Resources for the Classroom
This section includes resources (lesson plans, curriculum, readings, videos, podcasts, etc.) to use in class.
Up-to-date national news coverage of about the Indigenous peoples, both in videos and in newspaper articles, are accessible on this link. It also features movies, TV shows, and docuseries, all of which could be useful classroom resources.
Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. (2021). https://www.aptn.ca/
The stories in this document are e-books from The Westcoast Reader, a newspaper for adults who are improving their English language reading skills. The articles are divided into 3 reading levels and include reading comprehension and literacy exercises.
Acosta, J. (2019). Canada’s indigenous peoples. Best of the Reader. http://www.bestofthereader.ca/Ebooks/Canada's_Indigenous%20Peoples-print.pdf
This interactive website contains explanations, audio clips, video clips, links and more that instructors can choose from when incorporating Indigenous voices into their curriculum. Topics to explore include kinship, Aboriginal and Treaty rights, healing historical trauma, worldviews, oral tradition, elders, symbolism and traditions, connection to the land, Indigenous pedagogy, culture and language, wellbeing, and traditional environmental knowledge.
Alberta Education (2003–2020). Walking together: First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Perspectives in Curriculum. http://www.learnalberta.ca/content/aswt/
This 28-episode podcast shares the story of the connections between Indigenous peoples and Black peoples on Turtle Island.
Apple Podcasts. (2017–2020). The henceforward [Audio podcast playlist]. https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-henceforward/id1132743792?mt=2
This is a toolkit for being an Indigenous ally in Treaty 7 territory (Calgary).
Calgary Foundation. (2019). Treaty 7 Indigenous ally toolkit. https://calgaryfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/Ally-Toolkit-web.pdf
Includes interactive works of visual art that reflect the vision and voices of Indigenous youth in Canada. The art panels were created by youth from a variety of provinces and territories across Canada. They are accompanied by videos of Indigenous youth explaining what the concept of human rights means to them.
Canadian Museum for Human Rights. (2021). The Spirit Panel Project. https://spiritpanels.humanrights.ca/explore
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights features multimodal stories that learners can explore. Many of the stories are connected to reconciliation and stories of indigenous people in Canada, including, for example,
- What if you were taken from your family?
- Nursing and Indigenous people’s health: reconciliation in practice
- The murder of Elzéar Goulet and the struggle for Métis rights
- Why reconciliation? Why now?
- Dick Patrick: An Indigenous veteran’s fight for inclusion
- Childhood denied
- Bringing the potlatch home
Canadian Museum for Human Rights. (n.d.). Stories. https://humanrights.ca/stories
This 2-minute video provides a definition and overview of the word “Indigenous,” suitable for intermediate ESL learners.
CBC Kids News. (2019, March 26). The word indigenous – explained [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CISeEFTsgDA
This 6-minute video shares Tasha Hubbard’s narration of the history of Indigenous peoples in the prairies. Tasha Hubbard is a First Nations/Cree filmmaker and educator.
CBC Docs. (2020, February 20). Canadians have been breaking their promises to Indigenous people [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUHnKUaDYjs
This is a 4-minute video about the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
CBC News: The National. (2015, December 15). Truth and Reconciliation Commission final report [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKKLgwlosaw
In this 4-minute video, Chief Robert Joseph narrates his personal experience surviving residential school and his views on the importance of Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.
CBC. (2017, December 18). Namwayut: We are all one. Truth and reconciliation in Canada Canada is… [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zuRQmwaREY
This link includes a series of personal stories of Indigenous peoples, some in written form, and some documented through short videos.
CBC News. (2017). I am Indigenous. https://www.cbc.ca/news2/interactives/i-am-indigenous-2017/
This is an 18-minute documentary of survivors from residential schools.
CBC News: The National. (2015, June 2). Stolen children: Residential School survivors speak out [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdR9HcmiXLA&feature=emb_title
This 22-minute video documentary describes the crimes committed against children at St. Anne’s Residential School in Northern Ontario.
The Fifth Estate. (2019, March 3). Crimes against children at residential school: The truth about St. Anne’s [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep7AW2K4Xww
Wab Kinew walks through 500 years of Indigenous history in a 2-minute video and in a video series.
CBC Firsthand. (n.d.). 8th fire: Wab’s walk through history [Video]. Behind the Lens Blog. https://www.cbc.ca/firsthand/blog/8th-fire-wabs-walk-through-history
This website provides information on important topics related to the histories, politics, and cultures of Indigenous peoples of Canada. Topics covered include identity, land and rights, governance, culture, and global Indigenous issues.
First Nations and Indigenous Studies UBC. (2009). Indigenous foundations. https://indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca/home/
This virtual museum houses a collection of history, biographies, and community events, and learning resources highlighting the Métis history and culture. Learning resources include lesson plans, materials, and other resources intended for grade school but which could be used as reference in adult learning.
Gabriel Dumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research. (n.d.). Virtual museum of Métis history and culture. http://www.metismuseum.ca/
This interactive map locates and identifies First Nation places, community websites, and profiles.
Government of Canada. (n.d.). First Nations profiles interactive map. https://geo.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/cippn-fnpim/index-eng.html
Thomas King challenges how the media stereotypically portrayed the First Nations peoples. This video explores how First Nations peoples in Canada and changing that view and empowering themselves.
King, T. (2007). I’m not the Indian you had in mind [Video]. National Screen Institute. https://nsi-canada.ca/2012/03/im-not-the-indian-you-had-in-mind/
This link provides student materials, teacher’s guides, and audios for CLB 5, 6, 7, and 8 learners.
