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HOW TO APPROACH ABORIGINAL INFUSION IN MATHEMATICS
Philosophically, incorporating Aboriginal education in math courses at the secondary school level can pose challenges, particularly at the senior grades.
In addition to the General Tips outlined on our resource main page (we strongly recommend reading that first), the Math department wishes to highlight a few specific points regarding Aboriginal infusion that they believe is important for its success:
1. Move Beyond Tokenism. Diversifying math questions with Aboriginal content is a start and exposes students to more Indigenous terms
but our goal is to move past just changing a word problem from measuring height of flagpole to height of totem pole.
2. Let the First Peoples Principles of Learning (hyperlink) be your guide to Aboriginal infusion in Math courses. These principles of
learning are not solely unique to Aboriginal cultures and you will find that they are already deeply embedded within the new curriculum.
a. Although we will provide suggestions and resources for including explicit Aboriginal content in your lessons, most of the time it is
much more likely that you will be infusing Aboriginal content in Math implicitly. This can be done many ways, such as by highlighting
and valuating different ways of knowledge and memory.
* Emphasizing the trial and error aspects of problem solving and then figuring out the mathematical proof/explanation after the fact
3. Collaborate with other teachers. To make Aboriginal infusion in Math more authentic, matching Math questions/problems relating to
Aboriginal content they are learning in their other classes is the way to go.
* Compare surface area and living space size per person of average Aboriginal houses (teepee, pit house) to the average settlers/fur
traders house in grade 8 when students will be learning about pre and post colonial contact.