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Working Group Guide: Members and Partners

An excerpt from the Working Group Guide, by Lauri Aesoph.

Recruit members

When establishing an open working group, a key point of consideration is who could or should be involved. Depending on your institutional context and the purpose of your open working group, an initial recruitment strategy is to reach out to key stakeholders who might influence or impact decision-making about creating, adapting, or adopting open educational resources (OER) on campus. Key allies and potential stakeholders on campus may include the following:

  • Librarians
  • Teaching and learning centre staff
  • Student society representatives
  • Faculty champions
  • Bookstore staff
  • Technology professionals
  • Administrators
Key Stakeholders and Their Roles in Supporting OER Initiatives
Stakeholder Key Role(s) in Supporting OER Initiatives
  • Are knowledgeable about educational materials
  • Work with faculty and students to find, adopt, and adapt OER
  • Organize and catalogue OER
Teaching and Learning Centre Staff
  • Work with faculty to train on the use of OER
  • Support course and curriculum design and pedagogy for open teaching assignments
  • Support faculty who want to incorporate OER within a course
Student Society Representatives
  • Advocate as the end user of all educational materials
  • Inventory OER use on campus
  • Determine students needs/interest in OER
  • Connect with other stakeholders on campus
Faculty Champions
  • Implement open into their classrooms
  • Lead by example by having an open practice
  • Encourage colleagues to participate in open
  • Conduct research about open
  • Work with articulation committees to include OER in the curriculum
Bookstore Staff
  • Offer print-on-demand services
  • Stock print copies
  • Distribute OER
Technology Professionals
  • Install and support open technology and websites
  • Research and integrate open tools and OER within campus systems
  • Develop open source software
  • Advocate for, promote, and budget for open initiatives
  • Align OER with strategic and organizational plans

When establishing a group, roles and responsibilities for members may vary—some may be doers, some may be advocates, and some may provide support. Formal groups working towards accomplishing a specific goal or task may have clearly defined roles and responsibilities for members from the outset. In comparison, more informal groups may initially have more fluid roles and responsibilities as members’ time and interest permit.

Partner with other institutions

You may want to consider expanding your open working group to include open working groups from other institutions. These relationships can help foster knowledge transfer and staff exchanges, and you may want to work together to develop workshops for online webinars, build subject-specific OER guides, and write grant applications. British Columbia has a number of examples of cross-institution open partnerships. For Open Access Week 2018, open working groups from several institutions collaborated to plan the Open but not Free: Invisible Labour in Open Scholarship panel. Another example would be the B.C. Open Education Librarians (BCOEL) community of practice.

Develop a Common Vision

Sharing knowledge is an act of knowing who will use it and for what purpose. This often involves mutually discovering which insights from the past are relevant in the present. To share tacit knowledge is to think together.[1]

Working to developing a common vision for the group can be a prerequisite for the success of the group. One approach to developing this vision is the CARE Framework. The CARE Framework was developed to support open educational resource (OER) stewards on campus. This framework can guide the group as you consider developing a shared vision.

The CARE Framework

The purpose of the CARE Framework is to articulate a set of shared values and a collective vision for the future of education and learning enabled by the widespread adoption and use of OER. It aims to address the question of how an individual, institution, or organization, seeking to be a good steward, can contribute to the growth and sustainability of the OER movement in a way that is consistent with the community’s values.

At the centre of the CARE Framework (see Figure 1) are a wide variety of stakeholders—OER creators and users, working as individuals and as part of organizations, in traditional and non-traditional educational settings—seeking to act as good stewards of the values of a sustainable OER movement. Locating people at the centre of the CARE Framework serves to remind us first and foremost of the broader social context and purpose of the OER movement.

OER Stewards Contribute, Attribute, Release, and Empower
Figure 1: The CARE Framework for OER Stewardship.

People serving as OER stewards pursue a wide variety of strategies and tactics relevant to their specific context to improve access to education and opportunity over time. Yet, what all good OER stewards should have in common is a commitment to practices that serve to demonstrate their duty of care to the broader OER movement:

  1. Contribute. OER stewards actively contribute to efforts, whether financially or via in-kind contributions, to advance the awareness, improvement, and distribution of OER.
  2. Attribute. OER stewards practise conspicuous attribution, ensuring that all who create or remix OER are properly and clearly credited for their contributions.
  3. Release. OER stewards ensure OER can be released and used beyond the course and platform in which it was created or delivered.
  4. Empower. OER stewards are inclusive and strive to meet the diverse needs of all learners, including by supporting the participation of new and non-traditional voices in OER creation and adoption.


Media Attributions

  1. R. McDermott, “Knowing in community: 10 critical success factors in building communities of practice.” International Association for Human Resource Management 4, no.1 (2000): 19–26. 

