EDU 211
September 26/October 1 Lecture:

Contemporary Issues in Aboriginal Education
Dr. Evelyn Steinhauer
Contemporary Issues in Aboriginal
Education…
It is impossible to make sense of the issues that trouble the relationship
to...
Lecture Overview
• Health & Social Wellness; Income
Levels & Poverty
• Academic Achievement
• Off-reserve school experienc...
Health and Social Wellness
The social, economic and cultural plights in
Aboriginal communities result from the residential...
Health and Social Wellness
The lingering effects that oppression still brings to bear
on Aboriginal peoples in Canada are ...
Health and Social Wellness
Aboriginal Children:
• are 1.5 times more likely to die before one year of age
• have higher in...
Health and Social Wellness
• as much as 50 percent of discrepancy in early
childhood outcomes is attributable to socioecon...
Health and Social Wellness
• Inadequate access to housing, food, clean water and
services, and other indicators of poverty...
Education levels & Achievement
On - reserve First Nations students enrolled and graduating from Grade 12
Year

Enrolment i...
Academic Achievement
Some of the factors contributing to this low level of
academic achievement are that Aboriginals in Ca...
Some Education Statistics
• In 2006, 50% of the First Nations people aged 25 to 64
living on reserve had not completed hig...
According to Statistics Canada (2009)
• the median income of First Nations people in 2005 was
$14,517, about $11,000 lower...
The High Cost of Low Achievement
“few people recognize the full extent to which low educational
attainment affects society...
There are also intangible consequences: High school dropouts
experience
• lessened social growth (impaired relationships w...
There is a positive correlation between educational
attainment and overall health.
• graduates are more aware of the facto...
Vicious Cycle
Hankivsky (2008) identifies
low education “as the key
factor in explaining the
relatively weak performance
o...
The Answer? A Meaningful Education
Any nation‟s health and vitality is linked directly to its ability to
provide meaningfu...
Parental School Choice In
First Nations Communities:
Is There Really A Choice?
Steinhauer (2007)

Parental School Choice I...
Do you know what it is like to feel you are of no value

to society and those around you? To know that people
came to help...
The off-reserve schooling experience:
Findings
In an effort to better understand how First Nations parents made

decisions...
Parents‟ Responses
Throughout their schooling process, parents wanted their
children to
•
•
•
•
•
•

have the best educati...
• many were not happy with the public school system
• yet they considered it their best option if they wanted
their childr...
• the majority of the people from these two communities
have serious questions and doubts about their own
schools
• most a...
• Parents seemed to recognize that sending their children
off-reserve came with a price and that they were
“making a trade...
• “When we live on reserve, we have only two choices:
We send our kids to the provincial schools that we have
tuition agre...
• endless stories about their own negative experiences in the
public schools (p. 109)
• if the school offered good academi...
Native parents are forced to make school choices based on
factors that would receive minimal weighting, if any at all, in
...
Trade-offs
Some of the trade-offs reported included:
A. Unfair Treatment
B. Low Teacher Expectations
C. Racism
D. Loss of ...
A. Unfair Treatment
“most Native children are not treated fairly within the
public school systems” (p. 112)
Indicators of ...
Special Needs Categorization
• special education or special needs came up repeatedly
• “hidden” practices could be termed ...
• “Placing children in special-needs classes is not a thing
of the past! The only difference between now and then
is that ...
Williams (2000) explained that these discrepancies may be
attributed to the fact that “additional funds for which
First Na...
Williams: “one of our greatest challenges has been to help
teachers and administrators to curb their first impulse to push...
Blame-the-Native-Student Syndrome
• “Native kids get blamed for everything.”
• “I remember every time there was a fight, ....
• unfair treatment, whether intentional or unintentional,
is very harmful to Aboriginal students
• students react by fight...
Streaming Students
• children were almost always steered away from an
academic direction
• Fear of authority inhibits resi...
In her study Wilson (1992) found that being pushed into
low-level courses seemed to be the norm for Aboriginal
students, b...
“Educators are always trying to find ways to increase high
school graduation rates among Native students, but it‟s a
simpl...
B. Low Teacher Expectations
• Research has revealed that, generally, non-Native
teaching staff have lower expectations of ...
In his study Goulet (2001) discovered that many nonNative teachers have low prejudicial beliefs about the
Aboriginal stude...
• one prominent factor that contributed to student
withdrawal was belief that their teachers did not care
and that they ha...
