Guiding Voices

A Curriculum Development Tool for Inclusion of First Nation, Métis and Inuit Perspectives Throughout Curriculum


wÂhkÔhtowin: we are all related

Launch video


Guidelines for Inclusion of First Nations, Métis and Inuit



Introduction



What Is Guiding Voices?

Guiding Voices: A Curriculum Development Tool for Inclusion of First Nation, Métis and Inuit Perspectives Throughout Curriculum (Guiding Voices) has been created to guide development and evaluation of provincial and locally developed curriculum.

Guiding Voices helps curriculum developers add accurate and relevant First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives and content into curriculum (programs of study, assessments and learning and teaching resources).

There are some important aspects that should be considered when using Guiding Voices to develop curriculum.

First, curriculum developers are required by Alberta Education to use Guiding Voices. This tool meets required provincial standards for curriculum development, specifically Standard 3, which states: Curriculum includes ways of knowing and diverse perspectives of First Nations, Métis and Inuit living in Alberta in relation to historical and contemporary contexts.

Alberta Education recognizes that the inclusion of First Nation, Métis and Inuit perspectives and experiences is necessary to engage all students as they develop skills and understandings to become engaged thinkers and ethical citizens with an entrepreneurial spirit as presented in Inspiring Education: A Dialogue with Albertans (Alberta Education, 2010).

Second, Guiding Voices provides four guidelines to be considered throughout the entire curriculum development process:

These four guidelines, each with supporting criteria and examples, demonstrate the importance of recognizing and respecting the diversity of peoples and their communities, protocols, perspectives and ways of knowing.

The guidelines are interrelated and are not intended to be a linear checklist used during the development or review process.

Guiding Voices will help curriculum developers incorporate the diversity of First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives and experiences as a natural and seamless part of the curriculum development process, not as a separate step or as a separate section where First Nations, Métis and Inuit content is placed.

This tool is the result of a collaborative process, a journey where First Nations and Métis Elders shared their knowledge. Involvement of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples and experts is critical for creating accurate and authentic first-person understandings, perspectives and experiences in contextually appropriate ways.


How Is Guiding Voices Used?

Guiding Voices ensures that curriculum is developed and evaluates with consideration of including First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives, experiences and content in authentic, accurate and appropriate contexts to support learning for all students.

To attain this vision, including First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives, experiences and content is based on these foundational pillars.

These pillars are the foundation for the four guidelines to be used by curriculum developers.

The key premise of each guideline is the need for a balance of diverse perspectives and respect for holistic learning.

Relationships are dynamic and interconnected. Curriculum includes First Nations, Métis and Inuit understandings of the balance among all things (animate and inanimate) in the world within appropriate contexts.
Language, cultural identity and voice are elements of self-identity. Self-identity includes a sense of belonging and the roles of women, men and children. The curriculum includes the beliefs, traditions, contributions and practices of First Nations, Métis and Inuit with contextually appropriate language, cultural identity and voice.
Experiences and worldviews of Indigenous peoples demonstrate a holistic perspective of the world. The curriculum includes the experiences and worldviews of First Nations, Métis and Inuit in appropriate contexts.
First Nations, Métis and Inuit origins, histories and contributions, both historical and contemporary, contribute to our collective identity, national narrative and personal stories. The curriculum includes accurate and contextually appropriate origins and histories and the historical and contemporary contributions of First Nations, Métis and Inuit.

Each guideline contains statements of supporting criteria to help curriculum developers determine if curriculum—programs of study, assessments and/or learning and teaching resources—reflects respect for First Nations, Métis and Inuit experiences and worldviews.

The four guidelines are explained further through additional information and videos, specifically from the resource Walking Together: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspectives in Curriculum.

 

Why Is Guiding Voices Important?

Current and future curriculum development and evaluation is founded on the concept of an educated Albertan who is an engaged thinker and an ethical citizen with an entrepreneurial spirited as described in Inspiring Education: A Dialogue with Albertans.

Recognizing and respecting First Nations, Métis and Inuit; Aboriginal; and Indigenous perspectives, beliefs, traditions and ways of knowing in the curriculum within appropriate historical and contemporary contexts contributes to the development of engaged thinkers and ethical citizens with an entrepreneurial spirit from a First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspective.

Our concept of education should expand beyond the school and make the community a true partner. The community can be a source of leadership, teaching, and support through the participation of experts, mentors, and elders.

[For students] to achieve their full potential as expressed in the vision children must be the centre of all decisions related to learning and the overall education system. Children and youth of all ages should be supported as individuals—emotionally, intellectually, physically, socially and spiritually.

Inspiring Education, Alberta Education, 2010a, p. 6

Curriculum must be for all students, while considering that there are diverse worldviews.


The first thing we need to teach is respect. Respect for one another. To take away the biases that we are taught as children that form our opinions as we grow older that we get so set in. We need to have that respect for all people; then we will come to the understanding of where they are coming from. . . .  If you haven’t got the right information . . . then you will influence that and we will never get rid of racism (and) discrimination as we know it today. You need to open up your heart, and you need to open up your mind.

Métis Elder Marge Friedel (1936–2011),
Walking Together: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspectives in Curriculum, 2012


The inclusion of First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives, experiences and content is also supported by the Ministerial Order on Student Learning and the Government of Alberta’s 2014 statement on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Provincial Kindergarten to Grade 12 curriculum will include enhanced mandatory content for all Alberta students on the significance of residential schools and treaties.

Premier Hancock and Minister Oberle statement on the
Truth and Reconciliation Commission
(March 27, 2014)


Further support for incorporating First Nations, Métis and Inuit content into curriculum includes the following:


The concept of an educated Albertan who is an engaged thinker and an ethical citizen with an entrepreneurial spirited is embodied in various First Nations, Métis and Inuit concepts that describe an educated, respectful and knowledgeable person as one who

It is with this open-mindedness and open-heartedness to learn about the greater needs in the community that engaged thinkers and ethical citizens lead, create, innovate and continue to be stewards for Mother Earth and all their relations as their entrepreneurial spirit continues to grow.

An engaged thinker and ethical citizen ensures the needs of all are met by helping others in a manner that preserves identity and contributes to transform society for all the generations to come.


Who Is an Engaged Thinker?

Engaged thinkers use both verbal and non-verbal acts of communication and listen, watch, sense and reflect on relationships. These relationships include the physical and spiritual; the natural and human forms; and the links between places, persons and time.

Engaged thinkers identify, acknowledge and devise uses for the gifts of the Creator in a respectful manner for the benefit of all.


Who Is An Ethical Citizen?

Ethical citizens use their whole being to learn and to communicate in order to examine and understand all relationships and puts the group’s needs ahead of individual wants and desires.

Ethical citizens place emphasis on the right questions and not the right answers. The knowledge, experiences, beliefs, values, protocols and worldviews of others are welcomed and appreciated as ethical citizens come to know more about themselves and one’s place in the world.

The traditional teachings and values that the Creator’s gifts are for all and that all things must be respected and shared in an equitable manner are acknowledged and valued by ethical citizens.


Who Is One With an Entrepreneurial Spirit?

Students with an entrepreneurial spirit ensure that present and future generations continue to enjoy a good life based on being compassionate and supportive of family and community.


What Are Other Important Considerations?

Context and use of language are key elements to consider.


Curriculum may contain a range of pedagogical approaches.