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Indigenization Guide: Urban Indigenous Peoples and Demographics

An excerpt from Pulling Together: Foundations Guide by Kory Wilson

In 2016, almost 900,000 Indigenous people lived in urban areas (towns and cities with a population of 30,000 or more), accounting for more than half of Indigenous people in Canada. They are often referred to as “Urban Indigenous peoples.” The largest Urban Indigenous populations are in Winnipeg, Edmonton, Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto.

Many Indigenous people move to cities seeking employment or educational opportunities. Some have lived in cities for generations, while for others the transition from rural areas or reserves to urban settings is still very new. Many Canadian cities occupy the traditional territories and reserves of First Nations. For example, Vancouver lies on the traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

Most Urban Indigenous peoples consider the city they live in to be their “home.” However, for many it is also important to keep a close connection to the Indigenous community of their family’s origin. This could be the place where they were born or where their parents or grandparents lived. Connection to these communities helps many people retain their traditional and contemporary Indigenous culture.

Urban Indigenous peoples in Vancouver

The Urban Indigenous peoples in Vancouver are an important and visible part of the city’s life. However, the majority believe they are viewed in negative ways. Despite this, according to the Urban Indigenous Peoples Study (2010), among Indigenous people in Vancouver:

  • 83 per cent are “very proud” of their Indigenous identity
  • 52 per cent are “very proud” of being Canadian
  • 44 per cent are not concerned about losing their cultural identity; they feel it is strong enough to continue and that they can protect it
  • 70 per cent think Indigenous culture has become stronger in the last five years
  • 18 per cent hope that young people from the next generation will stay connected to their cultural community, and 17 per cent hope their young people will experience life without racism and discrimination.

In 2016, there were more than 1.67 million Indigenous people in Canada, representing 4.9 per cent of the total population, up from 3.8 per cent in 2006.

Table 1.1 Canadian and Indigenous Peoples Population1
Group Population* Percentage of total Indigenous population Percentage of total* Canadian population Percentage increase since 2006
Total Canadians 35,151,728
Total Indigenous Peoples 1,673,785 4.9% 42.5%
First Nations 977,230 58.4% 2.8% 39.3%
Métis 587,545 35.1% 1.7% 51.2%
Inuit 65,025 3.9% 0.2% 29.1%

In 2016, almost 900,000 Indigenous people lived in urban areas with a population of 30,000 or more, accounting for more than half (51.8 per cent) of Indigenous people in Canada.

Where Indigenous Peoples in Canada live

The largest First Nations population is in Ontario (236,680), followed by British Columbia (172,520) and Alberta (136,585).

According to the 2011 Census, First Nations people living in Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta accounted for less than 4 per cent of the total provincial populations. However, First Nations people accounted for 32.7 per cent of the total population of the Northwest Territories, 19.8 per cent of the total population of Yukon, and about 10 per cent of the population of Manitoba and that of Saskatchewan. In Nunavut, First Nations people account for 0.34 per cent of the population.

In Quebec, nearly three-quarters (72.0 per cent) of First Nations people with registered Indian status lived on reserve, the highest proportion among the provinces. This was followed by New Brunswick (68.8 per cent) and Nova Scotia (68.0) per cent). In Ontario, 37.0 per cent of First Nations people with registered Indian status lived on a reserve, the second lowest proportion among the provinces after Newfoundland and Labrador (35.1 per cent).

Métis people live in every province and territory in the country, but in 2016 the majority lived in Ontario (120,585) and the western provinces (351,020). But the Métis population is growing fastest in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces.

The majority of Inuit live in Nunavut (30,135), followed by Nunavik (11,800), Inuvialuit (3,110), and Nunatsiavut (2,285). Another 17,690 Inuit live outside of Inuit Nunangat, many in urban centres in southern Canada, including Ottawa, Edmonton, and Montreal. Ottawa-Gatineau had the largest Inuit population.

Where Urban Indigenous peoples live

In 2016, Winnipeg had the largest Urban Indigenous population, followed by Edmonton and Vancouver. But Indigenous people account for a much larger proportion (around 35 per cent in the 2006 Census) of the population of several smaller cities in the western provinces, including Prince Rupert, Prince Albert, and Thompson.

Table 1.2 Urban Indigenous Populations, 2016 Census
City First Nations Métis Inuit Total
Winnipeg 38,700 52,130 315 91,145
Edmonton 33,880 39,435 1,115 74,430
Vancouver 35,770 23,425 405 59,600
Toronto 27,805 15,245 690 43,740
Calgary 17,955 22,220 440 40,615
Ottawa-Gatineau 17,790 17,155 1,280 36,225
Montreal 16,130 15,455 975 32,560
1. Aboriginal peoples in Canada: Key results from the 2016 Census: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/171025/dq171025a-eng.htm




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Pulling Together: Navigating Indigenisation From Within

In Canada, in 2015 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) brought forward to