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Integrating Indigenous Teaching into the Classroom

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  1. Integrating Indigenous Teaching into the Classroom

  2. An Ojiibwe legend identifies the giant as Nanabijou, who was turned to stone when the secret location of a rich silver mine now known as Silver Islet was disclosed to white Men, Late 19th century. The Sleep Giant at Isle of Royale in Lake Superior, just outside Thunder Bay

  3. Integrating Indigenous Teaching into the Classroom These Four interconnected aspects represent self-esteem Ojibway Good Life Teachings Self-esteem Intellectual Spiritual Emotional-Mental Physical

  4. Attention to Aboriginal self-esteem • the connection between the physical, emotional-mental, intellectual and spiritual realms – is paramount. • Aboriginal learners and their success are dependent upon educators and schools respecting this view. • It requires changes in how we teach our Aboriginal learners. • It means that the pedagogy in classrooms must be inclusive of Aboriginal culture, language and world- view. • Our Aboriginal students are counting on us today! •

  5. Self-esteem Creating Learning Environments that Honour/Respect Indigenous Culture, Language, Traditions, Contributions and Inventions As educators we can build upon Indigenous students self identity and community well being through inclusive teaching strategies and cultural content using the Seven Sacred Teachings Sun Dance, Sacred and Traditional Ceremonies Sweat Lodge, Fasting and Vision Quest Seven Grandfather Teachings Medicine Wheel Honour Indigenous Learning Styles

  6. Understanding who and what Indigenous students come from, creating a learning environment that is inclusive of the Seven Grandfather Teachings supporting Self Esteem. • Self Educate, read books written by Indigenous and Western writers • Contact Board Facilitator to come and do an Introduction workshop on Learning Indigenous culture, ask for lessons, resources • Talk to your Indigenous students so they see you as a life long learner • Talk to their parents, invite them into the classroom • Connect with parents to have an elder or other member of the clan to come in and talk about their spiritual journey • Search on line for ideas, resources, lessons to support the building blocks of your learning • Connect with teacher, Indigenous staff representative for resources, lessons or speakers • Take an AQ course, Teaching First Nations, Metis and Inuit Children

  7. Story Telling : Read Aloud Book by David Bouchard Seven Sacred Teachings Long ago, I heard my children cry. Four days later, I took on the shape of a white Buffalo calf. four days after that, I went to them. And over the next four days, I taught them sacred songs and Dances And I taught them the seven sacred ceremonies. I taught them the sun Dance. I taught them to fast. I taught them the sacred and traditional ceremonies necessary for youth coming of age. I gifted them with the peace pipe and taught them how to use it. I taught them the ways of the medicine wheel. I taught them to seek their paths to the good red road by reaching out to me through the vision Quest. And I taught them how to build and use the sweat lodge.

  8. Long ago, i heard my children cry. four days later, i took on the shape of a white Buffalo calf. four days after that, i went to them. and over the next four days, i taught them sacred songs and Dances and i taught them the seven sacred ceremonies. i taught them the sun Dance. i taught them to fast. i taught them the sacred and traditional ceremonies necessary for youth coming of age. i gifted them with the peace pipe and taught them how to use it. i taught them the ways of the medicine wheel. i taught them to seek their paths to the good red road by reaching out to me through the vision Quest. and i taught them how to build and use the sweat lodge. Truth

  9. I told them that they were responsible for watching over the land, their four- legged brothers and all their relations Today, I return as White Buffalo Calf Woman. Today, I return with Seven Sacred Teachings. Open your minds and your heartsto grandfather universe, father Sun, grandmother moon, mother earth and to all of the flyers, swimmers, walkers, crawlers, burrowers and standing ones. Accept the Teachings of grandfather rock, the elements, the colours and my Seven Sacred dimensions. Be open to all your relations, so that through them you can walk your journey through life along The good red road. When you follow these Seven Sacred Teachings, you might then live in peace and harmony with all your relations. The four directions of the medicine Wheel represent the four colours of two-leggeds: yellow (east), red (South), Black (West) and White (north). There are three other directions; up, down and Within. Look to the Seven directions and seek out which of your wild cousins best represents each Teaching. By studying nature, you can best understand yourself and these Teachings. and study shapes, colours and songs too. open your heart as well as your eyes. My Teachings are waiting to be discovered. discover them, then teach them to your children. Share them with all those you love, and share them with your enemies too. you are all my children. It was told that next time there is chaos and disparity, She would return again. She said She would return as a White Buffalo Calf. Some believe She already has. Words of Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19Th generation keeper of The Sacred White Buffalo Calf pipe of The Lakota Nation

