Faculty of Education

Faculty of Education
Faculty of Education

Aboriginal Teacher Education Program Office

ATEP logo.Aaniin, Boozhoo, Sekoli, She:kon, Tânisi, Waachay, Kwey, Hello!

The Aboriginal Teacher Education Program Office provides administrative, academic and cultural support for our ATEP campus and community-based teacher candidates, Faculty of Education students, faculty and staff, and the greater Queen's and Kingston community.

Queen's University is situated on traditional Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Territory.

For more information go to Traditional Territories on the Queen's Encyclopedia.

Services & Resources

Our main office is located at Queen’s Faculty of Education in Kingston, Ontario. It provides the following services:

  • offers administrative and teacher candidate support for the campus-based and community-based programs;
  • facilitates Aboriginal education through events and other activities for/ with teacher candidates, staff and faculty;
  • facilitates the teacher candidates in connecting with the local Aboriginal community through ceremonies, gatherings and traditional Elders;
  • ensures Aboriginal counselling services for teacher candidates are made available as required through the Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre;
  • assists with career planning along with the Faculty of Education Career Services Office.

We also offer the following resources:

  • ATEP Education Resource Centre located within this office, and which houses an extensive collection of Aboriginal education resources and general Aboriginal resources. ATEP lends these resources to all students, staff and faculty.
  • Aboriginal Curriculum Resources at the Faculty of Education Library website.

As well, each community-based site has an On Site Coordinator to assist with course and practicum support.


It is important that you check your Queen's University email regularly, as all communication regarding ATEP and the Faculty of Education will be sent only to your @queensu.ca email account only. If you require assistance setting up or accessing your @queensu account please contact us. To access your e-mail from off-campus locations, please go to http://qwa.queensu.ca/.

SOLUS (Student On-Line University System)

(You must have a valid Queen's University email and NetID to access your SOLUS account.) You can access your own student information page regarding courses, marks and outstanding fees by going to SOLUS. For more information on SOLUS please go to the SOLUS Info for Students web page.

Fees & Funding

General tuition, funding and course registration information can be accessed by going to the University Registrar's Office. All registration and tuition inquiries should be directed to the Faculty of Education Registrar's Office via email at educstudentservices@queensu.ca, or you can call our toll free number and we will transfer you to their office.

Important Funding Information

If you are receiving third party funding (ie: band funding) please go to the following form for important dates and information:

If you are unable to pay your fees in full by the due date, please go to the following form for important dates and information:

Gray Travel Fellowship

For anyone wishing to broaden their studies through a practicum placement within a First Nations school or provincial school, there is a needs-based travel fellowship, Gray Travel Fellowship, that can be used for partial financial support. Full details and application forms are available on the Intranet at https://my.queensu.ca/web/educ under B.Ed./Dip.Ed, Finance Your Studies, Gray Award.

First preference for this award will be given to community based Aboriginal Teacher Education program students and second preference will be given to Aboriginal students.

Please note the first step in the application process is to determine financial eligibility. The deadline for this initial application is Tuesday, September 27, 2016. You do not need to have your placement arranged for this initial step in the process.  If eligible, the deadline for submission of the complete application is Monday, December 5, 2016 at noon.  Applications are due electronically as one PDF file to erin.rennie@queensu.ca

Please contact Erin Rennie at erin.rennie@queensu.ca for any questions.

Community-based Practicum

Teacher candidates in the community-based ATEP offerings complete twelve weeks of practicum - normally in three four-week blocks, with one placement in the winter term of the first year, and two placements in the fall and winter terms of the second year. Teacher candidates are placed in First Nation and provincial elementary schools, must get experience in both primary and junior divisions, and may be placed in their home regions where possible. Under no circumstances are teacher candidates allowed to arrange their own practicum. Practicum placements are arranged by the on-site coordinators at each community site. Please see the handbook for your respective site below:

CPIC and Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS) Check

The Faculty of Education, Queen's University does not require a Police Record Check as a condition of admission.  However, Teacher Candidates require a police check that includes a “vulnerable sector screening” in order to work with children in schools.  Your Police Record Check must be acceptable to the school boards utilized by the Faculty of Education for practicum placements.  If information appears on your police record check that is unacceptable to school boards, you will not be able to complete your practicum and therefore be required to withdraw from the program.

All teacher candidates enrolled in any Ontario Faculty of Education must have a police record check that includes a Vulnerable Sector Check before they can enter schools in Ontario for their practicum placement.

CPIC (VSS) documentation must be verified for authenticity by the Faculty of Education at least two weeks prior to starting a practicum in a school. Candidates without a current VSS will not be able to start their placement.

