Recommendation 2: Shared Decision Making

  • First Nations and Métis people are involved in meaningful ways, including decision-making processes.
  • First Nations and Métis parents/community, Elders, governments and schools work together in a shared decision-making process through:
  • Authentic engagement and representation; and
  • Collaborative planning and shared responsibility;
  • Fostering community and Youth leadership; and
  • Building partnerships.

“The pedagogical challenge of Canadian education is not just reducing the distance between Eurocentric thinking and Aboriginal ways of knowing, but engaging decolonized minds and hearts.” -Battiste, M. (2002)

Engaging First Nations and Métis parents/community, Elders, and Governments:

One common hesitation when beginning to work with and engage with Indigenous Peoples and communities is inadvertently causing offence. While every situation is unique to each community, there are some general guidelines to bear in mind.

Teacher General Considerations for Mindfulness Teachers1

  • Establish a relationship between the Indigenous community(ies) and the school so that they learn from each other;
  • Engage the learners at a physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual level by using a variety of teaching methods;
  • Create an environment that is safe for Indigenous learners to feel comfortable and proud to learn and share information about their culture and history;
  • Create an environment where humour and ‘group talk’ is encouraged, respected and accepted; and
  • Understand that sometimes family or community issues will take precedence over attending school.

C.V. Harquail (2009), principal researcher at Authentic Organizations, suggests the following seven principles are necessary for authentic engagement:2

  • Careful planning;
  • Inclusion and demographic diversity;
  • Collaboration and shared purpose;
  • Openness and learning;
  • Transparency and trust;
  • Impact and action; and
  • Sustained engagement and participatory culture.

For more on Indigenous Protocols, see resources from Indigenous Corporate Training, Inc.3

1Joseph, R. (2015). 15 Strategies for Teachers of Aboriginal Students. Retrieved 5 July 2020, from

2Gabriel Dumont Institute. Strengthening Our Voice: A Guide for Engaging First Nations and Métis Peoples in Public Schools. Retrieved 5 July 2020, from  Can be downloaded directly from:étis-Peoples-in-Public-Schools.pdf


3Joseph, R. (n.d.). eBooks. Retrieved 5 July 2020, from Can be downloaded directly from: