do the ordinary things that are part of normal living. He is seldom forbidden to do anything; more usually the consequences of an action are explained to him and he is allowed to decide for himself whether or not to act. His entire existence since he has been old enough to see and hear has been an experiential learning situation, arranges to provide him with the opportunity to develop his skills and confidence in his own capacities. Didactic teaching will be an alien experience for him.

He is not self-conscious in the way many white children are. Nobody has ever told him his efforts towards independence are cute. He is a young human being energetically doing his job, which is to get on with the process of learning to function as an adult human being. He will respect you as a person, but he will expect you to do likewise to him.

He has been taught, by precept, that courtesy is an essential part of human conduct and rudeness is any action that makes another person feel stupid or foolish. Do not mistake his patient courtesy for indifference or passivity. He doesn’t speak standard English, but he is no way “linguistically handicapped”. If you will take the time and courtesy to listen and observe carefully, you will see that he and other First Nations children communicate very well, both among themselves and with other natives. They speak “functional” English, very effectively augmented by their fluency in the silent language, the subtle, unspoken communication of facial expressions, gestures, body movement and the use of personal space.

You will be advised to remember that our children are skilled interpreters of the silent language. They will know your feelings and attitudes with unerring precision, no matter how carefully you arrange your smile or modulate your voice. They will learn in your classroom, because children learn involuntarily. What they learn will depend on you.

Will you help my child to learn to read, or will you teach him that he has a reading problem? Will you help him develop problem solving skills; or will you teach him that school is where you try to guess what answer the teacher wants? Will he learn that his sense of his own value and dignity is valid, or will he learn that must forever be apologetic and “trying harder” because he isn’t white? Can you help him acquire the intellectual skills he needs without at the same time imposing your values on top of those he already has?

Respect my child. He is a person. He has a right to be himself.

Yours very sincerely,

His Mother

This letter appeared as an article in the Northlan Newsletter. It was submitted by Surrey school trustee Jock Smith who is an educational counsellor for the Department of Indian Affairs. It is a moving document and was supplied by the mother of a First Nations child in the form of an open letter to her son’s teacher. July ‘86


O Ambassadors

O Ambassadors™ is an exciting new joint project of Oprah’s Angel Network and Free The Children that will inspire young people to become active, compassionate and knowledgeable global citizens.

The program connects young people in North America with people around the world to create lasting change by working toward the UN Millennium Development Goals. Participants address problems such as hunger, poverty and limited access to education.

Visit the O Ambassadors website here.


Guidance Oriented Approach to Learning (GOAL)

A Rubric for Elementary, Junior High and High Schools. Here is an excerpt from the document:

GOAL complements the delivery of the QEP through a constructivist approach to learning in that it focuses on knowledge which is highly contextualized and relevant to students (Glynn 2000; Glynn & Duit, 1995). It unites disciplines rather than compartmentalizes them and it also encourages the development of higher order thinking skills by offering students more incentive to engage in and govern their own learning.

You can download the entire document here, in PDF form.

Guidance Oriented Approach to Learning (GOAL)

GOAL - The Guidance Oriented Approach to Learning

Description:

"The Guidance-Oriented Approach to Learning holds that educational success is enhanced as students are exposed to career and life planning and are able to integrate this into their classroom learning. GOAL is all about personal growth. Through curricular and extra-curricular activities, young people develop their identity, make choices, and apply cross-curricular competencies in real life situations that give them their vision of the world of work. To do this, they need support from parents, teachers, and the community." (Source: The GOAL Post. Fall 2006. Vol. 3, No.1.) To learn more, visit the website.

POP Are you ready?

Description:

POP is the Personal Orientation Project - a new Secondary III compulsory course in the Applied General Education path. By 2008 - 009 POP will be available as an optional Secondary IV course in both the applied and general paths. Check out the list of Support Materials for Launching POP posted on the POP website. You can also view virtual tool-kits at the site.

CAREER ORIENTATION

Here is a link that guidance counsellor's may find useful. The site has links to career planning, and education and training and more. You'll find helpful tools and tons of information on a variety of careers.


Arts and Culture in Québec Schools

A website from the Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport. Includes sections on Arts Education and Evaluating the impact of Artistic and Cultural Education.

http://www.mels.gouv.qc.ca/sections/artetculture2/index_en.asp