Our Words, Our Ways

with Debbie Mineault, Alberta Education

This session examines the resource which was created to assist educators in building their understanding, knowledge and skills to “infuse” First Nations, Métis and Inuit culture into instructional programming.
Participants will be introduced to:
• The “how to” for practical skill development in the delivery of teaching ideas based on the FNMI cultures in the resource
• Seven chapters containing shared wisdom from Aboriginal scholars and Elders
• Interactive learning and sample strategies
• Explore the role of Elders
• Circle Sessions
• Understanding protocol
• Cultivate a better understanding of the diversity of students in the classroom
• Create a classroom that benefits all learners
• Build a strong teacher – student relationship to enhance student success
• Learn helpful techniques “how to” classroom strategies

Debbie Mineault has completed her Masters in Elementary Education. Debbie provides support to implementation strategies of the FNMI Education Policy Framework, including advice and support to school jurisdictions, FNMI Education Authorities for the three treaty areas and the Métis settlements in Alberta.

Handouts and Resources

Our Words Our Ways: Teaching FNMI Learners words.pdf
Using Children's Literature to Reveal Worldview Our Words Our Ways Literature Findings.docx
Annotated Bibliography of Cree Resources creelcres.pdf
Promising Practices promising practices case studies two.pdf
Collection of Digitized Aboriginal Resources
First Nations, Metis and Inuit Education Policy Framework framework.pdf
Common Curriculum Framework for Aboriginal Language and Culture Programs K-12 abor.pdf

ABORIGINAL PERSPECTIVES (excerpted from WNCP CCF for K–9 Mathematics, 2006)
Aboriginal students in northern and western Canada come from diverse geographic areas with varied cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Students attend schools in a variety of settings including urban, rural and isolated communities. Teachers need to understand the diversity of cultures and experiences of students.

Aboriginal students often have a whole-world view of the environment in which they live and learn best in a holistic way. This means that students look for connections in learning and learn best when mathematics is contextualized and not taught as discrete components.

Aboriginal students come from cultures where learning takes place through active participation. Traditionally, little emphasis was placed upon the written word. Oral communication along with practical applications and experiences are important to student learning and understanding. It is also vital that teachers understand and respond to non-verbal cues so that student learning and mathematical understanding are optimized.

A variety of teaching and assessment strategies is required to build upon the diverse knowledge, cultures, communication styles, skills, attitudes, experiences and learning styles of students. The strategies used must go beyond the incidental inclusion of topics and objects unique to a culture or region, and strive to achieve higher levels of multicultural education (Banks and Banks, 1993).