Inspired by Indspire
A fellow student in my Queen's University class listed the Indspire website as a resource on her project. I had heard briefly about this resource before but had not visited the website.
Among the great resources available on this site are the number of professional development webinars for educators who are committed to developing innovative curriculum that inspires success for Indigenous students. Find them listed here...
The Indspire website also allows submissions that tell the story of innovative projects, so I look forward to contributing at some point. While I am particularly interested in policies that engage the Aboriginal community in post-secondary institutions, I found this particular webinar entitled "Strengthening Our Voice: A Guide for Engaging First Nations and Metis Peoples in Public Schools" helpful.
This webinar is particularly useful to me as I consider how best to engage Aboriginal communities in policy development. One of the keys to success, I think, is to remember that Aboriginal people and cultures are distinct, not only from Western culture, but from one another. While one initiative may be very successful in regards to engaging one Aboriginal community, it may not be in another.
This suggests that the best way to proceed is to encourage the Aboriginal community to lead the engagement process. My recent research into educational policy leads me to believe that Aboriginal people are very informed about their educational needs and goals, and that they are very eager to engage.
Sometimes, I think that many educators and governments still make the assumption that they must drive the agenda. Listen, look, and learn are key to Aboriginal education models. That is really what needs to happen from all parties when Aboriginal engagement is the goal - Look! Listen! Learn!