About ATEP


Teacher education programs (TEPs) for Aboriginal people have existed in Canada for four decades. These programs focus on increasing the number of Aboriginal teachers in Canadian schools to provide more relevant and effective education for Aboriginal children. 

The University of Alberta's Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP) follows the same mandate and works to improve the educational outcomes of Aboriginal children by increasing the number of teachers with an understanding of Aboriginal perspectives in communities across Alberta. 

Like all other Bachelor of Education programs within the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Education, ATEP maintains a high-quality standard and commitment to preparing outstanding teacher candidates for entry into the teaching profession. 

Still, there are essential differences in the focus of the program. ATEP works diligently to ensure that program requirements, instruction, and experiences are grounded in an Aboriginal worldview. The program enriches student experience via ongoing involvement with community Elders and local resources to create an environment inclusive of Aboriginal ways of knowing and learning.

ATEP Guiding Values

  • wâhkôhtowin – kinship
  • mîyo wîcehtôwin – getting along together
  • mâmahwohkamâtowin – working cooperatively
  • manâtisiwin and manâhcihitowin – respect and respect for each other
  • pikiskwestamowewin – speaking on behalf of others
  • kiskinwahasimôwewin – accepting guidance
  • kiskanowapâhkewin – a keen sense of observation
  • nanahihtamowin – obedience, to listen with an open heart
  • kisewâtisiwin – compassion, loving, kindness
  • tâpwewin and kanacisowin – honesty and clean living
  • wîcihitowin – sharing
  • okihtowihiwewin – generosity
  • tapateyimisôwin and ekakisteyimisowin – humility

In order to move forward with a shared focus, we have chosen to ground our guiding values in Cree teachings, which is a reflection of the lands in which ATEP is situated, and the many nêhiyaw iskewak who have contributed to the development of this program. 

While we recognize that many nations have similar principles, especially when it comes to relationality and interconnectedness, there is a tremendous diversity of cultures, languages, and teachings amongst First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities. 

Within ATEP, we honour and recognize the diversity of our students, staff, and faculty as a strength of our program. We value the traditional teachings of all communities, and we look forward to learning from each other. 

A Note About Language: 

Aboriginal is used in the name of the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program as a reflection of the current terminology encoded in the Constitution of Canada.

Section 35 (2) of the Constitution Act states:
In this Act, “aboriginal peoples of Canada” includes the Indian, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada.