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211 culture lecture



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  • 1. Wasi’chu Moniyaw Naapikoaksi
  • 2. Plenty Coups
  • 3. Is this a problem culture can solve? Hartley GoodWeather
  • 4. The scientific method, Nintendo and Eagle Feathers: “culture-based curriculum” Mary Hermes 2000  Much curriculum development has been plagued by superficial notions of ‘culture’ (ie., culture as material culture) and state or federally driven standards, resulting in practices which at best include content about Native peoples and at worst act to reinforce stereotypes of a static culture.  culture-based curriculum needs to be based on practices and theories that assume ‘cultures’ are living, that is, cultures are able to influence and be influenced without losing their substance, cohesion, and distinctiveness of being a ‘culture.’  view culture as a complex web of relationships, not just material practices, and enact this in our schools in a way that is central to curriculum.
  • 5. The scientific method, Nintendo and Eagle Feathers: “culture-based curriculum” Mary Hermes 2000  Does learning culture preclude the opportunity for a college prep education?  Since ‘culture’ is distinguished from ‘academics,’ academic success is associated with whiteness and assimilation – must choose between ‘being smart’ and ‘being Indian.’  Categories that separate academics from culture tend to narrow understandings of culture and identity.  Cultureless and universalized academic category perpetuates notion of superiority of Eurowestern traditions. Cultural traditions framed as what people do before they become civilized and educated.  Teachers left with the difficult task of inserting ‘culture’ into lesson plans.  Teaching about a culture is different from guiding students to see and feel that their culture is alive and within them.
  • 6. Eurowestern Culture and Sensibilities Knowledge Systems Social Structures and Conventions Foundational Philosophies Wisdom Traditions Indigenous Culture and Sensibilities Knowledge Systems Social Structures and Conventions Foundational Philosophies Wisdom Traditions
  • 7. Rethinking Culture Theory in Aboriginal Education – St. Denis (2009)  Will teaching Native culture remedy the many wounds of oppression? (Hermes 2005)  We owe our modern notion of culture in large part to nationalism and colonialism, along with the growth of anthropology in the service of imperial power. a) b) c) d) e) Anthropologists have trained us to think of culture in particular ways. They have also trained us to understand Aboriginal-Canadian relations in terms of cultural conflicts. Primitive people need culture more than the civilized do. The belief that culture as a thing exists as an entity outside of people (‘genetically predisposed’) provides a foundation for the belief in the potential for ‘cultural revitalization’ and the very idea that culture can be retrieved and preserved. High levels of school failure for Aboriginal students blamed on cultural dissonance and discontinuity (not racism, oppression, and/or poverty). This leads to preoccupations with ‘culturally relevant curriculum.’ The idea of the Aboriginal cultural Other as unwilling/unable to comprehend change and adapt is a long entrenched assumption that continues to have major influence on discussions of school experiences of Aboriginal students. Aboriginal peoples blamed for loss of culture. Cultural deficit models. Pathologization. A major assumption is that cultural continuity and cultural transmission are necessary for success and survival of Aboriginal students. A major belief is that schools and curriculum can facilitate this.
  • 8. The belief in twentieth-century social analysis about the incommensurability of different cultures encourages a trivializing of colonial oppression by attributing the effects and the conditions of oppression to this very factor of incommensurability. In the example of Aboriginal people, effects of oppression are cast as ‘value-conflicts’ between white and Indian cultures, suggesting that inequality is inevitable, and merely an effect of different orientations to work, education, and family. When the effects of oppression are attributed to a ‘conflict of values’ it is easy to see how the remedy then becomes cross-cultural awareness training that does not disrupt the status quo of structural inequality while seemingly responding. St. Denis (2009) incommensurable — adj (foll by with ) 1. incapable of being judged, measured, or considered comparatively 2. not in accordance; incommensurate
  • 9. I can’t teach this stuff. I don’t know anything about Aboriginal issues, their history, their culture. I’m not properly prepared to teach any of it.
  • 10. This curriculum doesn’t have relevance where I teach. I don’t have any Aboriginal students in my classes.
  • 11. Why do we need this Aboriginal perspectives stuff? We already have multiculturalism.
  • 12. I know it is important for my students to understand the history and how the cultures are different, but I still feel like I would be cheating my students if I focused on aboriginal studies and ignored everything else. My students come from many backgrounds and I don’t think it would be fair to teach one perspective if we can’t teach them all.
  • 13. incorporate (v.) late 14c., "to put (something) into the body or substance of (something else)," from Late Latin incorporatus, past participle of incorporare "unite into one body," from Latin in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- + corpus (genitive corporis) "body". infuse (v.) early 15c., "to pour in, introduce, soak," from Latin infusus, past participle of infundere "to pour into," from in- "in" (see in- + fundere "pour, spread". Figurative sense of "instill, inspire" first recorded 1520s. Why do teachers so often use these words to somehow describe what they think they are being asked to do with Aboriginal curriculum perspectives?
  • 14. The Pedagogy of the Fort
  • 15. Colonial Frontier Logics The symbolic power of the single straight story Todorov: finalism
  • 16. The Dream of the Settler
  • 17. Multicultural Policy in Canada Multiculturalism was adopted as the official policy of the Canadian government during the leadership of Pierre Trudeau in the 1970s and 1980s. The Canadian government has often been described as the instigator of multicultural ideology because of its public emphasis on the social importance of immigration. Multiculturalism Act was passed in 1988. It legally establishes Canada’s multicultural policy and  officially recognizes the importance of Canada’s multicultural heritage and states that the heritage must be preserved and promoted;  recognizes the rights of Aboriginal peoples in Canada;  states that while English and French remain the only official languages of Canada, other languages can be spoken;  states that all Canadian citizens have equal rights, regardless of any differences they might have and regardless of skin colour, religion, country of birth, ethnic background, etc.; and  recognizes the right of ethnic, linguistic, and religious minorities to keep their cultures, languages, and religious practices.
  • 18. From an Aboriginal standpoint, liberal theories of minority rights, tolerance, equality, and multiculturalism facilitate the misrecognition of who Aboriginal peoples are in relation to Canadians and the Canadian state. As such, they do not promote good relations. According to Dale Turner (2006), there are four main reasons for this: 1. They do not adequately address colonial legacies. 2. They do not respect and cannot comprehend Indigenous notions of sovereignty and belongingness—along with the idea that Indigenous peoples are not bestowed ‘rights’ by the Canadian state. 3. They do not question the legitimacy of the Canadian state’s unilateral claim to sovereignty over Aboriginal lands AND peoples. 4. They do not recognize that a meaningful theory of Aboriginal rights in Canada is impossible without Aboriginal participation.
  • 19. So, what’s the problem? "As far as I'm concerned, they (the aboriginal people) were given the reserves," he said. "Now they want to take over the province. The ones on the reserves now weren't even here when those treaties were signed... They just want to see what they can get, but they don't survive off hunting the way they used to. This'll hurt them in the end." Edmonton Journal, July 5, 2009
  • 20. The curriculum can conserve the divisions that cut up the world into little territories where we are all marooned or it can entertain another geography. It is the teacher who stands guarding the territory where these secret gardens can grow, who can grasp these visions and grant them the legitimacy of knowledge. Madeleine Grumet