Mishalish Insight

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Aboriginal Education: Is There a Way Ahead? ~ Hare and Barman
School Video: Residential Schools

I decided to combine my summary from both the video and the article as they were very similar in content and perspectives to the point where I would think the same person created both.

Basically the video and article described the devestating and lasting effects of residential schools on the Native American Nations. They talked of how Natives were stripped of their culture, individuals, families, language, religion, etc. The government and church intentions were to assimilate the Indians to come up to par with the whites in their beliefs and way of life. Children were taken away from their parents and often seperated from their siblings and subjected to live in dorms attending school. The ironic part is these students did not recieve much academic schooling (especially compared to "the white children") but instead were forced into labour, often boys were farm hands and girls learned domestic roles. As if this were not tramautic enough, the article and the video share of people's stories of verbal, physical, and sexual abuse. Children were often whipped for speaking their own language, and many boys and girls were raped or abused in other sexual forms. This disintigration of families and culture has lead to a break down in the nations and their families, often leading to shame and alcholoism. This has in turn affected Native childrens' perspective and attitude towards education. There is now a move on the part of the government and education and the Aboriginals to not only deal with the past, but to move on to find a new future that encompasses Native customs.

I agreed both with the video and the article on many levels. It is terrible the way the First Nations were treated in the past, and its effect is still prevelant in society. There are still wounded and torn families. I think it is neccessary to educate the schools about the ugly part of the past and to recognize that the ones stuggling with alcohol are probably the ones who never knew what LOVE was. I have always been appalled by what has happened, but when I heard from the mouth of one man that he never knew, understoof, or experienced love when he grew up, I was deeply moved.

Now in full recognition of this tragedy, I do also agree that it is time to move on, not forgetting the past, but creating a new future and re-establishing Aboriginal culture as it should be in this modern day. This requires an active part of the First Nations to remeber old traditions and to embrace new ones.

As mentioned in the article, I also think it is important for Aboriginals to be considered in the curriculum with their beliefs and methods. It is important to have a strong Aboriginal voice when creating the curriculum, as well as establishing well funded First Nations schools, and while doing this recognize the different nations (Cree, Blackfoot, etc) within the Aboriginal communites.

Many good things can come in terms of rebirth for the First Nations if everyone (government, Aboriginals, Canadian society, etc) is willing to do their part.

I agree


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