Day: March 3, 2016

‘Emotional competency’ can help struggling students, educator says

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Lee Brown says handling emotions is a skill kids need to learn just like any other subject in school

By A New Day, CBC News Posted: Mar 01, 2016 6:21 PM CT

A retired academic says teaching “emotional competency” in schools can help students with everything from overcoming childhood trauma to getting better grades.

Lee Brown is a retired academic from the University of British Columbia, co-author of The Sacred Tree and former director of the Institute for Aboriginal Health at UBC.

Lee Brown

Lee Brown says kids need to learn emotional skills from an early age. (Council of Yukon First Nations)

He’s one of the speakers at the Yukon First Nation Education Summit in Whitehorse. The focus this year is on cultural inclusion in public schools, supporting First Nation students in Whitehorse schools and building the relationship between the Yukon Department of Education and First Nations.

Brown says handling emotions is a skill kids need to learn, just like any other subject in school.

“Albert Einstein was a mathematical genius, but if he’d never studied math, he would never have been able to count to ten,” Brown said. “So, emotional competency is what develops when you put your mind in a curriculum from Grade 1 to 12 to develop the emotional skills of the children.”

Brown says teaching emotional competency involves helping students to understand their emotional states and how to communicate them. He says that helps students create strong identities for themselves.

Emotional skills can also help students tackle subjects they struggle with, Brown says, giving the example of math, which causes many students anxiety. He says it’s possible for students to train themselves to love math.

“The more emotional tools you have in your emotional toolbox, the better off you’re going to be.”

Brown says bullying, racism and suicide are results of failing to teach children about their emotions.

“There’s not a high level of emotional maturity in our society,” he said. “There is a high level of emotional toxicity.”

Victorian Government to begin talks with First Nations on Australia’s first Indigenous treaty

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Victorian Government to begin talks with First Nations on Australia’s first Indigenous treaty

Updated Fri at 3:56am

The Victorian Government will begin talks to work out Australia’s first treaty with Indigenous people within weeks.

Aim of Victoria’s First Nations Treaty:

  • Recognition of past injustices
  • Recognition of all 39 First Nations and their Clans Authority
  • Recognition of and respect for country, traditions and customs
  • A futures fund to implement and establish the treaty
  • Establishment of a democratic treaty commission
  • Land Rights and Land Acquisition Legislation and Funding
  • Fresh Water and Sea Water Rights

(From the Victorian Traditional Land Owner Justice Group)

A meeting with First Nations representatives, convened by the State Government earlier this month, firmly rejected Constitutional recognition in favour of self-determination and a treaty.

The treaty would be a legal document over Aboriginal affairs and services and addressing past injustices.

It would be the first such agreement in Australia and follow similar arrangements with First Peoples in Canada, the US and New Zealand.

Victoria’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister Natalie Hutchins told Lateline the Government was committed to making it happen.

“At the end of the day it’s pretty disappointing that we, in the year 2016, don’t have a treaty or a national arrangement with our First Peoples,” she said.

Ms Hutchins said Victoria will look at treaty examples in other Commonwealth countries.

“In fact, Canada have been doing it for a long time, New Zealand has successfully done it, so it’s time for Australia to step up,” she said.

Constitutional recognition ‘a distraction’

Dja Dja Warrung elder Gary Murray said the state must pursue the best outcome.

“It’s not difficult to scope a treaty given what’s happened in Canada and New Zealand and other places,” he said.

“I think we pick the best from that and bring it into the modern world.”

Mr Murray said the national debate around Constitutional recognition was just “a distraction”. Read More…

ABC News. “Victorian Government to begin talks with First Nations on Australia’s first Indigenous treaty.” Retrieved from: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-26/victoria-to-begin-talks-for-first-indigenous-treaty/7202492?site=indigenous&topic=latest on March 1, 2016