Why Is the Resource Named Guiding Voices?

The title Guiding Voices reflects the view that laws of relationships are important to Aboriginal culture.

Relationships with the natural world, with one another and with oneself are Aboriginal perspectives that govern behaviour.

The title also reflects the relationship that Elders have as knowledge keepers in the oral tradition of Aboriginal cultures.

The Elders’ guiding wisdom and voices provide direction and validation to those who seek their experience and teachings.

Listening requires active participation. One who listens demonstrates humility and shows respect for the message that the Elders bring.

The Elders, in turn, recognize their need for an audience. The Elders have a responsibility to be true to the message they give, and they also recognize they hold authority that can influence others.

As the title suggests, there is a connectedness between the speaker and the listener. The acts of speaking and listening involve mutual thinking.

Learning is not just a transfer of information between the speaker and the listener. For First Nations, Métis and Inuit, sharing information involves emotions and is a mutual relationship of personal interactions. Ideally, the sharing of information becomes a spiritual experience. 

Guiding Voices invites us to understand past and present issues and to take an active role in the healing process.

Guiding Voices reminds us that we all walk in the footsteps of our ancestors. As we move forward in this world that is our life, we gain understanding and we embrace the principles of fairness and equity in all our relationships.

The transfer of traditional knowledge from the old to the young, evident in Guiding Voices, renews the sacred circle of life.

Although the title speaks to all of society, its approach to curriculum is particularly oriented to today’s youth, who are ultimately entrusted to model respect for people and for the gifts of the Creator.

The spirit of the title Guiding Voices evokes the sacred responsibility held by Indigenous people and the call to all peoples to be caretakers of Mother Earth, ensuring that each generation is responsible for the seventh generation’s well-being.

The principles of collective ownership, sharing knowledge and mutual respect are needed in today’s world. By listening to the voices of Indigenous peoples, all people can learn how to restore balance between the different elements of life and to practise being stewards to all.

Guiding Voices is in the plural form in order to reflect the diversity of experiences, understandings and perspectives available to those who listen. These Guiding Voices can be human voices, oral, musical or visual, but they can also be the myriad of voices that Indigenous peoples and those who listen have always heard in nature—the voices of animals, of flowing water, of the wind and of thunder.

In this respect, diversity is also implied when one considers that voices vary in volume. Some voices can be soft, and the listener must make an effort to hear the message. But the voices always guide and instruct.

These voices teach the listener about values and lead the listener to truth, to knowledge of his or her identity, and of the listener’s place in the world.

Why Is a Drum Used as a Symbol for Guiding Voices?

The image of the drum is used as a visual metaphor of unity within diversity and of many voices across time and space sharing a single message, a holistic message of collaboration, respect and growth for all.

The drumbeat is often referred to as the heartbeat of all creation and the Creator. The drums used by many First Nations people at ceremonies and dances all speak with a similar voice—a heartbeat. 

The drumbeat is a reawakening of self and community, a call to the beginning of ceremony and new beginnings and an auditory acknowledgement of protocol and sacredness.

The drumbeat reawakens a connection between past, present and future; between Knowledge Keeper and knowledge seeker; between speaker and listener; and with one’s emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual being.










Guidelines for Weaving First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspectives Throughout Curriculum



Relationships



Relationships are dynamic and interconnected. Curriculum includes First Nations, Métis and Inuit understandings of the balance among all things (animate and inanimate) in the world within appropriate contexts.

Relationships are described in this manner:

(Aboriginal perspective) reflects the view that survival is dependent upon respectful and spiritual relationships with oneself, other people and the natural world. . . . Aboriginal perspective is reflected . . .  through the three “laws of relationships”—Laws of Sacred Life (including respect for oneself), Laws of Nature and Laws of Mutual Support.

The Common Curriculum Framework for
Aboriginal Language and Culture Programs:
Kindergarten to Grade 12
, 2000, p.19

All things and all people, though we have our own individual gifts and special place, are dependent on and share in the growth and work of everything and everyone else. We believe that beings thrive when there is a web of interconnectedness between the individual and the community and between the community and nature.

Everything we do, every decision we make, affects our family, our community, it affects the air we breathe, the animals, the plants, the water in some way. Each of us is totally dependent on everything else.

Evelyn Steinhauer, Our Words, Our Ways, Alberta Education, 2005a, p. 16

Our Words, Our Ways Professional Development Session was a gathering of Elders and educators at which various teachings were shared. Some of these teachings were recorded for use in Walking Together. Wilton Goodstriker shares his thoughts in “All Things Are Connected.” Note: The following link will take you to a video clip titled Our Ways, Our Words. Using the button next to the full-screen button, you can select chapters. Find Wilton Goodstriker’s comments in “Chapter 2: All Things Are Connected.”



Concept: Interconnectedness of all Living Things

Criteria for consideration:

For more information, see the interview with Wilton Goodstriker in the Kinship section of Walking Together: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspectives in Curriculum.

For more information regarding children and Indigenous pedagogy, see the Wilton Goodstriker interview in the Indigenous Pedagogy section of Walking Together: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspectives in Curriculum.

For information regarding inclusive education and strategies addressing the needs of all students as they explore their interconnectedness with the world, please refer to the Supporting Every Student webpage.


Reflections

Reflect upon how relationships are addressed in the component of curriculum under consideration. How do these relationships contribute to the holistic approach of the entire curriculum resource?












Language, Cultural Identity and Voice



Language, cultural identity and voice are elements of self-identity. Self-identity includes a sense of belonging and the roles of women, men and children. The curriculum includes the beliefs, traditions, contributions and practices of First Nations, Métis and Inuit with contextually appropriate language, cultural identity and voice.

The Creator had created this universe and everything and that universe relates to us. We don’t relate to it, they relate to us. And as we are on this Earth we are related to everything that’s in creation. The trees, everything, the grass, the rock, everything. It’s part of the Earth. Just like we are. The Earth provides for us, today we call her Mother Earth. She provides everything for us and we lived off of that.

Elder George Brertton, Saddle Lake,
Wahkohtowin: The Relationship between Cree People and Natural Law,
Walking Together (Kinship), 2012

If you could say that the culture is a tree, you know, for a while it got very sick because the roots were being hacked at and the leaves were being ripped off. But now, it’s being cared for and nurtured and it’s growing strong again and it’s growing in new directions. The roots and trunk are still the same, but the way it’s branching out, no one can tell: it’s unexpected and exciting. And that’s what the youth of today are doing.

Aaron Paquette, Métis artist,
Young Artists,
Walking Together (Symbolism and Traditions), 2012

First Nations, Métis, Inuit and Indigenous ways of knowing reflect traditional knowledge and teachings and holistic learning, with the learning process, observation and practice being as important as what is being learned.

My responsibility is to teach my children, my grandchildren, who they are. On my 85th birthday, I want my grandchildren to be able to say, “My Kokum told me about the ceremonies. My Kokum taught me the language. My Kokum differentiated our worldview.” And validate it. Nehiyawak kîyânaw (We are Cree).

Dr. Leona Makokis, past-president of Blue Quills Community College,
Blue Quills ACIMOWIN,
Walking Together (Healing Historical Trauma), 2012

Concept: Descriptive Language and Identity

Criteria for consideration:

Concept: Acknowledgement of Voice in Contributions

Criteria for consideration:

For more information, see the Wilton Goodstriker interview that appears in the Traditional Environmental Knowledge section of Walking Together: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspectives in Curriculum.


