“The interplay between making the familiar strange and the strange familiar is part of the ongoing transformation of knowledge.” (Battiste, p. xx)

Introduction

“I dedicate the book to educators seeking to make changes in their thinking and in their work, knowing that the decolonization of education is not just about changing a system for Indigenous peoples, but for everyone. We all will benefit by it.” (p.xx)

Dr. Marie Battiste – Excerpt from Indspire

Dr. Marie Ann Battiste has lived her life striving for integrity and dignity.

Dr. Battiste, along with a few others, set the foundation for Native studies in North America. By developing courses that inspire and respect Aboriginal knowledge, teachings, languages and heritages, her vision of education reform set the standard for scholarship in many universities and institutions across North America.

Born to Mi’kmaw parents who did not finish primary school, this “guru” of Aboriginal university education and research says it all started with her parents words of encouragement.  “They made me feel good and I liked that. They nourished my learning spirit.” More importantly, her parents passed on Mi’kmaw language and teachings to begin her learning journey. This journey was inspired also by what was going on around her at the time. “Racism, inequality, systemic discrimination, learning from Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement how to make changes — all of these have been inspiring, motivating triggers in my life.”

Her achievements and commitments to Aboriginal knowledge, learning, anti-racism, and decolonization of conventional education systems have created significant pathways and innovations.  But through all of her intellectual discourses and writings, it is the Mi’kmaw teachings that guided both her parents in their artistry in basket making and her own learning and achievements — “Do the best you can and take pride in all you do.”

~ Source: Indspire: Indigenous Education, Canada’s Future

Marie Battiste reading a book with toddler

Source: Tepi’ketuek: Mi’kmaw archives

 

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The Original Candy Basket On Steroids by Ursula A. Johnson

Source: Ursula A. Johnson’s website: https://ursulajohnson.wordpress.com/

“This past weekend was a great time at the Micmac Child Development Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I hosted a 2 day traditional Mi’kmaq Basketry Workshop.
The image pictured above, is what I made in the class. But the image below is what some of the students made.
There was a total of 10 participants, and we had a great time! All the students did extremely well for having never made baskets before.

I was a very proud instructor when I saw their finished products!
I was very hard on them, in the past I have been very gentle with people and allowed them to live with their mistakes. But this group of people (perhaps because I knew most of them on a personal level as former colleagues and friends for several years) I felt I could be a bit harsh on them and expect nothing but the best.
And they delivered!
Thank you to all of you! “

~ Read more and see more of Ursula A. Johnson’s work at her sites: ursulajohnson.wordpress.com and ursulajohnson.ca

Baskets made by workshop participants

Source: Ursula A. Johnson’s website

 

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