UBC Community and Partners Publications

Indian Education Newsletter (Vol. 3, No. 3/4) 2011

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-----..::. t £RST'( o, 61Qr3 CcLLE;:Tits VOLU1E 3I 3 14 NOV, & IJECI 1972 r^i.. trI^-^-f ;'t.^:-'' •'•____'_••;. .-/; - ._—.,..Y.,• __I^'L4^ L -^LA^L. INDIAN EDUCATION RESOURCES CENTER Rood 106 -- BROOK HALL, U1Bu SPEECH TO UNION OF B. C. INDIAN CHIEFS - MINISTER OF EDUCATION - MRS, E. DAILLY In your brief to the Honourable John Munro, Minister of the Department of National Health and Welfare, on March 2/72, you outlined an approach which you called Community-Family Life-Education and you said in your brief that this approach represents "the most effective and feasible manner by which our communities can become an integral part of the problem-solving process". I am glad that you made the point yourselves that education can only be regarded as part of an overall plan to help Indian people. The last 100 years has shown you that in itself and by itself, it can do little for you. I am also glad that you stressed that only insofaras you are allowed to be part of the solution, and the major part at that, and not forever seen as only part of the problem, will any good come out of any plan. I am glad of these things because my thinking, that of my fellow ministers, and that of the people who work for me in Indian education, is very similar to yours. Let me outline what we had considered because I am sure you will find it very much in the same spirit as your brief. The Departments of Health, Education and Welfare had suggested that the Province be divided into regions, and the fifteen regions you suggest would make good units. Within each of these regions we planned to set-up a "center". Let me add quickly before I give the impression that we wished to "organize" you again--along with all the bureau- cratic trimmings--that we see these centers being controlled by local Indian people with powers to set policies, priorities, and budget needs. The first thing about these centers to note is that all services which presently are supplied to you now would be integrated. On this point, you mention in you brief some terrible statistics. You say: "Forty percent of all children in the hands of the Superintendent of Child Welfare are Indian children despite the fact that Indians make up two percent of the population." "Forty-four percent of the admissions to Woodlands School in 1965 were Indian girls." "The incident of accidental. deaths is four times greater, of homicides thirty times greater, of suicides three times greater among Indian people than among the general population." -2 - You went on to say that these statistics prove that present services are not fulfilling your needs. The services do not reach sufficient people in the community and there is LITTLE CO-ORDINATION between them. It was to remedy this state of affairs that we suggested that all services should be integrated and channeled through these centers, controlled as I pointed out earlier, by local Indian people. After stressing that I believe education to be only useful to. Indian people if it is regarded as being just a part of the total service delivery, let me however, dwell a few minutes on education itself as it appears to me and on how I see a Center helping specif- ically in this field. We know that taking children away from their parents at an early age and educating them in residential schools did not work well for all children--and that's putting it mildly: We know that integrating children in public schools despite all the good will involved is not working well. We are well aware of the wastage of talent with the terrible drop-out-rates among Indian students. We know also of the erosion of pride which takes place, leaving the Indian child with so little self-respect that this in itself becomes a learning disability. We know that at this moment, instead of having a pool of Indian people trained as professionals in all fields, we have so very few. So working from these centers, we wish to encourage and support pre-school classes at the community level where the children also receive steady and consistent health care. We wish to keep the primary children as close to their parents during the early school years as possible. From the center, we want ideas on new curriculum approaches which can be tested and researched at the local levels. We want to encourage and produce material specifically designed for the Indian children of that region. At these centers, working with colleges and universities, we want to train para- professionals and teachers from that area to work in that area. If a child does have to move away from his village to continue his education, we want the center . to provide counselling, and guidance to him in a group home run by Indian parents. Through the center, we want to encourage and support those students who wish to continue their education and become the professionals we so badly need. At the same time, we wish the centers to work with the parents in programs of adult education which, among other things, could interpret the school and its aims to these parents so that the parents would not, as they often do now fell left out, feel that they have lost their children to a society that neither understands, nor feels for them. 3If at the same time from these centers, were coming sup- portive services from Health & Welfare, I can see that education would at long last become a tool that the Indian could use in the achievement of his aims. I should also add that all the concepts I have outlined in conjunction with the center were ideas which came from native people themselves. We put them all together in one package because we think that these services delivered in harmony with each other, are necessary if, the future is to be as bright as it could be. The Indian people are practical people. I think you would want to know now how these ideas could be made into reality. Already you have paved the way yourself. After your brief to Mr. Munro you received twenty workers, most of them already in the field getting the communities ready for the kind of services we have outlined. We could agree with you right now about the fifteen regions. We could examine each region and find a place to locate the center in co-operation. with you. During this year, we could set-up the administrative machinery whereby the services which are presently being delivered could be delivered through the center. The most efficient and feasible method of setting up the local controlling group could be worked. cut with you now. As early as January, we could begin training paratrofessionals to work in pre-schools by September, 1973. We could begin to recruit staff gradually to meet those needs which could not be met even by integrating present ser- vices. I don't doubt for one minute that we would run into all kinds of difficulties and that in some areas we would succeed well, and in others it would take up time to do well. I do believe, how- ever, that the time to start is now, the speed to go is as fast as we can while still doing a good job, and that the needs of the Indian people are so obvious and necessary that all the peoples of our province would be united in seeing that at last the things that should . be done for. Indian people would be done. I can't help adding as a final word, that these things will be the things that Indian people have been telling us about so patiently and for so long. ************* *** QUESTIONS When do we start this idea of  Centers? Now--we can agree upon regions; we can pick likely spots within each re gion to set-up * * * * ****';.