We Stand Together
Fact: Aboriginal Peoples are the youngest and fastest growing population in Canada.
We Stand Together is a collaboration between the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative and Free the Children to teach young people across the country about the challenges, achievements, and contributions of Aboriginal Canadians.
The Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative was started by former Prime Minister Paul Martin and seeks to improve elementary and secondary school education outcomes for Aboriginal Canadians through the implementation of specific programs and the application of appropriate research. Together with Free the Children, Mr. Martin knows that today’s generation of young people—a generation of positivity and change-makers—can be help raise awareness for Aboriginal causes.
Aboriginal Canadians face challenges such as increased chances of ill-health, poverty, and inadequate housing. Also, almost half of Aboriginal Peoples aged 20 to 24 reported having less than a high school education in 2001. At the same time, First Nations, Métis and Inuit Canadians have a rich history and their culture and traditions contribute much to our nation. The hope of the campaign is that the facts and knowledge learned in school can lead to change, whether through fundraising and support, solidarity and awareness, or action and volunteering outside the classroom.
Educators can sign up for free We Stand Together resources and lesson plans to educate their students about history, culture and traditions, as well as challenges and opportunities present in Aboriginal education. For 10 days (February 25 – March 8, 2013) teachers will receive a daily fact to encourage a dialogue amongst Canadian students and spark greater awareness for Aboriginal issues.
When asked what type of change he would like to see in young people Mr. Martin replied, “Develop an understanding of the unfairness of Aboriginal education so that when they become leaders tomorrow, this will no longer happen. Canadians are a fair people. [I hope] they will talk to their parents because it must really mean something coming from kids.”
For more information or to sign up for the free resources, please click here.
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About the Author: Lisa is Assistant Editor at TEACH. She is passionate about education, technology, and digital literacy.