Residing Between the Curricula: How Lived and Planned Curricula Support Indigenous Learning in the Core French Classroom

Mindful balancing of Western-style teaching with Indigenous Ways of Knowing (as one might find in the First Peoples Principles of Learning, for example), can be tricky to do, especially in a second-language classroom.  Finding content can also  be difficult, as well as weaving together the study of both French and Indigenous culture.  This workshop will not only discuss resources which can be valuable in your FSL classroom, but also ways in which we can interpret a teacher's role in the delivery of the curriculum:  what life experiences can you bring into your classroom which will make your teaching distinct?  How can we as teachers balance our structured curriculum with our own unique perspectives to create a decolonized language classroom which supports Indigeneity?

We will discuss not only some brief theory but practical ideas and suggestions as to how you can rework lesson plans, assessment, and create a fresh environment for all of your students.  Reference lists will be supplied, as well as a copy of Nancy's PowerPoint presentation.  There will also be draws for prizes!


10:30 AM - 11:45 AM

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  • Nancy Griffith-Zahner

    A core French teacher on the unceded lands of the Ts'msyen and Sm'algyax speaking people for the past 20 years, Nancy Griffith-Zahner has long been on the journey toward decolonizing her second language classroom as well as her mind and heart.  A doctoral candidate in the area of Culturally Inclusive, Place-Based Education at Simon Fraser University, Nancy has studied with Elders and Indigenous knowledge-keepers as to how to facilitate a core French classroom which supports the local Indigeneity of the land.  In 2019 Nancy created a Grade 9 FSL course which both aligned with the BC Curriculum but also used Indigenous content, assessment, and teaching styles, and in 2021 created a pilot Grade 12 FSL course entitled Les Haïda which devoted itself entirely to the study of the Haida Nation.  The course will be repeated twice in the 2021-2022 academic year.