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Increasing/Raising/Examining Our Expectations of Aboriginal Learners Kirkness, Verna J.


As Aboriginal people, we have over the last thirty years, tried to influence change in education to make it meaningful, satisfying and even enjoyable to Aboriginal learners. Our expectation is that by providing an education that respects their cultural integrity, they will be successful. Educational institutions, (schools, colleges, universities, school divisions) for the most part, expect all students to come and partake of what the institution has to offer and to be successful. It is, however, a well known fact, that when the learner’s heritage and culture does not comply with the status quo, a “one-size fits all” does not work. In the case of the Aboriginal learner, history and culture has to be addressed if we expect them to fulfill their aspirations. This presentation, then, will begin with an overview of where we have been in education, briefly outlining the history of Aboriginal education. In considering the present, we will look at how the institutions can be more effective in honouring our philosphy of education through a culturally responsive curriculum and culturally responsive teachers

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