“Colonialism as a theory of relationships is embedded in power, voice, and legitimacy… Decolonization then is a process of unpacking the keeper current in education: its powerful Eurocentric assumptions of education, its narratives of race and difference in curriculum and pedagogy, its establishing culturalism or cultural racism as a justification for the status quo, and the advocacy for Indigenous knowledge as a legitimate education topic.” (Battiste, p. xx)

Generating an ethical space for decolonization

“It is in this [ethical] space that Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples can begin to truthfully speak to the predicaments and issues that face them and the standards they speak for. It is an enabling space that needs to be a foundation for a first encounter between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.” (Battiste, p.xx)

Stories in books – Inuvialuit authors

Inuvialuit authors have been writing books for both adults and children since the 1970s. Ishmael Alunik, Alice Masak French, Nuligak, Margaret Pokiak-Fenton have been writing the stories of the Inuvialuit since the 1970s. Many of these books capture old stories and legends. Others like a stranger at home, discuss the experience of leaving to residential school and returning home to their families.

Description of the book a stranger at home

Source: Strong Nations, http://www.strongnations.com/store/item_display.php?i=3155&f=

Stories in song, comedy and more – Allison Akootchook Warden (Inupiaq)

“Like ecologies, Indigenous heritages or cultures can have a respectful place in education… They operate locally and distinctively, but confirm constructs that characterize all human beings… As such, it is a study of resilience, resistance, and representation as defined with Indigenous concepts in the knowledge disciplines… Action brings humanity and creativity to life, and doing and being turn life into knowledge and wisdom.” (Battiste, p. x)

At her website Allison Akootchook writes:

“Welcome to my spot on the internet. The space where you learn more about me and why I create the work that I do. Here you can unwind a bit, rest your spirit. A place to decolonize yourself, nano-bit by nano-bit. I am the creator of this site, it’s a way to share myself with you.

I rap as AKU-MATU. My collaborator and friend WD4D creates sonic landscapes sampling traditional music from my Iñupiaq culture. You can learn more about this collaboration by clicking on the work tab above. I can say that people are usually surprised when they hear me rap for the first time, as there is a distinct shift from my everyday voice and persona.”

Links to the curriculum

More recently authors are working to link their books directly to the school curriculum and to indigenous ways of knowing linked to place and culture. Delta braid (or delta trim) is an intricate used by women to adorn parkas (atigis). The document below therefore suggests using its geomatric repeating patterns to teach math concepts.

Source: Proud to be Inuvialuit curricular guide, http://empoweringthespirit.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/proud-to-be-inuvialuit-1.pdf

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *