FIRST NATIONS PARTNERSHIP PROGRAMS

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The development of community capacity to support optimal development of children and youth in culturally congruent ways has been the focus of eight unique partnerships in education between First Nations organizations and the University of Victoria for a decade. The original First Nations Partnership Program was initiated in 1989 when the Meadow Lake Tribal Council asked Alan Pence to collaborate in developing community-based, bicultural curriculum that would prepare Cree and Dene people in northern Saskatchewan to deliver effective, culturally relevant, child care programs both on and off reserve. This became the springboard for evolving a Generative Curriculum Model. As of 2001, there have been a total of eight partnerships that have proved to be transformative for First Nations students and their communities, and for the university-based partners. The First Nations Partnership Programs are coordinated by Dr. Jessica Ball at the University of Victoria (see Program Contacts).

First Nations child

Children are precious gifts. They are the future strength of our communities. We see them as a responsibility of the whole community, not just of parents. So when we delivered this program to develop our child care capacities, it made sense that it was an open classroom, where many people from the community were allowed entry into the education process and asked to contribute. The whole community enjoyed it, and the whole community benefited.

Marie McCallum, Administrator, Meadow Lake Tribal Council



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FNPP home page
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FNPP Overview
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First Nations Partnership Programs: Background
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First Nations Self-Determination
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Program Philosophy - Paradigm Shift
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Generative Curriculum Model  Bicultural Program
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Capacity Building
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Bicultural Partnership
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Community-based delivery
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Community-based Child and Youth Care Diploma Program
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Courses and course descriptions
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Intergenerational Teaching and	Learning
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Intergenerational Facilitation
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Program evaluation - funders, methods, and findings
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Program Outcomes
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Educational Outcomes
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Vocational Outcomes/ Community	Development
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Cultural healing
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Social Cohesion and Social Inclusion/ Community Development
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Web Resources and Linksspacer
FNPP publications
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FNPP contacts
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First Nations Partnership Programs
  1. Meadow Lake Tribal Council, Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan; Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology, and University of Victoria (1989-1993)

  2. Cowichan Tribes, Duncan, British Columbia; Malaspina University College, and University of Victoria (1993-1995)

  3. Nzen'man' Child and Family Services, Lytton, British Columbia; Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, and University of Victoria (1995-1997)

  4. Onion Lake First Nation, Onion Lake, Saskatchewan; Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology, and University of Victoria (1996-1998)

  5. Tl'azt'en Nation, Tache, British Columbia; and University of Victoria (1996-1999)

  6. Treaty 8 Tribal Association, Fort St. John, British Columbia; and University of Victoria (1997-1999)

  7. Mount Currie First Nation, Mount Currie, British Columbia; and University of Victoria (1997-1999)

  8. Little Shuswap Indian Band and associated First Nations, Chase, British Columbia; and
    University of Victoria (2000-2002)


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The goals of the Meadow Lake Tribal Council, and the concerns they voiced about the limitations of available, "standardized" training models, mirrored themes in the literature on the experience of First Nations students at mainstream universities. These themes are also emerging as salient in indigenous communities on other continents where development assistance efforts often impose models that represent 'best practices' in Euro-western contexts.

In Canada, most aboriginal people have found neither cultural relevance in curriculum nor cultural safety on campuses or through community development programs imported from white middle class urban centres. Although the number of aboriginal students enrolled at Canadian universities has increased dramatically since the 1960s, student retention and completion rates remain low. First Nations people in Canada are seven times less likely to graduate from university as are members of the general population.

In all eight partnership programs completed to date, the Generative Curriculum Model of providing university-accredited training in students' own communities led to unprecedented educational outcomes, vocational outcomes, and capacity building, as well as to personal and community transformations that reach far beyond the classroom.

  

First Nations children