NS and BC developing curriculum with First Nations focus

March 11, 2015

Representatives from Nova Scotia’s Department of Education and local First Nations communities met last week to discuss strategies for including treaty education in the provincial school curriculum, a commitment made by Education Minister Karen Casey. Eskasoni First Nation Chief Leroy Denny noted that broader treaty education will "improve the relationships between the Mi'kmaq and Nova Scotians … We will have a better understanding of each other, [and] it will fill the gaps and get rid of barriers between the Mi'kmaq and the province." Participants heard of some treaty education insights and best practices from Brenda Ahenakew of Saskatchewan’s Office of the Treaty Commissioner. Stakeholders are now working to determine a timeline for launching the initiative. In BC, the Ministry of Education has launched a series of 5 conferences that will inform the development of new curriculum for First Nations students. Facilitator Kaleb Child said the vision for the conferences is to “further define Aboriginal perspectives and world-views in the classroom, strategize further engagement opportunities for all learners, and to explore regional examples of excellence.” Organizers also plan to develop a comprehensive teacher’s guide to identify common strategies for incorporating Aboriginal perspectives in the classroom. Chronicle Herald | Cape Breton Post | Williams Lake Tribune