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Best Practices

Although the notion of Pedagogy is essentially Colonial or Eurocentric in origin, it can be used to draw well-deserved attention to the distinct and noteworthy ways that Pre-Colonial education was offered and engaged in.


Distinct practices used for millennia to teach both “theory” and hands-on practical knowledge were repressed and banned during Colonization, yet the methods have endured and are both unique and extremely valuable in the 21st century for all students, aboriginal and non-aboriginal.


Educational program content that is designed using Aboriginal Pedagogy methods is not only valuable for aboriginal students, but would be very powerful to teach ALL students in this way. It is important to consider that all aboriginal students have the legal right to be taught using these methods, no matter what educational context they are studying in. In fact, post-secondary institutional efforts to afford a liberal education for all university students are mere whispers of the preparatory potential that First Nations pedagogy promises: the development of well rounded, holistic, intelligent professionals.

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SACRED CANOPY


All curriculum and learning activities should be situated within this global pedagogical environment that includes reference to and teachings about Pre-Colonial First Nations:



Raven Sinclair (2003) explained how this notion of the sacred canopy was important in providing a sense of safety and belonging despite mainstream society and its effects on their lives (and learning). “Driedger utilizes a sacred canopy metaphor to illustrate the destructive impact of colonization. The canopy represents a "shelter from terror" which is held up by four stakes representing ideology, community, culture, and land (p.343). For indigenous people in Canada, these four stakes were nearly destroyed through colonial warfare, the imposition of colonial legislation, the reserve system, and the industrial/residential school systems. The resulting anomie in the indigenous psyche has reverberated through the generations and manifested in extremely challenging individual, family, and community issues” (p. 1).


ABORIGINAL KNOWLEDGE




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