C. Racism
The fear washes through my veins
Contaminating the deep red blood.
It travels through my body,
Further, deeper.
...
• All participants in this study identified the theme of
racism as one of the most serious points of
consideration in maki...
• Learning to cope becomes the means of survival
(Steinhauer, 1999)
• students who are negatively affected by racism are l...
“In my own off-reserve school experience, beginning in
Grade three, I remember children often being quite
vicious and ofte...
Internalized Racism
I found a lot of the Native kids to be more negative, but
rightly so, because they were treated wrong....
“They teach us that Native students are anything but
good, so we internalize this. We begin to believe that we
are in fact...
Calliou (1995)
• Racism is an issue that many people would rather not have
to deal with, even Native people
• Racism creat...
[Racism] ....it is there, and it is a significant part of the
explanation for why so many Aboriginal students are not
thri...
“Going to school with mostly non-Native kids, I always
tried so hard to be like them. After a while it was so tiring.
I wa...
Indians get everything for free…
All First Nations students, including myself have heard
the resentful accusations that ou...
Cultural Divide…
“Ninety percent of Native children in this country will, at
one time or another, be taught by a non-Nativ...
Racial Stigmatism
(Curwen Doige, 2003, pp. 153-154)
• stereotyping and discrimination that still exists in our schools
sti...
D. Loss Of Cultural Learning Opportunities
A regret that several parents had about sending their children offreserve to a ...
[Cree Classes] I didn‟t take the courses for two reasons:
firstly, because these classes were always scheduled when I
had ...
Goddard (2002):
• “locally developed curricula” considered different fromless intellectually significant than “regular cur...
Curwen Doige (2003)
• Traditions are only one aspect of the ever-changing dynamic
within a culture.
• to focus on traditio...
Concluding Remarks
One might ask:
• Why do these First Nations parents, who are fully aware
of the unfair treatment to whi...
Parents make the choices
they do, not because they
want to torture their
children, but rather, they
make these choices
bec...
Summation
We have covered:
• Health & Social Wellness; Income Levels & Poverty
• Academic Achievement
• Off-reserve school...
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Edu 211 contemporary issues l.1 es

  1. 1. EDU 211 September 26/October 1 Lecture: Contemporary Issues in Aboriginal Education Dr. Evelyn Steinhauer
  2. 2. Contemporary Issues in Aboriginal Education… It is impossible to make sense of the issues that trouble the relationship today without a clear understanding of the past.… We simply cannot understand the depth of these issues or make sense of the current debate without a solid grasp of the shared history of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people on this continent. (RCAP. 1996, Ch. 3)
  3. 3. Lecture Overview • Health & Social Wellness; Income Levels & Poverty • Academic Achievement • Off-reserve school experiences
  4. 4. Health and Social Wellness The social, economic and cultural plights in Aboriginal communities result from the residential school system, loss of lands, access to resources, and suppression of Aboriginal cultures and languages, all of which took a toll on health and well-being. The Canadian Council on Learning (2007) Redefining How Success is Measured in First Nations, Inuit and Métis Learning
  5. 5. Health and Social Wellness The lingering effects that oppression still brings to bear on Aboriginal peoples in Canada are widespread: • • • • • • • substandard living conditions health problems suicide addiction incarceration poor academic achievement high rates of unemployment
  6. 6. Health and Social Wellness Aboriginal Children: • are 1.5 times more likely to die before one year of age • have higher incidences of hospitalization for lung infections and injury • have unacceptably higher rates of child welfare apprehension (as high as 8 to 1 in some provinces) • are more likely to live in foster homes outside their community than their non-Aboriginal peers
  7. 7. Health and Social Wellness • as much as 50 percent of discrepancy in early childhood outcomes is attributable to socioeconomic status. • average income for First Nations families is one third of that for non-Aboriginal Canadians • nearly half of Aboriginal children live below the poverty line • academic achievement for First Nations people falls well below acceptable levels
  8. 8. Health and Social Wellness • Inadequate access to housing, food, clean water and services, and other indicators of poverty contribute to early school leaving, suicide, substance abuse and incarceration rates that far exceed the proportions for Canadians in general. • Not only current generation who are affected
  9. 9. Education levels & Achievement On - reserve First Nations students enrolled and graduating from Grade 12 Year Enrolment in graduating year Graduates Percent graduating of those enrolled in Grade 12 1996-97 5,485 1,785 35.5 1997-98 5,931 1,975 33.3 1998-99 6,013 1,939 32.2 1999-00 6,460 2,072 32.1 2000-01 7,057 2,112 29.9 2001-02 6,698 1,953 29.2 2002-03 6,711 1,945 29.0 Source: Indian Affairs and Northern Development (2005a). Basic Departmental Data: 2004. Caledon Institute of Social Policy.
