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Mathematics and Statistics

Fraser Valley Mathematics Education Sq'ep

Sq'ep: a meeting, gathering


Halq’emeylem counting booklet 

2021 Sq'ep was held online in collaboration with UBC Indigenous Math K-12 Symposium. The second portion of 2021 event will be held in fall 2021. Please check later for details.

This annual event, organized by faculty from the University of the Fraser Valley and local district representatives, brings together a community of mathematics educators through the sharing of ideas, examples, resources, teaching practices and research activities that weave Indigenous knowledge and world views of knowing and connecting with mathematical learning. 

The 2020 Fraser Valley Mathematics Education Sq’ép was held at the UFV Campus in Abbotsford on February 29, 2020. The theme was “Mathematical Artforms and Indigenous Culture”. Mohawk mathematician Dr. Ed Doolittle of First Nations University joined us as a keynote to speak about connections between math and Indigenous music.

Workshop presenters included:

  • Kori Czuy (University of Calgary)
  • Janice Nowakowski (Richmond School District)
  • Cynthia Nicol (University of British Columbia)
  • Christine Younghusband (University of Northern British Columbia)
  • Fok-Shuen Leung (University of British Columbia)
  • Veselin Jungic (Simon Fraser University)



If you have any questions about the event, please feel free to email Kseniya Garaschuk at

2020 Schedule

8:30 - 9:00 Registration & Breakfast (B101)

9:00 - 9:30 Opening Remarks (B101)

9:30 - 10:20 Keynote speaker: Dr. Ed Doolittle (B101)

10:20 - 10:45 Morning Break & Working Groups Session’s Sign up

10:45 - 12:00 Working Groups Morning Sessions (locations TBD)

12:00 - 12:45 Lunch break

12:45 - 14:00 Working Group Afternoon Sessions (locations TBD)

14:00 - 14:15 Coffee Break

14:15 - 14:30 Wrap-Up Discussions, Closing Ceremony & Door Prizes



Breakfast and lunch will be provided with vegetarian options available. 


Keynote: Edward Doolittle

Indigenous Music and Mathematics

Mathematics has been applied to the study of music for thousands of years. In this presentation, Edward Doolittle will be applying mathematical ideas and techniques to the study of Indigenous music using live demonstrations with computers and readily-available software. We will explore representations of rhythms and waveforms, and techniques like noise cancellation, resonance, and the Fourier transform to understand, alter, and produce music.

Edward Doolittle is Mohawk from Six Nations in southern Ontario and an Associate Professor of Mathematics at First Nations University of Canada in Regina, Saskatchewan. He earned his PhD in pure mathematics at the University of Toronto, where he studied partial differential equations, the branch of mathematics most closely associated with music.


Working group titles and abstracts


Fok-Shuen Leung  

With loss of generality: Abstract mathematics and grounded applications

This workshop derives from insights gained in an introductory Mathematics course recently given for Indigenous elementary education students at the University of British Columbia. In particular, mathematics - at least as we commonly teach it in Canadian universities - has a tendency towards the abstract, while learning - particularly Indigenous learning - favours grounded, contextual approaches. Is there a right balance?

Attendees will participate in a lesson from the course before analyzing it together and extending their conclusions to their own teaching. Please dress for the weather, as some portion of the workshop will take place outside.


Veselin Jungic

What has Small Number been up to?

Small Number is a young Indigenous boy who has an impressive aptitude for mathematics – and also a proclivity for getting into trouble. In this workshop we will join Small Number in several of his adventures: We will count tipies, learn how to avoid double counting, check what happens when Perfect Number joins her brother's basketball team, do calculus for Kindergarten, and try to catch a very smart rabbit.


Kori Czuy

(re)connecting with the land

When was the last time you truly connected to the land? ...smelled the cedar, felt the soil between your toes, embarked on developing a relationship between the tall grasses by connecting with the subtle direction of the wind that moves the strands or connecting the location of the sun with the resulting shadows... Our place alongside Earth Mother is often described as on or over, creating a power dynamic of hierarchy and control, and through this process of dominance over the land, lost was our connection with her. Our ancestors understood the value of these connections and relationships, and passed on this knowledge through stories of direction, location, and measurement. Map-making was a way to navigate Earth Mother, create relationships between spirits and beings and places, predict cycles of change and chaos in order to thrive within the circle of relations, all relations. This workshop will reengage our relationship with the land by map-making through non-standard, natural materials, and through all our senses. 


Christine Ho Younghusband

Embedding Mathematics into Indigenous Worldviews and Ways

This session is focused on designing secondary mathematics learning activities that focuses on the First Peoples Principles of Learning and local Indigenous knowledge. Christine will share her pedagogical experiences as a non-Indigenous math educator, curriculum developer, and teacher educator how she approached embedding mathematics into Indigenous worldviews and ways that integrates local Indigenous culture and mathematics. “Learning takes patience and time.” The planning process takes a reversed approach to planning by putting culture and context first before the mathematics. Christine has been learning from peers of Canadian Indigenous heritage, from professional learning opportunities to collaborate and develop learning activities that incorporate Indigenous content and curricular competencies, and embeds Indigenous learning experiences into her teaching practice to be more inclusive, develop numeracy, and deepen one’s understanding of First Peoples Principles of Learning. In this workshop you will consider strategies on how you can embed mathematics into local Indigenous context and content.


Cynthia Nicol

Listening to the Land for Mathematical Inspirations: Braiding art, storywork, and land-thinking as relational approaches for mathematics teaching.

This workshop explores how place/land can ground our relationships with each other, mathematics, and communities at local and global levels. We’ll consider how listening to land provides opportunities for mathematical engagement and relational ways of thinking/being. Together we’ll explore activities with potential to support students’ mathematical understanding of large numbers, patterning, transformations, measurement, volume, area, and proportional reasoning. We’ll also examine various frameworks to guide our lesson development and together share ideas and questions towards braiding future mathematical adventures.

Janice Novakowski

Connecting Mathematics to Community, Culture and Place: Susan Point's Spindle Whorl Art Explorations

During this session, a math studio project with grades 3&4 students will be shared as one way to learn about cultural practices while uncovering mathematics in the process. Working group participants will engage in material-based explorations of spindle whorl design by considering shapes, symmetry, quantity, symbols and stories.


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