New Paths for Education: Innovation activities

Opportunities for First Nations to pilot innovative education approaches and share results.

The 2017-2018 call for proposals for Innovation activities between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018 is now closed. The New Paths for Education Innovation selection committee met June 28, 2017 and successful applicants have been notified.

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About this activity

The Government of Canada is committed to working collaboratively with First Nations to ensure that all students receive a culturally responsive, high quality education that improves student outcomes, while respecting the principle of First Nations control of First Nations education.

The call for proposals for new Innovation activities within the New Paths for Education program allows First Nations to try new academic programs, strategies, and technologies, and develop evidence-based solutions that can be shared with other schools. It is intended to assist band-operated schools to:

2017-2018 themes

For 2017-2018, the call for proposals has two themes:

Land-based education

Land-based education provides First Nations students with the opportunity to learn while connecting with the land. It challenges students to discover new personal limits and build leadership skills and confidence by using traditional knowledge and teachings.

Land-based education also strengthens intergenerational knowledge transfer which contributes to positive identity formation, increased self-esteem and pride. It has the potential to improve the well-being, mental health and academic success of Indigenous students; and enhance student engagement in school.

For the 2017-2018 Innovation call, proposals are being sought that pilot:

  • a new land-based education program or curriculum in a First Nation school
  • an adaptation of an existing program or curriculum to include a land-based education component
  • an adaptation of an existing land-based education program or curriculum for a new audience or purpose

Elements of Land-based education

These are common elements shared by existing land-based programs:

  • experience is culturally relevant and makes use of Indigenous knowledge
  • experience is provided outdoors, with the land acting as the classroom and the teacher
  • content is adaptive to benefit different learning styles with a specific focus on contextual and hands-on learning
  • content and lessons are relevant to students and their developmental needs and provide opportunities for students to develop life skills in addition to earning credits
  • experience is developed through collaboration with the local First Nation community and Elders/cultural mentors
  • experience aligns with respective curriculum outcomes, allowing students to earn credits towards their diploma requirements

Examples of eligible activities

  • piloting the use of land-based education as a means of enhancing a curriculum: for example using cultural practices as lesson activities to meet curriculum outcomes
  • piloting the use of land-based education to promote and increase the use of First Nation languages for example using land-based activities as venue for using First Nation language
  • piloting the use of land-based education to increase the involvement of parents in the community-at-large in the school: for example community members participate in learning environment by modelling skills or lessons
  • piloting the use of land-based education to recruit and retain teachers: for example providing teachers with professional development opportunities, organizing land-based education workshops,etc.)
  • piloting the use of land-based education to increase computer literacy: for example using mobile technology to record land-based lessons or skills

Examples of land-based education programs

These have been implemented across Canada:

  • Oscar Lathlin Collegiate's land-based programs
  • Living Sky School Division's Land-based Learning program
  • Mountainside Secondary School's Eslha7an Youth Program
  • Deh Gáh School's Education On The Land program
  • K'àlemì Dene School - Ndilo and Kaw Tay Whee School – Dettah Community Schools' Aboriginal Culture programs
  • En'owkin Centre's K-12 Syilx Indigenous Land-Based Learning Project
  • Bella Bella Community School's SEAS program

Physical activity and sport

The Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway is a roadmap for developing quality physical activity and sport programming. It:

  • represents a shift in the way that physical activity and sport is led and delivered for Indigenous peoples
  • uses a holistic approach that considers the mental, cognitive, emotional and physical development of an individual
  • outlines the key elements that need to be considered when planning, developing and implementing physical activity and sport programs

In a school environment, the Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway can be used to design and implement programming which has the potential to improve the well-being, mental health, and academic success of Indigenous students; as well as enhance student engagement in school.

For the 2017-2018 call, proposals are being sought that are based on the Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway, demonstrate quality physical activity and sport programming and pilot:

  • a new physical activity or sport program or curriculum
  • an existing physical activity or sport program or curriculum for a new audience or purpose in schools
  • an adaptation of an existing program or curriculum to include a physical activity and sport component
  • an adaptation of an existing physical activity or sport program or curriculum so it aligns with the pathway

The Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Pathway includes detailed descriptions and checklists for physical activity and sport program elements. This information is broken down by approximate ages or stage of development making it easier to apply in a school setting.

Quality physical activity and sport programming

  • is welcoming and inclusive: it is fun, adapts to meet participant needs, actively welcomes participants of different abilities, genders and backgrounds
  • is safe and well-run: it is well-organized, outcome-oriented in a safe environment
  • is technically sound: it is developmentally appropriate for the participants, builds on skills and capabilities, led by knowledgeable, capable leaders for students from kindergarten to Grade 5 would include exposure to a wide range of movements, which provide a base for all other sports:
    • running, jumping, throwing
    • agility, balance, coordination, speed and dance
    • swimming
    • slipping and sliding, on snow, ice or water

Examples of eligible activities

  • piloting the use of physical activity or sport as a means of enhancing a curriculum such as using archery to teach physics
  • piloting the use of physical activity or sport to promote and increase the use of First Nation languages such as where the physical activity or sport program is delivered in a First Nation language
  • piloting the use of physical activity or sport to increase the involvement of parents in the community-at-large in the school such as engaging students and their parents through an after-school sport program, etc.
  • piloting the use of physical activity and sport to recruit and retain teachers such as training teachers to become certified coaches and deliver physical activity and sport programs
  • piloting the use of physical activity and sport to increase computer literacy such as digitally mapping community trails, analyzing sport results, creating team websites, etc.

Who can apply?

Deadline

The deadline to submit a proposal under either theme was 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on May 15, 2017.

How to apply?

Applicants must submit detailed electronic proposals for all projects to be funded. A sample proposal form  is available. Applicants who have access to the department's Services Portal should use the electronic form by opening a session on the portal. If you do not have access to the portal, please contact your regional office to get access to the portal.

Please indicate in the title of your proposal that you are applying to the Innovation Call for Proposals, and indicate which theme you are applying under. You may apply to both themes.

Sustaining and sharing the story of successfully piloted activities post-pilot is very important. Please remember to describe how the organization will contribute to this in the proposal.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to closely review the New Paths for Education – National Program Guidelines 2017-2018 before submitting an application for additional requirements.

Proposed activities must fulfill at least one of the program's existing objectives.

To find out more, contact INAC by email at NPEP@aadnc-aandc.gc.ca or by telephone at 1-800-567-9604 and ask to speak to an Education officer.

The New Paths for Education Innovation selection committee selects applicants, based on these criteria. To learn about the members of the selection committee, read their biographies.

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