National Collaborative Centre of Indigenous Education

Regions: Gwich'in Settlement Area, Sahtu Settlement Area, Dehcho Region, North Slave Region, South Slave Region

Tags: social sciences

Principal Investigator: Newhouse, David (1)
Licence Number: 16232
Organization: Trent University - Indigenous Studies
Licenced Year(s): 2018
Issued: Feb 10, 2018
Project Team: Kristen Sibbeston (researcher, Trent University), Miriame Giroux (researcher, Trent University), Ashley OKrainec (researcher, Trent University )

Objective(s): To profile examples of excellence in Indigenous education; to compile an inventory of key documents related to Indigenous education; and, to provide direction to the National Collaborative Centre of Indigenous Education.

Project Description: The centrepiece of the National Collaborative Centre of Indigenous Education (NCCIE) is a website that educators, practitioners, policy makers, and others will be able to access to learn about examples of best practices in Indigenous education found across the country. The website’s primary goal is to serve as an on-line library and resource centre whereby educators/practitioners can connect in a communication network to facilitate collaboration and to strengthen Indigenous education programs across the country.

The Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies was selected to undertake the information-gathering phase of the project that will occur across the nation to build content for the NCCIE website. Specifically, First Nations University has identified several geographic zones to serve as regional sites for information-gathering.

Regional sites for information gathering are: 1) northern British Columbia; 2) southern British Columbia; 3) the Yukon and/or Northwest Territories; 4) Nunavut; 5) Alberta; 4) Manitoba; 6) northern Ontario; 7) southern Ontario; 8) Quebec; 9) the Maritimes; and, 10) Saskatchewan.

The overall objectives of the information-gathering phase of the project in each region, including the NWT, are: to create a set of video or audio recordings, profiling exemplars of excellence in Indigenous education; to compile an inventory of key documents from the region related to Indigenous education; and, to host a workshop where the discussion is aimed at providing direction to the NCCIE on how it can best serve the needs of educators who are involved in Indigenous education.

“Indigenous education” is defined broadly to include several subjects, including but not limited to: history; reconciliation; Indigenous languages; Indigenous environmental science, Indigenous cultures, cultural practices, and knowledges; life skills and wellness strategies; land-based programs; and more. Indigenous ways of knowing and Indigenous cultures are part of everyday living as well as to be explored in more formal educational settings. Indigenous education takes place everywhere – in urban, rural and remote communities – in early childhood education, elementary and secondary schools, post- secondary colleges and universities, and community centres and organizations (such as Friendship Centres, Child and Family Service Centres, and healing lodges). The project will endeavour to be as holistic as possible in identifying and approaching Indigenous education programs and Indigenous educators in all these areas.

The research team will talk with community members to generate a list of best practices in Indigenous education in NWT, based on community perspectives and understandings of ‘what is a best practice?’ and ‘what are the best practices in the area?’ People involved in these educational initiatives will be interviewed. Interviews will be recorded digitally (either video or audio; see attached Consent Form). A list of key documents will be compiled from the region related to Indigenous education (e.g., NWT academic articles, NWT organizational reports, NWT community reports, NWT agreements, etc.). The research team will host a workshop where people involved in Indigenous education convene and discuss the questions, providing direction to the NCCIE on how it can best serve the needs of educators who are involved in Indigenous education. People involved in these NWT Indigenous education programs will be contacted for an interview so that a digital (video or audio) profile can be created about the educational initiative/program. These profiles will appear on the NCCIE website (under development) so that educators in NWT and across the country can access the website and learn about these exemplars of excellence.

The results will be shared for the regional team members to share highlights from the interviews they have conducted. The NCCIE, once its website is operational, will be a resource for people in NWT and around the country to view and learn from not only NWT's examples of excellence in Indigenous education, but also those in other territories and provinces across Canada.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from February 15, 2018 to March 31, 2018.