The Education Department provides administration and management of the education programs of AKRC with assistance to its member communities, to plan, manage, administer and monitor the activities related to First Nation education as per the strategic directions of AKRC Education Unit and policies of AKRC, as established by the AKRC Governing Board of Chiefs:

  • To manage and ensure the activities of the Education program are within budgetary requirements/policies of funders and AKRC;
  • To fulfill reporting requirements of funders and AKRC in a timely manner;
  • To research and access potential funding for the education unit as per the strategic directions, and provide information on potential funding to member First Nations;
  • To facilitate and/or coordinate collaboration and networking with member First Nations related to meeting their strategic goals in education;
  • To monitor ongoing activities, policies and legislation and provide briefings to member First Nations through input from School Directors/Principals and/or Education Steering Committee;
  • To participate as a representative of AKRC on territorial /provincial / national education committees / groups as required;
  • To research and maintain current knowledge of First Nations and Provincial education and best practices;
  • To contribute skills to other areas with the Resource Council whenever the need or the opportunity arises;
  • To participate as a team member of the Resource Council in formulating strategies, policies and plans to ensure the Resource Council mission and goals are achieved.
  • To be an advocate on behalf of member communities when required.

The Importance of Ojibwe Language in the School Curriculum

To reject a child’s language in the school is to reject the child.

When the message, implicit or explicit, communicated to the child in the school is, “Leave your language and culture at the schoolhouse door”, children also leave a central part of who they are – their identities – at the schoolhouse door.

When they feel this rejection, they are much less likely to participate actively and confidently in classroom instruction.

It is not enough for teachers to passively accept children’s linguistic and cultural diversity in the school.

They must be proactive and take initiative to affirm children’s linguistic identity by creating an instructional climate where linguistic and cultural experience of the whole child is actively accepted and validated.

Jim Cummins
OISE/University of Toronto

Goals and Objectives of a Language Program:

Gikinoo’amawaaganag (Language Program)

The goals of the language program are to increase academic achievement in the elementary school system so that the students can be successful in secondary and post secondary academic programs.

The needs of First Nation Students:

  • A sense of identity, students must learn their personal family history using the Anishinabemowin perspective. Improve self-esteem, spiritual well-being, emotional well-being, social well-being, and intellectual well-being. Self-esteem involves self-reliance, self-discipline, pride in family unit and heritage. Harmony, well being and balance will result from the development of the whole person. The Elders have stressed the importance of spiritual education for the students.  
  • Language and culture; the values and beliefs of our culture are inherent in the language of our culture.
    Values, beliefs, philosophies and world views differ between cultures. Language helps student to think in more productive ways.

It is said if you lose your language, then you also lose your culture.

Elders have recommended that the language of the community must be taught in the school, keeping in mind each community, whether small population, each has different dialects.

It is important for us to make an all out effort to ‘bank our languages’, It is critical that the language of this generation of Elders be taped and stored for our future references, as this maybe our last opportunity of getting the language in its purest form.

AKRC Education Second Level Services

AKRC educational advisory organization and support body provides Second Level Services to the Five Member Communities and Schools in their day-to-day operations. AKRC Second Level Services enhance the delivery of education initiatives and development with the member First Nations schools.

Second Level Support Services Programs Provided to Members Upon Request:

  • Curriculum Development
  • Research and Planning
  • Educational Resource Development
  • Special Education Professional Services
  • Tuition Agreements
  • In-Service Training for Teachers
  • Student Recognition (awards, bursaries, etc)
  • Mentoring / Summer Student Program
  • Science Programs
  • Career Promotion and Awareness Programs
  • Teacher Professional Development
  • Education Policy Analysis
  • Education Board / Authority / Committee Training
  • School Improvement / Success Plans
  • Elders Committee
  • Strategic Planning in Education
  • Principal and Education Director Steering Committee
  • Native Language Network
  • Program Development Support / Review
  • Advocacy
  • Partnerships
  • Education Policy Development for First Nations
  • Strategies for Parental Engagement
  • Training / Workshops
  • Proposal Writing / Reports
  • Early Learning Programs
  • Technology Support
  • Professional Development for Native Language Teachers
  • Native Inclusive Curriculum and Resources

First Nations Education Transformation:
Engagement 2016-2017

The Government of Canada recognizes that enhancing First Nations education is a fundamental part of renewing the relationship with Indigenous peoples. First Nations children and youth deserve culturally appropriate, high-quality education that meets their needs, while respecting the principle of First Nations control over First Nations education.

Learn More at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada