A Reader- Foreword by Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw
Edited By George J. Sefa Dei
10. Indigeneity in Education: A By-product of Assimilation? Dennis Mcpherson 157
According to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, “We. . .have no history of colonialism. So we haveall of the things that many people admire about the great powers but none of the things that threaten or bother them . . .” (as cited in Ljunggren, 2009). Yet colonialism is a fact of life for Native people and it reached its peak within the Indian Residential School system. There are many testi- monials to the atrocities suffered by individuals attending these schools, but perhaps the greatest harm of all is the intentional cultural disruption of Native people as described by a Cree Elder What happened in the residential school. . .was to assimilate. It didn’t matter whether they called it inte- gration or whatever. It all boiled down to one thing, and that was to assimilate the native people into the non-native culture. Either you’re going to train them to be little farmers, and the girls to be maids in homes, or whatever. . .that was the mandate (Stonebanks, 2008, p. 230). With the human rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, desegregation became the policy of the day, and the Department of Indian Affairs began the lengthy process of shutting down the Indian Residential Schools across the country. As Indians began to gain a political voice in the latter part of the 1960s we began to hear more loudly of “Indian Control of Indian Education.” Desegregation also created a new problem for Indian Reserve communities. When the Indian Residential Schools were closed, children returned to the reserves...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.