LISTN (June 30, 2016). First Peoples: Learning materials for newcomers. https://listn.tutela.ca/resources/resources-for-teachers/listn-resources/first-peoples-learning-materials-for-newcomers.html
This article on Indigenous Peoples in Manitoba is suitable for CLB 5 learners. As well, there is a CLB 3–4 version of the article and a supporting video.
Live&Learn: An online community for new Manitobans. (2016, February 9). Facts about Indigenous culture and history you should know. https://livelearn.ca/article/living-in-manitoba/facts-about-aboriginal-culture-and-history-you-should-know/?clb-version=clb5plus
A selection of films, documentaries, animation, education, and interactive works can be streamed free of charge or downloaded for a small fee. Search for works related to Indigenous peoples and First Nations. Users can sign up for free to for additional access to a variety of resources.
National Film Board Canada. (2021). https://www.nfb.ca/films/
The link provides information about the Inuit peoples and their culture.
Centre de Santé Inuulitisivik. (2011–2019). Northern life and Inuit culture. https://www.inuulitsivik.ca/northern-life-and-inuit-culture/who-are-the-inuits/?lang=en
This video is a digital story that explores reconciliation from the perspectives of an Indigenous scholar and a non-Indigenous allied scholar.
Poitras-Pratt, Y., & Danyluk, P. (n.d.) A model of Reconcili-action. [Video]. Academica. https://www.academia.edu/video/lmMBZl
In this video, Dr. Tiffany Prete summarizes her first year of an archival and oral history research project to explore, reveal, and record significant aspects of the Blood Indian Residential School (IRS) history. She narrates the process of uncovering her people’s history as she reflects her own engagement being an intergenerational survivor of the residential school.
Prete, T. (2021, January 23). We are Niitsitapi (the Real People): Surviving colonization - research summary [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLGCqTgdX70
Indigenous Elders speak to newcomers in Alberta about body, mind, and spirit.
NorQuest LT. (2019, September 3). Rural Routes: Elders speak: Body, mind & spirit [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FcUvMlYEz0
Indigenous Elders speak to newcomers in Alberta about barriers.
NorQuest LT. (2019, September 3). Rural Routes: Elders speak: Barriers [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHz_Vd0Rvd8
Indigenous Elders speak to newcomers in Alberta about identity.
NorQuest LT. (2019, September 3). Rural Routes: Elders speak: Identity [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_yslXhG11A
Indigenous Elders speak to newcomers in Alberta about respect.
NorQuest LT. (2019, September 3). Rural Routes: Elders speak: With respect [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wKfovQy8mQ
Indigenous Elders speak to newcomers in Alberta about Residential schools.
NorQuest LT. (2019, September 3). Rural Routes: Elders speak: Residential schools [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y910CuZCS7A
This resource includes videos as well as a CLB 4 Curriculum Guide linked to the videos. The guide includes classroom activities on the following topics: First Nations culture, history, current issues and future challenges; Métis culture; Inuit history, culture, and future challenges. (Note: You may need to log in as a guest and select Indigenous Voices in the Classroom).
The Immigrant Education Society (TIES Learn). (2020). Indigenous voices in the classroom: CLB 4 classroom guide. https://www.immigrant-education.ca/CIESLearn/course/view.php?id=10
This resource includes a curriculum booklet with handouts and classroom activities, along with links to audio/video recordings. The focus is on Canadian Indigenous cultural topics, rather than complex historical information, with the goal of providing points of connection between CLB 2 immigrant learners and the Indigenous peoples of Canada. (Note: You may need to log in as a guest and select Indigenous Voices in the Classroom).
The Immigrant Education Society (TIES Learn). (2021). Canadian Indigenous culture: CLB 2. https://www.immigrant-education.ca/CIESLearn/course/index.php
This link contains a list of videos about Indigenous peoples.
TED. (n.d.). Indigenous peoples: A collection of TED talks (and more) on the topic of Indigenous peoples [Video playlist]. https://www.ted.com/topics/indigenous+peoples
In this 5-minute video, Eddy Robinson encourages Canadians to first listen and understand what has happened to Indigenous peoples before attempting to help.
TVO Docs. (2019, April 2). What non-Indigenous Canadians need to know [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1E-3Hb1-WA
This document lists the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
United Nations. (2018). United Nations declaration on the rights of Indigenous peoples. https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2018/11/UNDRIP_E_web.pdf
This resource guide includes best practices for teaching Indigenous content, as well as lesson plans and content that can be incorporated into the class. Materials are designed for Grades 1–12, but some of the lesson ideas may be relevant to some ESL contexts.
WE. (2015). WE learn together: A resource guide for bringing Canadian Indigenous culture into the classroom. https://cdn.we.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/INDIGENOUS_Guide_20161018_FINAL_V4_Nov_15_WEB.pdf?_ga=2.251501446.1614365090.1510773933-449789498.1510773933
This 49-minute documentary narrates the story of Residential Schools from the perspective of three survivors. It is based on a book by Robert P. Wells and was produced by John Sanfilippo.
Wells, R., & Sanfilippo, J. (2016, October 25). Wawahte: Stories of Residential School survivors [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGrJNUCQ-r4
The following are suggestions of novels that could be used in class:
When I was Eight, by Christy Jordan-Fenton & Margaret Pokiak-Fendon (CLB 3+)
Fatty Legs, by Christy Jordan-Fenton & Margaret Pokiak-Fenton (CLB 5+)
As Long as the Rivers Flow, by Larry Loyie & Constance Brissenden) (CLB 5+)
No Time to Say Goodbye, by Sylvia Olsen (CLB 5+)
We are all Treaty People, by Maurice Switzer (34-page illustrated book; there is also a YouTube video of the book).