June 28, 2017
(Ottawa, ON) – The Assembly of First Nations’ digital education resource It’s Our Time First Nations Education Toolkit is now on iTunes U. The free, downloadable package for iPad is a resource for teachers, providing culturally relevant, accessible, hands-on educational tools on First Nation culture and history.
“Education is key to reconciliation because it builds bridges of understanding,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde. “The It’s Our Time First Nations Education Toolkit will help increase cultural competency and understanding of First Nations’ rights, histories and cultures, developed from First Nations perspectives. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission called for education to lead Canada’s reconciliation effort, and this Toolkit provides First Nation and non-First Nation learners, teachers, schools, institutions and the Canadian public with a resource that fosters a spirit of cooperation, understanding and, most importantly, action.”
The Toolkit on iPad is a resource for schools and teachers across Canada to ignite interest and encourage action, available on iTunes U and on the iBooks Store.
“One of our goals has been to advocate for education programs that allow teachers to incorporate accurate, culturally sensitive and appropriate Indigenous content in their program delivery,” says Floyd Martens, President of the Canadian School Boards Association. “We are pleased to be able to promote the new It’s Our Time First Nations Education Toolkit to our school boards, in the hopes that a spirit of education for reconciliation can be achieved through this valuable resource.”
The Canadian Education Association and Canadian Teacher’s Federation also see the value of the Toolkit.
“The Canadian Education Association applauds the AFN for developing the It’s Our Time First Nations Education Toolkit. This comprehensive collection of learning materials will help to support thousands of Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators across Canada currently challenged with embedding Indigenous knowledge, perspectives and Worldview learning into their classrooms,” says Roger Paul, CEA Chair.
“I would like to commend the AFN for the production of this valuable comprehensive toolkit on First Nations,” says Canadian Teachers’ Federation President, Heather Smith. “This must-have reference for schools and school boards across the country will become a catalyst for enhanced learning and understanding.”
The Regional Chief for Saskatchewan, Bobby Cameron, holds the education portfolio at the AFN.
“It is important the teachers have the tools available to make their lessons achieve the goal of improving the relationship between Canada and First Nations. Education of history and culture is a crucial component of that,” Regional Chief Bobby Cameron said. “Education is a lifelong learning process and one of our inherent and treaty rights. I look forward to seeing teachers use the It’s Our Time toolkit in my area and across Canada.”
There are 21 modules available through the Toolkit’s iTunes U Course. AFN has currently worked with education technology company Ebou Learning to enhance each module with six interactive textbooks:
- Cultural Competency
- First Nations Holistic Lifelong learning Model
- First Nations Performance Indicators Checklist
- The KAIROS Blanket Exercise
- Residential School
- Role Models
The AFN will continue to produce interactive and engaging digital material for the remaining modules. The resources and learning materials can be used for all grades and all teachers, but focus primarily on supporting grade 7-10 students during these important transitional years.
The Toolkit can be downloaded at: https://education.afn.ca/toolkit
It’s Our Time AFN Education Tool Kit iTunes U course is available, for free, exclusively on iTunes at: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/course/its-our-time-afn-education-tool-kit/id1199604596
The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.
For more information, please contact:
Press Secretary – National Chief’s Office
613-241-6789 ext. 222
613-241-6789 ext. 254