** * ********5.:.), - ***** a'* * ***^* * * ********* * the center; we can work on the form of local control; we can negotiate with the Federal government to join us in providing their services through these centers; we can see that present services can be pro- vided through these centers. By September, 1973, we could be ready to start in some centers. Will we need any buildings? Hopefully not. All will depend upon the facilities which exist now. Prefer to see any buildings at the lotal community level for the kids directly. A huge building pro- gram would sink this idea. The buildings are not as important as the staff. What kinds of  materials would be published? That produced locally and by exchange between the centers, and that from other regions which would be of use. Who would decide who would be in charge at the local  level? We can- not answer that -- we would look to you for guidance -- local people. What kinds of people would eventually be working out the centers? Health Nurse, Dental Nurse, Nome-School Co-ordinators; educators, adult education people, social workers, welfare workers. Ideally, within five years most of these would be native Indian pe•)ple. How long to get this program fully oneratinr , all over the Province?-^- Five years at the end of which we move forward again. Is there any accounting to he made by  the provincial. government on how the  Ind Lon education coney is boil sent? Yes, the previous provinci;31 gove .mment did. not and the i DP government will give an accounting to the Indian people. How  will the Hon. Frank Calder's investigations fit  into the pro- posal of 1 , ulti-Service Fescurce Centers? If it isn't already proposed by Nr. Calder the plan is that it^be part and partial to what he will do or be over and above what he will do. How will the existin ,4 Indian Education F,escurees Center fit: into the plac, of . ,11J1tEr'^(Tc -^ Tt is nianned, nfter discussion with the E. C. NaLivc.^Tclers' ;_ -ssocia':ion that the. present Resource Center viii becone part of the scheme. PERSPECTIVE BRUCE^MICKLEBURGH 'Indians' -- the guilt-laden generality we wrap around a host of peoples to hide them from our sight so that we will not have to come to terms, look back into their eyes. We talk -- oh my God how we talk in our endless conventions and sterilized research papers -- about something known by the signifi- cantly ugly term of individualized instruction. And we take a little Nootka child, a son of the great whalers of the Pacific, and we tear him away from his mother and his father and his brothers and sisters and all the people in the close Nootka community. We rip him out of the love-and-identity circle. We remove him to a strange place, where what we call a school is operating in strange ways. There we ban his language from being a language of learning (we think). By banning his language, we ban him. So let's have another professional development harangue about the uniqueness of each child. Halos please. We profess education, and we cannot see and identify these people sitting right under our noses. We go to teach Africans how to teach but do we know what a Mohawk is? We are such great big fat thundering teachers of the whole world that we do not know how to listen to (this is more than auditory) and cherish the Ojibwa as brother. We don't have the slightest idea who he is (so we don't know who we are, either). Try to find an Ojibwa school. All you can find is schools whites run for 'Indians'. Althouh there have b e en honourable exceptions, although there Lave boon Cleveted -, c7upa^ who have brehen the pattern., the • .211erj ploLure of edueation^expejsrtcc,d by the peoples for generntions Lao het:n en unholy Tiess in which it would Lava been possible at t:LTIes to sniff the odour of etaturs,i. gcneci0e. 6Yes, I do know that there are now people working for the Department of Northern Affairs and for Departments of Education who are striving might and main according to their lights to try to change the picture. These lines, and many of the articles in this issue, are offered as a tiny but sincere contribution to the success of those efforts. There are two reasons why every teachers in Canada has a stake in that fervently-to-be-wished-for success. If the teachers of the children of the little nations can discover shining talents to bring gifts to these children they will help us all learn where to find talents to bring to the feet of all children. By this I mean that if this advanced and strategic detachment of the teaching profession can learn how to help the Dogrib or the Salish child to claim and shape as his own the disciplines of inquiry into all aspects of reality, without violating that child's culture and identity, then these teachers will have helped us all to solve the same problem for all the students we encounter in every school in Canada. We have to get over the imperial conception of ourselves as value-planters and people-moulders. That may be even harder for us to do than it is for the Onondaga child to put up with us. Inquiry is our business. They will form their own values, never fear -- among the Cayugas as among the whites. 2) This advanced detachment of teachers, working with and (pray) learning from the young of the little nations, may help us to clean the remaining junk about 'Indians' out of courses of study. As a part of being Canadian, all our young people need the opportunity for real learning, for uncensored inquiry into the truth about the original Canadians, whether in hit:tory, geography, literature, or whatever. Think, for example, of how the study of ljterate can be enriched by Tearn- ing the literature of these 'eoples -- or of how Cana,:hi can be stremlgtened by . serious attention. to their history. • • • n ....... 7There are assumptions to challenge: such as the assumption that getting young Tuscaroras into the same classes as white children necessarily constitutes 'intergration'. There are fundamental questions to raise: can 'integration' be justified? There is much new work to do: some universities have already set up departments for the study of these peoples and are taking the first faltering steps towards providing appropriate preparation for those who will teach among them. There is a new goal to consider: that the schooling of the children of the Chipewyans or the Micmacs will be taken over largely by these people themselves. And there is this to ask ourselves for openers: are we capable of letting them teach us about themselves -- and about us? *********** * The above article is taken from: Volume 3 #9 - Monday Morning - May 1969 issue. (Canada's Magazine for Professional Teachers) * *.*^* ****^*** * * * `nom* ^ ****"!'*** * ^.1-******** ***A***:**********1******** ****:'::*********'*- ^.