Module 1 – Weblog1 – Perspectives and Curriculum – TM

Aboriginal Perspectives and Curriculum

By Dwayne Donald

This website discusses the shift in Alberta education to incorporate Indigenous or First Nations teachings into ‘regular’ curriculum.  Given Canada’s checkered history as it pertains to First Nations, at first it appeared to some that of the program was a reactionary move to apologize for past injustices.  In addition, some teachers were resistant to the change.   They felt they were doing enough or that they didn’t have enough Aboriginal students to warrant the change.

Aboriginal populations are among the fastest growing in Canada, especially in urban areas.   The Aboriginal population is often viewed as outsiders, so they feel disconnected.  It makes sense to engage this growing population through the curriculum.  In addition, Canada is slowly recognizing its sordid past as it pertains to the treatment of First Nation peoples.  To not invite them into the conversation or curriculum, educators are once again guilty of the exclusion of a distinct society.  Moreover, the perspective of Aboriginal knowledge and tradition is very important and viable.  It teaches students to look at the world through a different lens.

Cultural and linguistic preservation is also an important element to First Nation peoples.  Many believe the only way culture will survive is if language survives as well.  Moreover, bringing in more Aboriginal content to curriculum will promote diversity among students.  They will gain a deeper understanding of the plight facing Aboriginal people.

This article is valuable because it provides reason for curriculum change.  It outlines a few of the important reasons for adopting Aboriginal content.  One extremely important point outlined in the article is the fact that many believe if language dies, culture goes with it.  Many believe language is the most important element of culture.



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