Thompson Rivers University

Patrick Walton

Name: Dr. Patrick Walton
Position: School of Education
Phone: 828-5378


Research, teaching, Indigenous, music, art, travel, hunting, environment

Research Interests

1. Aboriginal kindergarten and grade 1 children learn to read more quickly if songs and movement are used to teach key prereading skills and reading strategies. There is extensive research finding that many Aboriginal children struggle with reading in their first years of school. My research team and I developed a song and movement based reading curriculum that significantly accelerated the early reading success of Aboriginal children. That curriculum includes 9 original songs recorded on a music CD with Aboriginal musicians and a 90-page Teacher's Guide with student activities. The program is currently being used by many primary teachers in British Columbia. This research has stimulated the development of new curriculum and teaching methods based on multi-sensory approaches to teach language and reading that are effect for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children. This research was recently published (Walton, 2014; Walton, Canaday & Dixon, 2010).

2. The main predictors of Aboriginal university retention at TRU are grade point average at the university and student engagement measured by the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). I directed a study on Aboriginal retention at TRU based on secondary data bases at the university including student admission records, an Aboriginal demographic data base, and the NSSE. We had over 400 Aboriginal students in the sample. The report we prepared for the university (Walton, Hamilton, Johnson, & Arnouse, 2010) has received extensive attention at the university and will result in new strategies the university is planning to implement.

We just completed research on the supports, barriers, and learning preferences of online Indigenous students. We interviewed 20 Indigenous students, held two talking circles, and surveyed over 200 students taking online courses. We prepared a report for the university (Walton, 2015) and are in the process of preparing a research publication


Ph.D. (UBC)
M.Ed. (U. of Regina)
B.Ed. (U. of Regina)
B.A. (U. of Regina)


Michel, K., Walton, P. D., Bourassa, E. & Miller, J. (2016, in press). Living our languages: Papers from the 19th Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium. Linus Publication: New York, NY.

Walton, P. D. (2014). Using Singing and Movement to Teach Prereading Skills and Word Reading to Kindergarten Children. Language and Literacy. 16(3), 54-77.

McCormick, R., Arnouse, M., & Walton, P. D. (2014). Aboriginal Men: Reclaiming Our Place. In P. Menzies & L. F. Lavall??e, Journey to Healing: Aboriginal People with Addiction and Mental Health Issues. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Toronto, ON.

Ramirez, G., Walton, P. & Roberts, W. (2014). Morphological awareness and vocabulary development among kindergarteners with different ability levels. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 47(1):54-64. doi: 10.1177/0022219413509970

Clark, N., Walton, P. D., Drolet, J., Tribute, T., Jules, G., Main, T. & Arnouse, M. (2013). Melq'ilwiye??? Coming Together: Intersections of Cultural Identity and Health for Urban Aboriginal Youth in the Interior of BC. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research. 45 (2), 36-57.

Walton, P. D., & Ramirez, G. (2012). Reading acquisition in young Aboriginal children. Encyclopedia of Language and Literacy Development (pp. 1-9). London, ON: Western University. Retrieved from

Clark, N., Reid, M., Drolet, J., Pierce, J., Charles, G., Vedan, R., Samuel, M., Mathew, N., Walton, P., Burke, S., & Arnouse, M. (2012). Indigenous Social Work Field Education: ???Melq???ilwiye??? Coming Together towards Reconciliation. Native Social Work, 8, 105-128.

Walton, P. D., Canaday, M., & Dixon, A. (2011). Using songs and movement to teach reading to Aboriginal children. Retrieved from, Canadian Council on Learning, Vancouver, Canada.

Walton, P., Canaday, M., & Dixon, A. (2010). Using songs and movement to teach reading to Aboriginal children. Canadian Council on Learning, Vancouver, Canada. Retrieved from

Clark, N., Drolet, J. Walton, P. D., Mathews, N., Tamburro, P. R., Derrick, J., Michaud, V., Armstrong, J., & Arnouse, M.. (2010). Decolonizing field education: Melq'ilwiye coming together: An exploratory study in the Interior of British Columbia. Critical Social Work, 11(1), 6-25.

Professional Affiliations

American Education Research Association
Canadian Society for Studies in Education
Society of the Scientific Studies of Reading


Description Day Start End
Search To Top