*,***;:* ********************* ********************* POST HIGH SCHOOL INDIAN EDUCATION ALVIN A. MCKAY Education as it relates to our Indian people is directly controlled by the following areas: - Dept. of Indian Affairs a) Ottawa - National education policy. b) Regional - interpretation of above policies. c) District Snot. of I.D.S.A. re-intorprcfation of a) & b) policies (usually to fit budget). II^ -^ reDt. of  Education --^C. a) Minister of Education - varbal ccrimittment. b) (Spcial Services - Sup -intondent c) (Director of lndlim Education & Staff ^to :in pi rnent 8II^-^Dept. of Education -- B. C. (cont.)... d) School Districts (since the High School & Post High School programs began). III ^Indian People a) parents b) Education Committees c) Band Councils d) High School Graduates e) Churches f) Community Organizations ************************************************************************ Education is a total way of life. This then means, education is made-up of continuing changes in our lines. Supposedly from this thinking, changes made in the above 3 areas, should improve the educa- tion of our Indian people. ************************************************************************ For years, Indian people have been demanding changes to be made. Very little input by Indians has been accepted cr implemented. Plans, programs etc. by non-Indians - but the Indians suffer the poor results and are blamed for the poor results. Indian people are made to fit into the system. II -^Up until a few weeks ago, this area had a hands-off policy towards Indian Education. As long as Federal funds were available, Indian students were condoned or put up with, hence the sick state of the present "integrated" set-up. Now, with a verbal committment by the Minister of Education the future seems brighter. III -^If education is a total way of life, then, all that Roes on  outside the classroom (before school life & during school life) di/ectiv controls  the success or  the failure in the classroom. - Those parents who wish for success in the classroom, must begin, and go beyond wishing, before the child enters school. Daily genuine love and affection, and a growing interest in the childs likes and dislikes, an encouragemeet for the child to speak out, an encourage- ment in the social training (meals, sliaring, meeting other children of the same age, respect for others, taking part in the home routine etc.) and cementing some real health habits in the child (sleep, clean- liness, wholesome meals, pride in one self etc.) are a few things to start with. - Those parents who are interested in the school success of their children, RUST meet all of the teachers that these children work with. A real effort on the parents part to work along with teachers (right from nursery teachers up to the principal) will go a long ways in guiding and encouraging these children towards success. - Churches can supplement the efforts of parents and teachers. Sunday school and vocation vacation school programs are really extensions of the learning program. The six groups under III (Indian People) should actively, and co-operatively work towards seeing, that such programs are in the villages for "their" children. If this area III (Indian People)--really lived Fducation, the children coming out of these families and reserves will be so strong in mind and character, that they will be good citizens and a credit to the Indians. It isthis area III that can force Al:eas^& II to carry out the changes in school progrars which will assure your children of a more meaningful education. The purpose of this paper, is to bring out weakness areas in this post high school education 2S 1 experienced as a student, and as I have had contact with nnny peat high school Indian studen• universities, junior colleges, vocational schools, Indian affairs guidance, and vocational counsellor:s. and high school personnel since then. Post high school education is anyone going beyond gre 10 into vocational, art schools or similar training set-ups. those going beyond grade 12 (technical, junior colJeges, lnlivc^ties) are also in this greuping. hat:ure Indian students (late 20's^up) who have a genuine interest to up-grade ther acadorric stand ' ^jn special set-ups (in conjunction vf. , .h ::A -,:fle=.), for r Pasic^_icing & Skill Development Prcgreo , here:;y they ctn up-grade to '^_e S to 10 and into grade 12, A is aricful of Indj:,n Fcserve Con:^ries also provide Adult fd-ocation^r,:.cho-A -Programs ticin ,^with the MSD Prorom. It wou]L sound L. : ^ti - at every OFDC:^Ity made available to IndJans for pest hieh school cdueati^In the - 10 - 1971 - 71 school year - a conservative guess at members in the post high education for Indians could be 1200 Indian students. LESS than 40 Indian students were enrolled at U.B.C., S.F.U., University of Victoria, out of this number. The aim of any post high school education program is to further prepare students to enter into specific specialized areas in the wcrk field, and to encourage students to go beyond a skilled area. of interest, into the professional. fields. The transition of the Indian today needs a. strong group of specialized. professionally trained Indian people. from the vocational and technical fields, we have a small number of established semi- skilled people in the work field. he have too few in the semi- professional area, aaidwehayeyirtuliyno^ co7ingoutof the universities in to sur.h^ technicians, doctors, dentL' dieticians, psychiatrists, psychologists, reistered nurses and public health. nurses, marital counsellors , farAly counsellors, social workers, trained child care work.c.^vocationnl or guidance or school counsellors ; lawyers , business adTinistrators, political scientists, research scientists, efficiency e7merts, bookeepers, genera], and certified accountancy, teachers, and an unending list of other Holes. 1Th.7!nvdr^p,7ogra.i. is Jachcee.^hnno.,^of Trdi ., n. people - for their betterment ane catching^to^rest of todaY'a society - the planning and the carrying oat of tire plans of controlled. by non-Indian' who lack a total undelest:endie of the way of life of the Indian and their specific needs as to hands or districts. nich of the time isspent Cl. trial & error ettompts, and by the time the pyograrl is underway -^good percentage of thd funds it?: - c'.feon ed up in aeriinistration costs. Very . little of thn funding ever gets into the grass roots level. of operetion- If we the Indians in. B. C.^yore able to place cur cur people in these top proiessionea levels, e You'd cut cut this was' - ago of funds in planning ard nemlnisteriug the ,n , —. A case in point - is^nell developed Co nmnit^-1-7r:-..LC) Life Education Program^11.1 ...1...,. is noe ;T3tteinptino La lemr..c Such a vitally neee(:7 r e, offcreei ir, i ery ree,eee, to expect 100Z of L^.C.T.C.^i:.. have been able to lAck^ •..^r;^Inden.e, to all phases of thin ... otl.^undd on 7. -:. t,111,-^is into operation, tncy have had. to .