LIFELONG LEARNING: Our Children, Our Students, Our Future
NAN Education Awareness Week-May 28-June 1, 2012
Click here to download the Poster for the NAN Education Week Online Workshop
Click here to download the PDF of the NAN Education Awareness Package
Our Journey in Education... into the Future
Our vision for our Education in the future is "a reflection of what we had in the pre-contact era: full jurisdiction over the education of our children, where we control what they learn, how they learn it, and who teaches them. Our education system will prepare our children for life in a holistic way, mental, emotional, social, physical and spiritual aspects. The whole community will be involved emphasizing parental engagement (responsibility). Our education will provide a solid foundation in cultural identity. Our education will meet our needs."
NAN Education Awareness package
NAN Education Facts: Did you know...
- In our NAN territory, approximately 10,000 students are eligible to attend band council operated and provincial schools under the nominal roll.
- There are 34 First Nations operating schools (K-8) on our reserves and some First Nations offer local high school programming.
- All of our Band Operated high school students are funded at the same unit rate as an elementary (K-8) student.
- Due to the limited number of high schools in the majority of our communities, children aged 13-14 years old must leave their homes and attend high school in southern urban centres.
- There are private secondary schools which are operated by NAN First Nations and organizations, such as the Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School in Thunder Bay, the Pelican Falls First Nations High School near Sioux Lookout, Keewaytinook Internet High School based out of Balmertown and the Matawa Learning Centre located in Thunder Bay.
- The current funding allocation distributed by INAC is the Band Operated Funding Formula (BOFF). The BOFF is more than 20 years old and doesn't provide for the funding of quality education and ignores many key components including libraries and technology.
- Oshki-Pimache-O-Win is NAN's Post-Secondary Education Institute that is mandated by NAN Chiefs to provide education and training opportunities that meet the needs of our territory.
- Many NAN students cannot get funding for Post Secondary education.
- The current post secondary student allowance rate forces students to live below the poverty line.
- NAN communities follow INAC regulations, which are controlled by funding limits and an imposed two per cent cap.
NAN Education Awareness Week was created by NAN Chiefs in Assembly through Resolution 08-05 to raise the profile of First Nations Education. See attached NAN Chiefs' Resolution.
Education Week is May 28 - June 1, 2012. This year's theme is Lifelong Learning: Your Children, Our Students, Our Future. This booklet is designed to give you ideas to use in meeting your goals and objectives for Education Awareness Week. Feel free to adapt these ideas in any way to fit your community and school needs.
Giving you Ideas?
This Events and Activities Planning Booklet provides ideas for planning your school and community events and activities to mark Education Awareness Week.
Administrators, educators, local education authorities, schools, parent councils and students can use this booklet to help plan activities and events for individual classes or the entire school community. Many ideas presented in this booklet go beyond school walls, to encourage ALL community members to get involved in celebrating and creating awareness about education in the Nishnawbe Aski Nation territory.
For successful events and activities
- Involve students in the planning process and events.
- Plan your school/community activities and announcements in advance, if possible.
- Utilize a planning committee for community-wide events/activities. Assign roles and responsibilities and engage extra helpers.
- Invite your community radio and/or Wawatay Radio Network to cover your event.
- Advertise your community and school events with posters and radio announcements, and send a notice home with students outlining activities.
- Involve the news media in Education Awareness Week:
- Select students to act as reporters for the school during Education Week.
- These students could interview local education authority members, teachers, parents, other students, school administration about various issues in First Nation education. Have students report on these interviews in Wawatay News or on the community radio.
- Have students submit letters to the editor at Wawatay News on education issues.
- Ask students to prepare posters or announcements for Education Awareness Week.
- Engage in a round table discussion on education. Parents, teachers, Elders, local education authority members and students could participate.
- If you are inviting a speaker, talk with your speaker before the event about details:
- Time, date, place, topic, equipment needs such as audio visual materials, props.
- Make considerations for a possible honorarium or gift for the speaker.
- Arrange for a student/staff member to thank the speaker.
- Arrange transportation for Elders or others who are interested in attending events.
- Hold opening and closing ceremonies for NAN Education Awareness Week.
Use a community-wide approach in planning a successful Education Awareness Week.
Approach various organizations, businesses and agencies in your community and invite them to do presentations and demonstrations on various topics.