Reflections

Reflect upon how language, cultural identity and voice are addressed in the component of curriculum under consideration.












Experiences and Worldviews



Experiences and worldviews of Indigenous peoples demonstrate a holistic perspective of the world. The curriculum includes the experiences and worldviews of First Nations, Métis and Inuit in appropriate contexts.

Culture comprises a society’s philosophy about the nature of reality, the values that flow from this philosophy, and the social customs that embody these values. Any individual within a culture is going to have his or her own personal interpretation of the collective cultural code; however, the individual’s worldview has its roots in the culture—that is, in the society’s shared philosophy, values, and customs. If we are to understand why Aboriginal and European worldviews clash, we need to understand how the philosophy, values, and customs of Aboriginal cultures differ from those of Eurocentric cultures.

Leroy Little Bear (“Jagged Worldviews Colliding
in Reclaiming Indigenous Voice and Vision by Marie Battiste, 2000, p. 77)



Concept: Cultural Authenticity

Criteria for consideration:

For more information on cultural authenticity and weaving of First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives, experiences and content, see the online digital resource Walking Together: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspectives in Curriculum.

For more information regarding cultural authenticity and Aboriginal worldviews, see the video A Cree Perspective on Worldviews that appears in the FNMI Worldviews section of Walking Together: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspectives in Curriculum.



Concept: Indigenous Knowledge and Pedagogy

Criteria for consideration:

For more information, see the interview with Jerry Wood that appears in the FNMI Worldviews section of Walking Together: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspectives in Curriculum.



Reflections

Reflect upon how experiences and worldviews are addressed in the component of curriculum under consideration.












Ancestors, Time and Place



First Nations, Métis and Inuit origins, histories and contributions, both historical and contemporary, contribute to our collective identity, national narrative and personal stories. The curriculum includes accurate and contextually appropriate origins and histories and the historical and contemporary contributions of First Nations, Métis and Inuit.



Concept: Origins and a Sense of Place

Criteria for consideration:

For more information regarding First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives about connection to land, see the Connection to Land section of Walking Together: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspectives in Curriculum.

For information concerning the oral tradition, view the interview with Billy Joe Laboucan in the Oral Tradition section of Walking Together: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspectives in Curriculum.


Concept: Contemporary Perspectives of Histories

Criteria for consideration:

For more information regarding perspectives of histories in the oral traditions, view the interview with Marge Friedel in the Oral Tradition section of Walking Together: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspectives in Curriculum.


Concept: Involvement by First Nations, Métis and Inuit and Indigenous Peoples

Criteria for consideration:

For more information, see the interview with John Janvier in the Oral Tradition section of Walking Together: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspectives in Curriculum.


Reflections

Reflect upon how ancestors, time and place are addressed in the component of curriculum under consideration.












Terms and Concepts



Historic, Legal and Contextual Background Information

The reference terms and concepts explore legal and policy definitions; historical or contextual use of terminology; and concepts related to citizenship, culture and cultural repatriation, epistemologies and identity.

All terms and concepts presented here are for reference only to support building shared meaning and understanding about the criteria used in Guiding Voices.

The inclusion of these terms and concepts is respectful of the diversity of identities of First Nations, Métis, Inuit, Aboriginal and Indigenous peoples, permitting them to self-identify in their own meaningful ways.

Definitions and understandings provided are from various identified sources.

The legal and policy definitions are intended to directly reference legal documents and are intended to reflect community and organizational understandings. The terms and definitions are derived from the Federal Indian Act; the Constitution Act, 1982; Bill C-31 and relevant policy documents in the Canadian context.

Over time, there has been a change in legal and policy terminology; therefore, there may not appear to be agreement in the use of specific legal and policy terms.

Terms such as Indian, Native and Aboriginal are synonymous to the Indian Act; the Constitution Act, 1982; and Bill C-31. There has been a shift in the usage of terms; the terminology used has been to some extent necessarily circular: one term has been used in the process of defining another. Readers should keep in mind that there is no single term to describe Indigenous peoples; however, collective terms such as First Nations, Métis, Inuit, Indigenous or Aboriginal vary in their geo-political application.

Historical or contextual terminology in the Canadian context regarding First Nations, Métis, Inuit, Aboriginal and Indigenous peoples should reflect the following considerations:

Inuit, Métis and First Nations people may use different terminology to refer to different aspects of their individual and collective identities, such as using their nation’s own name in their original language to reflect their cultural and linguistic origins and identity.

Support for accurate use of terminology regarding Aboriginal peoples should be provided in curriculum, especially to support teachers/educators.

Historical thinking skills are needed to understand the diversity of terminology regarding the names of nations and references for peoples. Terminology has changed in regards to the different names for the same nation and the difference between a linguistic group and the nations to which speakers may belong.


Glossary of Terms and Concepts

Aboriginal

The term Aboriginal is generally used in context as a legal and policy term (i.e., term used in policy in Alberta and in Canada) that refers to people’s political identity surrounding rights and governance.

The term Aboriginal is used in the context of the Indigenous peoples of a particular country. The term is referenced in the Constitution Act, 1982: “‘aboriginal peoples of Canada’ includes the Indian [status and non-status], Inuit and Metis peoples of Canada.”

In usage: Aboriginal (noun) vs. aboriginal (adjective): Use as a noun in Canadian context in reference to all three groups: First Nations, Métis and Inuit.

Examples:
Capitalized: First Nations, Métis and Inuit are the Aboriginal people in Canada.
Not capitalized: Many collectors find aboriginal art to be valuable.


Aboriginal Peoples

This is a collective name for all of the original peoples inhabiting what is now Canada and their descendants. Section 35(2) of the Constitution Act, 1982 says “‘aboriginal peoples of Canada’ includes the Indian [status and non-status], Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada.”

The Constitution does not define membership in First Nations (Indians), Inuit and Métis groups. First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples have unique heritages, languages and spiritual beliefs. Aboriginal Peoples is a term also used in some other parts of the world to refer to the first inhabitants of a given area.


Aboriginal Worldviews and Perspectives

The worldviews of Aboriginal peoples are distinct from the worldview of the mainstream culture in Canada. A worldview is a way of perceiving and conceptualizing everything in existence.

The Aboriginal worldview presents human beings as inhabiting a universe made by the Creator and as striving to live in a respectful relationship with nature, with one another and with oneself.

Each Aboriginal culture expresses this worldview in different ways, with different practices, stories and cultural products.

Our Words, Our Ways: Teaching First Nations, Métis and Inuit Learners describe the Aboriginal worldview as “a holistic process where learning takes place across different spheres of human experience including spiritual, physical, emotional and mental dimensions. Worldviews may also consider relationships and experiences of the past, present and future as interconnected” (p. 13).


Authenticity of Sources

A source (story, voice, visual or representation of Aboriginal perspectives or history) is considered authentic when it is validated by Elders or by members of the community who are recognized as appropriate representatives for the group.


Bias

A bias is a “subjective opinion, preference, prejudice or inclination, often formed without reasonable justification, that influences an individual’s or group’s ability to evaluate a particular situation objectively or accurately; a preference for or against.”

(© Canadian Race Relations Foundation. Glossary. http://www.crrf-fcrr.ca/en/resources/glossary-a-terms-en-gb-1/item/22801-bias. Nov. 2012). Reproduced with Permission.)