- ly on^i.an ..) -i.d)i.L ot Cho province expertise. My main point, is that, in the post secondary education for our people, we are just leaving up to chance the results of such a program, where we should be directing, encouraging and actively sup- porting the directions of such a program we should be ending up with. With this focal point in mind, the D.I.A., the Provincial Department of Education the U.B.C.I.C. and all their respective levels of operation should, in co-operation with the BCNITA, the bands and districts, the parents etc., should be co-operatively working towards a more productive post high education for the Indians. As I see it, the major weakness areas in the Post High School Education for Indians are: A/ Majority of these students at this level are mis- trained, miseducated and misdirected. There is presently a high drop-out rate at the vocational, technical and junior college levels. It could be as high as half of those entering a program drop-out before the completion of that program. B/ At its best, the total program is increasing in enrollment numbers only - very few are going beyond the second year of Junior College. C/ Many Indian. students enter any program lust to remain in school. They lack proper counselling, and their abilities are not challenged. The initial interest was there, but being put on the wrong program, and due to a lack of a one to one counselling program, these students, as a result they fade out of the picture. D/ Many students will complete the programs BUT have no interest in the skilled areas of the work field they are trained for, nor in the semi- professional levels they have reached. These people will enter into other areas of work, other than their training. They are unable to be of some service to their respective bands, or to the U.B.C.I.C., or to pursue these studies to higher levels. sivEsTTus TO STPEU,THEN HPK A?EAS A/ Mistraining, C.iseducation, Misdirection All people in the post high school area are young adults - with ideas, beliefs, ways of life etc. that are already well set foI - 12 - the rest of their future lives. Very little can be done to adjust or change these well set patterns of thought. Therefore, to continue to expect them to just naturally fit into the traditional programs, would be to encourage the non-productive P.M. program as it now exists. There are countless numbers of students in the vocational or technical courses, who have not completed the apprenticeship section of their courses. There are countless numbers of diesel and automotive mechanics, electricians, welders, carpenters, food service workers, tellers, and other clerical workers etc., without jobs or who have given up. A first attempt at improving the situation would be for "the powers that be" (D.I.A., Dept. of Education, Vocational & Technical Institutes, and Manpower) to abandon the idea that Indian students can be fitted into traditional programs. The reaction to this way of thinking thus far, is that if the programs do not appeal to Indian students, they can either take it or leave it. A real effort should be made by the top level brass to work in closer consultation with the^with District or Band Councils, or with the BCNITA to properly evaluate Indian students as to their future plans; their capabilities; their interests in the work field; their interests in the semi-professional or skilled areas; or in their desire to serve their people on reserves or at district or provincial levels. These should be made the key factors in see- ing that Indian students are progrcr'med into courses that will put them into productive work areas, and not just to complete courses! As stated earlier, the 3 M's under this weakness category are almost non--controllable at the post high level. The preparatory years (as early as grade 6, right through to high school) are the controllable years. The guidance/vocational/school counselling pro- gram in these years lack an informative instructive content of career planning and providing basic incentives to encourage a directed approach to post high education. By grade 10, most non- Indian students have been exposed to a vast expanse of choices in the work world, including the profes s ions through such media (from the time they can speak!) as TV; living - in urban centers; weekend family eNeursions; annual vacation trips; youth organization or service club or government sponsored exchange trips to diferont parts of our province of other provinces etc. At grade 10 level. most Indian students arc Thst beg _n ^this kind of exposure. The D.T.A. guidance/vocational counselling services should be corm prised of 757 of this ILIPP of OnrjC1C(1 career oriented programming. The Indian people should demand at their reserve elementary or in provincial schools, that their children receive this continu- ing career typo orientation program. Such an emphasis, would begin to produce, trained, educated, directed post high school students. - 13 - B/^Increase in enrollment of the post high education area should no longer be the overall objective. This is happening al- ready, and indications are that it should be increasing on its own momentum. We should be concerned about the end results - i.e. how many people are leaving the vocational schools and are establishing themselves in the work field and are still in a position to go beyond this initial training? How many of our people are leaving the technical institutes and are becoming technicians in the hospitals, or the many fields of industries? How many of our people are going beyond the first or second year of Junior Colleges, and going beyond the semi-professional levels into professional levels? The suggestions mentioned in category A should be pursued at all costs. Those bands or districts, those parents, who can strive extra hard to provide this enrichment for their children will meet success. I roan by this that anything that parents or bands etc. can do in providing this background fcr their children are offering direction, end encouragerent. Perha:p!s, Indian parents call . demand that they also he included in this career erientation up- grading program^in adult education classes. Band. Councils,^their finances cap go beyond verbal encouragements.^mail bursares cr awars^hrld council or other villag,c could enscurLgs some grade 7 student to try extra hard. it: this respect, the district councils, or other larger Indian. erganizd.t . ions (kl.B.C.T.C. and ether federation or tribal groups etc.) can b2 in a posi'sion to offer bursaries in specific post high school educetden related to thoir respective needs or aspirations. The ma or emphasis to i pr ,:ga the total cv mail situation should. be as outlined in e;:.LLegor -2shore other suggestions are merely supplementals. The type of guidance or veer=^or relocation (retraining) counselling offered at this leyal shcnic ecific and not general personnel in ti:.-,,s poaittch^o7pert ^and^their counselling silo '.!