NWT 101 Teachers get schooled in up-here education 10 Tuesday July 21 2015 EDUCATION ON THE LAND Nomination forms are available at www.ece.gov.nt.ca the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre website www.pwnhc.ca your local band office or a Regional ECE Service Centre. Deadline for nominations is July 29 2015. For more information please contact ECE at 867 873-7920 or ECEPublicAffairsgov.nt.ca. Call for Nominations The Department of Education Culture and Employment ECE is now accepting nominations for the Ministers Culture and Heritage Circle. The Ministers Culture and Heritage Circle recognizes youth individuals Elders and groups in the Northwest Territories who exemplify excellence and dedication to the promotion and preservation of the arts culture and heritage in their community or region. Please leave a message at 872-5543 for details. WESCLEAN NORTHERN SALES LTD. Ph 867 875-5100 Fax 867 875-5155 Avalon Cat Hair - long Size - medium Gender - female Avalon is a very loving and beautiful cat. She is spayed and is up-to-date with all her shots.If you think you have a home for a Avalon please call the shelter at 872-5543. Please leave a message at 872-5543 for details. WESCLEAN NORTHERN SALES LTD. Ph 867 875-5100 Fax 867 875-5155 E-mail infowescleannwt.com web www.wescleannwt.com Avalon Cat Hair - long Size - medium Gender - female Avalon is a very loving and beautiful cat. She is spayed and is up-to-date with all her shots.If you think you have a home for a Avalon please call the shelter at 872-5543. Please leave a message at 872-5543 for details. WESCLEAN NORTHERN SALES LTD. Ph 867 875-5100 Fax 867 875-5155 E-mail infowescleannwt.com web www.wescleannwt.com Avalon Cat Hair - long Size - medium Gender - female Avalon is a very loving and beautiful cat. She is spayed and is up-to-date with all her shots.If you think you have a home for a Avalon please call the shelter at 872-5543. SpayedNeutered Up-to-datewithroutineshots House trained MinnieFemaleAdult Grey and white Looking for a new home Minnie was a very scared shy cat when she first came in. She had been kept in a bedroom and was not socialized. She has come a long way but will require some patience to gain her trust. She is a great cat just not good with other animals. By MEAGAN WOHLBERG A new postsecondary course is exposing a pilot group of nine NWT teachers to a politi- cal cultural and historical overview of the North with the goal of creating a more sup- portive learning environment in K-12 class- rooms across the territory. The two-week intensive which wrapped up this month at the Dechinta Bush University Centre for Research and Learning brought together a mix of teachers curriculum devel- opers and Aboriginal language coordinators from across the NWT to learn best practices for teaching in the unique context of the North and inspire ways of bringing community and land-based resources into the classroom. Co-organized by the department of Edu- cation Culture and Employment ECE and Dechinta the course recently brought the mix of adults and their kids out on the land at Blachford Lake Lodge and connected them with Aboriginal leaders elders and instruc- tors while providing them with an accredited Masters-level course to advance their post- secondary education level. The course looks at colonization and de- colonization in terms of how we approach the classroomandpedagogythe historyofNorth- ern and indigenous education in Canada and really trying to introduce indigenous world- views on education into teachers tool kits so that teachers who are teaching in the North whoarentfromtheNorthhavemoreresources and more background when theyre coming to teach Northern kids said Erin Freeland- Ballantyne dean of programs for Dechinta. Though the course is designed to be most benecial for southern teachers it is also a way to give local educators a chance to work on furthering their education or careers while contributing to a strong cross-learning envi- ronment Freeland-Ballantyne said. I think the diversity of the cohort is what makes the cohort really strong she said. The pilot group included indigenous teach- ers from Tuktoyaktuk Fort Resolution Fort Providence and the Yellowknives Dene First Nation mixed with non-indigenous teachers working in Aklavik Fort Providence and In- uvik. Two curriculum and policy developers from ECE also participated as well as the Aboriginal Education Coordinator from the YK1 school district. Therstweekofthecoursewasdoneonline followed by a one-week land-based segment at Blachford. Students are now expected to complete a project in their communities that mobilizes new tools for getting students out on the land and harnesses local resources to deepen the classroom and take it beyond the school Freeland-Ballantyne said. A partnership initiative Dechinta was approached by ECE to help teach the course based on the schools expe- rience providing a mix of on-the-land and theoretical programming aimed at empow- ering primarily indigenous community lead- ers in the North. As part of our 10-year education renewal initiative one of the areas that was identied as key for strengthening a Northern teaching force was to have opportunities around post- secondary courses and particularly courses that would be at the Masters level and that would contribute to their better understand- ing of the Northern context in which theyre teaching said John Stewart director of in- structional services for ECE. About 80 per cent of teachers in the NWT come from elsewhere in Canada and so what theyve received in their teaching programs is likelynotmuchfocusedonsomeoftherealities of the North Stewart said. Were convinced thatwillreectthenintheclassroompractice and in their understanding of the communi- ties theyre working in and that would reect then in how they work with their students. Because this is the rst time running the course Stewart said the department will have to evaluate it moving forward but hopes to eventually make the course regularly avail- able to all NWT teachers. The course would be limited to those plan- ning to return to or stay in the NWT for the following teaching year as an incentive to stop the high turnover of educators in the North and to also improve NWT curriculum over the longer term particularly in the area of Northern Studies. A long-term goal is that as we grow a co- hort of teachers who have gone deeper into an understanding of education in a North- ern context and especially a deeper under- standing of Aboriginal pedagogy and world- view - because that is a signicant part of the student population that many teachers are working with in the NWT - those people might become resources to and inform bigger areas of curriculum for sure Stewart said. Extending reach of land-based education While students at Dechinta are able to bring their children to Kids U - a hands- on land-based school for children at Blach- ford - during courses the school only enrolls adults aged 18 and over. This new course en- ables the bush university to extend its reach further Freeland-Ballantyne said. Teachers make a huge difference in the development of children and how children are taught in the North has a huge impact on their identity and how they feel about edu- cation. We really felt that education in K-12 is really changing in the North with the new Northern Studies courses and we really felt that this was an opportunity for Dechinta to invest in K-12 learners and the kind of expe- rience they are having she said. By supporting the teachers Freeland- Ballantyne hopes the same kind of educa- tion central to Kids U is brought into class- rooms across the NWT - something she said is even more relevant following the recent gathering of Canadas education ministers in Yellowknife which focused on Aborigi- nal education. Our communities are so full of resources - elders and the land - and so many skills that we could be using and mobilizing to teach our kids in K-12 she said. And I think that hav- ing a stronger relationship between teachers and the school and communities - and the resources that are in our communities al- ready - can only make education stronger. Teachers make a huge difference in the develop- ment of children and how children are taught in the North has a huge impact on their identity and how they feel about education. Erin Freeland-Ballantyne Dechinta Bush University Centre for Research and Learning PhotocourtesyofDechinta A new partnership between the department of Education and the Dechinta bush university is taking NWT teachers out on the land to learn about teaching in the North.