NCCIE has been a multi-year project that began in the fall of 2017 (see “About Us” at the top of the page). 

  • Phase 1 focused on gathering stories from communities about educational programs and initiatives, in schools and on-the-land, to highlight the strength and diversity in Indigenous education across Canada. 
  • Phase 2 shared this information in a variety of ways on the website, amplifying community voices so that educators can learn directly from each other. 
  • In Phase 3 of the project, the aim has been to ‘feed communities’ – that is, to give back and collaborate with communities who have participated in Phases 1 and 2, working to strengthen Indigenous education as well as contribute towards reconciliation efforts. Continue reading to learn how this phase of the project has endeavoured to respect the principle of reciprocity in NCCIE’s relationships with community partners.


NCCIE’s regional teams across the country asked their community partners, “What educational resources do you need for your children, for your youth, for your People, and how can NCCIE support you in developing these resources?”

At the beginning of this initiative, NCCIE collaborated with kêhtê-ayak, the Elders Council of First Nations University of Canada, and co-developed two holistic lesson plan templates for teaching a) languages and b) mainstream subjects from an Indigenous perspective.  These lesson plan templates are available HERE along with a Strategic Report that explains the different components of the templates. 

For mainstream school subjects, the aim has been to approach a subject by privileging Indigenous viewpoints while giving consideration to mainstream provincial and territorial curriculum expectations and outcomes.

For teaching languages, an Indigenous approach has also been taken. The template that has been developed respects the variety of Indigenous strategies that one can use to teach Indigenous languages.

All lesson plans place the student at the centre, encouraging educators to consider the different learning styles of their students:

  • Spiritual (relational) learners
  • Emotional (intuitive, feeling) learners
  • Physical (hands-on, experiential) learners
  • Intellectual (logical, rational) learners
Source: NCCIE Strategic Guide for Lesson Plan Template, NCCIE with R.L. Paulsen

In addition to the above diagram, the illustration below has been a foundational piece during the development of lesson plans with an Indigenous lens.  It also places the student at the centre of learning and is a reminder for educators that learning is relational and those relationships are integral for a student’s success.

The centre dot represents each student in a class or learning space.  The student’s relationships with family, classmates, the teacher, and a support service network all contribute to a student’s well-being and progress as a learner. 

  • The concentric circles represent how each student is part of a larger whole, how everything and everyone is related and connected to one another.
  • The Community can be a First Nation, a city, town, neighbourhood, and/or school.
  • Territory/“The Land” represents all Creation – land, water, air, plants, animals, the sun, the moon, the stars, everything seen and unseen – upon which human beings are dependent for our survival and well-being. 
  • Holistic Indigenous education occurs in all places: school, home, the community, and on the land.

Source: NCCIE Lesson Plan Template