Although I only wrote this response in January, I feel that I have come a long way in understanding how First Nations perspectives and content need to be included. I remember one day in class I really had a “uh huh” moment when Shauneen explained to us that instead of teaching about the First Nations perspectives, we should actually “live” and practice them. What she meant by this was that instead of telling our students that First Nations people often have a sharing or talking circle, where there is an item that they hold and only the person holding the item can talk, we should actually practice this method of information sharing with our students, so actually having talking circles as part of our lessons. This was a huge eye opener to me, and I became a lot more confident in my ability to incorporate these perspectives and practices into my lessons.
During my pre-internship I had the please in talking to Norma Jean- an elder in Regina about the medicine wheel and First Nations health. I think that a great way for teachers to effectively include First Nation’s perspectives into the classroom is by having an elder come in and speak and work with the students. I truly believe that there is something about an elders presence that gravitates people towards them, and I think that students automatically want to hear from these people.
During my pre-internship I was also exposed to the ways some of the teachers include First Nations perspectives, so I talked to them about some of the challenge they face and they talked about how they also share resources and ask others for advice.
I have started a binder of all the First Nations resources that I have come across so far, even though it’s small I think it’s a good start. I even included the treaty information that we learned about in the ECS 350 class.