This site is created to help educators in British Columbia understand how they might incorporate the First Peoples Principles of Learning (FPPL) into their classrooms and schools. Some educators will see that the Principles reflect what they already believe, and are doing in their schools and classrooms. Other educators will see concepts embedded in the principles that challenge some of the post-industrial Euro-centric beliefs about education. Either way, this site is not intended to be a comprehensive exploration of First Peoples (or Aboriginal) education. It is instead, a beginning (or continuation) of a conversation.

While it is necessary to be able to clearly articulate the nature of each principle in order to understand its implications for our classrooms and schools, it is understood that an inherent interconnectedness exists between all of the principles. While they are described discretely, they operate in concert with each other in an robust and healthy learning environment and education system.

What Is Important to Know?

Creating teaching and learning environments that reflect the FPPL has as much to do with an educator’s philosophy about education, and disposition, as it has to do with curricular content. The disposition includes patience, respect, and curiosity.

The FPPL are not a set of lesson or unit plans. This can be a challenge for educators who seek a quick or easy way to integrate them into our schools and classrooms. Many educators who are interested in including more First Peoples’ content into their schools and classrooms, or who would like the FPPL reflected in their classrooms might hope to encounter a detailed list of criteria and specific content to match up with grades and/or subject areas. This request is understandable; however, it would actually contradict one of the foundations of the FPPL, which is that context is paramount. Instead, a deep understanding of the FPPL is first necessary, and this understanding can then be used to guide educators’ choices about what is important to learn, and what kinds of learning experiences to create for, and with, learners in the contexts the learners and educators are in. This will vary from place to place, and community of learners to community of learners.

The pages in this blog include:

  • Background and current context of the FPPL.
  • An explanation of each First Peoples’ Principles of Learning, including:
    • the implications the principles can have for the classroom and school;
    • how they connect to non-Indigenous theories of learning; and
    • which core competencies are reflected by the principle.
  • Information about what constitutes Authentic Resources and Appropriation.
  • An activity designed to support conversations about each of the principles.
  • References.

The sidebar contains links to other sites that educators may find useful in developing further understandings of Indigenous perspectives in education. These include organizations and resource materials for educators and learners.

A final note – while the words are mine (except for the principles themselves, and where referenced otherwise) the ideas shared on this site built upon the knowledge gained from a vast number of Indigenous peoples including Elders, knowledge-keepers, formal and informal teachers, scholars, and story-tellers (oral and written) from whom I have learned during the journey of my life. This work is for them and for the learners yet to come.