Indspire is pleased to have worked with communities to improve educational outcomes through the documentation and evaluation of their innovative practices. We hope that these online resources, which feature some of the best practices in Indigenous education, support your commitment to engaging, educating and inspiring your students.
This section will be updated frequently in the weeks and months ahead, so check back often.
Four Directions First Nations, Métis and Inuit Graduation Coach Approach
Four Directions First Nations, Métis and Inuit Graduation Coach Approach (“Four Directions Approach”) is a system that provides intensive support to Indigenous students and their families with the goal of seeing each student through to graduation and transition into their desired post-secondary programs. The core of the Four Directions Approach is to develop a network of committed leaders to support Indigenous learners and strive to facilitate their successful graduation.
Geering Up: UBC Engineering and Science for Kids
Geering Up UBC Engineering & Science for Kids is a non-profit organization with the mandate of promoting science, engineering, and technology to youth across British Columbia. In 2012, Geering Up initiated community outreach programs to First Nations communities in British Columbia consisting of one-week summer camps, with one community including an additional week of land-based learning.
High School Graduation Coach Program Evaluation
High School Graduation Coach Program (HSGCP) has been implemented with success in a variety of contexts. First founded in the state of Georgia, USA, the HSGCP successfully increased the high school graduation rate of African American students. The program was adapted to meet the needs of Indigenous students in South Dakota and then again to meet the needs of urban FNMI students in Edmonton.
In.Business: A National Mentorship Program for Indigenous Youth
The In.Business program was created by the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies at Cape Breton University. This program encourages Indigenous high school students to pursue careers in business, an area typically underrepresented by Indigenous peoples. It aims to increase the number of Indigenous youth studying business at the post-secondary level, provides mentorship experiences with Indigenous business professionals, and increases confidence and independence to better prepare youth for being successful after high school graduation.
Kanai HS Student Success Program: Evaluating “The Quarter System”
The Quarter System is an educational structure that seeks to improve overall student achievement by increasing the total number of credits attained per year. Research shows that an inability to attain sufficient high school credits has prevented many First Nations and Métis youth from achieving success in secondary schools. Therefore, implementing The Quarter System in schools with high populations of First Nations of Métis students will improve student success.
Meadow Lake Early Literacy Project
Through an Early Years Evaluation (EYE), the Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC) determined that the majority of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students in its communities were experiencing literacy difficulties, and would likely continue to experience problems learning to read and write without effective small-group and individual interventions. In January of 2016, the MLTC implemented an Early Years Intiative, called Talk2Learn, in collaboration with the nine Meadow Lake First Nations.
Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey Eskasoni Mi’kmaw Immersion School
Research has shown comparable skills in the mainstream language for students enrolled in an immersion program. Eskasoni has a complete Mi’kmaw Immersion School. The total language environment has provided other important effects as well as increasing the fluency of the language, it provides increased self-esteem and strengthens identity.
Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey Supporting Student Success
Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey continuously strives for academic excellence in its students and communities, and continues to make great strides in its efforts to empower youth, and in turn, empower the Mi’kmaw nation. Twenty years ago, the Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey communities hoped students would graduate and go on to post-secondary, now they expect the students to graduate and exceed provincial students.
Mother Earth’s Children Charter School
The focus of MECCS is to utilize traditional Indigenous teachings to help students improve academically and develop a balanced sense of cultural identity and wellness. The philosophy and roots of this culturally-based approach to education is the teachings of the Medicine Wheel which emphasizes the importance of balancing intellectual, spiritual, physical, and emotional health and needs.
On the Land Education – Deh Gah Elementary and Secondary School
Located at Fort Providence in Deh Cho Territory in the southeastern corner of the Northwest Territories, Deh Gáh Elementary and Secondary School is implementing a successful On the Land Education initiative. By making fundamental changes to scheduling of the school calendar year, adjustments to the curriculum and program of study, Indigenous students are increasingly graduating from high school to pursue post-secondary education opportunities.
The Outland Youth Employment Program: A Narrative Study
This report presents a holistic analysis of the experience of Indigenous youths participating in the Outland Youth Employment Program (OYEP). This analysis was conducted by examining the narratives of the youths and the people who make up their circle of support, including parents/caregivers, Traditional and Contemporary Knowledge Educators, and Mink Lake Camp administration/staff (2018). This study’s findings demonstrate that the OYEP’s Indigagogic approach has significantly increased the spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical well-being of its Indigenous youth participants, and that these youths have been able to successfully carry these benefits into other areas of their lives.
The Pen Pal Project: Children Coming Together in Friendship
The Pen Pal Project is an initiative that brings together youth from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory and the neighbouring community of Caledonia, Ontario, following conflict related to a land rights dispute. Out of concern for negative impressions forming amongst youth about the children from each community, a teacher from Six Nations, assisted by community agencies and volunteers, began a pen pal project between communities. Starting with two classrooms and 40 students in 2006, the initiative expanded and grew to become the Pen Pal Project coordinated by the Pen Pal Committee.
Wayfinders supports academic and social success primarily for Indigenous, low-income, and immigrant populations, encouraging them to earn credits toward high school graduation while taking part in tutoring, career exploration, community mentorship and community service while earning credits towards post-secondary financial support. Through the Wayfinders program, students experience and learn the importance of a grounded education through processes of mentorship and curriculum, the importance of learning in community, and career planning for a self-sustaining future – serving as an exceptional model of success for Indigenous learners.