Module 1 – Weblog 4 – Closing the Gap – Moore

“Closing the Gap for Aboriginal Students.” Dr. Emily Faries


This site (Ministry of Education – Ontario) contains many articles and links, one of which is Dr. Faries, “Closing the Gap for Aboriginal Students.”  I believe my focus for my final project is going to be something on the integration of Aboriginal culture into curriculum and courses.  My district is currently offering English: First Peoples 11-12 for the first time and has offered BC First Nations 12 for a number of years.  I know there is a heavy emphasis on Aboriginal grad rates here, due to our relatively high Aboriginal population.  I want to examine what we are doing and maybe look at what we can do better. I digress…

The article, “Closing the Gap for Aboriginal Students,” is a discussion on how to meet the educational needs of Aboriginal students.  Faries believes without knowing and understanding the plight of First Nation peoples in Canada, it is difficult to engage and interact educationally with Aboriginal students.  A bit of history, from residential school to federal day school was discussed.  It must be recognized that schools were designed to destroy the culture and as a result, there is an inherent mistrust of the educational system.

To combat this, schools must embrace and enhance Aboriginal culture.  It is imperative to start building the bridges between school and success with Aboriginal systems.  Education can be used to revitalize language and culture.  In order to do so, the curriculum must be changed to incorporate culture.  Courses could be offered in native languages.

Although not geographically relevant to my province, it does demonstrate different ways culture can be incorporated.  I cannot stress enough the importance of the statement that due to the negative history (residential schools, etc.), education is viewed with distrust.  Hopefully, the implementation of Aboriginal culture goes a long ways to rectifying that situation.




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