  10. 10. Academic Achievement Some of the factors contributing to this low level of academic achievement are that Aboriginals in Canada have the lowest income and thus the highest rates of poverty, the highest rate of drop-outs from formal education, and the lowest health indicators of any group. (Council of Ministers of Education, 2004)
  11. 11. Some Education Statistics • In 2006, 50% of the First Nations people aged 25 to 64 living on reserve had not completed high school, compared to 30% of off-reserve First Nations people. (Statistics Canada, 2006). • The highest level of educational attainment of about one in four (24%) of First Nations people living off reserve was a high school diploma, compared with 15% of their counterparts living on reserve. (Statistics Canada, 2006). • 69% of all Canadians attained a post-secondary education in 2006 compared to 36% of Registered Indians. (Statistics Canada, 2006) • Graduation rates for First Nations steadily declined from 33.9% in 1995 to 29.6% in 2002 (INAC, 2004, p. 40)
  12. 12. According to Statistics Canada (2009) • the median income of First Nations people in 2005 was $14,517, about $11,000 lower than the figure for the non-Aboriginal population ($25,955), a disparity similar to what it was in 2000. • A comparison of median incomes for First Nations people living on reserve ($11,224) with those who live off reserve ($17,464) reveals a considerable difference also of $6,240.
  13. 13. The High Cost of Low Achievement “few people recognize the full extent to which low educational attainment affects society” (Hankivsky, 2008, p. 5). • reduced lifetime earnings • poor health • increased unemployment • delinquency, crime • substance abuse • early childbearing • economic dependency • reduced quality of life • increased incidence of marital instability
  14. 14. There are also intangible consequences: High school dropouts experience • lessened social growth (impaired relationships with teachers, peers, or parents) • a reduced sense of control over their life • less personal satisfaction • less of a sense of control over life circumstances • low self-esteem and emotional disturbances • reduced social capital (Hankivsky, 2008, p. 65)
  15. 15. There is a positive correlation between educational attainment and overall health. • graduates are more aware of the factors of a healthy lifestyle and make fewer visits to physicians. • average 45-year-old college graduate in better health than average 25 year old high school dropout (Levin et al, 2007) • differences in life expectancy also attributed to educational attainment
  16. 16. Vicious Cycle Hankivsky (2008) identifies low education “as the key factor in explaining the relatively weak performance of Aboriginal Canadians in the labour market” (p. 38). insufficient education inadequate income poor living conditions next generation social problems
  17. 17. The Answer? A Meaningful Education Any nation‟s health and vitality is linked directly to its ability to provide meaningful educational opportunities to its people. Our future as a nation and as First Nations will depend considerably on our citizens‟ educational achievements and successes. Healthy and sustainable First Nations communities depend on the quality of education programs. (INAC, 2002, p. 2) Minister‟s National Working Group on Education
  18. 18. Parental School Choice In First Nations Communities: Is There Really A Choice? Steinhauer (2007) Parental School Choice In First Nations Communities: Is There Really A Choice? Steinhauer (2007)
  19. 19. Do you know what it is like to feel you are of no value to society and those around you? To know that people came to help you but not to work with you for you knew that they knew you had nothing to offer . . . ? Chief Dan George
  20. 20. The off-reserve schooling experience: Findings In an effort to better understand how First Nations parents made decisions about where their children would be schooled, I asked the parents who had been selected for interviews the following question: “How did you chose the school that you would send your children to when you had the option of the on-reserve school or the off-reserve provincial schools?” (p. 107)
  21. 21. Parents‟ Responses Throughout their schooling process, parents wanted their children to • • • • • • have the best education possible graduate from high school eventually become self-supporting feel happy and secure be proud of who they were embrace their Native heritage (p. 107)
  22. 22. • many were not happy with the public school system • yet they considered it their best option if they wanted their children to graduate from high school • they did not have much faith in the reserve school system • and were convinced that the public schools provided a better education • 75% of the children from both Saddle Lake and Goodfish Lake attend school off-reserve
  23. 23. • the majority of the people from these two communities have serious questions and doubts about their own schools • most also repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with the public school systems as well • favor the public system because numbers suggested that their children would have a better chance of graduating in these schools • offered few other reasons in support of this choice
