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Making Aboriginal education accessible

A mixed-heritage student has created an online resource to help teachers learn about Aboriginal education.

[Queen's University Olivia Rondeau Faculty of Education reconciliation]
Olivia Rondeau created a website to support grade school teachers looking to educate their students about Indigenous Peoples. (Supplied Photo)

Grade school teachers in Canada may wish to educate their students about Indigenous Peoples in Canada, but might be unsure where to start. Recognizing this gap, Queen’s student Olivia Rondeau recently launched a new website to support Canadian educators looking to delve deeper into Indigenous matters.

Teaching Aboriginal Education, or TAE for short, is a free online resource, which offers lesson plans, community resources, and a blog to support educators and foster reconciliation.

“Teaching Aboriginal education is so important to the reconciliation and healing process of so many students and their family members,” says Ms. Rondeau. “As teacher candidates, we learn so much about the importance of teaching First Nations, Métis, and Inuit curriculum, but I found that many people were unsure of the resources and community supports available to assist them. So, I created an Aboriginal education website to make it more accessible to teachers.”

Ms. Rondeau hopes that teachers use the materials on the site as a resource to create culturally relevant curriculum in their classrooms so that Aboriginal students can feel represented, valued, and safe in classroom and school communities. While the site was originally created as part of a class project, she intends to continue updating the site throughout the year.

“As someone who is of mixed heritage (Mohawk and French) and a teacher candidate, this project was special because I recognize the importance of teaching Aboriginal perspectives, experiences, and initiatives both as a student and as a future teacher,” she says.

The project also gets top marks from the Faculty of Education. Lindsay Morcom, a professor in the Faculty of Education, says Ms. Rondeau has done an “outstanding job”.

“I am constantly impressed by Liv’s commitment to creating positive change and presenting learning opportunities to others,” she says. “In this resource, and in all she does, Liv shows us that the path toward reconciliation will be guided by brilliant young Indigenous leaders.”

Ms. Rondeau’s site can be found at teachingaboriginaleducation.weebly.com.

This story originally appeared on the Faculty of Education’s website.