_d. he on s one tc^easis - and^L cone through on office or by telephone. Should U.B.C-I,C. and District Ccuheil be involved. in screening applicaauc on^op c^cants for these vitally important counselling pcsit -;es: — 14— There is a need to assure vocational and technical students of jobs after courses. Should U.B.C.I.C. and District Councils be involved in some sort of employment referral type agency? C/^Poor programing of students, wherein abilities and interests are not met, are the most common cause of dropping out of the programs. As stated earlier poor quality of counselling, and a lack of counselling, is the cause of this dropping out. As pointed out in section B - choice of counsellors, or making sure that there are counsellors available should improve this weakness area. Similarily, the preparatory years (high school) and counselling in section A, are also important, and are areas where we the Indian people could demand that the proper preparation in terms of career orientation be begun. D/^Some re-training or re-evaluation of students who just complete courses, should be begun. As I understand it, there students are left to finish their non-productive programs, and their is no follow up to their initial attempts. When there is such a. great demand on OUT reserves, at our District Councils and atL the. U.E.C.I.C. levels for trained Indian people, can District Councils feed into U.D.C.I.C. office suggestions of various types of positions or jobs that they need, and perhaps the U.B. C.I. C. can tabulate or ce-ordirate these into specified courses that they can approach the various training institutions i ,yi..th? P.cie again, the employent referyi^pe agen^ih :section^caIi be of some use. In conclusion, over-riding all of these weaknesses areas, is the total lack of direct communication. c,mongst all those involved in the education of the Indian- Policies are bring interpreted at the various levels of the EnI.A., and th^armerit of Education, and again re- -interpreted at the ri)j.01: 1^d-i.-rict levels to fit the budget. In this while. process, the of 1rd:inn studnts takes second or third placo or inorc ,i altother. Perhaps in this respect, if these two departments cnn be encouraged to deal with the regional. (provincial) cam= prhbleu:s of Cue B. C. Indian, isolated from. the D.I.A. national educational policy, or the Pepartment of Education district of education olicie's - i.e. throuh. the U.B.C.I.C. or District Councils, in conlunction with the BCNITA -then some headway can be made with reference to ajleviatihg sce of the critical pro- blem areas of toe post higl' school eei.,o^ec icr Indians. Ottawa level personnelperhetua"..in ' o -idea that they, and only they can decide on nriticol isuos tor^at ions or enrichments in the edu _.__ o* 0 Lho Indian.^inerc is^Ortswa level ezhertise as such Cur the Provincial^or^.lc Lich - edncation.il matters for B. C,^with TE this concentration of common interests, cducato^mattorh for the non-Indihns of ^ B. C. e,re keeping up ",-ith con changes to ilp-rsele their^tem. For Indian Eduction in 1S. C. - chcn;:os arc controlled by the avail- ability of funds and if the current fiscal year lies no funds, pertinent cbanRes in eduhation are left until. the Collwing year. Is it not possible for the^hiernrchv to•set-up a B. C. R-,-ional — 15 — team of consultants, to co-ordinate educational matters for B. C. Indians? Such a body could be comprised of educational representatives from Ottawa, Regional Offices, Representatives from the U.B.C.I.C., and BCNITA. This group can then be in a position to work more co- operatively with the Department of Education in B. C. Educational pro- blems for Indians have many progressive districts, and for these people, a more closer co-operative direct liaison with the Provincial Department of Education is all that is needed for more success. As it now stands, a breakdown in communication at Regional D.I.A., and the B. C. Indians, and BCNITA leaves everything at a stand still. The Ottawa level of dealing with these stalemated issues, is to see how we fit into their national education policy, and by telephone or telex, the future of B. C. Indian Education is decided upon. Such an issue as the social counselling position is a. classic example. The planning for such courses, and the operation of such courses has been put on a national level. B. C. Indians must fit into the content. Why wasn't the Home- School Co-ordinators' program in B. C. Used as a basis for such courses? Here, B. C. Indian people have been in the educational field for three years, and have been involved in summer session orientation courses, but no recognition has been given to the value judgement in the field. experience and training that these Home-School Co-ordinators' have been receiving. They now have to go outside of B. C. to train, receive a diploma, and then be recognized. The first BCNITA heard of it, was the announcement that the course was available outside of B. C. ^Another classic example, is the school of the future idea that the Naas River people are demanding. Some breakdown in communication with D.I.A., Ottawa and Regional Office has taken place - so that when. the local school board and the Nass Delegation reached a disagreement, it was left at that! -- the Indian people are at a loss, as to who to approach, or put faith in to get this project into operation -- the D.I.A., Ottawa or Regional Office or the Department of Education in B. C.? A--B. C. team of consultants, as proposed in this paper, would be a group to resolve such a stalemated situation! The matter of the cultural Education Centers is another issue. Indian people in Canada have to make overtures to the top level brass in Ottawa to receive such grants. and in their first phase of the program four provinces received massive grants. It appears that to be favoured by such grants - those with the most pressure and to level contacts are receiving consideration. Why is this fund being administered in Ottawa, rather than provincially, under such a co-ordinating group as proposed! The whole point of summing up this paper in this manner, is that, oven if all of the seggestions to strengthen the weak areas wore carried out - we the In.diz:n people of B. C. are being denied the right, to decide , make plas, and carry out these pi=ma for education. Ideally, there should be only one co-ordinated group to - 16 - enter into agreements or working liaisons with the Provincial Depart- ment of Education. Today, Ottawa has a master contract - this is correlated with their National Indian Education Policy become so mixed-up, that, people in regional who have no understanding of education make the final decisions. If all of us agree, that the future of any group of people, depends on the quality of education their children recieve, then the B. C. Indian people have no real future to look forward to, due to the non-productive type of post high school education their children are forced into. Therefore, to be in a position to control and direct the outcome of those Indians in post high school education, let us to away with all of the multi-complex levels of communication that currently exists and lets demand that a B. C. Team of Educational Consultants be set-up! In this manner, direct, co-operative work- ing liaison is assured with the B. C. Department of Education. ***** *********** *^x* :****d " .***************,.** ***************** CENTER^COUNCIL^MEETING U,B,C,^NovErBER 25, 1972 All but two of the newly elected Center Council embers (total 16) were in attendance. This body of educators main terms of office are to re-evaluate, re-elaborate and to set priorities from the general membership's plans of actions. In the following areas, new ideas, further direction was agreed upon. 1/ Publishing of enriched Curriculum. Writers Projects to be pursued immediately. 2/ A member be given authority to put into action, plans to edit R.A.V.E.N. tapes, so that they can be adapted to class- room use. 3/ That prior to General BCNITA Conference in Easter - that members in their res- pective six districts, hold a District Workshop. • • • • • • • • - 17 - 4/ Incentive Bursaries for Post--High School Indian Students were reviewed and categorized. Director and his assistant are to complete processing immediately! 