Children’s literature as a vehicle for indigenous diversity awareness and inclusion in the classroom

Anne Burke, Jennifer Snow, Cyndi Egan- Kiigemagi, Education in the North

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The notable trauma experienced by Indigenous Canadian peoples at residential schools is only now, in the last few decades, being addressed. How we non-Indigenous Canadians view our history of colonialism and western hegemony, has come under question. It has been noted that some educators are hesitant to teach about these subjects, as they have not been adequately prepared. This paper addresses one phase of a three-year study concerning the use of multimodal teaching methods with an emphasis on the literature and illustrations in Canadian Indigenous picture books. Educators are at the forefront of changing negative stereotypes and attitudes concerning First Nation peoples and educating the young to recognize the power of mutual respect and collaboration concerning cultures different from their own. Through the use of critical classroom dialogues and children’s literature, students in our study were able to come to a greater understanding of indigenous culture and the loss of Indigenous identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-81
Number of pages16
JournalEducation in the North
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2020


  • children’s literature
  • early education
  • indigenous identity
  • residential schools
  • picture books
  • deep learning
  • diversity


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