  24. 24. • Parents seemed to recognize that sending their children off-reserve came with a price and that they were “making a trade-off” (Marleen) • Parents hoped that their children‟s schooling experience would be more than intellectual or mental exercises • that it would “meet the needs of the whole child, which includes the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs” (Pamela) (p. 107-108)
  25. 25. • “When we live on reserve, we have only two choices: We send our kids to the provincial schools that we have tuition agreements with, or we keep them on reserve. But what kind of choices are those?” (p. 108) • “But there is guilt sometimes for not supporting our own schools” (p. 109) • “What choice do we have if we want our children to graduate?” 109
  26. 26. • endless stories about their own negative experiences in the public schools (p. 109) • if the school offered good academic programming, parents and extended family would be able to offer emotional and spiritual support children needed to make it through the system (Kristine) (p. 110) • providing their children with access to the same curriculum that other students in Alberta were using was the most important criterion that guided their decisions about where to send their children to school (p. 110)
  27. 27. Native parents are forced to make school choices based on factors that would receive minimal weighting, if any at all, in non-First Nations parents‟ school-choice decision making. (p. 111) Some participants used the term trade-off to define the situation that they faced in having to give up the positive aspects normally expected from a school experience, such as caring, cultural acceptance, and valuing, to try to increase their children‟s academic achievement. (p. 112)
  28. 28. Trade-offs Some of the trade-offs reported included: A. Unfair Treatment B. Low Teacher Expectations C. Racism D. Loss of Opportunities for Cultural Teachings. Overall, participants reported that Native children do not feel valued or cared about in these public school systems. (p. 112)
  29. 29. A. Unfair Treatment “most Native children are not treated fairly within the public school systems” (p. 112) Indicators of unfair treatment: • • • • the Special Needs categorization the Blame-the-Native-Student Syndrome the Time Spent in Detention, and the Academic Program Streaming of Native Students
  30. 30. Special Needs Categorization • special education or special needs came up repeatedly • “hidden” practices could be termed unprofessional, unethical, or even illegal • Several parents gave examples of requests to test their children “up to 50% of our children that go off-reserve are labeled as having some type of learning deficiencies, whereas in the reserve schools this number is well below 12%” (Florence)
  31. 31. • “Placing children in special-needs classes is not a thing of the past! The only difference between now and then is that the schools now need signed permission forms. They still always want to test Native kids”. • “Right away they wanted to test her. Something was wrong with her… I wouldn‟t give them my permission, and they kept on bugging me and phoning me... So they did all their tests and stuff. There wasn‟t any problem after I got this fancy paper from whoever assessed her. There was nothing wrong with her”!
  32. 32. Williams (2000) explained that these discrepancies may be attributed to the fact that “additional funds for which First Nations students are eligible are usually based on disability, deficiency and deprivation” (p. 144), which suggests that making a case for special-needs funding for these children would mean “amplifying the negative aspects of some First Nations students and thus further entrenching the negative stereotypes” (p. 144).
  33. 33. Williams: “one of our greatest challenges has been to help teachers and administrators to curb their first impulse to push First Nations students out of the school as quickly as possible and to direct them towards other resources” (p. 143). “The way I see it, Native children get penalized just for being Native. Sometimes I think the school really does believe that Native kids are not capable of much, and that their coming to school is just a waste of everyone‟s time. I believe we are an inconvenience to them. Maybe this is why they place so many negative labels on us. They don‟t expect much from us” (Leah)
  34. 34. Blame-the-Native-Student Syndrome • “Native kids get blamed for everything.” • “I remember every time there was a fight, . . . it was an automatic in-school suspension. Well, I remember one year, this was a really large fight that happened up town, and in fact there were three fights at the same time. The Indian kids got a home suspension, and the White kids only got half a day in school. I remember asking about it, because . . . I wanted to know for myself, because I saw that as unfair, so I asked, “What is the fairness in that?”
