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Indian Education Newsletter (Vol. 2, No. 9) Indian Education Resources Center 1972-05-31

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Indian Education NewsletterVOLUME 2 #9 MAY, JUNE, 1972Indian Education Resources CenterUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouver 8, B.C.SCHOOL DROP - OUTS (INDIAN EDUCATION)ALVIN A. MCKAYDIRECTOR - INDIAN EDUCATION RESOURCES CENTER - U. B. C.At this time of the year all schools are faced with drop-outs or potential, drop-outs. My concern is that Indian studentsare considered synonymous with this phenomenon of our school system.This article will make suggestions as to probably preventativeapproaches or immediate steps that should be included at the end ofthe school year.All schools should ensure that there is every effort madeto provide a one to one relationship counselling in the last fewweeks of school, for those who are failing all or at least half oftheir school year. Without this direct line of communication withthese particular individuals, the school and its personnel areguilty of encouraging a school drop-out!!Drop-outs are not caused by inherent or hereditary factors- they are caused by everyday forces (tensions, complex situations,poor adjustment, (or none at all) in the out-of-school and in-schoolenvironment). These daily forces are usually cushioned by the warmth,love and guidance of parents - those Indian students on the BoardingProgram are denied this cushioning-effect-of-the-causes, since theyare away from their parents the whole school year.It seems logical then, to look into the adjustment part ofthe Indian students school life, if he, or she is failing. Perhapsa concentrated effort to ensure a better chance of adjustment forthese students for the coming term, will decrease the chances offailure. In the more pronounced or extreme cases of low achievement- a series of conference/consultations with the Indian AffairsGuidance Counsellors, or with the parents, and the school personnelmay be all that is needed.Students who were not properly assessed as to the pupilpotential, at the start of the school year are usually found in thelow achievers group at the end of the year. Perhaps, an attempt atthis time of the year (supplemented by this years school records,)to assess the actual potential of the student will help this particularstudent to get out of the low achievers bracket for next term.Finally, the forces acting on the student during the schoolyear, are not chosen ones. They happen at random, and if no cushion-ing of these forces are offered, the student withdraws into a pro-tective shell, and the individuals defense mechanisms begin to take- 2 -over (no classroom participation, no homework, smart alex's, skippingschool, antagonism towards teachers and class etc.) It may be to thestudent's and the school's advantage to set-up a Team Counsellingapproach for the next school term. That is, genuinely interestedteachers (regarding Indian students) may be asked to keep daily con-tact with the Indian students from the first week of September (say,from three to six students per teacher), and just simply be a con-sistent, warm and interested friend to these students. As the weeksprogress, pronounced uncontrollable weakness areas for these studentscan then be analytically diagnosed and referred to the proper channels,and alleviated at the on-set of the problem situation, instead ofletting these problem situations multiply one on top of the other,until finally, the student as well as the teachers, are so engulfedby the multi-complex problem situations, that no one can ever beginto alleviate the problem areas.Educational research has proven that a well adjusted student,in and out of school, is receptive to learning.** * *** * * * ** * * * * ************* *********************ANNOUNCEMENTS - MAY/JUNE,1972,1. The Indian Education Resources Center has finally acquiredlarger office space!!!By the beginning week of July, 1972 - our Center will be re-located in the Brock Hall (right behind the main library),in Room 6 (South end the basement).*************************x****2. By September, 1972 - the first unit of a series of twelve -Teacher/Pupil Supplemental, Illustrated Reference Units -will be made available in every provincial school and federalschools. It is dealing with the historical and contemporaryaspects of the general Skeena River Valley - focussing on theK'san Cultural Project in Hazelton, B. C. The unit was pre-pared by Mr. Gordon Reid - Vice-Principal of the HazeltonHigh School.***************************33. Please notify us of your change of address regarding the IndianEducation Newsletter. (This chould be done by September, 1972.)****************************4. See last Newsletter, Volume 2 # 7 & 8 - March - April, 1972issue for summer schedule of Indian Education Resources Center.*****************************5. POTLATCHES - Indian Dances, story telling, bone games, 1-,arhecuefish, canoe races etc. Please note the following dates:1) Duncan - (Vancouver Island) - June 17, 18, 1972.2) North Vancouver - June 24, 25, 1972.3) Stanley Park, July 22, 1972.4) Victoria - (Vancouver Island) - August 12, 13, 1972.5) Neah Bay - (U.S.A.) - August 26, 27, 1972.* * * ** *** * ** * * * * *^* * * *^* * * *^* * * * * * * * *,*t464444***44*WWIA***********************HOME - SCHOOL CO-ORDINATORSALLAN P. ROBERTSOn February 18th, we were fortunate in having ChilliwackSchool District Teachers invite Alvin McKay, George Wilson and Dr.Art More to their District Convention, for an afternoon presentationfrom 1:30 p.m. to 3:30The man most responsible for securing these gentlemen forthe workshop was Walter 7iebe, who is in charge of Special Counsellingin School District #33.4Kathleen and myself have found our work in the area be-coming much more significant due to the co-operation of Mr. Wiebe..Many of the Chilliwack Teachers who participated in thepresentation "Understanding the Native Student" left the meetingwith a much broader scope of the Native Students everyday problemsthan they previously had.Mr. Wiebe has since contacted my and he informs that hehas had good feed back from George and Alvin's presentation.The suggestion of Family, School and Community Orientationfor the Indian Student who arrives in Chilliwack from a Total IndianCommunity is one that deserves follow-up from all Teachers, SocialWorkers, and Community Service Workers in the Chilliwack Community.I have discussed this with Public Health Nurses and the Family LifeDivision of Community Services Center and they all agree that thiswould be a good move to take action on. Such workshops would enablethe student to meet the Resource and Service Counsellors that areavailable to them in the Community that is Alien to them when theyfirst arrive.Alvin's presentation was from his report in the JanuaryIndian Education Newsletter, which covered most contents of IndianEducaton.George gave the group an insight into background on someof our Indians who are living on isolated areas where day to dayactivity consists of survival duties and chores ie., greater dis-tances of travel to get the mail and to stores for necessities. Agreat deal of time in these areas is used in travelling and as aresult a less hurried and conjested daily routine. A student whois faced with a much more conjested routine when he or she arriveshere no doubt will be a little confused.As a result of this workshop I feel that many more of thewhite population are a little more aware of the problems facing ourIndian students. But we also feel there are fare too many who arenot concerned about our children and their education.We have seen our Indian parents becoming more concernedabout the education of our children. It seems there is much to bedone and much to be desired from the non-Indian faction before thereis a significant change.***4******ti*4***************^*****^****** 0*** *iv* ********^******** * * * * * * * * ************^********************** ***********5NICOLA VALLEY INDIAN CULTURE WORKSHOPROBERT STERLINGOn February 9th the Spahomin Band Hall was opened at 7:00p.m., for the first of a series of weekly gatherings that would goon until Easter. Forty-two teachers came out and about ninetyIndians sat down together and something new began. Our Indian CultureWorkshop was underway and the attendance that night would set thepace which virtually kept up throughout the workshop.Months before, a small group of Indians began talking aboutthis project and how we could put one together. David and June Wyattwere around and we asked them to help us. Shortly afterward weapproached the Nicola Valley Teachers' Association and we were supremelygratified to learn that the teachers were very anxious to meet ourpeople. Caution was exercised as we dared not place our old peopleas "objects for display" or our Indian ways to be exploited. We calledit an "Indian Culture Workshop" and we would talk about the Indiansof the Nicola Valley.Using local Indian Resource speakers, films, slides, tapesand anthropologists (the Wyatts and Morley Eldridge) mixed in withIndian artifacts, arts and crafts, we went weekly from Reserve toReserve going back 100 years and gradually worked our way to today'scontemporary Indian even into the future. Much credit is due toall our people who with deep breaths swallowed their shyness, spoke,and were heard. Teachers were taken into a world of Tribalism; ofdancing and songs, legends and lore; arts and crafts and the sadnessof today's Indian in a alien world. Economic Development, Education,Culture, the Indian Act and Indian Organizations were looked at andeveryone learned something new.The Indian Culture Workshop was designed to accomplishthree things: -1) for teachers to gain an understanding of the waysof our people so that this knowledge would helpin teaching our children.2) for teachers to find local resource material andspeakers to take back to the classroom to enrichtheir curriculum.3) most important of all for both Indian people andteachers to develop friendships and their own two-way communications for the benefit of all concerned.6Much credit must go to the teachers who braved the terribleweather, roads and their patience in learning about "Indian time".The ladies groups on each reserve were wonderful with refreshments,cakes, bannocks, Indian Ice Cream, or some other delights availableevery night.Our final session for what I consider to be a successfulproject is set for late May or early June when an outdoor socialgathering will take place at a suitable mountain lake or meadowwhere our people will gather wild potatoes, wild onions, etc., togo with the barbecued salmon and hopefully some smoked deer meat.RESPONSE TO THE NICOLA VALLEY INDIAN CULTURE WORKSHOPJUNE WYATTAt a meeting of the Nicola Valley Indian Education Com-mittee, held after the eighth session of the workshop, members ofthe committee expressed an interest in finding out what the teachersthought of the program. I have spoken with approximately half ofthe teachers who were involved and found the following responses:1) The sessions were a tremendous social success.It provided teachers with an opportunity to meetIndian people in the community, something theyhad found difficulty doing by themselves. Thissuccess was attributed to the informality of thegatherings. There was usually a display oractivity to been seen. This enabled people towalk around, have coffee and "have something totalk to each other about." Many teachersfound the sessions challenging because they hadto depend on themselves and their own willing-ness to talk to people, in order to learn. Someidentified their own shyness as a block to thislearning and valued the realization that onlypersonal effort could overcome it. Some expectedthe workshop to be a lecture series, when thisdid not materialize they felt somewhat dlsoe_entea- of these individuals a number re-orir_rtpethemselves and found at the end of the eight weeksthat not only had they learned new information buthad had an insight into a new way of learning.7(cont.)...1) Others felt that because the sessions were sowell attended and because only two sessionswere held at each reserve - often hinderingthe establishment of personal contacts - itwould have been helpful to formalize the pre-sentation of information, or to cut down onthe number of participants.2) Another predominant set of reactions werephrased in the form of a question: Whatcould be done next? Was this workshop anend in itself or was it the first step in anew process? The prime concern was to deviseways to continue and to deepen the personalcontacts which had just been initiated. Someof those who asked these questions offeredthe following suggestions:a) to have another series of sessions whereteachers would have a chance to presenttheir views of the schools to the Indiancommunity. Many of the teachers whoparticipated in the program are themselvesdissatisfied with the schools. They seethem as unsatisfactory in their responsesto the needs of the majority of students,not only Indian students. They are anxiousto clear-up some stereotypes: they realizethey are often seen as representatives ofa system with which they are not alwayssympathetic. They are anxious to deepentheir relationships with Indian people andfelt that discussion of problem issues(not "problem" students) could serve as away of doing this and perhaps point the wayto some solutions.b) courses ought to be offered which focussedon the contemporary Indian social, economic,political situation and that such courses(particularly in the high school) would giveIndian students a chance to discuss witheach other where they stand with relation tothe Indian and white communities. Those whomade this suggestion felt it was mandatorythat such courses be taught by Indians. Ithas also become clear to many concerned thatsuch courses, as well as ones on the historyof Indian people in the area, be made avail-able on a long term basis.a series of activity groups focussing oncrafts and outdoor activities, beinitiated by teachers and Indian people both.Anyone with a skill could serve as instructor:both teachers and Indian people could fillthe roles of instructor and student dependingon their interests and abilities. These groupswere seen as a way to learn and get togetherat the same time; that by doing things togetherindividuals would get to know each other.Many individuals have offered to volunteertime and equipment to start working on thesegroups during the summer months and have ex-pressed the hope that their Indian studentswill want to join them.The above is a sample of suggestions that were made. Theoverall impression I received from talking with the teachers was thata nucleus of people interested and excited about Indian Education isbeginning to identify itself and make plans for futuTe projects.