  10. Sweat Lodge and Fasting

  11. Edward Curtis Sun Dance Opening

  12. Seven Grandfather Teachings of the Medicine Wheel Respect Love Bravery Wisdom Humility Honesty Truth

  13. Respect • Having high expectations for the Aboriginal student and honouring their culture, language and world view in our schools • What does this mean in the classroom? • Aboriginal cultures are celebrated throughout the school program. • The library has a broad range of Aboriginal books and resources. • Teachers are encouraged to incorporate the diversity of Aboriginal peoples throughout the curriculum and acknowledge the uniqueness of Aboriginal cultures. • The Aboriginal territory, on which the school is located, is acknowledged at the door (a welcoming in an Aboriginal language). • This how Indigenous students feel a part of their school and community

  14. Love • Demonstrating our belief (as educators) that all Aboriginal students can and will succeed through our own commitment to their learning- teaching styles • This principle requires a commitment to supporting Aboriginal students’ learning styles. • Hilbergand Tharp6 have identified that Aboriginal students lean towards: holistic education (learning from whole to part) use of a variety of visual organizers and hands-on manipulatives • reflective mode of learning (time to complete tasks and answer questions) • preference for collaborative tasks (group and pair work) • For Aboriginal students, these preferences for learning need to be incorporated in their day-to-day activities.6 This is how Aboriginal student success can be achieved.

  15. Bravery • Providing opportunities to high- light and celebrate their Nations. The Shki-Mawtch-Taw-Win-En-Mook (Path to New Beginnings) Curriculum Project in northern Ontario is an example of this value in action. This curriculum consists of a series of First Nation units (with resources) that meet the Ministry of Education expectations – a beautiful collection of lessons and activities (Kindergarten to Grade 12) that honours the contributions of Indigenous students. • www.thenewpath.caor • The units all begin with Aboriginal expectations and are guided by local Elders. • The implications for classroom practice include the following: • draw on key Aboriginal curriculum resources and utilize them in the school • create partnerships and establish relationships with Aboriginal communities • highlight Aboriginal peoples by ensuring that their innovations are included • bring in various Aboriginal resource people to share their knowledge • These approaches are bravery (in Ojibwe terms) in action.

  16. Wisdom • The teaching of wisdom reminds us that we are lifelong learners. It also reminds us of the value of sharing and engaging in dialogue with “what we know.” This principle reflects that spirit of wisdom and the need for disseminating “what works” for Aboriginal students. This can be achieved through ongoing research and various professional development opportunities. For example, Swanson4 provides many key strategies that support Aboriginal student success. In particular, her research in a northern • Aboriginal community suggests the following four applications for the classroom: • celebrate individual achievements and cultural backgrounds • engage the student at a physical, emotional-mental, intellectual andspiritual level • use a variety of teaching methods with a particular emphasis on holism,visualorganizers, kinesthetic opportunities and reflection • create an environment where humour and “group talk” are accepted

  17. Humility • The Ojibwe teaching of humility reminds us to reach out to others for assistance. This is a key tenet in our goal of ensuring that the Aboriginal learner has success. • As educators, we need to go beyond ourselves and ask the “Aboriginal experts” key questions. It is crucial that we also go to Aboriginal organizations and communities for direction. • work with Aboriginal organizations to collect or purchase curriculum resources • conduct an inventory of Aboriginal curriculum resources • organize these curriculum resources into grade-specific categories • disseminate this information to all school boards in various formats • The key is always to include Aboriginal peoples in any processes regarding Aboriginal children so that their education supports and builds capacity for their Nations.8

  18. Honesty • Honesty (in Ojibwe terms) means to “be and get real.” • It means to proceed in a manner where responsibility and accountability go hand in hand. • Appreciating the Learning Styles of Aboriginal Students

  19. Truth • Truth (in Ojibwe terms) means examining the reality and lived experiences of a situation. It is the process of coming to terms with “how things really are” and developing a plan for change. • The success of the Aboriginal learner needs to be measured, and this requires clear outcomes. • The success of the Aboriginal learner is clearly an indicator of how committed educators and their respective systems are to equity. • We need to ask Aboriginal students and theircommunities,"How arewe performing?” • We need to keep a close eye on the educational directions (graduation, retention, career paths) of Aboriginal students to measure school success.

  20. Understanding the interconnectedness of Indigenous culture through the Medicine Wheel The wheel/centre represents honouring Indigenous Learning Styles Holistic, whole picture to parts Visual hands on and organizers activities Collaborative and small group learning, paired activities Reflective time for task and asking questions

  21. Strategies for Indigenous students Success Wisdom Is Sharing Celebrate Students: achievements, culture, learning styles Class Environment: holistic, group talk, humour Teacher Research: critical ethnography, publish, professional development The success of these strategies depends upon an inclusive classroom