Community Service Learning

Nicholas Ng-A-Fook is committed toward incorporating various community service learning projects within the various courses he teaches in collaboration with the Centre for Global and Community Engagement at the University of Ottawa. As part of their course work in Curriculum Design and Evaluation  (PED 3103) and Schooling and Society (PED 3102) students have opportunities to complete a minimum of 20 hours of community service and in turn receive a co-curricular certificate.

In 2010-2011 Nicholas Ng-A-Fook applied for two small grants that supported each other. The first was to support our Making History Speakers Series and Digital Oral History Lab. We utilized the funds to purchase invaluable recording equipment for the lab for our students to utilize of various oral history projects with local communities. Moreover, the funds helped to support the logistics of our speakers series as well as the development of our website (see The centre is acknowledged as a partner on the Speaker Series page. Our students enrolled in the DGPE cohort were able to utilize this equipment to create their public service announcements with Kitigan Zibi elders, teachers and students.

Students made three field trips to the Kitigan Zibi community in order to work with the director of education the director, school principal, elders, teachers, and students. In turn, our Bachelor of Education students collaborated with elders, teachers, and students to develop two different projects (Hula-Hoop with Rebecca Lloyd and Public Service Announcements with Nicholas Ng-A-Fook).

During our first trip Anita Tenasco an orientation to the educational infrastructure of the community and provided some cultural background information about the students who attend the Kitigan Zibi Kikinamadinan elementary and secondary schools. The principal Shirley Whiteduck also spoke to the global cohort about the various school programs at the school. The students watched a documentary film that examined the historical displacement of the Kitigan Zibi community and other Algonquin communities.

Before heading back to Ottawa, the teachers expressed that she would send me an e-mail outlining a potential social action project we could work together. In that e-mail she asked us if we could create public service announcements with her students. Prior to our second fieldtrip, students organized themselves into small groups and tentatively developed an action plan that would facilitate a 1-day program for students to create and film their public service announcements at the Kitigan Zibi Cultural Centre and Kikinamadinan elementary school.

During our second field trip our students worked with elders, teachers, and students to develop screenplays as well as film 4 different public service announcements. Another group of students created a session where they worked with Kitigan Zibi students to develop a hula-hoop program that tied into the health and physical education curriculum in a culturally responsive way. Prior to beginning our presentations, an elder conducted the opening prayer and smudge ceremony in order to welcome us and bless our work that day. Elders advised students how they might further incorporate an Algonquin conceptual framework in terms of the cultural and narrative dynamics of their proposed public service announcements.

We then returned to the University of Ottawa our students edited the filming down to a 90 second public service announcement. During our final fieldtrip the global cohort shared the final versions of the public service announcements with elders, teachers, parents, and students.

Students published public service announcements on the following websites:

  1. 1.

Nicholas Ng-A-Fook, Giuliano Reis, and students enrolled in the primary/junior cohort are currently working with the Kitigan Zibi grade 5/6 teacher and students again this year on a community service learning science project.

In April of 2008, Nicholas Ng-A-Fook took twelve Bachelor of Education students to Louisiana to work with the United Houma Nation at their food booth during the Jazz Festival in New Orleans. It continues to be one of the only non-profit food booths at the event. For more on this story click here.

Kitigan Zibi Cultural Centre

As part of the Schooling and Society course for 2010 Nicholas Ng-A-Fook, Rebecca Lloyd and the Global Cohort are working in collaboration with the Kitigan-Zibi in Manawaki, Quebec to develop educational resources for their Algonquin language program. To read more about this collaboration click on the following links: Newsletter 1, Newsletter 2.

Teacher-candidates enrolled in this unique Developing A Global Perspective for Educators program of study learn how to integrate international development, peace and social justice, human rights, as well as environmental education into the existing Ontario curricula while engaging various social action projects like the ones with the United Houma Nation and Kitigan Zibi.