Teacher Candidates must apply for a Police Check that includes a “Vulnerable Sector Screening” through the Police Department in the city/town/community where they are residing at the time of application. The “current/home” address on the application must be in the same jurisdiction as the Police Department where the application is made. Please note that police departments do require proof of residency (e.g. utility bill) with your name on it in order to proceed with your police check.

Police departments will ask applicants for documentation from the requesting agency, which in this case would be the Faculty of Education. Please go to the links below for important documentation.

Some police departments will require Queen’s Faculty of Education to complete a “Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information” form. If the home Police Department requires this, teacher candidates must send the documentation (with the teacher candidate’s sections of the form completed, and a self-addressed stamped envelope) to the ATEP Central Office. Student Services will complete the sections of the form required of the Faculty and return the document to the teacher candidate in the envelope they have provided. For questions regarding the Police Check, please contact the ATEP Central Office at 1-800-862-6701.

It is important to allow adequate time for processing – a minimum of six weeks is recommended. The time will be longer (e.g. four months or more) should any fingerprinting be required by the Vulnerable Sector Screening process.

The Police Check must be no more than 6 months old at the time of starting the placement.

Workplace Safety and Insurance

TB Test Requirements

ATEP teacher candidates are required to prove that they are free from active tuberculosis prior to placement in a classroom setting. In order to comply with the requirements of many First Nations education authorities in Ontario, teacher candidates are asked to provide a copy of a TB test result dated within one year of the date of the placement. Copies of TB test results are to be submitted to ATEP Central Office.

Letter to Placement Employers

The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) requires each placement employer (school) to sign a declaration form regarding coverage under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act and fax a copy to the ATEP Central Office. Schools placing more than one candidate need only to sign one declaration form.

Student Declaration of Understanding Form

A Student Declaration of Understanding form must be completed and submitted to the ATEP Central Office before you start your placement. This form is a declaration of understanding of insurance coverage for unpaid placements by the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities (MTCU). The MTCU guidelines for workplace insurance for post-secondary students in unpaid placements, and FAQs, are posted below. Be sure to read these documents before signing the declaration form.

Practicum Placement Procedures

Teacher candidates are placed in Associate Schools within their community-based program region. Candidates are invited to indicate their first three placement preferences, using the form for their site (see below). While ATEP makes every effort to accommodate first choices, there is no guarantee that the practicum can be arranged in any of the three placement choices indicated. Where a placement cannot be found, the teacher candidate will be contacted and may be requested to provide additional input.

Teacher candidates also are requested to complete the Practicum Placement Background Information Form​, which is provided to the Associate School once the placement is finalized.

Practicum Assessments

All community-based ATEP teacher candidates must use the following site-specific practicum assessment forms. Do not use the Faculty of Education assessment forms. Please note that it is the responsibility of the teacher candidate to submit the signed and dated forms immediately following completion.

Interim Assessment Report

Candidate Self Assessment

Summative Assessment Report

Other Forms & Documents

Regulations & Policies

Important Documentation

It is very important that you complete and bring all documents included in the package that we emailed to you with you to orientation. If you have not received this email or require replacement documentation to be sent to you, please contact us as soon as possible.

Sacred Medicine Garden - Mshkiki Gitigan - Onónhkwa Nikahehtó:ten

  • Planting the ATEP Sacred Medicine Garden

    Faculty, staff & students planting the ATEP Sacred Medicine Garden.

  • The ATEP Sacred Medicine Garden

    This garden is used to share traditional medicine & planting techniques.

  • The Three Sisters

    The Three Sisters (corn, beans & squash). Can't wait for the soup!

  • wild strawberries

    Wild strawberries are medicine for the heart.

  • Wild Tobacco

    Wild tobacco is used to give thanks.

  • Cedar

    Cedar is used to make tea & is an excellent source of vitamin C.

  • White sage

    White sage is used in smudging ceremonies to cleanse.

  • Sweetgrass

    Sweetgrass, "Mother Earth’s hair," is braided & then used to smudge.

  • Bear Berry

    Bear Berry (Kinnikinnick) will be ready in a few years for Sacred Pipes.

  • ATEP Sacred Medicine Garden

    All medicines will be harvested & used throughout the year.

In June 2015, as part of our mandate to share traditional knowledge, the teacher candidates, staff and faculty of the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program planted a garden to give our Faculty of Education community a first-hand look at some of the traditional medicines and agricultural practices of Indigenous people. The garden and the information on this webpage are offered as a teaching and learning resource. In addition, all the medicines and other crops will be harvested and used throughout the year in various activities of the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program.