Bill C-3

This bill amended provisions of the Indian Act, which the Court of Appeal for British Columbia found to be unconstitutional in the case of McIvor vs. Canada.

Bill C-3: Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act, effective on January 31, 2011, ensures that “eligible grand-children of women who lost status as a result of marrying non-Indian men are entitled to registration (Indian status). As a result of this legislation approximately 45,000 persons will become newly entitled to registration.”

View more information about the bill at the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada website.


Bill C-31

Bill C-31 was the pre-legislation name of the 1985 Act to Amend the Indian Act. This act eliminated certain discriminatory provisions of the Indian Act, including the section that resulted in Indian women losing their Indian status when they married non-status men.

Bill C-31 enabled people who were affected by the discriminatory provisions of the old Indian Act to apply to have their Indian status and membership restored.


Clan System

A clan system is a social organizational system where each clan member performs a specific group of functions for the community at large. Membership in a clan may be hereditary, through community appointment, or by clan adoption. A clan system describes the interconnected relationships between individuals and groups.


Colonialism and Colonization

Colonialism “usually refers to the period of European colonization from Columbus (1492) onwards, in the Americas, Asia and Africa, and taking on different forms from settler colonies like Canada to non-settler colonies such as India during British rule. Colonialism differs also across colonizing nations and across time. For example, French colonialism had different policies from British colonialism.”

(© Canadian Race Relations Foundation. Glossary. http://www.crrf-fcrr.ca/en/resources/glossary-a-terms-en-gb-1/item/22808-colonialism (Nov. 2012). Reproduced with Permission.)

The WNCP Common Tool for Assessing and Validating Teaching and Learning Resources for Cultural Appropriateness and Historical Accuracy of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Content states the following: “Modern colonialism is often seen as part of ‘globalization,’ which includes the exploitation of labour and national resources by transnational corporations, the expansion of free trade agreements and blocs, and the commoditization of Indigenous Knowledge.

“The colonizers impose their institutions and belief systems in the colonized territories. Britain and France fought for the colonization of what is now called Canada until Britain gained full power in 1763. Nine tenths of the earth’s land base was colonized by European nations throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. (Canadian Race Relations Foundation 2006)” (pp. 20–21).


Cultural Advisors

The WNCP Common Tool for Assessing and Validating Teaching and Learning Resources for Cultural Appropriateness and Historical Accuracy of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Content, describes cultural advisors as “First Nations, Métis and Inuit individuals who have specific knowledge and wisdom related to their cultural practices, customs, history, values, and language. They facilitate, support, promote and coordinate cultural practices” (p. 21).


Cultural Appropriateness

The WNCP Common Tool for Assessing and Validating Teaching and Learning Resources for Cultural Appropriateness and Historical Accuracy of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Content says this term means that a resource “appropriately respects the languages and cultures of a diverse group of people, manifested through actions which reflect their protocols and ways of knowing that encompasses their values, traditions, customs, practices, histories and experiences” (p. 21).


Culture

Culture is “the mix of ideas, beliefs, values, behavioural norms, knowledge and traditions of a group of individuals who have a historical, geographic, religious, racial, linguistic, ethnic or social context, and who transmit, reinforce and modify those ideas, values and beliefs, passing them on from one generation to another. . . . It results in a set of expectations for appropriate behaviour in seemingly similar contexts.”

(© Canadian Race Relations Foundation. Glossary. (Nov. 2012). Reproduced with Permission.)


De-colonization

De-colonization is the process of (re)claiming Indigenous identities or non-Western identities in former colonial states. Canada, Australia and New Zealand are former colonies and experienced various forms of de-colonization. De-colonization is the process of asserting the validity and status of cultural practices, knowledge and experiences that have been discounted due to Eurocentric systemic imposition.


Diversity

Diversity is a “term used to encompass all the various national, racial, ethnic, religious and other backgrounds of people—and used increasingly in Canada to describe workplace programs aimed at reducing discrimination, promoting equality of opportunity and outcome for all groups. The presence of a wide range of human qualities and attributes within a group, organization, or society. The dimensions of diversity include, but are not limited to, ancestry, culture, ethnicity, language, race, religion, and socio-economic status.”

(© Canadian Race Relations Foundation. Glossary. http://www.crrf-fcrr.ca/en/resources/glossary-a-terms-en-gb-1/item/22818-diversity (Nov. 2012). Reproduced with Permission.)


Elder(s)

Our Words, Our Ways: Teaching First Nations, Métis and Inuit Learners offers the following description of Elders on page 71.

“Elders are men and women regarded as the keepers and teachers of an Aboriginal nation’s oral tradition and knowledge. Age is not considered a determinant of wisdom; young people of sixteen years may have essential knowledge. Different Elders hold different gifts.

“Their contributions to schools and classrooms can be significant when they are involved in meaningful ways such as bringing traditional ceremonies and teachings into the school or classroom; providing advice to parents, students, teachers and school administrators; providing accurate information about Aboriginal heritage and Aboriginal communities; and acting as a bridge between the school and the community.

“Elders are considered vital to the survival of Aboriginal cultures and the transmission of cultural knowledge is an essential part of the preservation and promotion of cultural traditions and their protocols. Elders are always to be treated with great respect and honour.

“The roles of Elders vary greatly from community to community, as do the protocols and traditions they teach. Elders can be spiritual guides, healers, medicine men and women, artists, seers, and counsellors. Elders often perform such services as:

More information on appropriate protocol for welcoming an Elder can be found on page 75 of the document.

The term Elder is capitalized when used in reference to a specific individual who is recognized by his or her community as a holder of specific traditional, ceremonial or environmental governance or spiritual knowledge. When used in reference to a person beyond a specific age, the term does not need to be capitalized.


Eurocentrism

The WNCP Common Tool for Assessing and Validating Teaching and Learning Resources for Cultural Appropriateness and Historical Accuracy of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Content describes Eurocentrism as the “practice of viewing the world from a European perspective and the belief that European (or Western) worldviews and accomplishments are superior to all others. Presupposes the supremacy of Europe and Europeans in world culture and relates history according to a European perception and experience (Canadian Race Relations Foundation 2007). Eurocentrism dominated during the 19th and early 20th centuries and influenced the international relations of many nations around the world” (p. 21).


First Nations

This term is preferred by many Aboriginal peoples and the Assembly of First Nations and refers to the various governments of the First Peoples of Canada. There are over 600 First Nations across Canada. In Alberta, there are 45 First Nations, all of whom belong to one of the three treaty areas: Treaty 6, Treaty 7, and Treaty 8.


Treaty 6
Alexander First Nation
Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation
Beaver Lake Cree Nation
Cold Lake Cree Nation
Enoch Cree Nation
Ermineskin Cree Nation
Frog Lake First Nation
Heart Lake First Nation
Kehewin Cree Nation
Louis Bull Tribe
Montana First Nation
O’Chiese First Nation
Paul First Nation
Samson Cree Nation
Sunchild First Nation

Note: Saddle Lake Cree Nation and Whitefish Lake (Goodfish) are considered one band under the Indian Act.

