Edu 211 identity lecture


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  • Image of a postcard issued in Russian Empire, early 20th century. Its original texts says "Un chaman (sorcier) d'Alatai", it can be rendered as "A shaman (sorcerer) of Altai" in English. It can be seen also in museum of Tomsk. The ethnographer Hoppál identifies the shaman woman to be of Altai Kizhi or Khakas origin, admitting that it cannot be decided exactly from the image alone, which of the two.[1] The ethnographic photo itself, after which the postcards were issued, had been taken by ethnographer S. I. Borisov in 1908.[2]. Note that the standing woman is holding a shaman's drum, not a gong.
  • Edu 211 identity lecture

    1. 1. EDU 211: Aboriginal Education and Context for Professional Engagement September 17th 2013 Dr. Cora Weber-Pillwax
    2. 2. Identity EDU 211 Thursday September 12 Dr. Cora Weber-Pillwax and Elder John Crier
    3. 3. File:SB - Altay shaman with drum.jpg
    4. 4. Understanding Aboriginal social systems, including relationship structures and roles and identities. Aboriginal/Indigenous peoples live under systems of identity classification and control in Canada and the United States. “These regulatory systems have forcibly supplanted traditional Indigenous ways of identifying the self in relation to land and community, functioning discursively to naturalize colonial worldviews. Decolonization, then, must involve deconstructing and reshaping how we understand Indigenous identity”. Gender, Race, and the Regulation of Native Idenitity in Canada & the United States: An Overview (Bonita Lawrence, 2003)
    5. 5. Canadian Legislation affecting Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Relations Summary of Legislation showing affirmation of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights and Legislation reinforcing Assimilation (Gail Jardine, 2012; p. 29) Royal Proclamation 1763 Gradual Civilization Act 1857 British North American Act 1867 The Gradual Enfranchisement Act 1869 The Indian Act 1867 (ongoing amendments, including Bill-C31 in 1985) Treaty Six (1876), Seven (1877), Eight (1899) in Alberta Constitution Act 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms 1982
    6. 6. Classification under the Indian Act removes the right to be identified within a people’s culture (citing Acoose in Lawrence, 2003; p. 5) • “Contemporary Native identity therefore exists … between concepts of generic ‘Indianness’ as a racial identity and of specific ‘tribal’ identity as Indigenous nationhood.” (p.5) • Attacking the social status of Aboriginal women undermined “the power of Native societies in general”. (citing Allen in Lawrence, 2003; p.5) Write a one-page reflection for your seminar on this question: What are your thoughts in response to this understanding of the role of Aboriginal women in relation to Aboriginal communities? in what ways might your own thoughts and understanding of this perspective help you to work effectively with your Aboriginal students? with your nonAboriginal students?
    7. 7. History of Indian Act • Britain defeated France in 1763 • Britain adhered to the nation –to- nation approach with indigenous peoples “to consolidate its imperial position” (p.6), hence the BNA 1763. • Britain was responsible for Indian Affairs between 1763 until 1860. • In 1850, Canada passed legislation that allowed for the creation of indian reserves, (loose definition of ‘Indian’, for the purpose of providing access to landbase for white settlers. • Gradual Civilization Act 1857 reserve land into plots for enfranchised men who would cease to be ‘Indian’. • 1860 British crown transferred “control over ‘Indians’ to its Canadian colony” (p.7)
    8. 8. History of Indian Act cont’d • 1869 Gradual Enfranchisement Act – Indian woman marrying white man lost her status as “Indian” and her right to band membership. • This created the concept of ‘status Indian’ and ‘nonstatus Indian’; it codified “Indianness” so that the category could be granted or withheld: an “Indian” woman who married a white man was forced to leave her community, and lose her ‘Indian status, and a white woman who married an Indian man would gain Indian status and could live on “indian” land. This remained in effect until 1985v with the passing of Bill C-31.
    9. 9. Consider the following quotes related to what Lawrence refers to as “social engineering”: • To understand how the Indian Act structured intermarriage…, “it is important to explore the extent to which the regulation of Indianness rested on colonial anxieties about white identity and who would control settler societies” (p.8) • Many distinct Metis communities in the Great Lakes area created difficulties in in maintaining boundaries between the colonizers and the colonized, , and social control was “predicated on legally identifying who ‘white’, who was ‘Indian’, and which children were legitimate progeny; citizen rather than subjugated ‘natives’ (Stoler cited in Lawrence, p.8) • children of European father-Native mother had to be classified white to inherit land, so mother could no longer be Native; European white women who married Native men were considered to have stepped outside the social boundaries of whiteness and became officially status Indians, along with their children.
    10. 10. In 1985 (Bill C-31), there were only 350000 status Indians left in canada (Holmes cited in Lawrence, p.9) Approximately 100000 individuals regained status by 1995 (Switzer cited in Lawrence, p.9) Consider the Impact of this on cultural identity and survival of peoples.
    11. 11. Differentiating “Indians” and “Halfbreeds” • Indian Act 1876 excluded anyone who was not “pure Indian”, explicitly referring to ‘halfbreeds’ – colonial categorization and regulation. • Differentiating did not conform to blood quantum or individual self-identification. Contradictions between government classifications and how the people saw themselves. (Treaty 8 and 11, p.10 and 11) • Scrip • Nonstatus indians
    12. 12. Implications of legalized identities • Discuss how the divisions between ‘Indians’ and ‘Metis’ populations led to differences in experiences of Nativeness. (Lawrence, p. 12)
    13. 13. Other Considerations: • Redefining Indianness: the realities of identity in communities in the aftermath of the Indian Act • “Fullbloodedness” in relation to “traditionalisness” (Vizenor 1981, Blaeser 1996 cited in Lawrence, p.19) • Defining Indians out of existence (Churchill 1994 cited in Lawrence, p.19-20) “In the interests of survival, communities use the colonizing systems of identity categorization to maintain boundaries against white society. In this way, “…the grammar of regulatory regimes has shaped how native identity is conceptualized.” (p21) Identity in relation to lived experiences of most Native people.
    14. 14. Other considerations cont’d • Nativeness (or Aboriginal identity) theorized as something negotiated and evolving rather than as an “authentic essence” can have “dangerous repercussions for Native people in terms of asserting Aboriginal rights” (p. 22) • In relation to land claims, for example, the need to demonstrate or prove their authenticity and primordiality to whites in terms of their Indianness. • The high demands for “authenticity” of contemporary Indian existence (Aboriginal identity) implies some risks (p.23). What might some of these be?
    15. 15. Closing thoughts to consider: • “Traditional Indigenous ways of anchoring relationships among individuals, their communities and the land” were supplanted by systems of classification. According to Lawrence, these also erased “knowledge of self, culture and history in the process”. • These significant characteristics of relationship in Indigenous identity formation processes remain in place today for Aboriginal individuals and communities, and are seen in the ways that the personal and social, the individual and collective aspects of identity are given expression. • Lawrence concludes by stating that until “ traditional models of governance have been reclaimed and actualized, Native communities will continue to be plagued with struggles over identity and entitlement barriers”.
    16. 16. Reflection to take to the Seminar: • What are your thoughts on these final three points? Share these thoughts in two pages of reflections that situate you as a future teacher with your own classroom that includes Indigenous/Aboriginal/Native children.