5/ Reports on - I.E.R.C. Budget & Projected Year IV. - BCNITA Budget & Projected Year IV. - Budgets were discussed. * ***************** ***********************************^*^*** *** "ISSUES^IN^INDIAN^EDUCATION" ^GEORGE^N.^WILSON (PRESENTATION MADE AT UNION B.C. INDIAN CHIEFS' CONFERENCE Nov./72)... Thank you Mr. Chairman, Chiefs, Chief's Executive, Panel, Ladies & Gentlemen. It is indeed a pleasure to appear before you to put forth some questions and ideas on Indian Education, I would like to thank the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs for this opportunity. I certainly do not want to stand before you on the subject of education projecting a "Messiah Image." I say this because there are as many answers as to what education is and what it is supposed to do as there are people. To put it simply, I would like to put forth to you as Indian people, with the twenty minutes that I have, what my colleagues in the B. C. Native Indian Teachers' Association and myself have in the way of questions and ideas on the subject of Indian Education. I will call these point issues in Indian Education. These are many, many issues that each of us must consider at one time or other on Education -- but the points I wish to discuss are the ones which appear more often than others and on this basis I think they need a good deal of consideration by those of us who are education officials and those of us who send our youngsters to these institutions of learning. II^Universal Issues in Education First of all let us not pretend that the Indian people are the only ones who have the most difficult position in terms of choices, decisions and plans in Education. Nothing can be further from the truth. Total education is elusive -- even the Whiteman - 18- has problems knowing how and what to teach his child. I would like briefly to show you what,our universal problems is in a very general manner and through it, we can see how our children are caught in this one problem. Firstly, the question of relevance and irrelevance of the provincial and federal school curriculum. Fundamentally, there is no difference between the provincial and federal school system in con- sidering relevance and irrelevance. I suggest to you that the curri- culum which contains the material to be taught to our children is in some respects irrelevant, that is to say that: "they fail to teach the child how he can relate the learning to his life outside of school." In other words the school is a poor reflection of the real world out- side. It has become an artificial mini-world that poorly reflects the outside world. Taking it to the extremes the teacher is a poor real life situation stuck in the confines of the classroom trying to relate to children while he himself is an adult. To be more specific, let us examine the present learning process being used in the schools. A specific type of practice currently used by our schools is the memory technique of grasping facts. If there is a sacred practice which ensures success in the education system in B. C., this is it! "Education emphasizes the lesser function of the human brain, memory, while relatively neglecting its major function, think- ing. The only thinking going on which may have importance is that type which is required to solve problems which have definite answers. If you consider the subjects as mathematics, science and grammar, the thought process involved in these subjects is down-graded because to excel in each of these subjects you must have a good memory and confine yourself to that type of thinking which will ensure you the correct answers. Educators decide the right answers to problems then pose the problems to students and thus it is certainly oriented. In other words we teach our children in schools only to get the right answers. In this real world we know better. We know that many questions have many possible answers. How should we teach our child- ren so that what we tench than is relevant? That question of course requires many different answers because we all have a stake in our educational system. But, for the irmediate problem relating to relevance involving the thinking process, let me shy this: Let's, let go of the certainty principle, which says, that all questions asked in our schools has definite right/wrong answers, begin to teach our children to think, approach the problems to find the reasonable alternatives than im.pleaent the best possible answer to these questions. This would be in opposition to blindly echoing right and wrong answers. - 19- Many more examples of irrelevance can be found in exist- ence in our schools but what are we doing about it? When it comes to curriculum revision, lets examine the relevance of the curriculum as a whole from time to time and in revising curriculum, lets keep away from fence repairing, and the use of the band-aid approach. Let us, teach our children to really think! I wish to revert to curriculum towards the end of my presentation. III^More Specific Issues in Indian Education Let us sanction the present educational system for a minute as we all must and investigate some of the more current, specific issues in Indian Education. An accounting needs to be made -- an accounting is re- quired of how the "Indian Money" is spent for our Indian children's education. If one great administrative issue is to be resolved, it is that of accounting, how the provincial government spends the monies turned over to them, by the federal government for Indian Education. It is bad enough that we as Indians do not participate in master agreements with these senior governments but it's worse if we cannot at least have an accounting of the monies spent. We must study these spendings so that we can participate in the educational process in a democratic fashion. We must study these spendings so that we can clearly see where we need beef up spending in education. We must study these spendings, because it is this accounting and by the end of the day you should pass a resolution demanding an accounting. I say this not only to our Indian in B. C., I say this also to all Indians in all provinces of Canada. Let me now put forward to you an even more specific issue, an issue more pertinent and in a very direct way, affects each of your children. There have been minor tremours in Indian Education in British Columbia that each of your prcbably felt in some fashion. In other quarters like the Indian Education Resources Center, Camosun College and others, the tremours were greater in magnitude. In the quarters of the Indian Education Administrative Structure, I could imagine greate quakes. Sometime, over a year ago the decision making process in Indian Education made a shift. It shifted from the hand of the Regional Superintendent of Education to that of the Regional Director of Indian Affairs. This shift, I cannot for the life of me fathom -- for my money I -20- cannot condone the practive of having the Regional Director decide on educational matters. I cannnot see for the life me how someone without an educational background, insensitive to education, to say the least, take over the decision making power at the Regional Office. I am referring to the Regional Director of Indian Affairs. I cannot leave the subject without mentioning to you some incidents which has prompted me to bring this up as an issue. I mentioned the Indian