Why don't we teach this in schools?
Why don't we teach this in schools?
Indigenous ways of knowing
Traditional ecological knowledge
Threatened by climate change & market fundamentalism
Awareness of History
Engagement with outdoors
Power of story
Story was the medium of instruction
"Stories, you see, are not just entertainment. Stories are power. They reflect the deepest, the most intimate perceptions, relationships, and attitudes of a people. Stories, how a people, a culture, thinks"
Keeshig-Tobias, 1990, from Traditional First Nations Values (Pepper & White, 1996)
"Story is all that we are"
Three L's: Looking, listening, and learning
Ways of learning
Indigenous children placed with white families by Canadian civil servants
Child welfare agents made assumptions about reserve living standards that made confiscation a foregone conclusion
"Deliberate assault on the Indigenous family"
In the foster care system, First Nations children often lost all notion of their First Nation, cultural identity, and legal First Nations status
Agents of the government used deception to steal children from their families
System alienated children from their families, causing them to lose their sense of self. As result, many developed problem behaviours and depression.
1% of children in care were native in 1959; by the end of the 1960s, that number had risen to 30-40%
Severe inter-generational effects: Created a generation of Indigenous people who'd never been modeled love, care and concern and consequently could never show it to their children. Certainly, those indigenous parents would not be able to hand down their cultural identity
Changes to the Indian Act
extend formal Indian status to the Metis
Extended status to all enfranchised aboriginals living off reserve land and aboriginal women who had previously lost their status by marrying a non-aboriginal man
Banned the potlach and the sundance
Passed in 1876, consolidation of existing laws governing Indigenous people
Extinguishes any remaining self-government for natives and makes them wards of the federal government.
Contrary to the spirit of the Proclamation of 1763, gives responsibility of administering native land and people to federal government
Ban on consumption of alcohol
Barred natives from leaving their reserves without permission from their Indian Agent
Project of spiritual, racial, and cultural genocide
Part of a campaign to make indigenous people accept practices that would seem familiar to white Europeans
Operating in Canada as early as 1620 and as late as 1997
Eradication of traditional Indigenous experiential learning
"Deliberate assault on the Indigenous family" - Crey and Fournier, 1997
Worked to destroy Indigenous self, culture, community, and family
Royal proclamation of 1763
Signed by King George III
Signed in the aftermath of the Seven Years
Specifies that aboriginal claims to lands are valid, and that treaties with natives will be handled by the Crown.
Angered American colonists who wanted to continue their westward expansion into new farm land
Established that Settler Europeans may only take land by treaty or by victory in war
This is still party of the legal tradition in Canada, but since it has been routinely ignored, most settler people in the west live on unceded territory
Dealt with Alberta, northern British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories
Opened the west to settlement by Europeans
Part of the industry-capitalist rush
Allow the Canadian Government to pursue settlement and resource extraction in the affected regions
Viewed as sacred by Indigenous groups
Provoked response from Indigenous rights activist Harold Campbell'sthe Unjust Society and later the Red Paper
In the Unjust Society, Cardinal calls the white paper "Extermination through assimilation"
Proposed in 1969 by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's Minister of Justice, Jean Chrétien
Proposed entirely eliminating the Indian Act, and with it, the federal government's special relationship with Indigenous people
Complete abrogation of treaty responsibility
Liberal Party apologizes in 2014
Signed between Vancouver Island governor James Douglas and certain Indigenous nations on the island
Cover approximately 930 square kilometres
Promise right to keep villages and fish on ceded land
Douglas treaties decimated by LG Trutch
Truth and reconciliation commission
End of a long process that began with the Common Experience Payment for residential schools survivors
CE payments made for specific injuries sustained, ie rape, torture, physical abuse, etc
Everybody has a part to play
"Reconciliation needs to be part of the future, but we need to acknowledge what happened in the past (i.e., the attempted assimilation). Everyone has a role in that — Elders, youth — knowing what happened and connecting it to everyday life. Students need to think about how that history affects “me” and learn to look from the eyes of those who experienced it: this is the connectedness — taking everyone’s ability to perceive and building empathy with the sharing. One can’t force people to accept reconciliation, so there is still a lot of work to do."
"Aboriginal Worldviews and Perspectives in the Classroom: Moving Forward" participant, West Kelowna
Alcoholism and drug abuse
Indigenous spirituality was considered incompatible with civilization
"Private and public songs represent an ancestral connection to the natural and supernatural worlds."
"Ritual specialists/prayers/songs may be used to restore balance and healing. This activity is also consistent with the value of forgiveness."
Pepper & White, 1996
Continuity of life, from the present back to the past
Considered indispensable if Indigenous people were ever to attain civilization
Responsible for massive devastation of spiritual communities
Considered categorically moral, whereas native spirituality was thought incapable of morality
Does not apply to Inuit
Until Bill C-31, a Status Indian female lost her status if she married a non-status person, but a non-status female gained status is she married a Status Indian
Entitles holders to the rights and privileges guaranteed in treaties
Mixed progeny of Indigenous peoples and Scottish or French settlers
Not extended status until 1884
Took scrip in exchange for their aboriginal rights
A process that Indigenous people have been using since time immemorial
Guarantee land use and hunting rights in exchange for letting the Canadian government open up land for settlement and exploitation
Not having to think about your own race
Subtle privileges white people enjoy regardless of how hard their lives may be in any number of ways
Ideology of white supremacy + power
Funding for Indigenous students
Provided by the Department of Indian Affairs rather than Provinces
As of 2016, Status-holders received 30% less in funding than their non-status peers
Systems that don't fight racism perpetuate it
Western education based on receiving information, not experiencing it
BC First Nations Studies
Used to stream the "difficult to educate" natives away from English 12 into an easier class
Structurally colonial, because it doesn't integrate Indigenous knowledge
Connection to the land
Essence of Indigenous spirituality
Ethic of non-interventionism: do not interfere with the rights, privileges or activities of another person