Treaty 7
Blood Tribe
Piikani Nation
Siksika Nation
Stoney Tribe
Tsuu T’ina Nation

Treaty 8
Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
Beaver First Nation
Bigstone Cree Nation
Chipewyan Prairie First Nation
Dene Tha’ First Nation
Driftpile First Nation
Duncan’s First Nation
Fort McKay First Nation
Fort McMurray First Nation
Horse Lake First Nation
Kapawe’no First Nation
Little Red River First Nation
Loon River First Nation
Lubicon Lake Band
Mikisew Cree Nation
Peerless Trout First Nation
Sawridge Band
Smith’s Landing First Nation
Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation
Sucker Creek First Nation
Swan River First Nation
Tallcree First Nation
Whitefish Lake First Nation (Atikameg)
Woodland Cree First Nation


First Nations Authorities

First Nations chiefs and councils are the local governing authorities for First Nations.

All First Nations in Alberta are a member of one of three Treaty organizations:

First Nations have developed tribal councils or similar organizations to act for them under delegated authority, including:


First Nations, MÉtis and Inuit (Policy Term)

First Nations, Métis and Inuit is a phrase that is grounded in the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework developed by Alberta Education.

The phrase First Nations, Métis and Inuit is generally used to refer to the diversity of Aboriginal peoples in Alberta. When making reference to a particular language, community or group, use the specific name rather than the collective phrase. Examples: Cree, Dene Tha, Kainai, Tsuu T’ina, Nakota, Mikisew Cree First Nation, Blood Tribe.


Historical Accuracy

The WNCP Common Tool for Assessing and Validating Teaching and Learning Resources for Cultural Appropriateness and Historical Accuracy of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Content states “historical accuracy in the context of this document reflects information based on First Nations, Métis and Inuit traditional knowledge, practice and factual research regarding the past that has the condition or quality of being true and correct” (p. 22).


Identity

This is a term used to describe a people, often imposed by non-members of that group. The people in question have a term of self-identification that speaks to them being “people.” The use of some terms of identification, such as Indian, continues the stereotyping of Indigenous peoples.


Indian

Indian people are one of three cultural groups, along with Inuit and Métis, recognized as Aboriginal People under section 35 of the Constitution Act.

The use of the term Indian has declined since the 1970s when the term First Nations came into common usage. However, there are legal reasons for the continued use of the term Indian.

Such terminology is recognized in the Indian Act and is used by the Government of Canada when making reference to this particular group of Aboriginal people. There are three legal definitions that apply to Indians in Canada:

For more information about these and other terms, go to the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada website.


Indian Act

The Indian Act, 1985, a piece of Canadian federal legislation, was first passed in 1876 and has been amended several times since.

The act “sets out certain federal government obligations and regulates the management of Indian reserve lands, Indian moneys, and other resources.”

Among its many provisions, the Indian Act currently requires the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs to manage certain monies belonging to First Nations, to manage Indian lands and to approve or disallow First Nations bylaws.


Indigenous

Described by the United Nations’ factsheet titled Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Voices: “Considering the diversity of indigenous peoples, an official definition of ‘indigenous’ has not been adopted by any UN-system body. Instead the system has developed a modern understanding of this term based on the following:

There are four relevant factors that inform the concept of Indigenous peoples:

In usage: Indigenous (noun) vs. indigenous (adjective): A noun is used in global contexts.

Examples:


Inuit

“Inuit means ‘the people’ in Inuktitut. Inuit living in the western Arctic are Inuvialuk (singular) or Inuvialuit (plural) and speak Inuvialuktun. Inuit living in the central and eastern Arctic are Inuk (singular) or Inuit (plural) and speak Inuktitut. Most Inuit live in Nunavut, the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Labrador, northern Quebec, Greenland, Russia and Alaska.13 Inuit have a rich oral history with distinct traditions, language, beliefs, song, art and culture.

“*Inuit do not practice the traditional or ceremonial use of the pipe ceremony, smudging, tobacco or the sweatlodge.

“Inuit Nunangat refers to the four Inuit regions in Canada: Northwest Territories; Nunavut; Nunatsiavut – Labrador; and Nunavik – Quebec. Each region has land claim agreements with the Government of Canada – assigning rights, land ownership, money, wildlife harvesting rights; participation in land, resource, water, wildlife and environmental management as well as measures to promote economic development and protect the Inuit culture” (Edmonton Public Schools, p. 12).

A document titled Inuit History and Heritage (Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, 2004) states: “For 5,000 years, the people and culture known throughout the world as Inuit have occupied the vast territory stretching from the shores of the Chukchi Peninsula of Russia, east across Alaska and Canada, to the southeastern coast of Greenland. It is here, based on our [the Inuit’s] ability to utilize the physical environment and living resources of this geographic region known as the Arctic, where our culture developed and our history unfolded. Inuit are an original people of the country now known as Canada (p. 2).” More information is available at the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami website.

The Inuit are not covered by the Indian Act. Section 4(1) says, “A reference in this Act to an Indian does not include any person of the race of aborigines commonly referred to as Inuit,” but the federal government makes laws concerning the Inuit.

For more information about the Inuit, see the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada website.


Knowledge Keeper

The Common Curriculum Framework for Aboriginal Language and Culture Programs: Kindergarten to Grade 12 says a Knowledge Keeper is a person designated or acknowledged by Elders of a cultural community as being knowledgeable about various aspects of the culture, its perspectives, practices and products (p. 131).


Kinship

A kinship is a tie between related individuals, usually through blood, but also through adoption (Kainai Board of Education, et al., 2004, p 238).


Matrilineal

A cultural and social organizational system based on the kinship of the mother’s line of descent.


MÉtis

The Métis are Aboriginal people of mixed First Nations and European ancestry. Currently, Métis are considered Indians under the Indian Act. This was confirmed April 11, 2016, by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Métis have a unique culture that draws on their diverse ancestral origins, such as Scottish, French, Ojibway and Cree. For more information about terminology, go to the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada website.

The Métis dates back to the days of the fur trade when Aboriginal people and French or French-Canadian people married. Historically, the Métis have been refused political recognition by the federal government; they were excluded from registration under the Indian Act despite being specifically referenced to as “halfbreeds” in Treaty 8. However, they were allotted money scrip or land scrip. With the repatriation of the constitution, Métis have been recognized as Aboriginal people of Canada. The Constitution Act, 1982, Section 35(2) says, “In this Act, ‘aboriginal peoples of Canada’ includes the Indian, Inuit, and Metis peoples of Canada.” The Supreme Court of Canada reaffirmed that distinction in its ruling of the case of Daniels v. Canada, 2016 SCC 12 (“Daniels”). Under the ruling, Métis are Aboriginal peoples of Canada along with Treaty Indians, non-status Indians and Inuit. Inherit rights and responsibilities concerning this ruling need to be defined.


MÉtis (Policy Term, National Definition)

The Métis National Council adopted the following definition of the term Métis in 2002: “ … a person who self-identifies as Métis, is distinct from other Aboriginal peoples, is of historic Métis Nation Ancestry and who is accepted by the Métis Nation.”

“In 2003, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that Métis are a rights-bearing Aboriginal people. Its judgement in R. v. Powley set out the components of a Métis definition for the purpose of claiming Aboriginal rights under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. These are:

(© Métis National Council. The Métis Nation; Citizenship. http://www.metisnation.ca/index.php/who-are-the-metis/citizenship (Nov. 2012). Reproduced with permission.)