* * ** * * * * ** * * * * ** * * * * * * *SUMMER COURSE - U. B. C. FOR HOME - SCHOOL CO-ORDINATORSROBERT W. STERLINGThe Home-School Co-ordinators course will begin in July 10,1972 and will carry on for twenty sessions ending August 4, 1972. Theclasses will be after noon sessions 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. daily, Mondaythrough Friday.Tuition fees for the course can be paid by Indian Affairsfor status Indian students, for whom living expenses are also avail-able and must be arranged by the individual and Vocational Counsellor.Attached is a suggested outline of the coverage of thefour week course. Alterations and refinements to the schedule canbe made at the first session. Attached also is a list of other topicssuggested by Home-School Co-ordinators and we hope to cover thesetopics under their most convenient category.******* ************** *******Many of the students enrolled in this course are alreadyHome - School Co-ordinators who wish to exchange ideas with othersand gain more knowledge. Others will be entering this field for thefirst time and will be anxious to absorb as much as possible duringthe course. The course has tentatively been set-up so that experiencedHome - School Co-ordinators can begin classes on "Day 11" to coverSpecial Counselling techniques and other topics especially requestedby them, but we hope that all will enroll for "Day 1."Special Resource people who are experts in their field willbe speakers at classes.Any enquiries can be directed to the Indian EducationResources Center at U. B. C. or to myself.* * * * * * *****TIMETABLE FOR COURSEJuly 10/Monday^Day 1July 17/Monday^Day 6July 20/Thursday^Day 9Discussion of Timetable, IntroductionHome-School Co-ordinator & DutiesHome-School Co-ordinator PrioritiesSpecial Problems - Discussion.Role of Teachers, Parents & Students.Working with Professional ResourcePeople.Adult Education - (Alvin ?)Social - (?).Court Work (Marg Cantryn ?).* * * * * * *Indian Education Committees & TheirRole.Welfare & Its RoleDrugs/Alcohol, Resources ivailablefor Help.Problems Experienced by Ildian AffairsCounsellor.July 11/Tuesday^Day 2July 12/Wednesday Day 3July 13/Thursday^Day 4July 14/Friday^Day 5July 18/Tuesday^Day 7July 19/Wednesday Day 8- 10-July 21/Friday^Day 10^Half-time Break.* * * * * * *Comparison - Indian - Non-IndianSocial Scale. (Deanna Sterling)Indian Affairs Responsibilities TowardIndian Education.Special Counselling Techniques -Meliva Nastiche.Special Counselling Techniques -Meliva Nastiche.Special Counselling Techniques -Meliva Nastiche.July 24/Monday^Day 11July 25/Tuesday^Day 12July 26/Wednesday Day 13July 27/Thursday^Day 14July 28/Friday^Day 15August 2/Wednesday Day 18August 3/Thursday Day 19Special Counselling Techniques -Meliva Nastiche.Special Counselling Techniques -Meliva Nastiche.Structure of Provincial School System.Open Discussion on Today's IndianAttitude Toward Education in General.Special Projects - Discussion.Social - (?).Evaluation of Home-School Co-ordinatorCourse.July 31/Monday^Day 16August 1/Tuesday^Day 17August 4/Friday^Day 20OTHER SUGGESTED TOPICS.*** * ** *** ***** ********* *********** ***********q t***************^****************** **********INNER LOOK - OPPORTUNITY FOR YOUTH PROJECTMARYANN KATCHEECH, JOAN POCHA, & ARNOLD MARTINInner Look is an Opportunity for Youth Project designedto work with the problems faced by the native youth in the city.We are planning a drop-in center located at, 1855 VineStreet, in the Vancouver Indian Center building. It will serve as aninformation and referral source on such issues as: counselling ondrug and alcohol problems, free medical care, accommodation, educationaland employment counselling, information on native culture and lastly,current events concerning native people across Canada.We plan organized recreation, informal get-togethers,seminars and group discussions. In this aspect, we are very fortunateas the recreational and art program of the Indian Center, itself isfreely available to all.Our staff consists of only three members and we welcomevolunteers who like to work work with people. We are planning to getpeople involved through the Volunteer Opportunity Program. In essence,we are striving for a sense of community and involvement among nativeyouth.Anyone interested in the project can come and see us at,1855 Vine Street or phone, 736-7481.RETURN ADDRESS: * * ************ ********* ***********&*********************INDIAN EDUCATION RESOURCES CENTERHUT 0-12, UNIVERSITY OF B. C.VANCOUVER 8, B. C.Special Collections DivisionLibrary, Campus, U.B.C.


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