British Columbia has long had the goal of improving school success for all Aboriginal students. Achieving this goal will require that the voice of Aboriginal people be heard in all aspects of the education system; the presence of Aboriginal languages, cultures, and histories be increased in provincial curricula; and leadership and informed practice be provided.
At the same time, Aboriginal perspectives and knowledge are a part of the historical and contemporary foundation of British Columbia and Canada. British Columbia’s education transformation therefore incorporates the Aboriginal voice and perspective by having Aboriginal expertise at all levels, ensuring that Aboriginal content is a part of the learning journey for all students, and ensuring that the best information guides the work. An important goal in integrating Aboriginal perspectives into curricula is to ensure that all learners have opportunities to understand and respect their own cultural heritage as well as that of others.
Over the past decade, British Columbia’s curriculum has integrated Aboriginal content into specific courses. The redesigned curriculum builds on what has been learned and extends Aboriginal perspectives into the entire learning journey, rather than into specific courses or grade levels. This means that from Kindergarten to graduation, students will experience Aboriginal perspectives and knowledge as part of what they are learning. And because Aboriginal perspectives and knowledge are embedded in the curriculum, they will naturally influence the ways in which students will be assessed.
The First Peoples Principles of Learning provided a crucial lens for teacher teams when drafting curricula, and all curriculum teams included Aboriginal representation. The teams put great effort into embedding Aboriginal knowledge and worldviews in curriculum in authentic and meaningful ways. Curriculum material was reviewed by Ministry staff as well as by Aboriginal teachers and other experts.
References to Aboriginal perspectives and knowledge are both explicit and implicit in the redesigned curriculum and are evident in the rationale statements, goals, learning standards, and some of the elaborations. Rich instructional samples to inspire teaching and learning will be collected and shared online to provide examples of relevant teaching units and place-based learning. In all of the areas of learning, teachers are encouraged to teach in ways that respect the place in which the students are — to teach from within the school and its surrounding community.
– See more at: https://instructionalservices.public.sd35.bc.ca/curriculum/
The Langley Aboriginal Program Library, located at Fort Langley Elementary School, is now open. You can view the collection through the school district website at http://library.sd35.bc.ca/. If you would like to view the Library collection in person, or learn the borrowing guidelines,please contact Julie Allen email@example.com or Janet Stromquist firstname.lastname@example.org.
LINKS TO ONLINE RESOURCES:
Langley School District Aboriginal Page – Many resources!
Spoken Word from Survivor Dennis Saddleman
http://www.lessonsofourland.org This online curriculum puts Indigenous land-based perspectives at the forefront of curriculum.