Guiding Principles for Learning Inspired by Etuaptmumk

Developed by Shy-Anne Bartlett, Rob Bell, Laura Gini-Newman, Garfield Gini-Newman, Elder Randy Fred, Dr. Gail Lafleur, Sandra Lamouche, and Dr. Carmen Rodriguez de France

Shy-Anne Bartlett

Education Collaborator

Shy-Anne is an educator, musician, environmentalist and humanitarian. She lives off the land as much as she can for her and her family. Shy-Anne worked in education as a teacher for 18 years prior to taking on the role of Manager of Indigenous Education for SGGDB. She is working towards social justice through her work daily work and through her music. When she is not working, she is a mother, gardener and lover of all life, and does her best to live life in a good way while walking the dual path of Anishinaabe way of life and colonial life.

Robert Bell

Education Collaborator

Robert Bell teaches at Dundas Central Public School in the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, where he works closely with local and national organizations to help enrich students’ learning.  Robert is interested in the ways interdisciplinary approaches to learning deepen our understanding of complex ideas and issues.  In 2019, he was a recipient of the Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Laura Gini-Newman

Education Consultant

Laura Gini-Newman is a recently retired educator with over 30 years of experience working as a university professor, classroom teacher, resource teacher, coach and instructional co-ordinator. She has taught History, Geography, Politics, Philosophy, Computer Science, Economics, and Mathematics. Laura has developed a new reasoning-focused approach for math learning that she has been sharing in her role as the math consultant with The Critical Thinking Consortium working with students, teachers and leaders to become better thinkers in mathematics and other subject areas across Canada, in the USA, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe and Asia. She has published and co-authored textbooks, papers and learning resources in philosophy, history, mathematics, Indigenous education and most recently applied positive psychology. She is a certified applied positive psychology practitioner and co-founder of FlourishCo, a Canadian company that supports the cultivation of a flourishing mindset and that works with individuals, communities and businesses to help them learn how to flourish in their work and lives. Prior to her career in education, Laura worked as an economist and accountant. She has taught at both the University of Toronto and York University. She is also a professionally trained facilitator. Laura volunteers with the Alma Foundation to help young disadvantage learners in remote Andean villages experience learning success.

Garfield Gini-Newman

Education Consultant

Garfield Gini-Newman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at OISE, University of Toronto. He explores how to teach through sustained critical inquiry while nurturing deep conceptual understanding and genuine competence. Garfield has worked with thousands of teachers across grades and subjects, helping them to frame learning around engaging and provocative activities and rich, authentic assessments. Currently, Garfield is engaged with schools across Canada, in South America, and in Europe. Over the past two decades request for Garfield’s services have taken him from Asia to the Middle East, Europe, the Caribbean and across North America. His interest in effective teaching and learning has led him to actively explore the challenges and opportunities presented by teaching and learning in the digital age. In addition to his work at the University of Toronto and delivering workshops, Garfield has also authored several articles, chapters in books and seven textbooks and has taught in the faculties of education at York University and the University of British Columbia. His most recent book co-authored with Roland Case, Creating Thinking Classrooms has received widespread praise from leading educators across Canada and internationally.

Elder Randy Fred

Project Collaborator

Elder Randy Fred, or Uncle Randy, hails from the Tseshaht First Nation, in Port Alberni BC. After living in paradise in Barclay Sound he attended the Alberni Indian Residential School for 9 years. He was a plaintiff in the precedent-setting case, Blackwater, where the United Church of Canada and the Government of Canada were sued for sexual abuse. This case led to the Alternative Dispute Resolution and the formation of Reconciliation Canada. He began his working career in accounting. After a lifetime of working in multimedia he is now an Elder-in-Residence at Vancouver Island University.

Dr. Gail Lafleur

Education Collaborator

Dr. Gail Lafleur, Gitigaaningkwe-Garden Woman, is a member of Nipissing First Nation, Mink Clan.  Her understanding of the importance of sharing our gifts comes from our original teacher and elder-Shkagamik-kwe (Mother Earth).  She would like to honor her traditional teachings from the elders through sharing this gift of hope to future generations. 

Sandra Lamouche

Education Collaborator

Sandra Lamouche is a Nehiyaw Iskwew (Cree Woman) from the Bigstone Cree Nation in Northern Alberta and married into the Piikani Nation in Southern Alberta and mother to two boys with braids. She completed her B.A. in Native American Studies from the University of Lethbridge in 2007. In 2021 she successfully defended her M.A. Thesis at Trent University, titled “Nitona Miyo Pimatisiwin (Seeking a Good Life) Through Indigenous Dance” which examines Indigenous Dance as a Social Determinant of Health and Well Being. Sandra is a multidisciplinary creator and storyteller, she is a Champion Hoop Dancer, award winning Indigenous Educational Leader, two-time TEDx Speaker, artist, and writer. Photo credit: Define Yourself Photography

Dr. Carmen Rodriguez de France

Education Collaborator

 As an immigrant of Indigenous heritage from the Kickapoo Nation, Carmen acknowledges the privilege and responsibility that she holds to live and work on the land of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, and on the land of the W̱SÁNEĆ and the lək̓ʷəŋən people in British Columbia. Her work is always situated at the intersection of social justice, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and the experiences of in-service and pre-service teachers. She currently facilitates courses on Indigenous worldviews, Epistemologies, and Education in the Department of Indigenous Education at the University of Victoria. Her research is always motivated by her own interest to be a life-long learner and promote diversity and social justice. 

As a former school teacher in México, Carmen understands the importance of developing and exploring approaches to teaching and learning as a tool to advance critical thinking. Through her participation in a variety of community-based initiatives in schools, recreational centres, art galleries, libraries, and other spaces for learning, her work focuses on creating awareness to better understand, appreciate, and learn from the histories and stories of the Indigenous people of Canada and other parts of the World. She is committed to strengthening collaborations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada aiming to create a better shared future.


These guiding principles were collaboratively developed and reviewed with the intention of supporting educators in bringing Etuaptmumk, or Two-Eyed Seeing, into formal and informal learning environments. We hope that teachers can use these principles as foundations when planning for and with students, and can be explored independently or woven together.

To learn more about these principles and their application in various learning environments, both formal and informal, explore the Etuaptmumk Learning Narratives written by members of the education team.

Learning is…

  1. Future and action-oriented, contributing to building a better future for all our relations and for Mother Earth, while never losing sight of the past.

  2. Beyond the knowing of, to the acting on, both Western and Indigenous perspectives. To support us together living in harmony and in balance, with the earth and each other, to allow all to flourish. Walking with a foot in both worlds.

  3. Driven by the living of life–curriculum is a support, not the primary goal. Curriculum is a process.

  4. Reflecting on the past to acknowledge and address harmful actions. Questions assumptions and prejudice of past histories and experiences to move forward with ethical relationality.

  5. A personal journey of awareness of self and others and our relationships with the land—land as relation not land as resource to be exploited.

  6. Integrative and seeks to understand relationships.

  7. Land-based—embraces non-institutional land-based opportunities starting with communities. Community-based knowledge has protocols and established practices for taking up land-based learning.

  8. Grounded in reciprocity—with others, with Mother Earth. With all things: the rocks, the earth, the plants, all things living and seemingly “non-living” (in Western terms).

  9. A holistic empowering journey, embracing the co-construction, rather than the transmission, of knowledge in ways that honour and respect individual differences and strengths. 

  10. Measured by success in balancing the spiritual, physical, mental, social, emotional needs of the learner.

  11. Personalized within a flexible structure of safety– not to be consumed as pre-packaged information or curriculum. While also recognizing that all learning may cause discomfort: safety is a relative state.