The following community resources may be available in your community:
- Local businesses
- Chief and Council
- Band Office
- Local Education Authority & local education authority members
- Nishnawbe Aski Police Service
- Tikinagan Child and Family Services
- Clinic/Nursing station/Hospital
- Local community radio station
- Regional radio network and newspaper including Wawatay News
- Nishnawbe Aski Nation
- Tribal Councils
- Nishnawbe Aski Legal Services Corporation
- Other local schools
- Other Education programs such as alternative education and distance education programs
- High school and Post Secondary graduates
- Writers, artists, musicians
- Individuals with various careers/jobs in the community
- Individuals with cultural and traditional knowledge or practice traditional pursuits
- Community organizations
- On-line education websites
- Post secondary programs and websites
- Community Wahsa Distance Education Centre
- First Nation Student Success Program
- Kwayaciiwin Education Resource Centre
- Matawa Learning Centre, Thunder Bay
Activity and Event Ideas
A School Open House gives parents, students, grandparents and the whole community an opportunity to visit the various classes and programs within the school. Here are some ideas/suggestions which may be helpful in planning your open house:
- Provide parents and community members the opportunity to visit the school and view students' activities. Have teachers or senior students available to answers any questions.
- Invite parents/visitors/community members to observe classes for part of a day.
- Plan family-oriented activities which allow parent-child interaction such as reading together, playing a game, or engaging in a computer activity.
- Plan various activities in the school gym, where parents and community members can participate. The program may consist of music, art, science projects, cultural activities and demonstrations.
- Set up classroom displays for community members and parents to view.
- Make up a list of sample test or exam questions from various grades. Hand the questions to parents and community members as they enter the school and have them answer the questions. Post the sheet with the answers.
- Create hallway displays on the Education Awareness Week theme.
- Create a display of materials on First Nation education, jurisdiction & governance.
- Have tea and bannock available or have a potluck supper during the Open House.
- Each grade or class may decide to plan a special event at the Open House.
- Invite speakers to talk on various topics as determined by your school.
- Invite parents to speak to students on the importance of education in life.
- Hold a series of mini-workshops on various topics, for example:
- Homework skills
- Literacy, numeracy
- Post-secondary education - opportunities, issues and challenges
- First Nation education jurisdiction and governance
- Promote Post Secondary opportunities and programs with displays such as regular programs and native access programs.
- Display information to promote secondary school education programs including First Nation operated and provincial schools.
- Display information and student work related to your First Nation Student Success Program (FNSSP)
Planning events for Parents
The following are some ideas for parents' events:
- Provide an opportunity for parents, teachers and students to share a meal and get to know each other. The following are some ideas:
- Plan a bannock and tea or pancake breakfast.
- Have students bring a bag lunch, invite parents to also bring a bag lunch and eat with their children. Plan a presentation during lunch on any chosen topic.
- Have a parent/teacher luncheon.
- Invite parents to attend school as observers, teachers or students for a small part of the day.
- Have students plan a program for parents, which might include plays, poems, reading, creative writing/stories, singing or plays, etc.
- Plan an evening information program for parents or for parents and students, on various topics such as:
- Education jurisdiction and governance
- Peer pressure
- Computer awareness
- Drugs and alcohol awareness
- Importance of education-Post Secondary education
- Homework skills and habits
- Invite parents to speak to students about their jobs, skills, interests, travel or to share an activity. Some ideas include:
- Talk about how to set up rabbit snares or a fish net.
- Have a skilled hunter come in to talk about safety when hunting.
- Have a post secondary student or graduate speak about their experiences and education aspirations.
- Having parents with careers to speak about their job with a demonstration.
- Invite Elders or cultural experts to speak to students about traditional education, cultural practices or do a demonstration, e.g., snowshoe making, cleaning fish, rabbit snaring, etc.
- Plan an evening activity where parents become the students and have the opportunity to attend sessions in computer literacy/keyboarding, family life, cultural activity, etc.
- Have each class work on a parent/child study activity as determined by classes.
- Have an information session for parents on the First Nation Student Success Program (FNSSP)
- Have an information session for parents and the community on the Education Partnerships Program
- Plan a cultural day and invite community members and parents to host demonstrations and activities on traditional and cultural practices, such as birch bark biting, setting snares, fish nets, skinning and tanning hides, etc.
- Invite Elders and storytellers to come in and tell legends and stories about what life was like in the past.
- Invite parents or community members to read to the students.
- Invite Elders and other community members to come in and share with the students about the history of the community.
- Have students research the community history and develop a display of information, include any pictures that students are able to bring in.
- Invite Chief and Council to come in and speak on education, jurisdiction and governance issues.
- Plan class visits to various local businesses and organizations such as the clinic, store, hospital, police station and others.
