Aboriginal Education: Fulfilling the Promise

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Marlene Brant Castellano, Lynne Davis, Louise Lahache
UBC Press, 2000 - Social Science - 278 pages

Education is at the heart of the struggle of Aboriginal peoples to regain control over their lives as communities and nations. The promise of education is that it will instruct the people in ways to live long and well, respecting the wisdom of their ancestors and fulfilling their responsibilities in the circle of life. Aboriginal Education documents the significant gains in recent years in fulfilling this promise. It also analyzes the institutional inertia and government policies that continue to get in the way.

The contributors to this book emphasize Aboriginal philosophies and priorities in teaching methods, program design, and institutional development. An introductory chapter on policy discourse since 1966 provides a context for considering important achievements and constraints in transforming Aboriginal education into an instrument of self-determination. A number of the chapters are drawn from reports and papers prepared for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples as background to its 1996 report. They cover a broad range of subjects: educational practice from elementary to post-secondary levels; initiatives in language conservation and communications media; the development of Aboriginal institutions; and policy discourse among Aboriginal, federal, provincial, and territorial bodies.

As the authors make clear, Aboriginal education continues to be practised on an intensely political terrain. While governments fund particular Aboriginal initiatives, the homogenizing pressures of a globalizing society are relentless. Political gains in negotiating self-government thus establish the context in which the distinctiveness of Aboriginal education and cultures is sustained.

This book is a valuable resource for administrators, educators and students with an interest in Aboriginal issues and educational reform.

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The State of Aboriginal Literacy and Language Education
The Role Development and Future
Innovations in Education Practice Renewing the Promise
Education in Northern
The Vancouver Experience
The Information Legacy of the Royal Commission
Issues of Pedagogy in Aboriginal Education
PostSecondary Education Negotiating the Promise
A Continuity of Transformation
First NationsControlled University Education in Canada
Distance Education
Fulfilling the Promise

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About the author (2000)

Marlene Brant Castellano is Professor Emerita and former chair of the Department of Native Studies, Trent University. Lynne Davis teaches in the Department of Native Studies, Trent University, and in the Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. Louise Lahache has a Master of Arts in Canadian Studies from Carleton University and serves as Director of Languages with the Assembly of First Nations.

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