This section follows the recommendations and guidelines of the Inspiring Success: First Nations and Métis PreK-12 Education Policy Framework1 document. Each section includes a detailed and comprehensive discussion with important links, resources and considerations for teachers. This important resource supports the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action2. Teachers should feel supported through:
- First Nations and Métis worldviews are valid ways of knowing and understanding the world;
- Accountability in the area of First Nations and Métis education is essential to progress;
- Communication throughout the system is key to the achievement of common goals;
- Quality and authenticity are essential considerations in all First Nations and Métis education policy and program initiatives; and
- All people must have equitable opportunities to succeed, coupled with respect for individual experiences and knowledge
These follow Inspiring Success: First Nations and Métis PreK-12 Education Policy Framework (Ministry of Education, 2018) which asserts that:
- First Nations and Métis Education… is an holistic, lifelong, culturally responsive and affirming learning that allows students to reflect on their relationships with themselves, one another and the natural world.
- First Nations and Métis Education… is a commitment to improving achievement for all learners by providing equitable opportunities for all to succeed and contribute to society in a meaningful manner.
- First Nations and Métis Education… comes from the teachings of Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers who reveal First Nations and Métis worldviews as valid ways of knowing and understanding the world.
- First Nations and Métis Education… incorporates First Nations and Métis ways of knowing as historical and contemporary cultures that are rooted in First Nations and Métis languages, and require the protection, revitalization and retention of languages in order to flourish and thrive.
It is through the authentic implementation of these core principles that we will be able to affirm our pedagogy grounded in evidence-based practices.
The First Nations and Métis Education Branch of the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education makes the following recommendations (for full explanation, click on the titles below):3
- Elder Protocol4
- This protocol contains guidelines and suggestions when engaging with Elders.
- Tobacco Offering5
- The phrase “protocols with tobacco” refers only to the pre-contact meaning of the word tobacco, in spite of the fact that only post-contact manufactured tobacco is available to use. This document provides the background, knowledge and process that you need to be aware of in the ceremonial offering of Tobacco both formally (in offering it to Elders or officials) and informally (in offering it in ceremony to Creator).
- Theresa’s Story6
- Illustrates the benefits from Interacting with Elders and Knowledge Keepers. Based on her initial involvement with a year-long professional development program, Theresa shares some experiences and insights she gained at her high school that has a sizeable Indigenous student population. Throughout the handbook, stories are shared by other teachers who participated as well. Their stories help bring the handbook’s topics to life.
1Ministry of Education, Sk. (n.d.). First Nations and Métis Education | Saskatchewan Education and Learning | Government of Saskatchewan. Retrieved 21 July 2020, from https://www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/education-and-learning/first-nations-and-metis-education#inspiring-success. (document publication date, 2018)
2National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. (2015). Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action. Retrieved 7 December 2020, from http://nctr.ca/assets/reports/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf.
3Ministry of Education, F. (2009). A Time for Significant Leadership: Catalyst Leaders Toolkit. Retrieved 5 July 2020, fromhttps://publications.saskatchewan.ca/api/v1/products/74080/formats/82961/download p. 10-14. Can be downloaded directly from: https://saskmath.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Time-for-Significant-Change.pdf
4Joseph, R. (n.d.) Elder Protocol. Guide Book to Indigenous Protocol. Indigenous Corporate Training. pp. 20-23. https://www.ictinc.ca/guidebook-to-indigenous-protocol Can be downloaded directly from: https://saskmath.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Guide-to-Indigenous-Protocol.pdf”.
5Aikenhead, G., Brokofsky, J., Bodnar, T., Clark, C., Foley, C., …Strange, G. (2014). Enhancing school science with Indigenous knowledge: What we know from teachers and research. Saskatoon, Canada: Saskatoon Public School Division.
6Aikenhead, G., Brokofsky, J., Bodnar, T., Clark, C., Foley, C., …Strange, G. (2014). Enhancing school science with Indigenous knowledge: What we know from teachers and research. Saskatoon, Canada: Saskatoon Public School Division.