Teaching the Medicine Wheel – The Canadian Educators Association
This post from the Canadian Educators Association (CEA) introduces the concept of the medicine wheel and explains how the approach can be used to create a culturally relevant educational process for aboriginal learners and demonstrate a holistic teaching approach to all learners. The approach acknowledges the holistic nature of aboriginal education and a balanced approach to learning and change. The resource acknowledges that the medicine wheel has many interpretations because the concept is shared across many aboriginal communities who describe the wheel in slightly different ways. The resource describes the practical application of the medicine wheel by describing the Anishinaabe Bimaadiziwin Cultural Healing and Learning Program whose teachings were designed to balance the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self based on the medicine wheel.
module 2 post 5
In a previous post my classmate Erin provided a link to a TVO special about residential schools, but described it as being somewhat dated. Since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has been in the news recently, as it is ‘officially’ coming to and end soon, I wanted to look more into it – I hate to say it, but I’m pretty ignorant on the topic.
The official website for the TRC is here, and is flooded at the moment with information about the closing events and the TRC overall.
Link: Interim report from 2012
Primary Sources Link: Online videos of statements made as part of the TRC
In my searching I also found this article from the Ottawa Citizen, quoting the head of the TRC Murray Sinclair (an Anishinaabe judge and lawyer), as saying that Canadians need to know that the history of the residential schools and its traumas “include them”. Powerful stuff!
Based on the readings from week 1, there is the question of whether or not or to what extent can/should technology be incorporated into Aboriginal education, especially when it seems to contradict pillar forms of Indigenous knowing and learning.
I was able to meet with at least one Aboriginal Educator who believes that the internet will be vital in spreading awareness about his people (specifically the Anishinabe) and Indigenous people in Canada and wants to build his digital toolbox. His name is Eddy Robinson and he is part of Morningstar River – their website is here: http://www.morningstarriver.com/index.html
When he came into speak he used Keynote through his Mac, and did mostly lecture-style teaching. He left things open for student questions, but the group was shy, unfortunately. He opened and closed the time with a song, and had brought a drum with him. Afterwards, he spoke about how he on the one hand wants to make some resources available online, but is conflicted about making all knowledge available to anyone. For example, he mentioned creating a video about the process of smudging that he would post but make private, with a limited time-frame of viewability to groups that had invited him in. I think he was feeling aware that a ‘safe space’ (his words) is created where he is invited, but the internet is not equally safe. That said, he cited his friend and colleague Wab Kenew (and specifically his ‘8th Fire’ series) as a way that technology is spreading what he sees as important work. I’m very interested in doing further research and reflection on this juxtaposition, and what practical learning can be derived from it as an educator.