Every educator in Canada needs to know what is in this book. In our national and global call to truth and reconciliation action, Toulouse has written an essential resource to teaching and learning about Indigenous history, knowledge, culture, and contributions. Her text moves “beyond acknowledgements and apologies” to restorative education about, and with, Indigenous peoples. In well-organized, clear language, Toulouse maps, scaffolds, and guides important First Nations concepts and methods for meaningful teaching and learning.
Part 1 provides five compelling chapters describing Indigenous information, values, and contexts. Beginning with residential schools, and moving on to contributions, values, and treaties, Toulouse connects the TRC calls to action and curriculum requirements with personal relationships, concepts, and stories from her own experiences, ancestors, and mentors as a bridge to wider Indigenous knowledges.
Part 2 presents direct lessons, grade by grade from K-12, and uses literature, language arts, science, physical education, arts, and social studies to teach the intellect, emotions, and spirit. Toulouse guides educators and students moving forward toward healthier, informed, respectful communities, who learn, live, and laugh together in a difficult world.
This user-friendly, teacher-ready book begins a wave of new, important education to reconnect people and communities across our country. Toulouse tackles the reasons educators have feared to take this on, and then shows us how to wade in and start. We open ourselves to old and new stories and Indigenous knowledge. We restore the fundamental importance of every human being. You will be surprised by light, inspired by heart, and intellectually challenged to integrate what you read into your own teaching. The Sacred Circle teachings and “projects of heart” alone give bedrock foundation for teaching for life in this country. A well-conceived macro (big-picture) view of greater good shapes the direction and range, along with great suggestions for studying core concepts and micro-details with literature and materials already available.
This book is a remarkable map, guide, and companion for educators about how, when, and where to take the restorative education actions we need. Let’s get together and have some important conversations to change things for the better.
Photo: Dave Donald
First published in Education Canada, June 2018
Portage and Main Press, 2018-03-05 ISBN: 978-1553797456