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Materials and Training for:

curriculum and program development

teacher development

school board development

THE SACRED TREE BOOK A beautifully illustrated book presenting some universal concepts and teachings of Native North American societies through the ages. Using the ancient symbol of the medicine wheel, the nature of the person, as well as their purpose and potential, is reflected upon. This book can be purchased separately or as part of the curriculum package described below.

THE SACRED TREE CURRICULUM PACKAGEThis package helps educators lead students through a process of self-exploration and development, to discover their potentials and to direct themselves toward positive development of themselves and others. It provides the basic framework for a research project in which students examine the consequences of substance abuse in their community. It uses the medicine wheel as a model to teach about the basic principles of personal growth and interpersonal communication. This package includes a curriculum guide, a class set of 25 texts, 4 videos, 7 resource books, posters and other visual aids.

THE SACRED TREE WORKSHOP This two-day workshop familiarizes teachers with the learning strategies used in The Sacred Tree curriculum by providing opportunities for hands-on experiences. The handbook guides you through activities like talking circles, laughter and play activities, guided visualization, journal writing and other exercises.

WALKING WITH GRANDFATHERThis six-part video depicts the experiences of five children who visit the grandfather of two of them at his wilderness camp. They learn many things about native North Americans: their traditional dwellings, the contributions of First Nations people to North American society, and some of the beliefs and values shared by many tribes. Grandfather shares five traditional stories with the children which teaches them important lessons about how to get along with each other and with the natural world.

WALKING WITH GRANDFATHER GUIDE This guide demonstrates how the stories told by Grandfather to his young visitors can be used in a student-centered language arts program to work on such objectives as identifying the characteristics of myths, understanding and using symbols, understanding casual relationships and using figurative language. Teaching strategies include creative writing, guided discussions, art projects and role plays. This curriculum package is suitable for use with students of any cultural background.

THE WALKING WITH GRANDFATHER WORKSHOP A one-day training session has been designed to introduce educators to this curriculum package by demonstrating the use of traditional stories to strengthen written and oral language skills as well as to develop thematic units covering many subject areas (science, social studies, art, physical education, mathematics and language arts).

UNITY IN DIVERSITY CURRICULUM PACKAGEPromotes an understanding and appreciation of the Human Family. The Curriculum Package consists of a comprehensive multicultural education program including an extensive curriculum guide; a student text; masters for student worksheets; five videos, books, games, puzzles, posters and a map. The curriculum is divided into four units: 1. Human Problems Need Human Solutions, 2. The Roots and Dynamics of Prejudice, 3. Images of Indians, 4. Strategies for Change.

Seventeen teaching and learning strategies have been used to develop tolerance and understanding. These include guided discussions, role plays, cooperative learning, audio-visual materials, taking action, creative writing, the arts, research projects, collaborative problem solving, and case studies. Case studies highlight concerns to many North American minority groups including Hutterites, Japanese, Ukrainian, the disabled, Mennonites, women, East Indian and Native North Americans. Activities are also suggested for your classroom to get in touch with other groups in your community.

IMAGES OF INDIANS CURRICULUM PACKAGE(curriculum guide, student resource packages, Images of Indians video, map, books, videos, posters)

This program examines how stereotypes and Hollywood depictions of Indians perpetuate prejudice; how the movie industry’s misrepresentation of Aboriginal history, customs and language, affects everybody; contemporary Aboriginal issues; how Aboriginal tribes have contributed to North American life; and the effects of government policies on "the Indian problem" during settlement times.

THE IMAGES OF INDIANS WORKSHOP This two-day workshop introduces educators to seventeen learning/teaching strategies which have been demonstrated to help students gain an appreciation for human diversity and deeper understanding of the root causes of prejudice and discrimination. The workshop is designed to help teachers become thoroughly familiar with the contents of this extensive curriculum package and to gain some hands-on experience with the learning methods.

This workshop is also suitable for any community resource people concerned about improving human relationships in multicultural communities - church leaders, youth program leaders, social workers, law enforcement personnel, etc.


MOVING TOWARD WHOLENESS: ASubstance Abuse Prevention Training Manual for Educators Working with Native StudentsSubstance abuse cannot be surgically removed from an individual or community. Prevention education must have a wholistic approach. The training session outlined in this manual provides educators with a basic model for a school-based prevention program involving parents, the community, resource people and teachers. It explores such components of an integrated prevention program as self-esteem, decision making and coping skills, information, spiritual-cultural values, and positive role models.

