ABORIGINAL STUDIES

PROGRAM RATIONALE AND PHILOSOPHY 

RATIONALE
The focal point of Aboriginal Studies 10–20–30 is the wealth and diverse nature of Aboriginal
languages and cultures. The program of studies explores concepts within the students’ own unique
context. It is intended to provide a conceptual framework for all learners to enhance understanding
of the diverse Aboriginal cultures within their region, Canada and the world. The term “Aboriginal”
refers to First Nations, Métis and Inuit.

The Common Curriculum Framework for Aboriginal Language and Culture Programs: Kindergarten to Grade
12, June 2000, developed within the Western Canadian Protocol, has provided guidance in the
development of Aboriginal Studies 10–20–30. Aboriginal Studies 10–20–30 reflects a perspective that
encompasses and integrates the past, present and future of Aboriginal peoples. This program will
provide all students with the opportunity to develop, explore and apply their own personal
reflections on Aboriginal perspectives. Students will examine how Aboriginal peoples are striving
toward maintaining and promoting cultures and identities that reflect values based on respect for
the laws of nature and a continual pursuit of balance among individuals, the family unit, the
larger community and global community.

The resiliency of Aboriginal peoples’ cultural heritages and languages has promoted a survival of their nations. In spite of many challenges, the majority of Aboriginal peoples in Canada have
maintained traditional beliefs and value structures within their cultural framework.

It is important that Aboriginal students experience and feel a sense of pride of their own cultural
heritage. This will enhance students’ self-esteem and increase the relevance of education.

For all students, the program can serve to increase an awareness, appreciation and understanding of
the rich and long-lasting history, culture and contributions of Aboriginal peoples as part of our
society. It can also serve to enlighten and contribute to discussion and analysis of Aboriginal
issues.

Aboriginal Studies 10–20–30 is based on Aboriginal worldviews and experiences, and incorporates the
following concepts:
• there is a need to respect, honour and celebrate Aboriginal cultures in Alberta, Canada and
the world
• Aboriginal values and beliefs are resilient and relevant to global issues
• Aboriginal nations have strong, diverse and evolving cultures that have adapted to a changing
world
• language/communication in all its forms is one of the essential means by which culture is
learned.

Program Rationale and Philosophy Aboriginal Studies 10–20–30
(Senior High) /1
Alberta Learning, Alberta, Canada
(2002)

 PHILOSOPHY

The anticipated results for the Aboriginal Studies 10–20–30 program are outlined below:
• encourages students to learn to identify key questions, organize and select relevant content,
develop points of view and present their findings and conclusions
• emphasizes clear and effective communication
• fosters a sense of self-worth and pride by encouraging Aboriginal students to appreciate their
cultural heritage and social, political and economic contributions to society
• illustrates that traditional Aboriginal communities are as diverse as the current Canadian
cultural mosaic
• enables all students to demonstrate an understanding that societies are made up of individuals,
but each individual has a responsibility to the well-being of the society
• illustrates the importance of the spiritual nature of Aboriginal peoples and their relationship
with all things in the universe
• explores a largely oral and visual culture allowing students to gain appreciation of many
communication and art forms
• helps all students to develop respect for the environment and commitment to use resources wisely
• helps all students to appreciate values related to their personal, ethical and spiritual beliefs
• helps all students to acquire the necessary skills and attitudes that will lead to a successful
place in the world.
ABORIGINAL STUDIES 10

Aboriginal Studies 10 is a provincial course suitable for all students in Alberta schools.

The course is based on perspectives and worldviews of Aboriginal peoples. It includes the study of
traditions and history of Aboriginal peoples in Canada, and particularly in Alberta. Student
learning outcomes provide opportunities to examine such topics as governmental structures,
literature, the arts and the sciences.

The four themes in Aboriginal Studies 10 are:
• Origin and Settlement Patterns
• Aboriginal Worldviews
• Political and Economic Organization
• Aboriginal Symbolism and Expression.
ABORIGINAL STUDIES 20

Aboriginal Studies 20 is a provincial course suitable for all students in Alberta schools.

The course focuses on indigenous people from a Canadian and Alberta perspective. It includes the
study of policies, legislation, conflict and cultural change.

The four themes in Aboriginal Studies 20 are:
• The Métis: Conflict and Cultural Change
• Treaties and Cultural Change
• Legislation, Policies and Cultural Change
• Schooling and Cultural Change.

 2/ Aboriginal Studies 10–20–30 (Senior High) Program
Rationale and Philosophy
Alberta Learning, Alberta, Canada
(2002)

 ABORIGINAL STUDIES 30

Aboriginal Studies 30 is a provincial course suitable for all students in Alberta schools.

Students will gain a greater understanding of the current issues facing Aboriginal peoples
worldwide. Aboriginal Studies 30 enables students to demonstrate an understanding of the issues of
Aboriginal rights and self-government, Aboriginal land claims, Aboriginal peoples in Canadian
society and Aboriginal world issues.

The four themes in Aboriginal Studies 30 are:
• Aboriginal Rights and Self-government
• Aboriginal Land Claims
• Aboriginal Peoples in Canadian Society
• Aboriginal World Issues.