How can non-native teachers develop culturally responsive programs in remote First Nations communities? : learning from the experts
First Nations educators
Teaching in an isolated community
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There are a growing number of scholars who argue that statistics alone do not provide an accurate depiction of Aboriginal education and instead focus on successful education practices in Aboriginal communities and schools. I add to this discussion by focusing on the teaching practices of experienced First Nations educators and non-Native allies who have successfully created lessons and programs that have developed First Nations students' academic skills while remaining culturally relevant. The main question within this thesis is: What do experienced educators (First Nations and allies) believe that non-Native teachers should know about planning and teaching First Nations students in remote communities in northern Ontario? Results gathered through semi-structured interviews are presented in four sections that connect student success with: who the teacher is; cultural integration through language and land; professional characteristics and willingness to learn; and the development of culturally responsive lessons and evaluation practices. The findings encourage educators to re-evaluate their pedagogical framework to create a learning environment that places First Nations epistemology in the forefront for successful education to develop.