Starting Somewhere, Sharing Everywhere.

Essential Skill 1:  Reading Text  

Reading sentences or paragraphs. For example: notes, letters, emails, magazines, manuals, regulations, books, reports, product labels, legal agreements. Includes words on paper and words on a screen.

Essential Skill 2:  Document Use

Understanding visual images such as graphs, lists, tables, drawings, symbols, signs, maps, labels, forms, x-rays. The visual display or arrangement gives meaning to the content.

Essential Skill 3:  Numeracy  

Using numbers and being able to think in terms of “amounts”. For example: Money math, Scheduling or budgeting/accounting, Measurement/calculation, Data analysis, and Estimation may require solving problems by using numbers.

Essential Skill 4:  Writing   

Writing words to share ideas. For example: Writing notes, emails, letters, reports, orders, logbook entries, text messages. Includes “pen and paper” writing and keyboarding.

Essential Skill 5:  Oral Communication

Speaking and listening to share thoughts or information. For example: greeting, telling stories, giving advice, sharing ideas, facilitating, coordinating tasks, explaining, discussing. Can be face-to-face, or using technology.

Essential Skill 6:  Working With Others

Interacting with family, friends, community members, students and co-workers to accomplish tasks together.

Essential Skill 7:  Thinking Skills

Using your brain to: Solve problems, Make decisions, Think critically, Plan and organize tasks, Remember and Find information


Essential Skill 8:  Digital Technology

Using technology. For example: computers, cell phones, GPs, digital cameras, iPods, and MP3s, gaming devices, computerized cash registers, Blackberries, iPhones. Includes using the Internet and email.

Essential Skill 9:  Continuous Learning

Gaining skills and knowledge throughout life. Includes: Learning how to learn, Understanding your learning style, Knowing how to find resources and learning opportunities.


The Aboriginal Essential Skills Guiding Team strives to share what they have discovered and developed.  Below are some tools we would like to share.

Check out Weird Al Yankovich’s video on writing skills and how they have evolved, or shall we say devolved, with technology!  It is a great video to introduce the Essential Skill of writing or to provide a quick and humorous break during a lesson.

Here is a review of Robi Gareau’s, CentreSpoke Consultingwebsite and image tutorial that was delivered to the AESGT members.

 Who’s driving your canoe? – Poster 
Bare Introduction to:  Essentials

AESGT Bookmark – Two Pages

Essential Skills for Health Care Aides, Workplace Education Manitoba – PDF

IALS Chart 

Gitxaala IALS

Tree for Planting the Seeds Journey – Leave a Leaf

Gitxaala – Leave a Leaf

Canadian Indigenous People:  Workplace Literacy and Essential Skills

Essential Skills Posters for Classroom: Halqemeylem

ESI – Essential Skills Investigation: Case Study

ES Small Poster: Page 1

ES Small Poster: Page 2

Halq’emeylem Translation Essential Skills

Turning to One Another: Geese

Icon Small Essential Skills Images

Icon Medium Essential Skills Images

Icon Large Essential Skills Images

Our Words Our Ways:  Teaching First Nations, Metis and Inuit Learners

The Anishinabek Skill Development & Learning Cycle – Stile IALS