LEARNING FOR LIFE: A Social Skills Training Program for Young Adolescents This 100 page manual draws on three prevention strategies: influencing normative values; teaching skills that help youth counter social pressures; and teaching general personal and social skills such as problem solving, decision making, effective interpersonal communication, assertiveness and coping with stress. Ideas are presented to help schools cooperate with other community agencies to build a strong youth program. The Workshop A two-day training session is offered for each of these manuals. Each session provides a theoretical background as well as the opportunity to explore the many strategies and practical suggestions included in the manuals. The emphasis is on participatory, experiential learning.

These sessions are suitable for school staff as well as the many community resource people who share a concern for young people and a willingness to help them make the choices which will lead to health and well-being.


The following workshops are designed to give teachers an opportunity to explore current issues and techniques in education. They can be adapted to one or two-day time frames, except for the Outdoor Education sessions which requires a full week.

Resource Materials

Culture: The Ultimate CurriculumIn order for educators outside a culture to promote human development and learning, they must build on the "organic curriculum" of the people with whom they work. This paper discussed the concept of organic curriculum - the process by which people learn to live in relationship to the universe - as well as the implications of this idea for education and educators struggling to work in this new way.

Issues in Education: Three discussion papers relevant to education in First Nations communities:

"The Beaver People: A Case Study in Traditional Northern Native Teaching and Learning Practices"A study of Hugh Brody’s book about Beaver Indians in northeast British Columbia uncovers some principles guiding traditional education which can be adapted in today’s schools.

"The Pulse of Culture: Some Implications of Contemporary Anthropological Research for the Classroom" Contemporary research about cultural differences, neonatal bonding and language learning provide insights for educators striving to implement more culturally appropriate and effective teaching practices.

"The Anisa Model of Education"Includes a case study of a contemporary education model with a wholistic and integrated approach to education in a Native setting.

The Workshops Culturally Appropriate CurriculumA practical, hands on training to help educators adapt and develop learning materials and processes that are appropriate to the culture of the learners. A working definition of culture is also explored and the implications of some relevant education and anthropological research are presented.

Role Model Wellness Helping teachers to develop an effective pathway for personal growth and wellness (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual) and building awareness, sensitivity and skills needed for role model educational leadership with young people and communities.

Experiential Learning (learning by doing)A practical hands-on immersion in experiential learning strategies and techniques to help educators to move from teacher talk to learner centered approaches.

Outdoor Education Helping school-based teams of educators to develop effective curriculum and to acquire the skills to safely and effectively lead outdoor educational experiences.

Reaching the Hard to Reach For special education teachers and schools interested in reaching dropouts or difficult (hard to reach) learners. This workshop explores practical alternative strategies for reaching and keeping the hard to reach learner in school. Special focus on addressing personal growth and the healing needs of the learners and on strategies for helping special needs learners connect with family and community resources.

Team Building This session is designed to help the staff and administration of an educational institution gain a common vision and develop a strategic plan for a successful school year. Participants will also have the opportunity to focus on their interpersonal relationships as they affect the school’s success.


These workshops are designed to help school boards function more efficiently and to develop the skills to deal with the challenges of providing educational leadership. They can be adapted to a one or two-day time frame.

Resource Materials

Wholistic Education Evaluation This paper reviews the field of educational evaluation relating specifically to Native communities. Approaches are outlined for evaluating educational programs to ensure control of the educational process is in the hands of the community.

Recreating Native Education A case study program evaluation and design useful to school staff, administrators, boards and community members, this two-part document reviews a typical curriculum used in rural Native schools and outlines a proposal for making changes to create more effective, dynamic and culturally appropriate educational programs.

The Workshops Visioning and Planning This workshop is designed to help school boards develop a common vision and a strategic plan to reach their goals, utilizing existing resources and building on community strengths and needs.

Evaluation Helping school boards recreate their existing education system through community-based evaluation by looking at many factors including student performance, physical resources, educational plans and administrative effectiveness.

How To Be An Effective Board (from boss to coach)Helpingschool boards to develop strategies and mechanisms for getting the most out of their education teams by working effectively with teachers, staff and administration.

Team Building Help school boards become an effective team by overcoming internal conflicts, developing trust and developing a common vision.


Phil Lane, Jr., International Coordinator Four Worlds International Institute for Human and Community Development

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