First Nations, Métis & Inuit Education Association of Ontario

The Provincial Subject Association for teachers of First Nations, Métis & Inuit Studies and Native Languages

Poverty rates speak to suffering and emotional turmoil in communities: leaders

 

CP – May 17, 2016

“I am not surprised (by the findings),” said Isadore Day, the Ontario regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations. “I’m only surprised it has taken this long.” Day, who is also his advocacy organization’s lead on the health portfolio, said poverty is often a big part of the reason why people flee their communities, only to end up in “gateway” centres such as Thunder Bay, Ont., where things only get worse. “This is all as a result of poverty,” he said. “We’ve watched Thunder Bay and how they’ve struggled.”

http://www.news1130.com/2016/05/17/poverty-rates-speak-to-suffering-and-emotional-turmoil-in-communities-leaders/

‘Teachers kit will help alleviate racism and support areas of treaty education’ – Madahbee

‘Teachers kit will help alleviate racism and support areas of treaty education’ – Madahbee

‘Teachers kit will help alleviate racism and support areas of treaty education’ – Madahbee

Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee, LEGO 'Treaty of Niagara' wampum belt designer Alexander Hebert and the Ontario Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, David Zimmer put the hearts on the belt. Alex explains that like the beaded belt, someone's heart was in the wrong place when the treaty was made. – Photo by Ray St. Louis

Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee, LEGO ‘Treaty of Niagara’ wampum belt designer Alexander Hebert and the Ontario Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, David Zimmer put the hearts on the belt. Alex explains that like the beaded belt, someone’s heart was in the wrong place when the treaty was made. – Photo by Ray St. Louis

NIPISSING FIRST NATION (May 7, 2015) – Ontario Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Zimmer and Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee officially launched the “We are all Treaty People” Teachers guide and kit today.  The teachers resource is full of fun and engaging activities that will help students learn about the treaty relationship in Ontario.

Treaties are fundamental to the relationship between First Nation communities and their neighbours and to all Ontarians’ future prosperity.

The guide for Grades 1-8, written by teacher Kelly Crawford from M’Chigeeng First Nation, makes the connections to the Ontario curriculum in the areas of Math, Language, Social Studies and the Arts – based on the book “We are all Treaty People”.

“The teachers resource is a scratch in the surface towards learning about the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples,” says Crawford. “Once the book ‘We Are All Treaty People’  was released teacher feedback included the request to learn more about how to use the book in the classroom at different grade levels. The kit itself includes videos (read aloud style) that facilitate the process. The resource guide includes lessons for grades 1 to 8. Students needs are met by activities that are mindful of all components of self.”

Crawford, who is a faculty member/instructor/team lead with Kenjgwein Teg Educational Institute/Canadore on Manitoulin Island, says that teachers are already swamped.

“Teachers have many curriculum expectations to get through within the school year. The guide includes lessons and activities that engage the students in fun interactive learning while providing cross-curricular connections to support teachers tackle the extensive amount of expectations.”

“The reality is some teachers are learning the material right along with their students. They want to deliver the material in the most respectful way and we have a responsibility to support them in this process.”

Grand Council Chief Madahbee says that this is a big step forward for everyone to understand the relationship.

“The lack of understanding about the treaty relationship in Ontario has been a hindrance to the learning spirit of First Nations people and to all of the people in Ontario,” says Madahbee.  ” The ‘We are all Treaty People’ Teachers Kit will help alleviate racism and support teachers in the area of treaty education.”

Minister Zimmer agrees.

“I’m thrilled that we can partner with the Anishinabek Nation to help increase public awareness on treaties and our shared history,” says Minister Zimmer.  “Treaties are fundamental to the relationship between First Nation communities and their neighbours and to all Ontarians’ future prosperity. We are all treaty people.”

The kit includes resources that help with the activities in the guide – including an 800-piece Treaty of Niagara LEGO wampum belt designed by nine year-old Alexander Hebert from Dokis First Nation who attends White Woods Public School in Sturgeon Falls.

The First Nations, Métis & Inuit Education Association of Ontario has endorsed the “We are all Treaty People” teachers resource.  The FNMIEAO is the Provincial Subject Association for teachers of First Nations, Métis & Inuit Studies and Native Languages, recognized by the Ministry of Education in Ontario.

The 2007 Report of the Ipperwash Inquiry recommended the government work with First Nations organizations and educators to:

  • promote awareness of treaties and the treaty relationship, and
  • develop appropriate, classroom-ready teaching tools and resources about First Nations history, treaty and Aboriginal rights, and related current events.

