Module 1 Weblog – Kathryn Gardner

I am still deciding about where I would like to focus my research but am thinking about drawing on my own experiences of girls’ education. Whilst reading this week’s readings, I found myself thinking about the experience of Indigenous girls in residential schools. This led me to think about Indigenous children and how gender impacts the educational experience of pupils today. This is just where my initial research has led me and it may change slightly over the next week!

  1. Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, What We Have Learned: Principles of Truth and Reconciliation.

Whilst I’ll admit that I haven’t yet read this 200 page document in its entirety, I found it to be a fact-based document that increased my knowledge about the history of residential schooling in Canada. Moreover, it is helping me to research gender within education and explains the shift in the roles of Indigenous girls and women during this time. When delving further into research around this document I found that by typing Read the TRC report into YouTube you will find just under 150 videos of Indigenous people reading the report. The videos are powerful; their aim is to with engage with the report and to make as accessible as possible.

  1. Action for Indigenous Women: A friendship Centre Initiative

In my research, I’ve come across many studies that comment upon violence against Indigenous women. This is most certainly as aspect that would impact education and their ability to attend school, their relationships with teachers and peers and the wellbeing of Indigenous women and girls in general. This National Campaign to End Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls is an organisation that aims to raise awareness and to stop the violence and their website is full of information.

  1. Guardian Article:

In thinking about the education of Indigenous girls I questioned equal access and opportunity. I then came across this newspaper article. Although the article is about Indigenous girls in rural Australia and the rest of my sources are based in Canada, I found this article very interesting. Shame, embarrassment and lack of understanding around menstrual cycles are stopping Indigenous girls from attending school.

4. Northern Girls Research Review:

This research review brings together facts and statistics about the realities of life for Indigenous women and girls living in the North. The review’s purpose is for Indigenous women to be able to use the centrally located information to empower these women to become agents of change. It touches upon health promotion, violence prevention and media literacy which would all impact an Indigenous girls’ relationship with education.

  1. The Caring Society: Shannen’s Dream

This is a very interesting story about a young Indigenous girl, Shannen Kootstachin, demanding better education for all Indigenous children. She spoke about her experiences of her school on parliament hill and asked non-Indigenous children to write to their local government to ask for funding. Unfortunately, Shannen died in a car crash in 2010 but her legacy lives on in Shannen’s Dream. The website promotes the rights of Indigenous children, youth and families. Interestingly, Shannen was also recognized as one of the 150 Great Canadians and there is an interesting perspective on if Shannen would have been proud of this or not on the CBC.



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