Recommendation 1: Cultural Affirmation and School Climate
- School reflects the learners’ lives and the community.
- Schools promote holistic well-being by affirming cultures, traditions, languages, spirituality, and worldview of all students by:
- Nurturing holistic development of Self-Identity
- Providing a safe and caring learning environment
- Strengthening relationships
- Promoting Social Justice and Equity
Curricula across Canada require teachers to include Indigenous perspectives in some of their lessons. The richness and diversity of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples present challenges and opportunities for teachers in meeting this requirement. First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples constitute Canada’s Indigenous peoples and there are currently over 600 recognized First Nations governments or bands in Canada. Canada’s First Nations represent at least ten language families, the Inuit languages form a separate language family, and the Métis have a unique mixed language. Indigenous peoples have many different cultural practices, traditions and beliefs2
Honouring A Holistic World View3
How will a holistic understanding of our students support us in meeting their learning needs?
- How can I engage this learner in learning Western math?
- How do they learn best?
- What are their strengths and learning needs?
- How can I strengthen their relationship with math and with forming a math identity?
- Can I provide opportunities for them to experience success through strengthening their resilience?
- Do they see themselves within a math world? Can I help them connect to math?
- How can I teach them that mathematics is a way of knowing the world and a human endeavour?
- How can I support them in collaborative learning opportunities?
- When is this learner the happiest? How can I work with the learner to create the conditions for happiness in the classroom?
- Does this learner have a growth mindset? How can I help them develop a growth mindset?
- Does this learner believe they can be successful in math? Can I help them experience success?
- How can I help the learner with being ready to learn?
- Is the learner able to self regulate in this environment? How can I adapt our learning space to meet the needs of this learner?
- How does the environment reflect the learner’s self-identity and suit their recurrent learning strengths?
- Does this learner believe they can contribute to make our school and community a better place? What opportunities can I facilitate?
1The White Birch Tree (Betula papyrifera) was adopted as the official tree of Saskatchewan in 1988.The Cycle of Lifelong Learning encircles the tree to show that learning begins at birth and continues into old age. First Nations and Métis content, perspectives and ways of knowing are displayed as a second circle to show that they encompass all aspects of the learning program. Children are at the centre of both the tree and the wheel as a focus for education.
2University of Regina. (2020). Aboriginal Perspectives. Retrieved 5 July 2020, from http://aboriginalperspectives.uregina.ca/introduction.shtml
3Aikenhead, 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 with Amazon.ca. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.ca/Enhancing-School-Science-Indigenous-Knowledge/dp/149957343X.