April 05, 2007

What Canadian kids are learning

Beyond 'Teepees and Igloos'

Reconciling with First Nations begins in the classroom.

British Columbian education then:My own 1970s education taught a version of Aboriginal culture and history that ran to little more than teepees, igloos and the fur trade. That truncated account supported the story mainstream Canada still likes to tell itself over beers after work. Since beginning this project, I've heard variations on it from valley rednecks and urban sophisticates alike. The story goes that before the settlers arrived there weren't many people here and they weren't really using the land. The government created reserves and gave Aboriginal people the benefits of technology and education. Usually the conclusion is some twist on how it all happened a long time ago and Aboriginal people should get over it.And now:A broad-based inclusive approach to Aboriginal content in the curriculum means that students of every cultural background are learning more about indigenous culture than ever before. In an e-mail, Education Minister Shirley Bond explains that, "All students benefit from having a greater understanding of Aboriginal perspectives. They learn more about where they live and who their neighbors are and they have an opportunity to broaden their understanding about some of the issues facing Aboriginal communities."


Anonymous said...

Tell me about it. According to what we were taught there weren't but a few Native Indians in North America when the white man got here.

Then I took North American history under Professor Fonge who is the son of King Fonge of the Fonge tribe in Afrika, he taught at A&T State University in North Carolina in the US.

He showed the class books published in neutral countries that contained photos of documents of where Native people were used as slaves in what is now the mid west section of the US. They showed that in a 10 year period that approximately 20 million natives died in slavery in mining to, it was either spain or portugal, I think spain. They never taught us that. The way they taught us it didn't sound like there would have been 20 million Natives in the Americas.

Rob said...

Spain, not Portugal, was primarily responsible for enslaving Natives to work in mines, on farms and ranches, etc.

Rob said...

I didn't say it made a difference. I was just helping Anonymous get his facts straight.

Rob said...

Anonymous isn't necessarily Anonymouse, you know.