Indigenous Education Pedagogy Reading Resources

Some Resources

Annotated Bibliography

Byrne, N. (2021, January 11). Cultural Appropriation of Indigenous Cultures in North America – U Multicultural. U Multicultural. Retrieved February 25, 2022, from

This is a brief but informative article that defines and gives particular examples of cultural appropriation. It attempts to provide some historical context, as well as the difference between appropriation and appreciation.

Cultural teachings. University of Calgary. (2021, September 16). Retrieved February 25, 2022, from

This is a series of videos from the University of Calgary’s Office of Indigenous Engagement. It includes stories from elders on the subjects of the traditional roles of Women, healing, and general cultural wisdom. 

Educators. (n.d.). Indspire. Retrieved February 23, 2022, from

Indspire is an Indigenous education charity that is working to have every Indigenous student graduate within a generation. Their site has many resources on supporting Indigenous education, and educational programs for all students to learn more about Indigenous culture, history and ways of knowing.

McCue, H. (2016, February 24). The learning circle: Classroom activities on First Nations in Canada – ages 8 to 11. Government of Canada; Crown-Indigenous Relations and
Northern Affairs Canada. Retrieved February 19, 2022, from

This is a document created by the Canadian government but written by Indigenous author and lawyer Harvey McCue,  with a wide variety of activities to help bring First Nations traditions into the classroom. This is one of a series that includes activities for both younger and older students.

Meuse, T., & Stevens, A. (2003). The Sharing Circle: Stories about first nations culture. Nimbus Pub.

This is a series of seven stories by First Nations author and educator Theresa Meuse with each story (The Eagle Feather, The Dream Catcher, The Sacred Herbs, The Talking Circle, The Medicine Wheel, The Drum, and The Medicine Pouch) focusing on a particular First Nations cultural practice.

Moose Hide Campaign. Education. Retrieved February 20, 2022, from

The Moose Hide Campaign is using education to end violence against women. They have several resources for educators on their website.

Ortiz, S. (1997). People shall continue. Children’s Book Press.

This book, written in the rhythms of a traditional oral narrative by Indigenous author Simon Ortiz, attempts to tell the entire history of Indigenous people in an easy to understand way for children to understand. 

Paths to Reconciliation. Retrieved February 25, 2022, from

National Geographic has put together an interactive map showing some locations Of Residential Schools in Canada.

Taylor, C. J. (2009). Spirits, fairies, and merpeople: Native stories of other worlds. Tundra Books

This is a collection of Indigenous stories from across North America, collected and written by Mohawk author C.J. Taylor .

Tenasco, S., & Bird, C. L. (2021). Nibi’s Water Song. Lee & Low Books Inc.
A wonderful picture book about an Indigenous girl who attempts to find clean water to drink and the ramifications that has.

Indigenous Education Pedagogy Reading Resources

Recognizing Bias in Resources

I have chosen to take a look at the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA), which is a standardized test that we use three times per year with our students in our school. It is incredibly common, as I have found that many school boards use it to get an understanding of the reading levels of their students. The kit is made up of twenty short reading booklets, the easiest being very simple, repetitive sentences (things that are red) and moving up levels until they are short stories and biographies. Students read the selected passage out loud as the educator tracks their accuracy, and then answer questions about the reading to check for comprehension. I decided to go through every book in the kit looking for bias. The results were more complicated than I expected.

Out of the 20 books in the kit, exactly had any sort of Indigenous representation. So that is 10%. Out of those two books, both of them were just repurposed folk tales (Thin as a Stick, Turtle’s Big Race) with anthropomorphized animals as the main characters. So there was in effect, no true representation. The only way to know that these were in fact based upon Indigenous stories is that the subtitle for both books was “A Native American Folk Tale”.  There is no indication as to where the stories are from, both geographically and culturally. I searched for information about both tales, and I could only discover that “Turtle’s Big Race” is based upon a Seneca folk tale. I could find nothing in my searches that correlated to any story “Thin as a Stick” could be based on. Again, there was no mention of any culture these stories were from, just that they were “Native American”. The stories were also fairly standard retellings with a simple and clear moral, with no mention of any traditional wisdom the stories could be handing down. 

I looked for information regarding the authors based on the final point from on finding authentic resources.


M.1) Is the background of the author and illustrator devoid of qualities that enable them to write about Native peoples in an accurate, respectful manner? Is there an ethnocentric bias that leads to distortions or omissions?

 Select Only Books for which the author’s and illustrator’s background qualifies them to write about Native peoples. Their perspectives should strengthen the work.

The author of Thin as a Stick is Richard Lee Vaughan. I could not find out any specific information about his background, except that he grew up in the South Pacific and has written several books on Indigenous themes. There was essentially nothing about Lisa Trumbauer, who was the author of Turtle’s Big Race, except that she was born in the Bronx. 

So, out of twenty books that are used three times a year with all students across the school (and several schools), there is essentially no real authentic representation. This in itself is indicative of a bias, in that it is essentially the erasure of an entire group of people.