Three Sisters - Áhsen nikontate’kén:’a - Niswi ikwe wiiji’ayaag 
(Corn-Ó:nenhste-Mandaamin), (Beans-Osahè:ta-Mskodiisminag), (Squash-Onon’ónhsera-Wewiinbaanh)

The ‘Three Sisters’ are three main agricultural crops developed and utilized for centuries by Indigenous people in various regions of the Americas. ‘Three Sisters’ is a traditional Haudenoshonee term for these complementary plants. Corn, beans and squash, when planted together, benefit from one other in a variety of ways. Corn provides a ‘pole’ to support the bean plants as they grow; beans provide nitrogen to the soil for the benefit of the other two crops; and squash covers the ground, discouraging insects and keeping the plants from drying out. Nutritionally, corn, beans and squash with their combined proteins and amino acids can contribute significantly to a balanced diet.

The corn or ‘maize’ in our garden is ‘True Gold Sweet Corn,’ a traditional variety. Originally developed by Indigenous agriculturalists and used over thousands of years, it is thought that today’s corn had its beginning in grasses found in Central America. Selective breeding by local groups of Indigenous farmers generated the broad diversity of corn varieties that have provided a foundation for today’s corn, grown around the world.  -- University of Utah Genetic Science Centre http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/selection/corn/

Today, corn ranks first in the top five grain crops worldwide.

While we have used golden and green wax beans in the Medicine Garden, there are many other types of beans found in Indigenous gardens, including Pinto, Black, Red, Tepary and others. Beans continue to be a primary food source around the world.

There are dozens of varieties of squash derived from traditional plants. Our garden includes both eating squash and gourds. Traditionally, gourds were used for everything from containers to rattles to birdhouses! Visit the garden later in the season to see live examples (Birdhouse Gourds and Sweet Dumpling, Butternut and Spaghetti squash).

Strawberry - Ken’niyohontéhsha - Ode’min

“The strawberry teaches forgiveness and peace. The strawberry is shaped like a heart, and strawberries are known to our people as ‘heart berries.’   -- Elder Lillian Pitawanakwat

June is often referred to as “Strawberry Moon” (Odemiini-giizis), the month when most strawberries began to ripen. During this time, there are many ceremonial and community gatherings celebrating the arrival of this treasured fruit. As well as a rich nutritional source of Vitamin C and antioxidants, the leaves, roots and the berries have provided important remedies for a variety of ailments (e.g. digestive issues, inflammations, burns and sores, blood disorders…).

Our garden has two strawberry varieties planted in pots and in the ground – Alpine Strawberry and Wild Strawberry, both indigenous to Canada.

Tobacco - Oyenkwa’òn:we - Asemaa

Tobacco is one of the four sacred medicines (Sacred Tobacco, Cedar, Sage and Sweetgrass). It is sometimes referred to as the ‘first medicine’ because of its importance and interaction with the other sacred plants.

“When used properly, Sacred Tobacco can be used to communicate with the Spirit World and the Creator. In its original form, tobacco had both honour and purpose in Aboriginal ceremonies…. Smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco have no connection to Aboriginal spirituality. Traditional tobacco is intended to be used in small amounts for prayers and ceremonies.” Aboriginal Tobacco Program --  http://www.tobaccowise.com/cms/One.aspx?portalId=44644&pageId=46570

Cedar - Onenta’nó:ron - Giizhik

Like tobacco, cedar is used in ceremonies and smudges, and has many other uses as well. It can be used to purify the home, as a medicinal tea for cold sufferers, and as a building material. It is often used to cover the floor of the sweatlodge. Traditionally, cedar bark was woven into mats and bags, twisted into rope, and was also used to build boats and dwellings, among other things.

Sage - Atya - Mashkodewaashk

The garden has two types of sage -- White Sage and Prairie Wormwood Sage. White sage or sagebrush, commonly found in the Southwest, as well as Prairie Wormwood, native to Canada, are both used in smudging. Sage has a multitude of other uses too. Prairie Sage or wormwood is known for its efficacy in treating intestinal problems and fever, is good for the liver and gall bladder, and can stimulate the appetite.

Sweetgrass - Kahentákon-Wiingashk

Sweetgrass is often called the ‘sacred hair of Mother Earth.’ Like sage and cedar, sweetgrass is used for smudging and purification, and can have a calming effect. Sweetgrass is usually braided and dried, and will then keep its aroma for a long time. Along with other medicines in our garden, our Sweetgrass will be used in the weekly Smudge Ceremony offered by ATEP this fall and winter. All are welcome to attend.

