The Canadian history taught in the majority of educational institutions carries lingering prejudices and has significant knowledge gaps regarding First Peoples. The project History of Canada: First Peoples Perspectives seeks to remedy the situation by actively working with First Peoples, their experts, their professionals and their living memories. An extensive documentation accessible through an interactive online database will present the First Peoples’ Perspectives of the territories history and contribute to the development of pedagogical tools.
History in Canada: First Peoples' Perspectives Explanation of the project organizational chart
This governance model is inspired by the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Transmission among First Peoples as a dynamic of well-being and empowerment, whose mandate is to demonstrate change and the involvement of First Peoples in research.
During a meeting on November 22, 2019, the project committee of the History in Canada: First Peoples Perspective project reflected on the possible avenues for First Peoples to approach history. In the practice of transmission, the history was told to the children night after night. Now written down, it allows us to better visualize the present context in order to create bridges leading to a future reconciliation.
Grey circle : It represents those who contribute to the progress of the project. The organizations present evolve around the project in the sense of the seasonal cycle according to needs and according to stages.
- Funding agencies: The organizations that provide funding for the project.
- Production organizations: The various organizations approached to produce the various tools.
- People of Interest: People of interest are those who have expertise in a specific field, people from diverse backgrounds, to work with us on specific elements of the project.
Red Circle : The red circle represents the First Peoples in Canada, they surround the project. First Peoples are present at all stages of the project. They occupy different roles, such as Aboriginal organizations that support or participate as collaborators in the project as well as individuals who wish to be involved in the various committees.
Yellow circle : The yellow circle contains the different levels of involvement that organizations wishing to become involved in the project may have and their role. These organizations help to establish relationships with First Peoples. They can make recommendations on certain aspects of the project and they will be approached to validate certain content and participate in research with First Peoples.
- Supporters: Those who have expressed support for the project.
- Collaborators: Those who mentioned that they wanted to get involved in the project.
- Partners: Those who work to set up the project and ensure its successful completion.
Blue Circle :This is where the work is done. At its centre is the consultation, which is done with the First Peoples. Around it is the committees that work together, exchanging ideas and recommendations, for the proper functioning of the project.
- First Peoples Advisory Committee: Committee composed of First Peoples members, whose role will be to address ethical issues, support decisions and make recommendations for the proper functioning of the project.
- History and Pedagogy Committee: Made up of a majority of First Nations members, it focuses on the content and production of tools, etc.
- Project Committee: Composed of the 7 project partners (Cégep de l'Outaouais, Kiuna Institution, Avataq Cultural Institute, Kitigan Zibi Cultural Center, La Boîte Rouge VIF, the Institute of Indigenous Studies and Research of the University of Ottawa and Médérik Sioui. He is responsible for setting up and carrying out the project.
The project phases
Preliminary phase :
- This phase, carried out in 2017-2018, made it possible to implement a research approach in the Indigenous nations located in the geographic region now called the province of Quebec. Researchers engaged in these nations have drawn up an inventory of archives and living memories to address the historical perspectives of First Peoples.
- Various promotion initiatives have also enabled the project to be widely disseminated and the opinions gathered from Indigenous collaborators, teachers and a sample of the Canadian population have enriched the development of this project. The inventory of resources is available online at the following link : Resources.
- This step served in particular to better define the essential elements of the history of the First Peoples and to better identify the needs of each one before beginning the research for and the production of tools intended for teaching of history and the general Canadian population.
Phase 1: Consultation and Collection
- Two committees will be set up: a First Peoples Advisory Committee made up of Elders, Knowledge Keepers or any other person recognized by their community as having particular knowledge of the history of their community and/or nation as well as an History and Pedagogy Committee, mainly made up of members of the First Peoples, will make it possible to study, define and validate the orientations of this research and ensure their integration into the various Indigenous and non-Indigenous school curricula in Canada.
- Various consultation and data collection activities, led by Indigenous researchers, will be held in the communities and with First Peoples partner institutions in order to allow direct collaboration across Canada. Modular and adaptable activities make it possible to document and validate historical content: interviews, focus groups, surveys, archival research. A judicious classification will guarantee an easy use of these contents in the subsequent phases of the project.
Phase 2 : Production of website and online database
- A web space will be created in order to: 1) archive and classify the data collected (different forms; text, photos, videos, etc.); 2) share and make accessible this data according to the level of dissemination agreed on; 3) allow content analysis. An analysis based on the sensitivity and expertise of Elders and Knowledge Keepers, a protocol for differentiation, processing and dissemination of data will be developed through consultation activities, thus ensuring the respect and integrity of indigenous voices.
Phase 3 : Creation of pedagogical tools
- A series of interactive modules, various learning and development activities calling on new perspectives will be developed. These teaching tools prepared by a team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous writers will be based on the data collected. In fact, the different avenues of research will make it possible to bring together diverse and complementary content: 1) the documentation of oral tradition transmitted by living memories; 2) family and community archives of various forms and 3) public archives that are little or not widely distributed.
Phase 4 : Diffusion
- The tools developed will constitute part of the documents available on the website, thus allowing public access to the entire population as well as to Indigenous and non-Indigenous schools across the country (French, English and some parts in various Indigenous languages). The use of new technical processes will generate interest and be better suited to the needs of today's audiences: immersive and multimedia audiovisual and videographic production, web interactivity, digital and print production.
Realization committeeDiane LeMay - Co-coordinator, Historian, Cégep de L’outaouais
Médérik Sioui - Co-coordinator, Historian/Consultant
Claudia Néron - Director, La Boîte Rouge VIF
Timothy Stanley - Faculty of Education and Indigenous studies and research institute, University of Ottawa
Anita Tenasco - Director, Kitigan Zibi Education Sector
Pierrot Ross-Tremblay - Sociologist, Lawyer, and Researcher, Indigenous Studies and research Institute, University of Ottawa