“Becoming Good Relatives: Connecting Land/Spirit/Heart Learning to theOutcomes of MindLearning Practices” Dorothy Christian, PhD studentEDST 591 (082) Indigenous Epistemologies & Curricula Dr. Jo-ann Archibald March 26, 2012
Goals & Objectives strive for excellence in which students are confident, respectful, critical thinkers and engaged learners; focus on quality education through Aboriginal worldviews, knowledge, culture, and values; maintain high expectations for student learning and success; value cultural diversity; develop a welcoming, culturally safe, and inclusive school environment; and engage parents and community groups in school planning and decision-making.Reporting on the Vancouver School District Aboriginal Education Forums Report (January 2011, p.1) 2
“Becoming Good Relatives” Project Central to this project is the holstic approach of the Indigenous worldview and builds on the relational Indigenous concept, that “We Are All Related”, and that we are consistently striving to be in “Good Relations” with all things, that is human and non-human beings, which means reconciling Western (Eurocentric) and Indigenous systems of knowledge. This concept is carried into the notion of connecting “Land/Spirit/Heart Learning to the Outcomes of Mind Learning Practices” I identify some of the challenges of the Aboriginal Focus School and put forward some suggestions to building good relations . I suggest a series of Teaching Circles for the stakeholders based in experiential learning of the land the school sits on so that an Indigenous understanding can be incorporated in the pedagogy of the classroom.
Aboriginal Focus School: Stakeholders Students Teachers Parents Admin Principal Staff Community
Teaching & Learning as Whole Human Beings Spirit Mind Body HeartArchibald, J. (2008) Indigenous Storywork: Educating the Heart, Mind, Body and Spirit 5
Being a Good Relative: A Wholistic Approach Heart Connection Land Spirit Connection Connection Mind Learning OutcomesArchibald, J. (2008) Indigenous Storywork: Educating the Heart, Mind, and Spirit
Who Are Good Relatives –To the Land & the Water
The Challenges Non-recognition and lack of understanding of Indigenous Epistemologies and pedagogical practices Problematic organizational interface with Teachers, School Board, School District and Ministry of Education Lack of political will and/or apathy of decision makers within the School, the School Board, the School District and the Ministry of Education may undermine the success of Aboriginal Focus School Brayboy, Bryan., & Castagno, Angelina. (2008). Culturally responsive schooling for Indigenous youth: A review of the literature. Review of Educational Research 78(4), 941-993.
Unhealthy Canadian Relations -Historical Social, Political & Spiritual Relationship – 1700 & 1800’s 1763 Royal Proclamation – international treaties & law International Treaties & BC’s unique Unceded Territories 1840 to 1996 - State control of education through Residential schools 1876 Indian Act legislation that controls every aspect of “status” Indians in Canada; 1884 Canada outlaws Indigenous peoples’ spiritual practices; law repealed in 1951; http://indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca/home/government-policy/the-indian-act.html
Unhealthy Canadian RelationsHistorical Social, Political & Spiritual Relationship – 1900 & 2000’s • 1920’s Section 141 of Indian Act prohibits more than 5 Indians to gather & cannot hire lawyers during 1920’s because of political organizing • 1982 Section 35 of Canada’s constitution & Aboriginal Rights & Title 1990 Oka Crisis, armed resistance for land rights; 1995 Gustafsen Lake Standoff, armed resistance for land rights; 1995 Ipperwash, unarmed reclamation of land; one man killed
Building Good Relations: Healing & Reconciliation 1996 - Royal Commission on Aboriginal People’s in Canada 1998 Aboriginal Healing Foundation established 2000/02 The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues set up at UN – Advisory body to the Economic & Social Council 2008 Canada apologies to residential school survivors 2010 Canada signs on to Declaration on the Rights for Indigenous Peoples
Building Good Relations – In Education 1972 Indian Control of Indian Education Policy developed by National Indian Brotherhood, precursor organization to Assembly of First Nations Residential School policies, last one closed in 1996 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, sub-section in Volume 3 dedicated to Education http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/webarchives/2007111505 3257/http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/ch/rcap/sg/sgmm_e.html 1999 Memorandum of Understanding results in Aboriginal Enhancement Agreements in BC - http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/abed/agreements/
Building Good Relations at the Aboriginal Focus School Two Suggested Strategies Begin with a “VISIONING” an organizational development process with all stake-holders that incorporates the 4R’s: Respect, Responsibility, Reciprocity, Relevance (Archibald 2008) to determine the philosophical framework for the school Create a Council of stakeholders who meet regularly and participate in the management of, and/or policy decision making of the School;
Teaching Circles: Connecting Spirit, Heart and Mind to the Land Circle 1: Invite Elder Larry Grant from Musqueam to explain their MOU with UBC as an example of cultural protocols working Circle 2: Field trip to Stanley Park to hear the place-based “Story” from Musqueam, Squamish & Tseil wu tuth to provide an understanding of how Indigenous peoples relate to the land Circle 3: Field trip – Walk with Elder Rose Point explaining the fauna of the local area to further illustrate the relationship to the land Circle 4: Field trip to Art Leon’s North Van sweat lodge to explain the spiritual relationship to the land
Land, Spirit, Heart Connections – Classroom Strategies Use Teaching Circles Use Talking/Healing Circles rather than Lecture style; to manage any conflicts Incorporate experiential Media Literacy Learning teaching/learning and Circle and ongoing film Indigenous pedagogical screenings to discuss issues approach where students are on the land;
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