  35. 35. • unfair treatment, whether intentional or unintentional, is very harmful to Aboriginal students • students react by fighting or developing unruly and uncooperative attitudes • come to be seen as trouble makers • Simply exist… “many carry on the tradition of active resistance to whitecontrolled school system with its colonial assumptions of Euro-Canadian cultural superiority” Silver, Mallett, Greene, and Simard (2002)
  36. 36. Streaming Students • children were almost always steered away from an academic direction • Fear of authority inhibits resistance (George‟s case) • Being pushed into low-level courses seems to be the norm for Aboriginal students • school assumes they are incapable of handling advanced courses and they don‟t aspire to university “I didn‟t think about going to college or university, because I just felt it was for the rich kids, and no one ever suggested that it might be a possibility.” (Dakota)
  37. 37. In her study Wilson (1992) found that being pushed into low-level courses seemed to be the norm for Aboriginal students, because the school assumes that they are incapable of handling the advanced courses and that they do not aspire to attending university anyway. “A classic example came from a student who wanted to enroll in a computer class. A teacher advisor suggested that he take a mechanics course instead because “there will always be broken down cars to repair on the reserve but I doubt that there will be computers to work with.” (p. 52)
  38. 38. “Educators are always trying to find ways to increase high school graduation rates among Native students, but it‟s a simple answer. Just respect us, encourage us, listen to us, learn a little about us. Then maybe you will begin seeing more Native students graduating from high school.” (Kristine)
  39. 39. B. Low Teacher Expectations • Research has revealed that, generally, non-Native teaching staff have lower expectations of Aboriginal students than they do of non-Aboriginal students (Goulet, 2001, Makokis, 2000; Silver et al., 2002; Taylor, 1995; Wilson, 1992). • From my observations and my discussions with the participants in this study as well as with other Aboriginal parents and youths, there appears to be a general consensus that academic expectations of Native children are low within the public school system.
  40. 40. In his study Goulet (2001) discovered that many nonNative teachers have low prejudicial beliefs about the Aboriginal students they teach. Goulet concluded that many non-Native teachers believe that Native students are unable to compete with their non-Aboriginal peers. The teachers in these studies believed that “[Native] students had inadequate home life and so did not possess the skills necessary for success in school” (p. 69).
  41. 41. • one prominent factor that contributed to student withdrawal was belief that their teachers did not care and that they had very low expectations of them (Makokis, 2000) • significance of teachers‟ expectations directly linked to academic achievement & unfair treatment • Bernice‟s story
  42. 42. C. Racism The fear washes through my veins Contaminating the deep red blood. It travels through my body, Further, deeper. The rage heats my skin Igniting a blazing fire. It burns my brown skin, Heating, hurting The sadness flows through me Touching my heart in the most sensitive places It brings tears to my eyes As the wall of racism, Slams against my face. (Canadian Race Relations Foundation, 2007, p. 16)
  43. 43. • All participants in this study identified the theme of racism as one of the most serious points of consideration in making school choices for their children. • All parents expected that their children would be on the receiving end of racism, and, in fact, at least two of the parents wanted to actively prepare their children to face this issue. These two parents wanted their children to grow up experiencing racism, believing that it would better prepare them for the “real world.”
  44. 44. • Learning to cope becomes the means of survival (Steinhauer, 1999) • students who are negatively affected by racism are less likely to attend school regularly and are likely to drop out of school earlier than other groups of students • children were often quite vicious… engaging in games at the expense of Indian children
  45. 45. “In my own off-reserve school experience, beginning in Grade three, I remember children often being quite vicious and often engaging in games at the expense of Indian children. On particular game was known as “Indian germs.” It was a game of tag which began with a white student touching an Indian kid, then playing tag with those germs for the entire recess. Of course Indian children were not included in the game. Although it was hurtful at the time we learned to cope by playing in other parts of the playground or school. Gradually learning how to cope became the means of survival…”
  46. 46. Internalized Racism I found a lot of the Native kids to be more negative, but rightly so, because they were treated wrong. When you are treated wrong, when you are oppressed, you are automatically going to be defensive toward things. Racism, experienced on a consistent basis, becomes internalized, and we [the Native students] begin to hate one another. It can have very damaging effects. (Leah) • Silver et al. (2002) refer to this as internalized racism
  47. 47. “They teach us that Native students are anything but good, so we internalize this. We begin to believe that we are in fact no good, trouble makers, incapable of „real work,‟ and in order to survive, we begin rejecting, and beating up each other. I hate to admit this, but I was guilty of rejecting my own Native peers as well. I am so ashamed of myself now that I recognize this.” (Leah)
  48. 48. Calliou (1995) • Racism is an issue that many people would rather not have to deal with, even Native people • Racism creates imbalance and disharmony • Discussing the issue can be emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally challenging and exhausting • Most people would rather not face the issue • Racism has to be named • “emotion will emerge from the underground of denial within individuals, lunch rooms, classrooms, textbooks, media, or school grounds” • important to do so if we want to have the “public, affirmative spaces” that we like to think our Canadian classrooms are
  49. 49. [Racism] ....it is there, and it is a significant part of the explanation for why so many Aboriginal students are not thriving in the school system. And we believe that if nonAboriginal teachers and administrators were to grapple openly with the problem—name it, describe it, come to accept and to understand its prevalence—they would eliminate much of it. But racism is such an ugly word that when an Aboriginal person says something is racist, the tendency is to retreat, to go on the defensive, to deny the racism.