MÉtis Authorities (Policy Term)

There are two recognized Métis authorities in Alberta who speak on behalf of their membership:

The MNA’s provincial council consists of elected provincial president and vice-president, plus six elected zone presidents and six vice-presidents representing each of six zones across Alberta. There are approximately 65 MNA locals across Alberta.

The MSGC consists of 40 councillors, representing the eight Alberta Métis Settlement councils and four non-voting executive officers. The general council was established in 1990 under Alberta’s Métis Settlements Act and serves as the collective governing body for the settlements. The MSGC is established as a corporate entity (separate from the settlement corporations) and holds the fee-simple title to the land within the settlement areas.


MÉtis Settlements (Policy Term)

There are eight Métis settlements in Alberta:

The geographic area of each settlement lay within the northern regions of Alberta. There are 1.25 million acres of land in total in the eight Métis settlements.

Métis settlements were established in the 1930s in response to recommendations contained in the Ewing Commission, 1932. Although 12 colonies were originally established, four of the colonies ceased to operate because the land was unsuitable for farming.

Under the 1989 Alberta Métis Settlements Accord and resulting 1990 legislation, the settlements collectively acquired title to the settlement areas and were established as corporate entities, similar to municipal corporations, with broad self-governing powers.

The settlements are governed locally by elected five-member councils and collectively by the Métis Settlements General Council. The Metis Settlement Act, 2000, takes the place of the Alberta Métis Settlements Accord.


Negative Tone

The WNCP Common Tool for Assessing and Validating Teaching and Learning Resources for Cultural Appropriateness and Historical Accuracy of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Content identifies a negative tone as “references that focus only on what specific groups did not have or accomplish” (p. 24).


Oral Traditions and Oral History

Oral history is defined by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada as “evidence taken from the spoken words of people who have knowledge of past events and traditions. This oral history is often recorded on tape and then put in writing. [Oral history] is used in history books and to document claims.”

(© Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100014642/1100100014643.)


Paternalism

The WNCP Common Tool for Assessing and Validating Teaching and Learning Resources for Cultural Appropriateness and Historical Accuracy of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Content describes paternalism as “a policy or practice of treating or governing people modelled after a family structure in which the father figure makes the decisions for the family. Paternalistic practices often are based on the assumption that a group of people needs care from another group that considers itself superior, and this ‘superior’ group provides for the perceived needs of the other and assumes what is best for them without respecting their rights or responsibilities” (p. 24).


Place and Identity

Land is reflected as a sense of place and as more than a location through traditional knowledge, protocols, and scientific and traditional perspectives regarding the use of land.


Protocol

Protocol is a code of etiquette appropriate to the customs and traditions of the people or community. Protocol is described on page 71 of Our Words, Our Ways: Teaching First Nations, Métis and Inuit Learners.

In Alberta, each Aboriginal community has its own cultural and social traditions that translate into protocols that should be carefully followed. Although regional and tribe-specific protocols have evolved over time, there are many similarities and common themes that are important to remember.

“Using proper protocol means following the customs of the people or community. As protocol varies between communities and individuals, it is important to ask an informed community member about the protocol that needs to be followed. Generally, people respect those who care enough to ask.”

Racism

“Racism is any individual action, or institutional practice backed by institutional power, which subordinates people because of their colour or ethnicity.” This distinction is often used to justify discrimination.

(© Canadian Race Relations Foundation. Glossary. http://www.crrf-fcrr.ca/en/resources/glossary-a-terms-en-gb-1/item/22874-racism (Nov. 2012). Reproduced with Permission.)


Reclamation

Reclamation is the process of reclaiming or changing back to a former state. For Indigenous people, this means reclaiming or claiming traditional languages, protocols, practices and lands for traditional ceremonies and use. Reclamation, in the Indigenous context, is one component of decolonization.


Reconciliation

Reconciliation is about establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in this country. Education for Reconciliation is the collective work of ensuring curriculum and the education system support the process of reconciliation. (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada)

View Justice Murray Sinclair’s address about reconciliation on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s website.


Re-matriation

This describes the process of revitalizing matriarchal society and affirming the role of women, a contemporary movement of empowering Aboriginal women.


Residential Schools

Day and boarding schools that were funded and established from federal government policy and operated by religious organizations to assimilate Aboriginal people into mainstream society by forcibly removing Aboriginal children from their homes, families and communities.

Alberta had the most residential schools between 1884 and 1974: 31 residential schools operated across the province. Alberta’s first residential school was Blue Quill’s Indian Residential School.

“Blue Quill’s Indian Residential School originated in Lac la Biche, AB. It was also known as the Sacred Heart Indian Residential School and later the Saddle Lake Boarding School. This school was operational in Lac la Biche between 1862 and 1898. The school was of Roman Catholic denomination and was under the jurisdiction of the Saddle Lake Indian Agency. In 1898, the school moved to Saddle Lake, AB from Lac la Biche, AB, it would move again to St. Paul, AB in 1931, where it was renamed St. Paul’s Boarding School. Blue Quills became the first Native-administered school in Canada in 1970.”

Larsson, P. (2013, October 24). Blue Quill's Indian Residential School (Lac la Biche). Retrieved June 2, 2016, from http://eugenicsarchive.ca/database/documents/52692189dc1dc8b865000005

The last residential school in Alberta to close was St. Mary’s Indian Residential School. The school was located in Cardston and operated from 1911 to 1975.

“Also known as the St. Mary's Mission Boarding School, the Immaculate Conception Boarding School and the Blood Indian Residential School. . . . This school was under the jurisdiction of the Blood Indian Agency.”

Larsson, P. (2013, October 26). Immaculate Conception Indian Residential School. Retrieved June 2, 2016, from http://eugenicsarchive.ca/database/documents/526b8345dc1dc8b86500000b


Resilience

The concept is most often defined as the capacity to spring back from adversity and have a good life outcome despite emotional, mental or physical distress.

Aboriginal People, Resilience and the Residential School Legacy, 2003. Obtained from http://www.ahf.ca/downloads/resilience.pdf


Revitalization/Revitalizing

Bring back into active use cultural practices and languages.

Language revitalization is the process of learning Indigenous languages according to traditional pedagogical and epistemological systems and protocols.

Cultural revitalization is the contemporary process of learning traditional protocols, ceremonies and rites in accordance with Indigenous pedagogical and epistemological systems and protocols.


Self-government

The WNCP Common Tool for Assessing and Validating Teaching and Learning Resources for Cultural Appropriateness and Historical Accuracy of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Content states, “Self-Government agreements are negotiated arrangements between an aboriginal community, the government of Canada and a provincial and/or Territorial government which provides powers and authority to enact laws and regulations of a local nature for the good governance of its lands, resources and citizens, and general welfare and development of the First Nation. Self-Government agreements are not considered as Treaties as defined under the section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982” (p. 25).

For more information regarding First Nations self-government, see Bill C-7: The First Nations Governance Act.


Sixties Scoop

“The term Sixties Scoop was coined by Patrick Johnston, author of the 1983 report Native Children and the Child Welfare System. It refers to the mass removal of Aboriginal children from their families into the child welfare system, in most cases without the consent of their families or bands. . . . Although the practice of removing Aboriginal children from their families and into state care existed before the 1960s (with the residential school system, for example), the drastic overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in the child welfare system accelerated in the 1960s, when Aboriginal children were seized and taken from their homes and placed, in most cases, into middle-class Euro-Canadian families. This overrepresentation continues today.” (University of British Columbia)


Stereotype

A stereotype is a preconceived overgeneralization “of a group of people, ascribing the same characteristic(s) to all members of the group, regardless of their individual differences. An overgeneralization . . . may be based upon misconceptions, incomplete information and/or false generalizations about race, age, ethnic, linguistic, geographical or natural groups, religions, social, marital or family status, physical, developmental or mental attributes, gender or sexual orientation.”

