Aboriginal Learning|Autochtones

Aboriginal Learning

The Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre was created to provide a collaborative national forum that would support the development of effective solutions for the challenges faced by First Nations, Métis and Inuit learners.

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Learning is a multi-dimensional holistic lifelong experience characterized by quick starts and interrupted spaces within continuous conscious and unconscious activity. Aboriginal Peoples acknowledge that learning is holistic and continuous. Formal institutional learning provides an important core to holistic learning, and can negatively or positively impact on lifelong activity, employment, health and well-being.

Lifelong learning is our approach to the education of First Nations, Métis and Inuit learners; within this concept all other areas that impact quality of life are encompassed: environment, health, economics, housing and inter-relationships with all life.

Quality of life and successful participation of Aboriginal learners in this world depend upon the creation of sustainable education systems built upon the recognition, valuation and integration of the worldview, culture, language, values and inherent rights of diverse First Peoples of Canada. A holistic education encompasses spiritual, physical, social, emotional and cognitive development.

The Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre recognized that Aboriginal learners have unique perspectives and diverse ways of knowing which must be considered in the evolution of educational systems.


Featured Publications

Gender Issues in Aboriginal Learning

Animation Theme Bundle 2: Comprehending and Nourishing the Learning Spirit

In Aboriginal societies, it is acknowledged that learning environments must reflect the fact that both First Nations men and women have diverse experiences and needs. In order to make progress in redefining success in Aboriginal learning, there is also the need to acknowledge and address issues that hamper learning among First Nations men and women.

» Find out more

Moving from the Head to the Heart–Addressing the Indian's Canada Problem in Reclaiming the Learning Spirit: Aboriginal Learners in EducationNourishing the Learning Spirit: Dialogue on Learning through Spirit

This report offers an overview of emergent ideas and provides through longer transcript segments elaborations of engagement with spirit of participants to the dialogue and understandings of spirit.

» Read the report (PDF, 300 KB)

Synthesis Report of the Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre's Literature Reviews:  Responsive Educational Systems Promising Practices and Programs in Aboriginal Learning

Using Aboriginal learning’s foundational themes which are based on place, spirit and Aboriginal language and form the base of Indigenous knowledge and knowing, this report identifies four programs that use promising practices in Aboriginal learning:

  • Chief Atahm School in Secwepemc Nation, British Columbia
  • Gift of Language and Culture Project in Onion Lake, Saskatchewan
  • Cree Language Programs in Blue Quills First Nations College, Alberta
  • Kanien’kehá:ka Onkwawén:na Roatitióhkwa Language and Cultural Centre, Quebec

» Find out more

Moving from the Head to the Heart–Addressing the Indian's Canada Problem in Reclaiming the Learning Spirit: Aboriginal Learners in Education Moving from the Head to the Heart

The purpose of this report is to identify key principles and values in promising practices, models and programs in Aboriginal education related to the Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre's Reclaiming the Learning Spirit theme bundle.

The report chronicles the Aboriginal learning spirit's story from first contact with Europeans through to the present day. The author describes seven different stages of learning as experienced by Aboriginal learners of the past, present and future.

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Synthesis Report of the Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre's Literature Reviews:  Responsive Educational Systems Synthesis Report of the Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre's Literature Reviews: Responsive Educational Systems

Using CCL's First Nations, Métis, and Inuit holistic Lifelong Learning Models and current research conducted by the AbLKC, this report identifies key emerging principles and values of promising practices within responsive learning systems. The principles and promising practices that best support Aboriginal learning and learners include:

  • Nourishing the Learning Spirit
  • Culture and language programming
  • Indigenous Knowledge as a part of the curriculum
  • Holistic view of measurement and success
  • Engagement of community, parent, and youth through relationships
    • Mentorship programs and transition supports
    • Role of the professional
    • Partnerships as a part of governance and policy development

» Find out more

Be our friend! (on Facebook) Be our friend!
(on Facebook)

Are you a fan of CCL's Aboriginal Holistic Lifelong Learning Models? Now you have a new place to express your appreciation—Facebook. CCL now has a Facebook page for its First Nations, Métis and Inuit Learning Models, and it's the perfect place for individuals and organizations to share their experiences using the innovative and internationally acclaimed models. Just click on the link, become a fan, and head to the Discussion Forum to share your experiences using the models; whether it's related to teacher training, community planning, curriculum development, measurement purposes or simply personal reflections.

» Find out more

When Learning Draws Us In Like Magnets, Our Heart and Brain Connect To Animate Our Worldviews In Practice

The Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre's Pedagogy of Professions and Practitioners Animation Theme Bundle researchers believe that education and a proportionate presence of Aboriginals in self-regulated professions will lead the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Nations out of poverty. The group has compiled three documents to support this view: a handbook of Aboriginal-oriented professional organizations, a report which discusses the Aboriginal experience in the Canadian educational system and a power point presentation.

» Find out more

Métis Post-Secondary Education Systems: Literature ReviewMétis Post-Secondary Education Systems: Literature Review

Education systems that do not serve the needs of Métis learners have lasting impact on all Canadian socio-economic developments, according to the report Metis Post-Secondary Education Systems: Literature Review. Employment rates, recruitment and retention initiatives, community issues of being at risk or in crisis, suicide rates, poverty, health and justice are just a few of the issues intertwined with education development.

This is why statistics on the well-being of Métis people in Canada are manifestations of Métis experiences in post-secondary education. Unfortunately, studies of socio-economic statistics consistently show large disparities remain between Aboriginal peoples and the general Canadian population. In this report, Métis-specific literature on education is examined and discussed. The report goes on to make four recommendations for a thriving Métis future.

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Naturalizing Indigenous KnowledgeNaturalizing Indigenous Knowledge

By many measurements, Canadian learning institutions are failing to adapt to the needs of Aboriginal students. Naturalizing Indigenous Knowledge author Dr. Leroy Little Bear says that bringing Aboriginal culture, language and knowledge into classrooms will result in better educated Aboriginal students.

» Find out more

Nourishing the Learning Spirit: Elders' DialogueNourishing the Learning Spirit: Elders' Dialogue

These Elders were part of a dialogue session on "Nourishing the Learning Spirit" in March 2008 at the Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation organized by AbLKC, the University of Saskatchewan, Aboriginal Education Research Centre, the Office of the Treaty Commissioner, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education and the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre.

» Watch the video

» View the report


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