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Teacher Preparation and Sensitivity

If the teacher is unfamiliar or uncomfortable with First Nations topics, it would be wise to have a guest speaker or resource teacher assist with the lesson(s).

When implementing the strategies and activities provided in this or other First Nations resources, it is important to recognise that cultural protocols exist. Permission for use of cultural materials or practises, such as legends, stories, songs, designs, crests, photographs, audio/visual materials, and dances, should be obtained through consultation with Elders, hereditary Chiefs, Chiefs, Band Councils, or Tribal Councils.

If your lesson(s) involve field trips to or activities on First Nations territory, it is essential that you receive permission from the relevant Band Office.

Building a Support Network

Building strong community links -- engaging in consultation with the local Aborginal people and seeking their support and assistance for what is being taught -- extends the boundaries of the classroom.

Teachers will need to develop a library of learning materials about the local Aboriginal Community and build a network of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people and organisations that can provide resources, expertise, and/or important local contacts.

Before initiating contacts with local Chiefs, Elders, Tribal or Band councils, and cultural centres (eg. Friendship Centres) it may be helpful to consult with other teachers in the school and district, as well as with local Aboriginal support workers. They can help secure local community support and serve as valuable sources of information and experience.

In addition, each school district has a contact person who is responsible for matters relating to Aboriginal peoples. Contact your school district office to locate the Aboriginal Education Co-ordinator for your district.