- Have students interview community members. Questions to be asked by students could include:
- How has education helped you in life?
- Who was your favourite teacher? why?
- How has education changed since you went to school?
- What is your most favourite memory about going to school?
- Do a profile of your school, highlighting the successes, accomplishments and important events over the years.
- Have students interview community Elders and develop a profile for each Elder interviewed. Make a display or booklet of "Our community Elders."
- Plan a call in radio show using the local community radio to talk about and present education issues and facts as related to your community situation. Have local education authority members available to answer questions and provide feedback to comments.
- Celebrate community achievements and successes in education - hold a recognition ceremony to acknowledge successful graduates at the secondary and post-secondary level.
- Invite community members, parents and others to come in and discuss or demonstrate an activity or hobby such as music, singing, arts and crafts, painting, snowshoe making, bannock making, cleaning fish, etc.
- Have each child invite a grandparent or Elder to visit the school for part of the day. Set aside time when the Elders/grandparents and the children can share an activity.
- Invite Elders to share their skills/knowledge with students, e.g., life in the past, changes that they have seen, etc.
- Prepare a display of any existing alternative education programs or post-secondary programs/institutes to promote life long learning.
- Have an information session on the First Nation Student Success Program (FNSSP) and the Education Partnerships Program (EPP).
Language and Culture Activities
- Plan activities and events that highlight the importance of maintaining and preserving your community native language.
- Have a Native Language Day. Encourage students and teachers to speak the language only as much as possible during the day.
- Do your morning announcements in your language.
- Set up a Language Fair, display language posters, word strips and audio listening stations or other.
- Showcase your community/school Immersion program by having parents and community members visit the classrooms to observe.
- Have students write a song in the language about Education Awareness Week.
- Have students record stories, poems, and vocabulary in their language onto the computer. Use these files as a resource for language learning.
- Invite storytellers/Elders to tell and show how stories and legends are passed on.
- Develop a short play in the native language. Have students perform at Open House.
- Host an Open House to showcase drama, plays, music, stories/legends, pow wow.
- Organize a culture fair - plan for various traditional practices and cultural activities including demonstrations on rabbit snaring, setting a fish net, birch bark biting, birch bark baskets, cleaning fish, hide tanning, etc. Encourage parents and community members to participate; encourage language use only.
- Invite Elders to visit classrooms to talk to students about traditional teachings.
- Hold a mini-language forum to discuss language maintenance and retention issues.
Environment and Science Activities
A variety of activities that can be planned by your school in the area of science and the environment include the following:
- Plan a Science Fair - projects may be done individually, by a group or family. Chose a theme for your event, e.g., environment, First Nation practices, animals, etc
- Display student projects and experiments. Invite parents, community members and students to come in. Have students available to talk about their projects.
- Have students create a food web for your community, the region, province and country for display in the school hallway. Students can draw or find pictures of animals, plants, etc. related to the food chain. Show what happens when the food chain link is broken or damaged.
- Plan an Environment Fair. Have students research good environmental practices for their community, NAN territory, province, country, world. Make posters about the environment. Display projects and posters.
- Invite speakers and community Elders to talk about the environment from a cultural perspective.
- Create mosaics with recycled materials for display.
- Take a community tour - have students determine what changes might be made to address community environmental issues, e.g., littering, garbage, etc.
Arts, Music and Drama Activities
- Create art or drama to express the importance of education.
- Have students write stories, poems or essays about education.
- Create a mural showing the theme for Education Awareness Week. Each classroom may do their own or it could be a school-wide project.
- Create a video or photos of events and activities that happen at your school. Display the photos or show the video at your Open House.
- Organize an Education Awareness poster contest. Display posters in the hallway.
- Invite community musicians to talk about their music and sing with the students.
- As a class or individually, have students write a song on the theme of education or about their school. Present the song as a class/school during Open House.
- Organize a book fair.
- Invite storytellers/Elders to tell stories and legends.
- Have students write about their education goals and future career ideas. Encourage them to share their written material.
Following a healthy lifestyle:
- Promote Healthy Lifestyle events and activities as a key to successful learning. Invite speakers and community health workers to present on health related topics.
- Have students create posters and work on projects related to nutrition and health, the importance of exercise, effects of smoking, drugs and alcohol. Set up displays.
- Invite parents and community members to planned events and to see the displays.
- Have students work on a display highlighting traditional foods and practices that lead to a healthy lifestyle.
- Invite Elders and community members to do presentations on tradition healing practices and medicines.
