I hope you don't mind if I'm the first one to respond in this area. There was an important related discussion on Twitter that I wanted to capture here.
I shared a photo of some buttons that OLA will have available as part of their Super Conference experience. An online acquaintance of mine had a valid question.
My OLA contact responded and an interesting subsequent question arose:
I hope we can address this here. As more schools incorporate aboriginal education, what checks and balances can be put in place so that
- information is accurate?
- beliefs, customs, and traditions are respected?
- educators are not reinforcing old or creating new stereotypes?
- things are made better, not worse?
(What other dot jot notes can I add to this list? What are the dangers of not applying checks and balances? How do schools do this?)
I'm sorry that I'm replying to my own post, but this is a section I'm trying to understand better.
Help me with this, please.
I remember reading on Twitter someone posting that it is not the job of PoC to educate whites on equity, or black history.
I couldn't find the original tweet I read, but I did locate a couple of similar articles:
How does this impact the checks and balances needed for addressing FNMI issues?
I don't want to suggest that we put a student on the spot by asking for their views as a representation of their culture. What I want to know is what the alternatives are - where to we turn so we can vet some ideas before we set them loose on our classes?
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I would like to put to the group a question I have been considering: how do we bring this discussion of residential schools forward with our youngest learners in Kindergarten classrooms?
I always find picture books, as first graphic texts, are wonderful ways of opening discussions with children.
I recently heard mention of the book When We Were Alone by David Robertson and Julie Alexander Flett but I have not yet read it myself (waiting for a copy). Has anyone seen this or heard anything about it?
Does anyone have any thoughts?
Thanks for offering your own classroom integration question. I will see if I can get my hands on "When We Were Alone" and check with my school's kindergarten teachers and ECEs for their opinions. Are there any others books that you are thinking of trying, or have tried?
Hi Sandra, thanks for raising the point about how we introduce this topic to 4 and 5 year olds. Funnily enough, I was looking for When We Were Alone at the bookshop today. I am a huge fan of the illustrator, Julie Flett. She is a Cree-Metis author and illustrator and has crafted some wonderful picture books that are rich in content and hauntingly beautiful. Her work is culturally relevant and unique as it puts the spotlight on children that are generally absent from mainstream literature. She says that: "I’m making books I would have wanted to see when I was little, that I would have shared with my own son and community." Here is a link to a wonderful interview with Julie Flett that provides some insight into how she approaches her work http://bit.ly/1FshgzO
I would start with picture books and then lead into the discussions that would arise. For example, a read aloud of Julie Flett's dual language Wild Berries would introduce children to the story of Clarence picking blackberries with his grandmother and the importance of this shared experience. Sorry, I think I have gone off topic. If I was in the classroom, I would share certain excerpts of Secret Path with my youngsters and connect it to the Belonging and Contributing frame of the Kindergarten document. What about you?