Place-based Math

*New* Math First Peoples (2020)

Teacher Resource Guide for Elementary and Secondary









NCCIE Teaching Resource Centre:

The educational resources you find here are for Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators teaching students and learners of all ages. Here, you will find:
  • Lesson plans developed with an Indigenous perspective for teaching:
    • Indigenous, land-based skills and knowledge
    • Indigenous languages
    • Mainstream K-12 subjects infused with Indigenous knowledge
  • Some lesson plans are adaptable for professional development opportunities
  • Videos that can be used as part of lesson plans or on their own
  • Helpful materials for educators to
    • Evaluate your and your learners’ experiences with a lesson
    • Create your own lesson plans using templates with an Indigenous-based, student-centred approach”

Math Catcher:  Mathematics through Aboriginal Storytelling

  • “For today’s learners: We present the Math Catcher Outreach Program in the classroom to encourage elementary and high school students to recognize how math is used in everyday life and how it forms the basis for many of our daily decisions and life-long choices. We use storytelling, pictures, models and hands-on activities to encourage young people to enjoy math and to help dispel myths that math is boring and abstract. We offer free-of-charge Math Catcher visits to schools across British Columbia. The program also organizes annual math summer camps at SFU’s Burnaby campus and workshops at SFU and at other locations.
  • For today’s educators: The Math Catcher Outreach Program provides you with the opportunity to explore ways to demystify mathematics for your students through storytelling and hands-on activities.
  • Meet Small Number: We engage Aboriginal learners in math and science through the use of First Nations imagery and storytelling. You can experience Small Number’s adventures by watching animated films in the Blackfoot, Cree, English, Halq’emeylem, Heiltsuk, Hul’q’umi’num’, Huu-ay- aht, Nisga’a, Sliammon, and Squamish languages.” (Source:  Math Catcher)

Deborah Sparrow, Musqueam First Nation, “Blanket making as mathematics” (ProD))

Numeracy : Professional Development resource from the Alberta Education Department. “Deepen your understanding of the importance of literacy and numeracy for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students. …. Find out how a Traditional Games Day creates a context for meaningful numeracy learning. …. See first-hand how two different teachers engage their students in meaningful numeracy experiences through traditional contexts…” (ProD)

Math Teaching and First Nation’s Culture : A short article (2007) by Julie-Ann Backhouse highlighting Associate Professor Cynthia Nicol’s (UBC) work and insight focusing on how cultural values are at the heart of math.  Practical applications for teaching math concepts within aboriginal culture and connections to the land are offered in this article. (ProD)

Aboriginal Perspectives Mathematics Workshops : These workshops “were created by students in the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program and the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina, under the direction of Drs. Kathy Nolan and Harley Weston.” Included are thorough lesson plans with background information and student worksheet links. (Intermediate)

Games from the Aboriginal People of North America : Native American games connected with mathematical concepts compiled by contributors to “Math Central”, a project of the University of Regina. ((Primary, Intermediate, Middle School, High School)

Weaving Math :  Project based math unit based within indigenous weaving skills. These place-based lessons were created by the Burnaby Mathematics Inquiry Team, a collaborative team from the Aboriginal Education Department and Secondary Mathematics teachers.  These lessons incorporate cultural knowledge in the new
BC Mathematics Curriculum. (Primary, Intermediate, Middle, Secondary)