Module 3 – Weblog – Tanya Walsh

Below you will find some additional resources on Spirituality in Indigenous Education:

  • Battiste, M. (2008, March 26 -29). Nourishing the Learning Spirit: Elder’s Dialogue. Saskatoon, SK: Aboriginal Education Research Centre, University of Saskatchewwan. Retrieved from http://aerc.usask.ca/downloads/Nourishing-the-Learning-Spirit-Elders-Dialogue-8.pdf
    • This is an outline of the proceeds from a conference of elders from diverse language groups gathered to discuss the concepts of lifelong learning and the learning spirit.
    • They define the ‘learning journey’ as a “holistic outcome of diverse conditions, contexts, relationships, education, training, and connections with a living universe” (Battiste, 2008. p. 12).
    • They discuss how an acknowledgment of the spirit world is an integral part of the learning journey and must be honoured through ceremony and relationships with spiritual leaders in the community.

 

  • George, N. (2008). Aboriginal Adult Literacy: Nourishing Their Learning Spirits. Saskatoon, SK: Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre, University of Saskatchewan. Retrieved from http://fneii.ca/NourishingSpirits_LitReview_en_1_.pdf
    • This is a literature review on Aboriginal literacy designed to provide information and direction for those working in the field of Aboriginal literacy.
    • It describes people as having a body, heart, mind and spirit, with spirit being the most important part because that is the essence of who you are. Therefore, they state that it is imperative that adult educators engage learners spiritually by helping them make meaning out of what they are learning, in order to help them answer their deepest questions, as these are a people who believe that we are one with creation, not separate from it.
    • The learning spirit is the state of being that facilitates learning and will help a person fulfill his/her purpose for being in this life.

 

  • Kitchen, J., Cherubini, L, Trudeau, L., & Hodson, J. (2009, Fall). Aboriginal education as cultural brokerage: New aboriginal teachers reflect on language and culture in the classroom. McGill Journal of Education, 44(3), 355-376. Retrieved from: http://mje.mcgill.ca/article/viewFile/2853/3980
    • This is an interesting report on six Aboriginal teachers in Ontario using a talking circle to explore their roles as teachers as they prepare their students to walk between two parallel but very different worlds.
    • They state that Aboriginal education is oriented around a ‘spiritual centre’ and that it is important that aboriginal teachers attend to their own healing if they are going to be expected to heal and teach others.

 

  • Micallef, S. (2017, January 23). Our dreaming: The Indigenous link between the physical and the spiritual. SBS Radio. Retrieved from http://www.sbs.com.au/topics/life/culture/article/2017/01/18/our-dreaming-indigenous-link-between-physical-and-spiritual-world
    • “Our Aboriginal spirituality is a link from the past to the present a shared pathway that helps us to understand more about where we come from and who we are as people.” (Micalleff, 2017, para. 16).
    • This site tells a particular creation story. However, more importantly, it explains the importance of handing down ‘dreaming’ stories as part of Aboriginal education in Australia. These stories link people over time to physical places in creation. Micallef also describes how the land then becomes a cultural connection to their prehistoric history.

 

  • Weenie, A. (2012). Toward and understanding of the ecology of Indigenous education. Retrieved from http://mfnerc.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/007_Weenie.pdf
    • This article discusses the concept of ‘spiritual ecology’ which is the “application of special intellectual, ritual, psychological, and spiritual teaching tools that facilitated deep levels of learning and understanding” (Cajete, 1994, p. 223, as cited in Weenie, 2012, p. 59) and which is the essence of meaningful and constructive Indigenous curriculum.
    • For Weenie, ceremonies and traditional activities, like storytelling, provide a ‘spiritual sustenance’. In time, the deep significance of these teachings can induce direct and powerful understandings of basic truths about how to interact with the world.
    • The Elders teachings that ‘everything has a spirit’ leads to the principle of living in harmony with the environment and developing healthy communities.

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