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Hukalowapi ceremony 1907 by Edward Curtis - Click to see Large View


This section offers theory and learning activities related to the following important topics. Click on the section titles to view each activity.

bullet CULTURE - First Nations pedagogy can not be truly embraced without a foundational philosophy of First Nations culture.
bullet EXPERIENTIAL KNOWLEDGE - Knowledge gained through the process of living is critical, and should be tapped when planning educational and health initiatives.
bullet HOLISTIC BALANCE - First Nations people see their relationship with each other and with the Earth as an interconnected web of life, which manifests as a complex ecosystem of relationships. Balance and holistic harmony are essential tenets of this knowledge and subsequent cultural practices.
bullet INNER FIRE & THE LEARNING SPIRIT - Traditional approaches to learning focused on the cultivation of the Inner Fire and the Learning Spirit within each learner, which prepared them to discover and develop their unique gifts, in order to give back to the Community and fulfill their life path.
bullet INTERCONNECTEDNESS - An intense and deep connectedness with all that surrounds us is a foundational concept of First Nations education and health development. This includes a connection to Mother Earth and all that the Universe contains, including other people (personal relationships, family, neighborhoods, communities, nations), all of the flora and fauna beings, and ultimately the Great Spirit that animates all.
bullet LEARNING WITH THE NATURAL WORLD - The deep interconnected way of teaching as one interacted with the natural world is a foundation of all First Nations learning. A reconnection to the traditional territories and development of land-based learning experiences are critical for Indigenous learners.
bullet LITERACY - For too long, literacy has been viewed through a mainstream lens, which does not always fit with First Nations needs and comfort. More and more initiatives encourage the inclusion of traditional languages, arts, knowledge, and awareness as critical literacy skills needed by First Nations people in the 21st century.
bullet QUATERNITY - This cyclically organized, repetitive, and centre-focused discursive pattern of writing and brainstorming is intrinsic to First Nations discourse.
bullet RESPECT - Respect was taught from an early age, and is the premise for setting the affective mood of all learning experiences. Respect includes an awareness of the personal space of self and others, and acknowledging the importance of the Code of Silence.
bullet STORY-TELLING - Story-telling is a key practice in First Nations education and research - it is the foundation of all oral history transmission.
bullet TALKING CIRCLES - This traditional practice provides a milieu and a context for respectful relations, dialogue, and equity in decision-making, problem-solving, learning, and planning.
bullet THE FOUR DIRECTIONS - An awareness of the four directions: East, South, West and North provides a holistic framework for both education and health planning.
bullet THE IMPORTANCE OF ELDERS - Elders were the backbone of First Nations traditional pedagogy and are an important foundation of all contemporary pedagogical initiatives.

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