First Nations and Metis Education
Incorporating First Nations and Métis content and perspectives and traditional pedagogy in the provincial education system will have a significant impact on student’s academic achievements, especially when families, educators and local residents see themselves as part of the decision making process. When school environments are inviting and respectful of local traditional and contemporary values, and students feel they belong, they will gain confidence to perform at a higher level within the education system. NLSD # 113 is providing culturally affirming perspectives in most of the core subject areas. The following activities promote an inclusive school environment for all students:
According to research, there is strong support that carefully organized and executed Aboriginal Languages and Cultural Programs are associated with improved academic performances, decreased dropout rate, improved school attendance rates and improved personal behaviour. Furthermore, an Aboriginal language program once identified as an integral component of the school and community, it has the potential for parents, families and local people to participate in delivery of the program. (See Aboriginal Languages Curriculum file)
Anti Racist Education
Anti-racist Education equips students , parents, and teachers with the tools needed to address racism and ethnic discrimination, while supporting ways to build a society that includes all people on an equitable footing. Society needs to recognize that what is often thought of as universal is frequently exclusionary to groups in society who are not the majority. (Inspiring Success, 2009)
A community school is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. Its integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities. Schools become centers of the community and are open to everyone – all day, every day, evenings and weekends. Using public schools as hubs, community schools bring together many partners to offer a range of supports and opportunities for children, youth, families and communities.
The Elders have a very significant role in the lives and future of First Nation and Métis children in both formal and informal educational contexts. The Elders are important in First Nations and Metis cultures because of their language, wisdom and knowledge. Our schools in Northern Lights School Division # 113 have been involved in Elders programming and the development of an Elders Handbook (see file). Each school has a program based on the needs and local context of their community.
NLSD # 113 catalyst team has been involved in developing unit/lesson plans and providing relevant teaching resources for K – Grade 12 teachers in accordance with the First Nations & Metis traditional and contemporary ways of knowing. Through cooperative efforts, we have managed to circulate resources that reflect Aboriginal content. Our goal is to support classroom teachers in delivering and engaging students in culturally relevant teaching.
Help Me Tell My Story
The Help Me Tell My Story assessment uses a new, holistic approach to assessment that measures oral language development for prekindergarten and kindergarten children. In order to provide a holistic view of each child’s learning, the assessment collects data from the children, their caregivers, their teachers and Elders in their community. The overall purpose of this assessment is to help create real and measurable change in the oral language development of children.
Northern Lifestyles 10, 20, 30
The aim of this locally developed curriculum for Grades 10, 11 and 12 is to develop skills specific to living in Northern Saskatchewan and the environment. Students will focus on preserving, maintaining and enhancing a unique way of life which is still practiced by people in Northern Saskatchewan. Students who study Northern Lifestyles 10, 20, and 30 (See file and sample units below) will develop a better understanding and gain an appreciation of Northern Saskatchewan lifestyle activities.
NLSD # 113 has taken the initiative to provide the necessary requirements for K to 12 teachers to include as part of their daily instructions the learning of First Nations people and the history as it relates to treaty education. Teacher Resource Guides for K - 12 are designed to assist teachers and for students to learn about the treaty relationship as their first step toward understanding the role of treaties in our history, our society and our future. See Treaty Education Outcomes and Indicators 2013 file below.