Education Resources Center to you a minute ago. To meet the demands, on the Resources Center for this year and to catch up on our commitments for the forthcoming year, our budget request to do our job for the year was in the neighbourhood of $85,000. The budget wa.s presented to Mr. Ray Hall for processing and in response, the Regional Director, Mr. Larry Wight paid us a visit. In the course of 1/2 hour he managed to cut the budget to $54,000. and informed us further that his office will not in the forthcoming; year carry us in his budget. To top that, he thought the British Columbia Native Indian Teachers' Association was a union. We sent to his office prior to our sleeting a detailed funding request as always together with information as to who we are and what we have accomplished in the past. I contend ,that he did not do his homework, I can only conclude that he was there with the expressed purpose of cutting us out of his budget, which he will probably succeed in doing. Camosun College Indian Program has also been cut to the bones in almos'l the same fashion_ . You probably remember the incident last year where the fares of an X number of Indian students was going to be paid to go home for Christmas. Mr. Ray Hall okayed the funding of it -- I think at that rime your protests were misdirected, I think it would have been more proper to direct it to the R.D., who, was probably responsible for its almost not getting off the ground. I know what justification. is going to be given to you for these moves. The excuse will be that the budget on Indian Education was cut drastically this year and that the frills of education will have to be cut out. I say to you that there will be justification that will side step the more important issue.^The issue here is that the decision making process, and power must stay with the educational admini s trative structure, in the office of the Regional Superintendent of Education, no matter how much, the budget is cut, or how small it is roi that matter. Another probably more important, certainly no less of an issue than the rest is that concerning the physical plants, the schools. All reserve schools are in rural settings - rural settings where population will probabjy increase very little even in the next 50 years. In these rural settings are reservations with 1 or 2 or 4 classrooms. Schools without gyrnasiums, let alone activity rooms. - 21 - •Each of these schools will probably never ever have gymnasiums. They were not there when you were children, they are not there now and probably will not exist in the next 50 years. In other words, generations of Indians have been short changed in the physical educa- tion and cultural education sector of their education. We, as Indians, cannot accept anymore the old argument that "oneday, when your village grows in population, the enrollment of the school reaches 300 students and that will warrant 8 classrooms then you will have a gymnasium." We all know better than that: How many villages can you count today that have schools with 8 or more classrooms and that have gymnasiums -- one? two? I say the physical development of a child is just as important as the spiritual and the mental development of the same child. Lets face the fact. The greatest percentage of all Indian Reserves in B. C. will not have 8 classrooms in the next 50 years and lets not wait 50 more years to demand at the very least large activity rooms in all small day schools in all of British Columbia. Finally, it disturbs me to know as it probably does you that we have produced students in the present educational system who are failures. Failures to the extent that over 90% of our students fail to complete high school. It bothers me to think that we may continue to permit our Indian. students to continue to fail. 1 believe, at this point in time, we should question the educational system, of the past and today. I would go as far as to suggest, we begin to investigate for ourselves the reasons for .being misfits in the education system. I suggest further that we set up model learning centers or schools where we can begin to base a curriculum on Indian values. In. a model school setting different learning and teaching approaches can be tested as that education to us can be relevant and in the end produce success not failures. Let us investigate Indian Valleys today, begin to build curriculum on that foundation, and use different approaches to teach our children. There is no question in my mind that Indian children are as intelligent as any non-Indian. I question, however, the method of teaching, the contents of curriculum then would suggest that the curriculum is irrelevant for us and the teaching methods inappropriate. Conclusion In conclusion, the issues I have raised are here today, they are issues you must consider, and because of the limited time I have, I cannot raise others, but I am certain that in the future, we will, be in consultation.^Tomorrow you will hear more from our friend Mr. Alvin McKay on the subject of Issues in Indian Education. * * * * ************ ******1;:*********** * *********** - 22 - BELLA COOLA WORKSHOP By Robert Sterling Assistant Directo - Indian Education Resources Center The Education Workshop at Bella Coola on November 24 made a special effort to involve Indian people on the programme. It was the first time that Indian people in Bella Coola had been given an opportunity like this, and they took full advantage of it. Sitting before a group of some 45 people, mostly teachers, a panel consisting of Bella Coola Chief - Ivan Tallio, Band Manager - Ed Moody, Home-School Co-ordinator - Sandra Tallio, Indian Education Committee Members - Francis Mack,and Jemima Schooner and Secondary Students - Wally Weber, Wilma Mack and Alice Schooner outlined problems. weakness areas and faults giving evidence that Indians, in their unique citation, were not having their needs met in the school system. The theme of the workshop was communication and dialogue and the resultant exchange of ideas, plans for further meetings and the enthusiasm over the results of this =hange can clearly be seen as a successful effort. Much of the credit for this successful effort go to the people involved, including the local teachers association, Indian people, various Principals of schools, and a seemingly nameless group of ladies who prenared the de 4 adohs. pre-conference lienn7h-^personal now respect goes to Richard "Ized" hughes whose hospitality, concern for people and willingness to seek new approaches in education make him as a man to admire and respect. Bella Coola WES one of the first districts in the Province to institute the Integration system, allowing Indians to attend Provincial schools some 20 gears ago. In. this small area of about 1500 population, the 550 Indians account for nearly half of the school enrollment and around 3U of the secondary School enrollment. A. very good pupil/teacher ratio of some 13 students per teacher average gives evidence of plenty of time to give individual attention. The majority of teachers are "old-timers" many of whom have been teaching in Bella. Coola for over a decade, and would know the needs of their area and how to meet them. The Indians do not have a School Board member and ha - re not been involved in any of the school programs affecting their children. In