The “We are all Treaty People” kit can be ordered through the Union of Ontario Indians http://www.anishinabek.ca or by calling 1-877-702-5200

Teacher training on indigenous issues should be mandatory, group says

https://www.thestar.com/yourtoronto/education/2016/05/02/teacher-training-on-indigenous-issues-should-be-mandatory-advocacy-group-says.html

Teacher training on indigenous issues should be mandatory, group says | Toronto Star

Ontario should require student teachers to learn about indigenous peoples, so they’re equipped to give a new generation of students the understanding to foster reconciliation, says a report to be released Monday by advocacy group People for Education.

If teacher training about First Nations remains hit-and-miss, schools will struggle to bring about the deep awareness called for by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), warned People for Education executive director Annie Kidder.

“Many teachers say they don’t need to know about indigenous issues because they won’t be teaching in areas where there are many First Nations students, but the TRC has called for a change to everyone’s education — that’s how we’ll get true reconciliation,” said Kidder.

Under Ontario’s new two-year teacher education program, which began last fall, faculties of education are urged to make sure prospective teachers recognize they have a responsibility to teach all students — aboriginal or not — about aboriginal people’s histories, cultures and perspectives.

Thunder Bay’s Lakehead University already makes that mandatory for student teachers, and doubled the length of its Aboriginal Education course this year to a full 36-hour semester. Starting in September, all undergraduate programs will feature a minimum of 18 hours of Indigenous content, and faculties and programs will have the freedom to decide how that material will be taught.

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“We’re in the north, with a high aboriginal population, so our commitment to indigenous people and education is one of our mandates,” said Professor Teresa Socha, chair of undergraduate studies in education.

Trent University in Peterborough, Ont., has introduced a mandatory course on “Indigenous and Sustainability Education” as part of the new two-year teacher education program, and now requires undergraduates in the pre-teacher education stream to take a course from Trent’s Indigenous Studies department.

“Many teachers say they feel inadequate to do these topics justice in the classroom — or they’re so afraid they’ll teach it wrong, they freeze and don’t really do anything, which is not what we hope for,” said Nicole Bell, Trent’s Anishnaabe scholar and the faculty of education’s senior indigenous education adviser.

Yet Professor Susan Dion of York University, who also is aboriginal, is against making indigenous studies mandatory for student teachers, “partly because I believe all professors should be integrating it into all courses, and not isolating it in one course that lets the rest of the faculty ‘off the hook.’

“If we want teachers to integrate indigenous education across the curriculum, we should model it for them,” said Dion.

“I’d rather see the province pressure faculties of education to hire more indigenous faculty members who will create courses that students want to take.”

The report also calls for better tracking of aboriginal student achievement across the province, more outreach to community groups to strengthen teachers’ understanding and the appointment of an assistant deputy minister for indigenous education.

While it praises Ontario for its efforts over the past nine years to tackle the achievement gap of some 20 per cent between indigenous students and their non-native peers — praising a rise in aboriginal-focussed courses and professional development for teachers — the report laments that Ontario has failed to meet its goal of erasing that achievement gap by 2016.

Indigenous learning

By the numbers

82%

of Ontario aboriginal students attend provincially run schools

31%

of elementary schools provided PD (professional development) in indigenous issues for staff in 2015, up from 25% in 2014

53%

of high schools provided PD in indigenous issues to staff in 2015, up from 34% in 2014

29%

of elementary schools hosted indigenous guest speakers in 2015, up from 23% in 2014

49%

of high schools hosted indigenous guest speakers in 2015, up from 39% in 2014

13%

of elementary schools consulted with indigenous community members in 2015, up from 12% in 2014

38%

of high schools consulted with indigenous community members in 2015, up from 27% in 2014

By the numbers:

  • 82: Percentage of Ontario aboriginal students who attend provincially run schools.
  • 31: Percentage of elementary schools that provided PD (professional development) in indigenous issues for staff in 2015, up from 25 per cent in 2014.
  • 53: Percentage of high schools that provide PD in indigenous issues for staff in 2015, up from 34 per cent in 2014.
  • 29: Percentage of elementary schools that hosted indigenous guest speakers in 2015, up from 23 per cent in 2014.
  • 49: Percentage of high schools that hosted indigenous guest speakers in 2015, up from 39 per cent in 2014.
  • 13: Percentage of elementary schools that consulted with indigenous community members in 2015, up from 12 per cent in 2014.
  • 38: Percentage of high schools that consulted with indigenous community members in 2015, up from 27 per cent in 2014.

Source: People for Education Annual Report 2015-2016