(© Canadian Race Relations Foundation. Glossary. http://www.crrf-fcrr.ca/en/resources/glossary-a-terms-en-gb-1/item/22880-stereotype (Nov. 2012). Reproduced with Permission.)


Stories

Stories provide a vital opportunity to bring history to life. Through stories, people share information, values and attitudes about history, culture and heritage. Stories are communicated through legends, myths, narratives, oral traditions, song, music, dance, literature, visual and dramatic arts, traditions and celebrations. They can include or be supported by biographies, autobiographies, archives, news items, novels or short stories.


Treaties

Treaties are agreed-upon declarations and sacred agreements between sovereign nations.

Prior to Confederation, treaties in Canada were made between First Nations and the British Crown.

Subsequent treaties, including the western treaties, were made between First Nations and the Crown in right of Canada.

The treaties are legal documents that confer rights and obligations on both parties. Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 recognizes and affirms the “existing aboriginal and treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada.”

No two treaties are identical.

First Nations people clearly state that the treaties mean more to them than simply legal documents. The treaties are sacred agreements made by the parties and sealed by pipe ceremonies. First Nations consider the treaties to be the essential basis for any relationship between First Nations and other governments.

Strengthening Relationships: The Government of Alberta’s Aboriginal Policy Framework states: “The Government of Alberta recognizes and respects the treaties and the lands set aside under the treaties as First Nation reserve lands. Nothing in this document will abrogate or derogate from the treaties.”

In usage: Treaty (capitalized) vs. treaty (lowercase, singular) and treaties (lowercase, plural): Use the capitalized term in reference to a specific treaty; e.g., Treaty 6. The lowercase, singular term is used in reference to items contained in a treaty; e.g., treaty rights. The lowercase, plural term is used in reference to the numbered treaties; e.g., no two treaties are identical.


Treaty Rights

Treaty rights are special rights to lands and entitlements that Indian people legally have as a result of treaties (including modern land claims agreements). Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 recognizes and affirms the “existing aboriginal and treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada.”


Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC)

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada is a component of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. The federally appointed commission was mandated to investigate the history, legacy and experiences of residential school survivors.

For more information about the TRC and its findings, go to the Truth and Reconciliation of Canada website.


Uncertain of Ancestry

The WNCP Common Tool for Assessing and Validating Teaching and Learning Resources for Cultural Appropriateness and Historical Accuracy of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Content describes uncertain of ancestry in this way: “Due to factors such as the Residential Schools experience, 60s Scoop and child welfare and adoption practices, many Aboriginal peoples have been impacted by a loss of identity. Some Aboriginal peoples, although they are aware they have Aboriginal ancestry, may be unable to identify with a particular classification, such as First Nation, Métis or Inuit; in this event, the ‘uncertain of ancestry’ identifier may be used” (p. 25).


United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)

This is a United Nations’ document setting out the individual and collective rights of Indigenous people around the world. When the document was introduced in December 2007, the Canadian government voted against it along with Australia, New Zealand and the United States. In 2016, however, the Canadian government announced its decision to implement the declaration. For more information, go to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples site.


Ways of Knowing

Ways of knowing is tied to both individual and cultural epistemologies and belief systems. It is affiliated with a particular personal or worldview as well as the content under examination.

For a more detail discussion of ways of knowing, see chapter 3 of the document titled From Knowledge to Action.




History and Background



Guiding Voices is a tool that contains a vision statement and four guidelines with supporting criteria to ensure that First Nations, Métis and Inuit content is authentically included in Alberta’s curriculum.


Guidance, Recommendations and Context

Guiding Voices is based on the foundations of the Aboriginal Content Validation: Guidelines for Evaluating Learning Resources for and about Aboriginal People (ACV). ACV guidelines were originally developed in conjunction with Alberta Education’s 1987 Policy Statement on Native Education in Alberta.

Input from an advisory committee and from First Nations and Métis Elders, community members and educators across Alberta in 2005 and 2006 led to recommendations to revise the ACV. The following recommendations were used to develop Guiding Voices:

Between 2005 and 2011, the digital resource Walking Together: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspectives in Curriculum was completed.

In 2011, the WNCP Common Tool for Assessing and Validating Teaching and Learning Resources for Cultural Appropriateness and Historical Accuracy of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Content (Common Tool) was completed. The Common Tool was created based on guidance and resources from participating provincies and territories, as well as

The Common Tool was designed for use in a Western Canadian context.

The 2005–06 recommended revisions to the ACV guidelines and elements of the Common Tool were reviewed and discussed in 2012 to reflect and respect the Alberta context and First Nations, Métis and Inuit voices from Alberta communities. This review and discussion led to the creation of Guiding Voices.

The creation of Guiding Voices occurred in conjunction with Alberta Education’s ongoing Curriculum Redesign review of provincial standards and guidelines for curriculum development. 

Guiding Voices supports Curriculum Redesign initiatives; educators and developers; and provincial standards and guidelines for curriculum development, including First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives in programs of study, assessments, and learning and teaching resources. 

The review of provincial standards and guidelines for curriculum development and creation of Guiding Voices support community dialogue from Alberta Education’s Inspiring Education initiative and from Curriculum Redesign events, such as the Curriculum Roundtables. 

The 2011 Action on Curriculum: Research Roundtable 2 Report provided additional key foundations for Guiding Voices from Alberta Education’s Program Standards and Assessment First Nations, Métis and Inuit Advisory Committee. The current committee includes members of the original 2005–06 advisory committee.  

In summary, Guiding Voices is built upon the foundations of the

 

Guiding Voices and the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework

Guiding Voices reflects Alberta Education’s February 2002 First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework.

Based on feedback from Aboriginal Elders, community members and educators, the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework recognizes the importance of

In addition to the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework, Guiding Voices respects the importance of collaboration, guidance and goals provided in the following:

These documents provide guidance for the evaluation and development of curriculum.

This guidance includes involvement of collaborative partnerships, culturally responsive educational practices, capacity building, and emphasis on approaches that support student growth, pride and success for all learners.


Guiding Voices and Curriculm

Guiding Voices has also been drafted with careful consideration of Alberta Education’s

Feedback from various stakeholders indicated that there are important relationships between Guiding Voices and RDPR, notably with Sections 1b, 2 and 4.

The criteria in Guiding Voices also recognize the role of competencies, literacy, numeracy and inclusion in curriculum development.

The Framework for Student Learning: Competencies for Engaged Thinkers and Ethical Citizens with an Entrepreneurial Spirit; Literacy First: A Plan for Action; Numeracy: A Discussion Paper Draft; and Diversity in Alberta Schools: The Journey to Inclusion all play an important role in providing context for Guiding Voices.




Foundational Documents






Bibliography



Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. 2012. Accessed September 10, 2012.

Alberta Aboriginal Relations. 2012. Accessed September 10, 2012.
http://www.aboriginal.alberta.ca/

Alberta Education. 1984; 2010, revised. Guidelines for Recognizing Diversity and Promoting Respect. Edmonton: Alberta Education.