- Organize physical fitness activities in the gym or outside - invite students, parents and community members to participate.
- Arrange for your community health workers, nurses to do presentations and demonstrations on various health topics and healthy lifestyles.
- Invite Chief and council to address students on the importance of healthy community living.
- Invite your community social service worker or school counsellor to do presentations on self-esteem and confidence building, peer pressure, etc.
- Invite your community law enforcement officer to do presentations on law issues and safety.
- Arrange a cultural trip out on the land, so that students may experience and learn about cultural practices and traditions.
Education and Future Opportunities
- Build school pride and ownership by having students develop a profile about their school, history, where the school name came from, etc.
- Have students create a brochure or pamphlet for your school. Students may include history, school name, important events, highlights and why their school is unique. Distribute brochures to community members, post school information on the school website, display the information in the school entranceway.
- Invite your Education Co-ordinator and local education authority members to visit your school Have them talk to your students and teachers about your community education program, and the importance of life-long learning.
- Have elementary students visit your local high school classrooms or alternative education program or post secondary program.
- Have students organize an appreciation activity or event for teachers, e.g., tea and bannock, miigwech cards, etc.
- Arrange for a Regional Governance Co-ordinator to do presentations to students on Education Jurisdiction and Governance.
- Organize a local radio call in show to talk about education issues related to funding, post-secondary education, secondary school concerns, community education issues.
- Invite successful secondary and post-secondary graduates to come in and talk to students about the importance of staying in school.
Local Education Authority/School Board
- Organize a community radio call-in event, to present and talk about community education programs, issues and education plans. Invite parents and community members to phone in to ask questions, provide feedback, and make comments.
- Have local education authority members and the education co-ordinator available to do community presentations on your community education programs and issues.
- Arrange for the Regional Governance Co-ordinator to do a presentation on Education Jurisdiction and Governance during Education Awareness Week.
- Set up a display at the school or community centre about your school, education programs, goals, successes and achievement.
- Plan a career fair for students. Highlight secondary and post-secondary education.
- Host an Open House, set up presentations an displays focussing on Student Achievement, recognition of Secondary and Post Secondary graduates, Community Education programs, Teacher Appreciation.
- Have local education authority members do classroom visits to observe and speak to students on the importance of Education.
- Organize a community meeting to discuss community education goals and issues.
NAN Education Awareness Week is co-ordinated by the NAN Education Awareness Working Group. The Working Group is a sub-committee of the NAN Education Committee. We hope you find this resource booklet useful in planning your school and community activities and events during Education Awareness Week.
Education Awareness Week can be a great opportunity to share and celebrate your school achievements, student success in your community and also to create awareness of education challenges and issues in the NAN territory. First Nations are encouraged to host events and activities during the NAN Education Awareness Week.
For more information on the NAN Education Awareness Week or activities and events taking place across the NAN territory, please check the Nishnawbe Aski Nation website at www.nan.on.ca and follow the links.
If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact Dobi-Dawn Frenette at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathy Beardy at email@example.com
Violet Chilton at firstname.lastname@example.org
Toll Free: 1-800-465-9952
About the Logo:
In 2008, Nishnawbe Aski Nation held the inaugural Education Awareness Week. During this time, a logo contest was held open to all NAN Elementary, secondary and Post-Secondary students.The Nishnawbe Aski Nation Education Committee was seeking a logo that celebrates First Nation culture in NAN Territory and promotes the importance of Education.
The logo was created by a student from Aroland First Nation.
The information contained in this booklet was adapted from the Saskatchewan Learning booklet of ideas for Education week, 2006
NAN CHIEFS COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
Chief Walter Naveau, Mattagami First Nation
Chief Gordon Beardy, Muskrat Dam First Nation
Chris Moonias, Neskantaga First Nation, Band Councillor
Chief David Thompson, Keewaywin First Nation
Chief Titus Tait, Sachigo Lake First Nation
DGC Leo Friday, Mushkegowuk Council
NAN EDUCATION COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Windigo Tribal Council - Rebecca Maki, Education Liaison Officer
Shibogama Tribal Council - Matthew Angees, Education Advisor
Independent First Nations Alliance - Richard Morris, Education Advisor
Matawa First Nations - Murray Waboose, Education Manager
Wabun First Nations Council - Cathy Naveau, Education Coordinator
Keewaytinook Okimakanak - Goyce Kakegamic, Education Coordinator
Mushkegowuk Council - Irene Tomatuk, Education Advisor
NAN Organization - Anastasia Weesk, Ojibway Cree Cultural Centre