  50. 50. “Going to school with mostly non-Native kids, I always tried so hard to be like them. After a while it was so tiring. I was ashamed of being Indian. There [First Nations School] I could be myself; there I could be an Indian” Kristine.
  51. 51. Indians get everything for free… All First Nations students, including myself have heard the resentful accusations that our education is paid for at the public expense (i.e. their pocketbook; the accuser is seemingly oblivious of the fiduciary responsibly of treaties and agreements between the nations within and the colonial government of the settler Nations. (Calliou, 1995, p. 49)
  52. 52. Cultural Divide… “Ninety percent of Native children in this country will, at one time or another, be taught by a non-Native teacher, and many of these children will receive most of their education from non-Native teachers. The Native student‟s self-image, perception of Native/non-Native interactions, and chance of graduating will all be influenced by their non-Native teachers” (Taylor, 1995, p. 224).
  53. 53. Racial Stigmatism (Curwen Doige, 2003, pp. 153-154) • stereotyping and discrimination that still exists in our schools stigmatizes Aboriginal students. • personhood is devalued • individual disconnects from the attributes that assist development of self-respect, confidence, and the ability to trust oneself and others • insidious tool of disenfranchisement: not only is the student told that he or she is unacceptable, the student now feels inferior and rejected • The affective, spiritual part of the student has been jeopardized. . . . Not respecting, cherishing, valuing the spirit of the Aboriginal student deeply affects the process of the individual‟s being in becoming a unique person responsible for his/her own life and actions in the context of significant group situation.
  54. 54. D. Loss Of Cultural Learning Opportunities A regret that several parents had about sending their children offreserve to a public school was that their children were rarely, if ever, exposed to anything that had to do with their Cree culture and language.
  55. 55. [Cree Classes] I didn‟t take the courses for two reasons: firstly, because these classes were always scheduled when I had my core courses; and secondly, because I believed these classes were not very beneficial. Learning Cree words is not the same as learning the Cree language. No one can learn to speak Cree that way; and besides, learning Cree was not my priority at that time. My priority was getting a high school diploma. (Leah)
  56. 56. Goddard (2002): • “locally developed curricula” considered different fromless intellectually significant than “regular curricula” • message confirmed when students see their teachers using their language and cultural classes as prep classes • Classes tucked away in farthest reaches of school Cree courses: • Not valued by teachers or students • Designed for non-academic route • Ineffective at teaching fluency • Native and, therefore, not as good as
  57. 57. Curwen Doige (2003) • Traditions are only one aspect of the ever-changing dynamic within a culture. • to focus on traditional dress, food music, ceremonies, and artifacts freezes a culture in time and perpetuates stereotypes. Artifacts are static. • People and their values, beliefs, feelings, and thoughts are dynamic, and these define the culture. • Spiritual ideas and traditions like sweetgrass and sweatlodge must be understood from the perspective of Aboriginal epistemology. • Otherwise, the identifying values of Aboriginal people are treated as fixed as well.
  58. 58. Concluding Remarks One might ask: • Why do these First Nations parents, who are fully aware of the unfair treatment to which their children are subjected within these public school systems, continue to make the decision to educate their children in public school? • Do they not love their children? If they sincerely care about their children‟s future and well-being, why do they subject them to the unfair treatment that they know continues to exist in these schools?
  59. 59. Parents make the choices they do, not because they want to torture their children, but rather, they make these choices because they LOVE their children.
  60. 60. Summation We have covered: • Health & Social Wellness; Income Levels & Poverty • Academic Achievement • Off-reserve school experiences Additional contemporary issues include: • Language • Culture • Jurisdiction over education My next lecture will examine the history of Aboriginal education.

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