First Peoples Principles of Learning

The First Peoples Principles of Learning are an expression of the shared wisdom of Elders and educators within British Columbia’s First Peoples communities. First identified in relation to the English 12 First Peoples curriculum, the First Peoples Principles of Learning apply to all areas of curricula from Kindergarten to Grade 12.

Because these principles of learning represent an attempt to identify common elements in the varied teaching and learning approaches that prevail within particular First Peoples societies, it must be recognized that they do not capture the full reality of the approach used in any single First Peoples society.

The First Nations Education Steering Committee website has resources that provide guidance on using these principles in classroom practice. For example, the FAQs section in In Our Own Words: Bringing Authentic First Peoples Content to the K-3 Classroom answers some basic questions, including:

  • What is meant by “First Peoples”?
  • What are First Peoples Principles of Learning, and why are they important?
  • What are authentic First Peoples texts?
  • Why is it important to use authentic resources?
  • How do I know if a resource is authentic?
  • What do I need to know about First Peoples stories?
  • What themes and topics might I encounter in First Peoples resources?
  • How do I find out which resources are appropriate for my local area?
  • I’ve encountered an unfamiliar Aboriginal language word. I’m afraid of being disrespectful if I mispronounce it. What should I do?
  • What other relevant terminology should I know?
  • What First Peoples pedagogies should I be trying to incorporate in my classroom?
  • What’s the most appropriate way to include local community resources?
  • What other resources and sources of information can I access?

More resources for higher grade levels are available on the website.

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