Day and night cannot dwell together.

by sophiaroseglt on April 24, 2014 - 12:26am

The book written by Yatta Kanu called “Intergrating Aboriginal Perspective into the School Curriculum” published by the University of Toronto Press in 2011, explores the possible challenges and possibilities that could arise from integrating Native American culture in a western base curriculum.  I have decided to specialize my knowledge in the field of education but more precisely in the incorporation of Native American culture.  I believe it is our duty to preserve such rich cultures from oppressions of corporations who neglect the Amerindian territory and culture, but also against the Government of Canada who with no shame adopts legislations to dominate the aboriginal population. To have a full combination (not assimilation) of aboriginal students in the mainstream educational system arises two major challenges: (a) how to stop the dominance of the western culture in defining what is knowledge, (b) how do we reclaim aboriginal culture which has been devalued and delegitimized. In order to overcome those challenges we must: decolonize research, invest in theoretical tools, and legitimate indigenous tool.

In order to integrate aboriginal culture in the school curriculum one must first answer these questions:

  1. What should count as knowledge?
  2. Who should control the selection and distribution of knowledge and through what institution?
  3. Whose knowledge, western based or aboriginal, is considered to have the most worth?

It is important to address the issue because the dropout rate of aboriginal youth is on the rise and many students are leaving schools without enough cultural or linguistic knowledge to function as a successful adult. This later creates a circular reasoning because the youth lacks proper mentors and school structure. In return, they become poor mentors and disregard education. The intergenerational trauma caused by the residential schools leaves the youth broken and unprepared for aboriginal or Canadian lifestyle.

Since 1996, when the last residential school was closed, efforts were made by the school boards and the provincial governments in order to eliminate racism against Native Americans.