Bear Berry - Kinnikinnick

Along with red willow bark and tobacco, bearberry leaves are used in making a sacred pipe blend known as "Kinnikinnick" (Delaware, loosely translated as ‘smoking mixture’). Tannin from bearberry leaves has also been used in tanning hides. A tea made from the leaves is said to be useful in treating kidney and bladder infections. Bearberry grows in all provinces of Ontario, and at various elevations from sea-level to sub-alpine. In the wild, it “provides nectar, which has been known to attract butterfly caterpillars, butterflies and hummingbirds. Its leaves are eaten by many mammals including deer, elk, bighorn sheep and moose, and it acts as a larval food plant for some butterfly species. Bearberry fruit is eaten by birds such as thrushes, wrens, grouse, robins and waxwings. Other animals that use the fruit as a winter food source are bears, deer and small mammals.” -- S. Coulber, Canadian Wildlife Federation http://cwf-fcf.org/en/discover-wildlife/flora-fauna/flora/bearberry.html

Note: The information on this site is provided for information purposes only, and is not intended to advocate the use of these plants for medicinal or food purposes. Caution is urged in the use of any plant without full knowledge of its properties and possible side effects. It is important to keep in mind that many plants are poisonous or harmful if eaten or used externally. 

Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health Strawberry Teachings Brochure

Anishnawbe Health Toronto Traditional Teachings Brochure

Métis Nation of Ontario – Southern Ontario Métis Traditional Plant Use Study 

More than Bows and Arrows

Indigenous Sustainability and Nature Teaching Resources

The following sources have been selected as teaching tools for grades K-12. They include Primary/Junior and Intermediate/Senior resources as well as resources for teachers to learn about Indigenous and environmental content. It is in no way meant to be an extensive list of what the Queen’s University Library has to offer. However, this list provides a starting point for incorporating Indigenous content into the Ontario curriculum. The list contains fiction, non-fiction and textbooks for teachers to use to guide their lesson planning.

Created by: Jessica Pemberton, BAH, History, 2015- Queen’s University

B.ED, Teacher Candidate 2016-2017, Aboriginal Teacher’s Education Program-Queen’s University.


We would like to thank the following for their support and guidance in making the ATEP Sacred Medicine Garden a success;

  • The Faculty of Education Deans, Faculty, Staff and Teacher Candidates for all of their encouragement, planting, weeding and support;
  • Queen's University Physical Plant Services Mathew Barrett, Grounds Manager for the donation of the space and preparation of the area so we could plant our medicines;
  • Education Students’ Society (E.S.S.) for their generous donation towards the purchase of two planter pots for our strawberry plants;
  • Faculty of Education Facility Supervisor & Safety Officer, Brian Zufelt for his support in making the garden possible;
  • Technological Education - Administrative Assistant & Workshop Supervisor, Ken Ball, for his support and use of the Tech Ed space to grow our seedlings.
Contact Us

Queen's University ATEP

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Location & Mailing Address

Duncan McArthur Hall, Room A244
511 Union Street, Queen's University
Kingston ON K7M5R7

General Inquiries

E-mail: atep@queensu.ca
Toll-Free Phone: 1-800-862-6701
Local Phone: 613-533-6218
Fax: 613-533-6203


9:00 am - 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time
Monday to Friday
Statutory holidays and Aboriginal Day are observed

For more information, see Staff.

Manitoulin-North Shore ATEP

Location & Mailing Address

Natasha Abotossaway
Student Liaison Officer
c/o Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute
P.O. Box 328
M’Chigeeng, ON, P0P1G0

General Inquiries

E-mail: NatashaAbotossaway@ktei.net
Toll-Free Phone: 1-888-536-5439
Local Phone: 705-377-4342
Fax: 705-377-4379


8:30 am - 4:30 pm Eastern Standard Time
Monday to Friday
Statutory holidays and Aboriginal Day are observed

Seven Generations Education Institute ATEP*

* Not taking any new applications*
Location & Mailing Address

Tanya Horvath
ATEP On Site Community Based Coordinator
c/o Seven Generations Education Institute
P.O. Box 297, 1455 Idylwild Drive
Fort Frances, ON, P9A3M6

General Inquiries

E-mail: tanyam@7generations.org
Toll-Free Phone: 1-800-668-6279
Local Phone: 807-274-2796
Fax: 807-274-8761


8:30 am - 4:30 pm Central Standard Time
Monday to Friday
Statutory holidays and Aboriginal Day are observed