Indigenous Perspectives on STEM Education

This month OISE Library is recognizing Indigenous contributions to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Please come visit the OISE Library Ground Floor Display for more resources that focus on First Nations, Métis, and Inuit worldviews, experiences, and knowledge for STEM teaching in the K-12 classroom.

Bridging Cultures: Scientific and Indigenous Ways of Knowing Nature
Bridging Cultures provides science educators with knowledgeable perspectives on scientific and Indigenous content that will help students in grade 6 to 12 build a contemporary and general understanding of Indigenous scientific knowledge. The second emphasis of this book explores practical aspects of interpreting some of the Indigenous knowledges found in the science curriculum. This book not only offers insights that help teachers construct their own understanding how both knowledge systems describe and explain nature, but it may also be valuable to Indigenous Studies students, ministry of education personnel, and future policy makers. This book is an excellent introduction to knowledgeable perspectives on scientific and Indigenous content.

A Native American Thought of It: Amazing Inventions and Innovations
by Rocky Landon and David MacDonald
Native communities in different areas of North America were successful at different types of innovations. Some of these Indigenous ingenuities include tool making, transportation, and techniques in agriculture. Rocky Landon, Objibway band member from a community in Northwestern Ontario in Canada, invites readers on a journey to explore, enjoy, and wonder at the innovations of Native peoples in North America.

Houses of Wood – Native Dwellings: The Northwest Coast
by Bonnie Shemie
This book looks into art-embellished wooden dwellings built by the First Nations of the Northwest Coast. Shielding the First Nations people from the northern cold are the high mountains of the Northwest Coast, providing the most beautiful landscape for wooden houses. This book provides sketches, beautifully coloured illustrations and in-depth explanations on the styles of houses.  Houses of Wood enlighten readers on each of the tribes who lived and traded with each other on the Northwest Coast, exploring customs, language, and style of house.

The Iroquois: Longhouse Builders
by Rachel A. Koestler-Grack
The Iroquois is one of six books in the America’s First Peoples series that take a closer look at the rich traditions that helped shape the lives of Indigenous people in the past and into the present. This book focuses on the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) people and their tradition of building longhouses. This book covers the construction of longhouses, the usage of space, living in a longhouse, and the Iroquois community today.

Animal Journey: Learning Shapes 
Animal Journey, designed by Bella Bella artist Ben Houstie from Vancouver, B.C., Canada is one of the many kits included in the OISE Library K-12 Manipulatives collection for students enrolled in the Master of Teaching programs at OISE. Animal Journey is a series of 4 figures, wolf (star shape), whale (circle), eagle (square), and raven (octagon), which insert in a canoe. Carved from solid pine wood and beautifully painted, these learning shapes are excellent for introducing shapes to primary school students while infusing Indigenous perspectives in early geometry teaching.

For information please see the following links:
Infusing Indigenous Perspectives in K-12 Teaching
Infusing Aboriginal Content and Perspectives Into Your Teaching Practice 

About Emily Kim

Graduate Student Library Assistant at OISE Library | Master of Information (2018), Faculty of Information, University of Toronto
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