an integration set-up that is 20 years old the Indian people are fin ally being given a chance to participate. The dialoge that took place at the Boils Coola workshop was an inspiring afternoon. of 2-way communication. The ideas and opinions that came up, the questions and answers, and the desire to carry this exchange further, into plans of action, has see tie tone for a future of sharing & co-operation. All persons who participated can feel proud to have done so, and enlightened ) • for Indians have so much to offer, but most of all a co- operative etfort of this type is so all-necess..u,.y to ensure a relevant future not only for Indian children but all children of• Bella Coola- ************* -23- LILLOOET SCHOOL DISTRICT t29 - REPORT FROM INDIAN HOME-SCHOOL CO-ORDINATOR SAUL TERRY Teacher Aide Training This idea of training teacher aide originated from one young Indian graduate who volunteered to work in Bridge River Elementary as a volunteer aide. This person was doing such a tremendous job and we clearly saw the change in attitude of a number of pupils. This prompted us to look for funds and pay this aide for full time employment as an aide. We were unable to do this through Indian Affairs as they said that the person did not have any training. From there a brief for training teacher aides materialized. Mr. Len Plater, our Elementary Supervisor, having had precious valuable experience put down on paper a detailed outline of the course. (For details of brief---write to Saul Terry - Home-School Co-ordinator, P. 0. Box 556, Lillooet, B. C.) At any rate our brief won favourable comment from Department of Indian Affairs officials but due to lack of policy for such a program and further complicated by budget difficulties our spirits were tried on a number of occasions. As Len would say and did say, "We were born to be winners." - so we again tried another approach. Finally the L.I.P. showed up to finally get us on the road. The course started last Monday, November 27 and will terminate on December 22/72. In a way the final course set--up was basically what we had asked for the in the first place. We ended up with the instructor we first had in mind, a total of twelve trainees, and our school board still: totally behind us. Apparently there is some uneasiness being, expressed on some teachers part but we hone through examples of the effectiveness of T.A.'s that this will nit be an on-going difficulty. The trainecs involved came from Bella Bella, Williams Lake, and Lillooet, By nuHbers there are three from Bella Bella, five Williams Lake, and four from Lillooet. We are all quite impressed with the caliber and enthusiasm of these people. -24 - Perhaps I should point out that our Lillooet candidates along with the others will go on T. .J. in their home areas after Christmas until the end of May. Our school board here is quite prepared to employ them through the month of June. Preparations are already underway to employ our people for next year. Needless to say we were very happy to finally get the show on the road and we must surely congratulate our local trainees for their patience with us. If the five applicants, four are with us, and the fifth wento into Welfare Aide Training so we don't consider her a loss. ******^*******^**** *********** ****** ***** ***** ******************* **** UNIVERSITY A.^KELSEY Yesterd6::: I walked across the campus lawn... How many have walked before me? Many...Many... How many have walked before me... Only a few Indian brother... At what price? It cost my brothers much... It cost my brothers their life... His image is no longer Indian—. He no longer speaks the Indian mind... and he has become a dirty word... ...assimilated.... White Indian is now his name... What small Indian thought is left he wears like a Ladge.. Something is lost in the turning... He is not white, h is not Indian—. Shamed by a rich heritage... Disgraced by a proud people... Guilt-ridden in the tragdy of conquered race...The same is his, not his people. -25- But the end is not near... For I am joined by one...two... I can hear the Indian Drums... and am strengthened... The price I pay is far less, then my brother^ I walk the campus lawn^ and I am Indian^ THE ABOVE POEM IS TAKEN FROM: THE COYOTE - ("POO-TAY-TOY") VOLUME 2 #1 ISSUE. --- DAVIS, CALIFORNIA. *******************^****************** * * **** *** AUDIO-VISUAL MATERIALS THAT HAVE BEEN PRODUCED BY THE I.E.R.C. -- AND ARE AVAILABLE FROM OUR CENTER FOR PURCHASE OR LOAN. 1. Helping Hand - FOR PURCHASE FOR 5O PER COPY -- is based on materials prepared by Sister Nary Paul Howlitt, deals with the help which Interior Indians gave Alexander MacKenzie on his journey to the Pacific Ocean in 1793. 2. When Strangers Meet - FOR PURCHASE FOR $2.00 PER COPY - a second study, based on materials prepared by Charles Hou. The theme that runs throughout the study is aptly summarized by the title, When Strangers Meet. The first documents show what happened when Europeans traded or lived in a region where a well developed native culture was dominated by a technologically advanced European culture. It is hoped that by studying these documents students will become more sensitive to the problems faced by rinority groups in any society. 3. Chief Dan George Soliloquy Cassett Tare - FOR LOAN FOR ONE WEEK. Chief D an George was born 72 years ago in a small Indian. village on the north arm of Burrard Inlet. For most of his life he has worked as a woodsman, a longshoreman, and a construction worker. He served as Chief of the Burrard Indian Band for twelve years. More recently, he has become a successful actor with major roles on television, on the stage, and in feature films. Probably few men of our time have gained as much respect in both the Indian and white communities as Chief Dan George. -26- 4. KSAN - teacher/pupil source unit. Prepared by a B. C. Native Indian Teacher. An overview of the cultural history of the Skeena River Indian people. It is comprised of 40 coloured frames of filmstrips with an accompanying text. FOR PURCHASE - $5.00 PER UNIT. 5. Assessment of the Integration Program in the Sechelt School District - an attempt to determine the overall effect of the integration program for native Indian students in one area. FOR PURCHASE OR LOAN - 50c PER COPY. 6. The Upper Staulo Indians (Fraser Valley)--Wilson Duff - a reprinting of an informative booklet about B. C. Indians in this area. FOR PURCHASE OR LOAN - $2.00 PER COPY. 7. Curtis Collection - 40 coloured slides of early Indian Life (1890's onward) -- Coast Salish (Vancouver Island) and Nootka areas. FOR PURCHASE OR LOAN - FULL SET $11.00. 8. Jesup North Pacific Eypedition (Most of the papers prepared by Tait) - also referred to as "Teit Papers'. Deals with the followinz areas: a) Thompson area - J. Teit (1900) 250 pages - $12.50. b) Shuswap area - J. Tait (1919) WiCh^- 332 1);:Z2S - $15.60. without myths - 175 pages - $8.75. c) Lillooet Indians - J. Teit (1908) - 107 pages - $ 5.35. d) Cnilcotin Indians - J. Ieit (1900) appridix to Shuswap - 32 pages - $1.60. e) Traditions of the Chilcotins^Farrand - 56 pages - $2.80. *********** **.:,AA*** .;:***^***^' ^ ****.;:.* :** *************7%***** sy-TImm A7D,p700 , I ND f AN EDU CATC!2-1 PEsnr px:Pc; CENTS MOM 106 — Er.O rs,t,, , VA Nc0 HvEr•,*i


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