{November 8, 2011}   Aboriginal education a big part of curriculum


What I like about this article and agree with, is the fact that the school incorporates aspects of Aboriginal history and way of life, such as: “all grade 4 students from across the Bulkley Valley school district are taught a unit on Wet’suwe’ten cultures”, “grade 7 students learn the history of residential schools and their impacts”, “establish closeness with the families and students”.

When we as Aboriginal people talk about a need for Aboriginal Education within the mainstream education system and curriculum, we’re not just talking about the Aboriginal cultural and tradition. We’re talking about the true history of Residential Schools, the truth of how Aboriginal people served in War to defend Canada, the history of the Indian Act. But most of all, how Aboriginal people, since Canada’s birth have worked cooperatively throughout history to help create Canada what it is today. Aboriginal people across Canada need the Recognition and Positive acknowledgment.

Due to the impacts of Residential School’s we have a large population of Aboriginal people who have an innate fear of the education system.  First and second generation families are hugely impacted. This has established the lack of participation and trust in schools today. Today we have Aboriginal families coping with the impacts of being torn apart by Residential Schools, along with being forced into an educational institution expected to be successful within the school system upon re-locating to the city.

Many Aboriginal families come from remote communities that are small and close-knit, where everyone is related and many of the children are monitored by extended family.  When these families have to re-locate to urban areas for whatever reason, this need and desire for the connectedness does not just disappear.  Most Aboriginal families find that living in the city divides people, is based on individualism and separation.  This mentality of thinking within our societies cannot continue.

Our responsibility as the educated; educators, policy and curriculum developers, community service providers, and school board trustees to work cooperatively together to ensure the success of Aboriginal students within the education system. I find that this article speaks to how this one community has developed strategies to overcome these barriers. And also, acknowledges how these strategies work for all students, thus, no more exclusive programming within schools just for Aboriginal students.


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