A breakthrough for Aboriginal learning in Canada

    OTTAWA, Nov. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) and
its Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre, in partnership with Aboriginal
organizations in Canada, have developed an innovative approach to measuring
Aboriginal learning-one that should lead to more effective lifelong learning
and contribute to a higher quality of life for Aboriginal Peoples across
    Aboriginal organizations have long advocated learning that affirms their
cultural traditions, own ways of knowing and values. Using modern
communications technology to present Aboriginal perspectives, this partnership
has resulted in three interactive, online learning models that convey how
learning occurs throughout all stages of life and in many settings, such as
the home, on the land, and in the community.
    "Traditional approaches to measuring successful learning are important,
but have focused on the classroom and have not sufficiently reflected
Aboriginal people's holistic view of learning," says Paul Cappon, CCL's
president and CEO. "All Canadians can learn from these models."
    "Lifelong learning is an important part of the solution to eradicating
poverty in our communities," says Phil Fontaine, National Chief of the
Assembly of First Nations. "The development of a culturally appropriate
framework for measuring lifelong learning recognizes the more holistic
approach to learning that has long been an essential part of the lives of
First Nations people."
    The First Nations model
rning.htm?Language=EN) and Métis model are represented by illustrations of
living trees, to convey the regenerative nature of learning and its
relationship to community well-being.
    The Inuit model uses an image of an Inuit blanket toss (a game often
played at Inuit celebrations) and a circular path of lifelong learning to
depict learning as an individual and collective journey.
    "The Inuit learning model is a first step toward what I believe will be
an invaluable ongoing discussion about learning and how learning can be
strengthened in Inuit communities," says Mary Simon, President of Inuit
Tapiriit Kanatami.
    These Holistic Lifelong Learning Models form the centrepiece of CCL's
first annual report on Aboriginal learning, Redefining How Success Is Measured
in First Nations, Inuit and Métis Learning. Released today at the Canadian
Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, the report details the nearly year-long
development process behind this project which was carried out in partnership
with five national Aboriginal organizations, and refined through workshops and
discussions with leading Aboriginal learning experts and community members.
    Each of the three models are intended as living documents that will
evolve as First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, organizations,
institutions, researchers and governments use them to strengthen new
approaches to learning.
    "Métis people have always advocated for the importance of knowledge
acquired through experiential learning, including learning from Elders,
traditions, ceremonies, family, and the workplace," says Dale Leclair, Chief
Administrative Officer of the Métis National Council (MNC). "The MNC applauds
the efforts of CCL in recognizing these vital, but often unrecognized forms of
learning within Métis learning model,"
    The Holistic Lifelong Learning Models are available at

    The Canadian Council on Learning is an independent, not-for-profit
corporation funded through an agreement with Human Resources and Social
Development Canada. Its mandate is to promote and support evidence-based
decisions about learning throughout all stages of life, from early childhood
through to the senior years.

For further information:

For further information: Kelly Ouimet, Senior Communications Specialist,
Canadian Council on Learning, (613) 786-3230 x242, kouimet@ccl-cca.ca

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