Presentation Title

Unfolding the Truth: Can We Learn About Canadian Indigenous Studies In Today's Educational System

Presenter Information

Gudrun Andrews

Location

IB 1020

Start Date

19-3-2016 3:45 PM

End Date

19-3-2016 4:00 PM

Abstract

In this paper I examine the role that education can play in the process of reconciliation as outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Education has been key in the project of colonization in Canada. Since European contact, Indigenous peoples have been exposed to colonial education systems with its intentional attempts to eradicate their cultures and languages by teaching their children that their way of living was inferior and uncivilized and in real need of assimilation. During the same time, settler children in Canada have been taught by the very same system which methodically omitted important historic events and facts about the Aboriginal peoples of Canada. This has resulted in all children learning that settler history is to be celebrated while Indigenous history is to be relegated to the past and the margins. To support the TRC’s recommendation for an inclusive education, my research will question the gaps and barriers of a current education system which, despite promised changes, limits its implementation to specific grades. A common argument is that young children are not able to handle the brutalities of the colonial story and should thus not be exposed to it. As an Early Childhood Educator I argue that in fact the truth about Indigenous history can be taught to children as young as 3 years old. I developed a teaching tool which addresses the history of the dispossession of Indigenous peoples in B.C. and will demonstrate how such implementation is possible and important to everyone.

Department

Interdisciplinary Studies

Faculty Advisor

Lisa Cooke

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Mar 19th, 3:45 PM Mar 19th, 4:00 PM

Unfolding the Truth: Can We Learn About Canadian Indigenous Studies In Today's Educational System

IB 1020

In this paper I examine the role that education can play in the process of reconciliation as outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Education has been key in the project of colonization in Canada. Since European contact, Indigenous peoples have been exposed to colonial education systems with its intentional attempts to eradicate their cultures and languages by teaching their children that their way of living was inferior and uncivilized and in real need of assimilation. During the same time, settler children in Canada have been taught by the very same system which methodically omitted important historic events and facts about the Aboriginal peoples of Canada. This has resulted in all children learning that settler history is to be celebrated while Indigenous history is to be relegated to the past and the margins. To support the TRC’s recommendation for an inclusive education, my research will question the gaps and barriers of a current education system which, despite promised changes, limits its implementation to specific grades. A common argument is that young children are not able to handle the brutalities of the colonial story and should thus not be exposed to it. As an Early Childhood Educator I argue that in fact the truth about Indigenous history can be taught to children as young as 3 years old. I developed a teaching tool which addresses the history of the dispossession of Indigenous peoples in B.C. and will demonstrate how such implementation is possible and important to everyone.