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Aboriginal Education - Facilitated Discussion

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by

Elmoné deWitt

on 22 January 2014

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Transcript of Aboriginal Education - Facilitated Discussion

Summary
-Emphasises the positives :
- “School was fun though. We learned many things we never knew existed”

- “They also taught us to play bingo”

-Extremely detailed first-hand experience (about his feelings and cultural background):
-Detailed description of how he felt about the Roman Catholic religion
- “Inuit have an oral history and communication [so] lying was a deadly sin”

-Jose seems to rationalize many of the bad things that went on in the residential schools
-“weren’t anti-Inuit, they were [simply] just not Inuit.”
-“They could only teach what they knew and, of course, they could not teach what they did not know.
-“I know there were exercises where students were not allowed to speak their mother tongue, but in linguistic terms, this is known as “full immersion” ”
Negatives
Positives
Summary
-Separates Inuit people from other Aboriginal people
,

"..approximately forty-five thousand Inuit in Canada within the population of over thirty-two million. This means that Inuit are a minority within a minority."

- Not told in a first hand way (does not say he has experienced residential schooling or refer to others who have), however he still has an Aboriginal background

-David suggests long term aid for Aboriginal people,
"..put it
(money)
into a trust that would benefit future families, community and nation members through the creation of materials, resources, wellness centers.."

-States that both cultures have,
"..become increasingly aware of one another and are recognizing ways to work together for better understanding."
Both cultures need to respect each other to move past the history between the two
Positives
Summary
Eber Hampton: Harvard graduate, Chickasaw descent, devoted to aboriginal education
Currently: president of the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, program meets Eurocentric academic standards while teaching First Nations heritage and traditional language
Research: learning, how humans cope with lies and disprove the mathematical theory of learning.
Personal discovery: emotional reason behind research
Learning: requires a willingness to reflect and accept our own past - having memory before knowledge
Emotion is linked to intelligence and learning
Cultural conflict within education
Hampton relives a past experience when he mentions,
“Because he happened to be a Black Professor, I had an idea of who he meant by they.”
And goes on to explain that the same,
“They have put all this time and energy and effort into working on our education; what did we ever do about [this education we receive from them]?”
This is vital because,
“...we are not Cinderellas: the slipper doesn’t fit”
and education must take this into account.
Eber Hampton discusses his school experience as a continuous act of brainwashing, going as far as to say
“The mutilation of human beings in graduate school is a continuation of the mutilation that starts in kindergarten”
,
“95% of what we experience as education is genocide”
and
“There will always be cultural conflict of education.”
Eber Hampton discusses the cultural conflict he was faced with when trying to get an education, saying
“I also felt I might be betraying my people by getting a stamp of the beast from Harvard University. Perhaps I was selling out by getting an education, because the kind of education I was getting was so different from the kind that I got from Elders.”
Because Hampton argues that,
“Feeling is connected to our intellect...emotionless, passionless, abstract intellect ... does not exist.”
Therefore,
“When we try to cut ourselves off at the neck and pretend an objectivity [exists] in the real world, we become dangerous to ourselves first, and then to the people around us.”
Hampton relives a past experience when he mentions,
“Because he happened to be a Black Professor, I had an idea of who he meant by they.”
And goes on to explain that the same,
“They have put all this time and energy and effort into working on our education; what did we ever do about [this education we receive from them]?”
This is vital because,
“...we are not Cinderellas: the slipper doesn’t fit”
and education must take this into account.
Because Hampton argues that,
“Feeling is connected to our intellect...emotionless, passionless, abstract intellect ... does not exist.”
Therefore,
“When we try to cut ourselves off at the neck and pretend an objectivity [exists] in the real world, we become dangerous to ourselves first, and then to the people around us.”
Positives
Eber Hampton discusses his school experience as a continuous act of brainwashing, going as far as to say
“The mutilation of human beings in graduate school is a continuation of the mutilation that starts in kindergarten”
,
“95% of what we experience as education is genocide”
and
“There will always be cultural conflict of education.”
Eber Hampton discusses the cultural conflict he was faced with when trying to get an education, saying
“I also felt I might be betraying my people by getting a stamp of the beast from Harvard University. Perhaps I was selling out by getting an education, because the kind of education I was getting was so different from the kind that I got from Elders.”
Negatives
Do you agree with Eber Hamptons main argument that memory comes before knowledge? Why or why not? Do you think that Hampton’s aboriginal background and being raised into culture that places heavy emphasis on the passing on of practices, beliefs, and traditions influenced his way of thinking? Could it be argued that Western civilization places less of an emphasis on learning through memory? What are the implications for us as teachers to ensure we respect diversity within belief systems?
-Emphasizes the positives



-Extremely detailed first-hand experience
-Emphasizes the positives

-Jose seems to rationalize many of the bad things that went on in the residential schools
-This story is a first hand experience from a boy who lived in Repulse Bay.

-His parents were part of HBC and the Roman Catholic Church.

-He provides a detailed outline of the Inuit culture and Rules of Life.

-At the age of seven he and his eldest brother are taken to a residential school

- he learns how to speak English and other worldly information

-bullying went on

- learning all the wrong things

-Jose resolves his past
Article
Chapter 7
Chapter 6
-Did not speak towards residential schools but to reconciliation

-Important aspect of his identity is being connected to his Inuit heritage

-suggests that the journey to reconciliation requires Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people to work together - gain respect by reflecting on the past to see eye-to-eye on the present.

-Healing will happen through trust

-Biggest reconciliation process that has happened to date is the unnecessary doings of Survivor payout which brings in the concept of western money. This cannot be set right through money.

-David believes money can be collectively brought together in a trust to benefit for this generation, and those to come.
-Separates Inuit people from other Aboriginal people

- Not told in a first hand way (does not say he has experienced residential schooling or refer to others who have), however he still has an Aboriginal background

-Suggesting long term aid for Aboriginal people

-States that both cultures, white people and aboriginals, are becoming aware of each other and recognizing ways to work together, as well as respect each other to move past the history between the two
Negatives
-Separates Inuit people from other Aboriginal people

-Not told in a first hand way ( does not say he has experienced residential schooling or refer to others who have)
In chapter 7, Jose’s positive experiences with residential schooling almost seem to outweigh his negative ones. Do you feel that this author's story serves to discredit or devalue some of the stories of trauma shared by other individuals who attended residential schools? Why or why not?
In the beginning of chapter 7 Jose described the Inuit ”rules of life” he learned as a child. He describes how after returning from residential schools, he was behind in learning these cultural components. Further into the chapter he states that it was not the fault of the teachers at the residential schools, but that “they could not teach what they did not know”. Do you think as teachers we can be more accommodating ? If so where would we acquire this additional curriculum?
In chapter 6, David believes that non-Aboriginals and Aboriginals can come together and work together, do you think this is realistic?
Do you believe that the suggestions David made for the long-term and sustainable distribution of money for the Aboriginal people are too idealistic? Why or why not?
The

Article
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