—. 1987. Policy Statement on Native Education in Alberta. Edmonton: Alberta Education.

—. 2003, Draft. Aboriginal Content Validation: Guidelines for Evaluating Learning Resources for and about Aboriginal Peoples. Edmonton: Alberta Education. 

—. 2005a. Our Words, Our Ways: Teaching First Nations, Métis and Inuit Learners. Edmonton: Alberta Education.
http://education.alberta.ca/media/307199/words.pdf

—. 2005b. Social Studies Kindergarten to Grade 12. Edmonton: Alberta Education.
http://education.alberta.ca/media/456107/ss4.pdf

—. 2010a. Inspiring Education: A Dialogue with Albertans. Edmonton: Alberta Education.

—. 2010b. Literacy First: A Plan for Action 2010. Edmonton: Alberta Education.

—. 2010c. Memorandum of Understanding for First Nations Education in Alberta. Edmonton: Alberta Education.

—. 2011a. Framework for Student Learning: Competencies for Engaged Thinkers and Ethical Citizens with an Entrepreneurial Spirit. Edmonton: Alberta Education.

—. 2011b. Moving Forward: Implementing FNMI Collaborative Frameworks. Edmonton: Alberta Education.

—. 2011c. Numeracy: A Discussion Paper Draft. Edmonton: Alberta Education.

—. 2012a. “Curriculum Redesign.” Accessed September 10, 2012.

—. 2012b. Education Business Plan 2012–15. Edmonton: Alberta Education.
http://www.finance.alberta.ca/publications/budget/budget2012/education.pdf

—. 2012c. “Ways of Knowing.” In From Knowledge to Action: Shaping the Future of Curriculum Development in Alberta. Edmonton: Alberta Education.

—. 2012d. “Walking Together: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspectives in Curriculum.” Accessed September 10, 2012.
http://www.learnalberta.ca/content/aswt/

—. 2014. “FNMI Policy Framework: Glossary.” Accessed October 15, 2014.

—. 2015. “Inclusive Education.” Accessed March 6, 2015.

Alberta Learning. 2001. Proceedings: Aboriginal Languages Symposium. Edmonton: Alberta Learning.

—. 2002a. First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework. Edmonton: Alberta Learning.
http://education.alberta.ca/media/164126/framework.pdf

—. 2002b. Aboriginal Studies 10-20-30. Edmonton: Alberta Learning.

Assembly of First Nations. 2012. Accessed September 10, 2012.
http://www.afn.ca/

Bastien, Betty. 2004. Blackfoot Ways of Knowing: The Worldview of the Siksikaitsitapi. Calgary: University of Calgary Press.

Battiste, Marie. 2000. Reclaiming Indigenous Voice and Vision. Vancouver: UBC Press. 

Battiste, Marie, and James (Sa’ke’j) Youngblood Henderson. 2000. Protecting Indigenous Knowledge and Heritage: A Global Challenge. Saskatoon: Purich Press.

Botting, Gary. 2005. Chief Smallboy: In Pursuit of Freedom. Calgary: Fifth House.

Brown, Alison K., and Laura Peers. 2006. Pictures Bring Us Messages/Sinaakssiiksi Aohtsimaahpihkookiyaawa: Photographs and Histories from the Kainai Nation. Toronto: University of Toronto Press Publishing.

Brown, Michael F. 2003. Who Owns Native Culture? Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Canadian Race Relations Foundation. 2014. “CRRF Glossary of Terms.” Accessed Sept. 24, 2014.

Carbaugh, Donal. 1999. “‘Just Listen’: ‘Listening’ and Landscape Among the Blackfeet.” In Western Journal of Communication 63(3): 250-270.

Castellano, Marlene Brant. 2000. “Updating Aboriginal Traditions of Knowledge.” In Indigenous Knowledges in Global Contexts: Multiple Readings of Our World, edited by George Dei, Budd Hall and Goldin Rosenberg, 21–36. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Forbes, Jack D. 1969. Native Americans of California and Nevada. Healdsburg: Naturegraph.

Friesen, John W., and Virginia L. Friesen. 2002. Aboriginal Education in Canada: A Plea for Integration. Calgary: Detselig Enterprises.

—. 2005. First Nations in the Twenty-First Century: Contemporary Educational Frontiers. Calgary: Detselig Enterprises.

Government of Canada. 2012. “Aboriginal Canada Portal.” Accessed September 10, 2012. (Shut down on Feb. 12, 2013.)

Henry, Jeannette. 1970. Textbooks and the American Indian. San Francisco: Indian Historian Press.

Hirschfelder, Arlene B. et al. 1982. American Indian Stereotypes in the World of Children: A Reader and Bibliography. Lanham: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. 2012. “Inuit Historical Perspectives.” Accessed September 10, 2012.
https://www.itk.ca/about-inuit

—. 2008. Inuit History and Heritage.
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Kainai Board of Education et al. 2004. Aboriginal Studies 10: Aboriginal Perspectives. Edmonton: Duval, Inc.

Little Bear, Leroy. 2000. “Jagged Worldviews Colliding.” In Reclaiming Indigenous Voice and Vision, edited by Marie Battiste, 77–85. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Métis National Council. 2012. “FAQ: Who are the Métis?” Accessed September 10, 2012.
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National Aboriginal Health Organization. 2012. “Advancing the Well-being of First Nations, Inuit and Métis.” Accessed September 10, 2012.
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Neihardt, John G, and Nicholas Black Elk. 1988. Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Snow, Chief John. 2005. These Mountains Are Our Sacred Places: The Story Of The Stoney People. Calgary: Fifth House.

Western Canadian Protocol for Collaboration in Basic Education. 2000. The Common Curriculum Framework for Aboriginal Language and Culture Programs: Kindergarten to Grade 12.

Western and Northern Canadian Protocol for Collaboration in Basic Education. 2011. WNCP Common Tool for Assessing and Validating Teaching and Learning Resources for Cultural Appropriateness and Historical Accuracy of First Nation, Métis and Inuit Content.
http://wncp.ca/media/49329/wnc ptool_%20assessing_validating.pdf




Additional Resources of Interest



The following resources express a diversity of perspectives and viewpoints that encourage exploration and discussion of the multiple issues surrounding First Nations, Métis and Inuit education; the weaving of First Nations, Métis and Inuit content and perspectives regarding historical; and contemporary issues involving First Nations, Métis and Inuit.

Bullchild, Percy. 1985. The Sun Came Down: The History of the World as my Blackfeet Elders Told it. Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press.

Dewar, Elaine. 2011. Bones: Discovering the First Americans. Canada: Random House.

King, Thomas. 2012. The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America. Canada: Double Day.

Milloy, John. 1999. A National Crime: The Canadian Government and the Residential School System, 1879 to 1986. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press.




Evaluation Tool



The Guiding Voices Evaluation Tool has been created to help guide development and evaluation of provincial and locally developed curriculum.

This tool can be used to assist curriculum developers and evaluators determine the appropriateness of various resources for use in curriculum (programs of study, assessments and learning and teaching resources).

Guiding Voices Evaluation Tool

The Guiding Voices Development Tool was also created to assist curriculum and resource developers. This tool provides a detailed list of the criteria curriculum developers should use to determine the appropriateness of curriculum and resources.

Guiding Voices Development Tool