‘Nothing About Us, Without Us’: Including Indigenous Family Knowledge in the Classroom

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    There is a history of distrust, pain, and abuse experienced by indigenous students and families in the educational system in Canada because of the 20th century Residential School genocide (Sinclair, 2014). The 2016 Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action attempts to make amends and ameliorate educational conditions for indigenous students and their families, yet many remain understandably suspect of formal education. The Métis Authority Social Services in Manitoba, Canada has developed a program called ‘L.I.F.E.’ to address such need. ‘Live In Family Enhancement’ (L.I.F.E.) allows children at risk to remain with their families who may be experiencing hardship. Instead of removing children from the home, and exposing them to more trauma, trained community social workers (much like an ‘Auntie’ or grandmother) goes into the home-at-risk and works with the parent(s) and children to teach them routines and healthy living that will work with their needs. It is suggested that this exemplary program may work as an example for kindergarten and primary school programs. Opening the school to the whole family (parents and grandparents, as well as children) may allow early childhood educators to teach with the family, as educational partners in the child’s learning, and will strengthen the bond of respect between indigenous families and schools. Teaching together (Charlton, 2018; Kanu, 2011) allows everyone to feel respected and safe. This presentation will describe this method and triad of support.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDiscovering New Educational Trends
    Subtitle of host publicationA symposium in Belize, Central America
    EditorsPamela R. Cook
    Place of PublicationNewcastle upon Tyne
    PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Electronic)1527538044
    ISBN (Print)9781527538047
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2019
    EventWorld Assembly of l' Organisation Mondiale pour l’Education Préscolaire - Hotel Clarion, Prague, Czech Republic
    Duration: 27 Jun 201830 Jun 2018


    ConferenceWorld Assembly of l' Organisation Mondiale pour l’Education Préscolaire
    Abbreviated titleOMEP
    Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
    Internet address


    • primary
    • education
    • Indigenous


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