Supporting the Application of Foundational Knowledge about First Nations, Métis and Inuit
A leader supports the school community in acquiring and applying foundational knowledge about First Nations, Métis and Inuit for the benefit of all students.
Staff and Student Learning
Our Truth and Reconciliation Commission has issued many calls to action for all of us as Canadians. As teachers and instructional leaders, we have an important role in changing the foundational knowledge of our students. This knowledge will filter out to our community and have a larger societal impact. This privilege carries a heavy responsibility and a hope of a better future.
In 2019-2020, I worked with our Music specialist to bring Music Alive to our school. We were able to secure funding for Walter MacDonald White Bear to come and work with our students. He presented to our whole school; sharing his passion for music. He then worked with grades 4, 5, and 6 for the remainder of the day.
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At Terrace Ridge School, our First Nations, Metis, and Inuit representative brings teaching to each staff meeting and provides staff with resources and support.
In 2017, at IRIC, we invited one staff member to lead us in our learning. She attended regular meetings at our district office as part of the First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Learning Cohort. She has facilitated regular sessions during our staff meetings. These session have helped all of our staff progress in their knowledge. She has also successfully applied for grant money through Family and Community Support Services. These funds have facilitated an author presentation from Corky Larsen-Jonasson, author of The Sharing Circle and community Elder, and the purchase of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit literature for the school library.
Grade 4 Project Based Learning
Our Grade 4 team decided to make the learning about the Aboriginal People of Alberta the focus of their spring Project Based Learning (PBL). They asked the big question, "How can we foster a deeper understanding of Aboriginal Peoples in Alberta, celebrate the cultural traditions, and honor their inherent contributions to Alberta’s identity?" They launched their project by inviting performers form Big Horn Chiniki First Nation to come and share their culture.
At the end of the project, students shared their learning with parents and the community during the school Celebration of Learning. While this PBL was a grade 4 learning focus, the entire school community benefited.
As an instructional leader, it has been powerful to watch staff and students embrace this learning. I am grateful to lead a staff that is willing and eager to expand their own knowledge alongside the students we teach. I am pleased that I was able to support staff and student initiatives and allow them to take the lead as we start our learning journey.