CULTURES OF BELONGING that embrace Indigenous ways of knowing are fostered by whole school approaches that invite teaching and learning, which include Indigenous ways of knowing, doing and relating.
Approaches that foster a sense of belonging for all students can build on the Indigenous notion that everything in the universe is part of a single whole; everything is connected in some way.
This notion can shape and guide the creation of a classroom community where students, parents, and other community members see themselves reflected and a vital part of the relational space.
These experiential learning activities support the learning experiences of all students through resources that accurately reflect and demonstrate the strength and diversity of First Nation, Métis and Inuit. These learning activities also reflect implementation of the First Nation, Métis and Inuit competency from the three draft professional practice standard documents for Alberta teachers, school leaders and system authority leaders.
More Resources for Experiential Learning
The Brain Architecture Game is a tabletop simulation experience that explains the role of early life experiences on brain development. Designed to demonstrate how early life experiences, genetics and environment all interact to influence brain development, this game highlights the important role of creating cultures of belonging in schools to support all learners.
Four Directions Teachings celebrates Indigenous oral traditions by honouring the process of listening with intent as elders and traditional teachers from First Nations share teachings from their perspective on the richness and value of cultural traditions from their nation. The Cree elder, for example, talks about the medicine wheel and tipi teachings.
In addition to the audio narration and accompanying transcript, the site provides free curriculum packages for Grades 1 to 12 to further explore the vast richness of knowledge and cultural philosophy that is introduced within each teaching.
Identity, Wellness, Spirit and Holistic Learning
“Indigenous people are healthier when their lives include traditional activities and values.” Dr. Cheryl Currie
Looking at wellness in schools as holistic or interconnected allows students and staff to realize their fullest potential physically, psychologically, socially and spiritually. First Nations, Métis and Inuit people highly value traditional knowledge that revolves around an integrative holistic model that seeks to balance the mind, body heart and spirit with community and environment. This traditional knowledge and understanding of holistic wellness benefits all staff and students universally.
The following resources are to help guide educators and students in becoming aware of the connection between mind, body, heart and spirit and how these elements work together to achieve an important balance in how they think, feel, act and live their lives.
Supporting and Enhancing First Nations, Métis and Inuit Student Success
The playlists that follow are a compilation of resources focused on themes identified in the Collaborative Framework as key areas of focus to support First Nations, Métis and Inuit student success.
- Working Collaboratively with First Nations, Métis and Inuit Parents, Families and Community
- Engaging First Nations, Métis and Inuit Students using Culturally Relevant and Responsive Education
- Practices and Strategies
- Supporting Successful Transitions for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Students
The First Nations, Métis and Inuit Cultural Awareness for School Leaders playlist can be found in Supporting Staff Development.
Working Collaboratively with First Nations, Métis and Inuit Parents, Families and Community
Supporting Successful Transitions for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Students
This learning playlist is for school-based administrators to use with their staff to develop and enhance First Nations, Métis and Inuit cultural awareness. Specifically, it provides information, strategies and resources to promote successful transitions in support of improving First Nations, Métis and Inuit student success.
Engaging First Nations, Métis and Inuit Students using Culturally Relevant and Responsive Education Practices and Strategies
This learning playlist is for school administrators to use with their staff to develop and enhance cultural awareness to support First Nations, Métis and Inuit student success. Specifically, it provides insight into culturally relevant and responsive pedagogy and instructional strategies that have shown promise in improving student success.
Eliminating the Achievement Gap
This webpage identifies and explores successful outcome-based practices that various districts have applied in support of First Nations, Métis and Inuit student learning, including learning guides and videos that illustrate their experiences. The page also includes a presentation, designed to tell a story about First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education in Alberta including where we are at, promising practices from around the province and resources and tools available to all.
Start to bring mindfulness, meditation and calm into your student’s life.
The term meditation refers to a broad variety of practices that includes techniques designed to promote relaxation, build internal energy or life force and develop compassion, love, patience, generosity, and forgiveness. Wikipedia
Eagle Feather Meditation
This meditation is a prayer meditation that uses the First Nations symbol of an Eagle Feather to promote healing and relaxation. This meditation assists with focusing on body awareness and allowing breathe to be used to help with relaxation.
The accompanying traditional music is provided by Adrian Lachance, a Cree First Nations who drums and sings to further promote healing and relaxation.
Sacred 4 Meditation
We will be using the number four which is a sacred number for First Nations People. It is the number of four directions, four seasons as well as mental, spiritual, physical and emotional self. This meditation uses body awareness as well as breathing to assist in releasing tension and stress and allowing a state of relaxation.
First Nations drumming is the background music. The drum is the heartbeat of of our people and is a sound that reminds us of our connection to Creator, Mother Earth and each other.
Native Counselling Services of Alberta’s mission is to promote the resilience of the Aboriginal individual and family, through programs and services that are grounded in reclaiming our interconnectedness, reconciliation of relationships and self-determination.
More Resources to Support Wellness, Spirit, Identity and Holistic Learning
This workshop facilitator guide provides content and process for working with parents and family members to support student success within a school and/or district setting.
This video, developed as part of the First Nations, Metis and Inuit Provincial Professional Learning Project with the Northwest Regional Learning Consortium (NRLC) and the Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortia (ARPDC), features the Aboriginal Resource Centre in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. The ARC provides the FNMI student populaton a common place to share their cultural traditions, values and teaching on a regular basis. This community program and centre has developed a rich program and attitude that profiles how a community and students support student success.