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Walk the Circle

Walk the Circle

Developed with Indigenous Elders, Artists and Knowledge Keepers from across Canada, Walk the Circle is a professional learning program that assists educators in respectfully and appropriately teaching about Canada’s First Nations. 

Walk the Circle graphic
The Royal Conservatory would like to acknowledge and thank its national roster of Indigenous Elders, Knowledge Keepers, Artists, and Educators for their guidance, support and collaboration on the design of this program. They were instrumental in sharing their stories, concepts, and diverse perspectives on  Indigenous ways of Knowing.   We hold our hands up to them in gratitude and know that you will feel the same as you encounter them throughout your journey with Walk The Circle.


Walk the Circle Modules 

  1. Joining the Journey

  2. Early Contact & Cooperation

  3. Displacement, Assimilation, & Resiliency

  4. ReconciliACTION: Negotiation & Renewal. 

Click the headings below to learn more about each of the four Modules. As you progress through Walk the Circle, you will receive guidance on how to design lessons and activities that will support you in transferring your learning to your students.  Many aspects of this learning program are universal and will also help to further foster a classroom environment of openness, inclusiveness, and respect for all. 

If you would like to see a free demo of Walk the Circle, please register here.

  • MODULE 1: Joining the Journey

    Get to know Indigenous protocols as we explore how the landscape has influenced our ways of being and knowing.  Where are you in our story?  Where do we meet along the way? The following concepts are covered in this Module:

    1. Land Acknowledgment

    2. Regalia

    3. Oral History and Storytelling

    4. Intersectionality and Diversity in Indigenous Culture

    Within each of the 4 concepts above, there are four Learning Stages each with their own subset of activities.  Learn more about the Learning Stages here.

  • MODULE 2: Early Contact & Cooperation

    Examine the impact of historical legislation, the fur trade, and Confederation on modern Canada. The following concepts are covered in this Module:

    1. The Royal Proclamation of 1763

    2. Unceded Territory

    3. Treaty

    4. Language and Vocabulary

    Within each of the 4 concepts above, there are four Learning Stages each with their own subset of activities.  Learn more about the Learning Stages here.

  • MODULE 3: Displacement, Assimilation & Resiliency

    Listen to Elders' stories about residential school and resiliency, and develop strategies to ease difficult discussions about our history. The following concepts are covered in this Module:

    1. Brave Conversations

    2. The Indian Act

    3. Residential School

    4. Why does it matter?

    Within each of the 4 concepts above, there are four Learning Stages each with their own subset of activities.  Learn more about the Learning Stages here.

  • MODULE 4: ReconciliACTION: Negotiation & Renewal

    Explore what it means to be an ally and act on changes to bring reconciliation to your classrooms. The following concepts are covered in this Module:

    1. Reconciliation

    2. ReconciliACTION

    3. Ally

    4. Where do we go from here?

    Within each of the 4 concepts above, there are four Learning Stages each with their own subset of activities.  Learn more about the Learning Stages here.


The Four Learning Stages of Walk the Circle

Within each of the Concepts for each of the modules, there are four Learning Stages to ensure that the subject matter is more fully absorbed and up to three activities for each Learning Stage.

  1. Stage 1 – Reflect: This stage is about how you are feeling as you are exposed to the concept.

  2. Stage 2 – Discover: This stage is about beginning to notice and question what you encounter.

  3. Stage 3 – Apply: This stage of the learning process is about doing and using what has been learned.

  4. Stage 4 – Share: This stage is about sharing your knowledge with others.


Walk the Circle Teacher Resources

We have a number of resources available to help transfer your learning to your classroom:

Video Resources

Virtual Talking Circles

With your registration in the course, you will receive access to a library of video resources used in each module that you may take back to your classroom to share and use with your students.  Created by our national roster of Indigenous artists, these are specifically designed to provoke conversation about Indigenous issues and Indigenous ways of knowing in the classroom for your students.  You will have confidence that you are using authentic resources appropriately.

In addition to having access to the resources created by our national roster of Indigenous artists, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with some of them if you choose to join our Virtual Talking Circles, scheduled once per module with a small panel of Elders, Knowledge Keepers, and artist-educators.  In our contemporary take on the talking circle – a non-hierarchical form of dialogue practiced by many Indigenous communities in their own varying traditions – we bring together participants from across the country for the opportunity to connect with and learn from the varied experience of our roster.

If you would like to see a demo of Walk the Circle, register now for free access!​

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