To Learn: Sharing, Wisdom, Strength and Unity

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To Learn: Sharing, Wisdom, Strength and Unity

$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

To Learn: Sharing, Wisdom, Strength and Unity is a pilot project to be launched in early March 2012. Committed to working with the Assembly of First Nations Education section, and through the Canadian Teachers' Federation's Imagineaction program, we are attempting to bridge the distance between classrooms and offer a common virtual platform to share stories.

The impetus for this project is to give voice and leadership to a segment of our Canadian student population that has traditionally been marginalized, silent and invisible. Students from First Nations Schools will determine which aspect of their culture they wish to inform and share with others – historical, heritage, environmental, physical, emotional, political, and spiritual. The students’ idea for a story project will be linked to one, or more, of the six Imagineaction themes – Relationships, Citizenship, Health & Wellness, Leadership, Environmental Sustainability, Elimination of Poverty. Once the cultural determinant(s) and the Imagineaction theme(s) have been identified, students can embark on their storytelling project framework. Students will need to decide:
• “How does our project relate to our local community?”
• “What do we want our project to look like?”
• “What do we require to make this story-telling project happen?”

Once the project framework is determined by First Nations students, those classrooms will be twinned with public classrooms. The public classrooms will undertake a similar project, attempting to meet the same cultural determinant(s) and Imagineaction theme(s) as presented by the First Nations students, and the sharing experience begins.

This pilot project offers the opportunity to enrich awareness and knowledge of First Nations’ culture to all students in Canada. It provides a link to bridge cultural distances and to increase understanding and motivate action. The pilot project offers the possibility of focusing on our respective communities and learning from one another; it’s about celebrating commonalities and respecting differences. Most importantly, this pilot project offers an opportunity for reflection, critical thinking, leadership, action, creativity, and empowerment of the individual student.

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About You
About You
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CTF-Virtual Aboriginal Twinning

About You, Your Group, or Your Organization

Canadian Teachers' Federation


, ON

Please confirm that this project could benefit First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples


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What categories best describe who your group or organization serves (check all that apply)

First Nations people, Other.

What best describes your group or organization

Elementary or Secondary school, Non-profit organization.

How long have you, your group, or your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Define your idea / project in 1-2 short sentences

To Learn... is a virtual twinning program with First Nations students that offers an opportunity for reflection, critical thinking and leadership.

Select the stage that best applies to your solution

Start-Up (a project that is just getting started)

Social Impact
Please tell us about the social impact of your idea or proect

The 2010 Canadian Teachers' Federation Study of Aboriginal Teachers’ Professional Knowledge and Experience in Canadian Schools informed us that Aboriginal teachers valued the opportunity to teach Aboriginal culture and history, to foster responsible citizens, to challenge the negative stereotypes of Aboriginal people, to serve as role models and to have a positive impact on children and youth. By positively acknowledging the lives, culture and history of Aboriginal people, and by acknowledging the racism experienced by Aboriginal teachers and students, the students and teachers involved in this twinning of cultures will promote the creation of a caring citizenry and secure communities.

Your Future Goal(s): Tell us what you hope to achieve with your idea or project in the next year

Give a visible voice to First Nations students so they embrace who they are and share their knowledge and passion.

In 5 years, what will be different as a result of your idea/project?

We would love to see those visible and invisible barriers removed; those that stand in the way of First Nations student success. Only by removing these barriers that continue to allow inequitable education structures and opportunities that stifle Canadian student growth, knowledge, opportunity, passion, and motivation, will we then be able to embrace the uniqueness of cultures that is Canada.

In five years’ time, we’d like to see the entire student population, First Nations and others, embrace this cultural twinning, reflect understanding, respect, and sharing. We'd like to see an increase in confidence, self-esteem, creativity, belief and empowerment among First Nations students.

Tell us about the people/ partnerships that are already involved and why they are important to your idea or project.

The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation has provided the most necessary seed funding to nurture the pilot project with the Assembly of First Nations' Education Sector. Attempts are being made to secure sustainable funding beyond this pilot year to continue to provide the opportunity and personal growth to First Nations students. We value our working relationship with the Assembly of First Nations and we will continue to work together to break down barriers and instill a sense of community among all students.

If there are other people/partners that you will reach out to tell us who they are and why they will be important to your idea or project.

The Canadian Teachers' Federation and its Members and partners will continue working with AFN Education to ensure this project remains valuable and viable. We are seeking supporting partners to enable small project funds to First Nations students to effectively carry out their school-community projects under the virtual twinning project.

Describe the kinds of support you receive (other than money) or will need to support your idea or project (e.g.: donated, space, equipment and volunteers)

We have the infrastructure in place but we do require individual school-community project funding in the amounts of $500 or $750 per school. This funding enables First Nations students, and others, to do the best they can with their project development and implementation, and achieve what they set out to share with others.

Do you currently have funding for your idea or project?

Yes (answer the next two questions)