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Taking control : power and contradiction in First Nations adult education 1991

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TAKING CONTROL: POWER AND CONTRADICTION IN FIRST NATIONS ADULT EDUCATION By CELIA HAIG-BROWN B.A., University of British Columbia, 1968 M.A., University of British Columbia, 1986 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Social and Educational Studies) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April 1991 © Celia Haig-Brown, 1991 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of SoC-H^H S ^ ^ c ^ r i f>rv STUOVC-i- The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT This dissertation is an ethnography. It explores the ways that people within a First Nations adult education centre make sense of taking control of education. Michel Foucault's open-textured analysis of power frames the research. He argues power not only represses but also "forms knowledge and produces discourse." Control and power as used by the "new" sociologists of education, and the National Indian Brotherhood in its policy statement Indian Control of Indian Education further locate the study. Extensive use of the participants' words allows a consideration of meanings inscribed in discourse. The study is based on a year of fieldwork including interviews, observations and the researcher's direct participation as a teacher in the centre. It places expressions of people's understandings of control within a series of contextualizations. The centre exists in contemporary Canadian society. Documentary evidence of British Columbia's First Nations efforts to control formal education and re-presentation of the centre's twenty years of growth and development illuminate an historical context. The study examines the current significance of the building where students find "a safe place to learn." Biographies, furnishing additional context for people's words, situate the study in relation to life history. Their engagement in a variety of the centre's programs provides the immediate context. Students and teachers explore what it is to be First Nations people seeking knowledge which will enable them to make choices about employment and education in First Nations or mainstream locations. References to the document Indian Control of Indian Education reveal its continuing significance for those people who are taking control. Study participants ii identify as crucial many of the issues raised within the document such as Native values, curriculum, First Nations and non-Native teachers, jurisdiction and facilities. At the same time, their discourse reveals the complex process of refining the original statements as policy translates to practice and people ponder the implications. A final chapter, something of an epilogue, argues that the dialectical contradiction is a useful analytical tool for examining the dissonances which arise in attempts to meet First Nations needs and desires within a predominantly non-Native society. iii TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ii Acknowledgements vii INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER 1. DISCOURSES OF CONTROL AND POWER 5 Sociology of Education: Control and Power 5 Foucault and Power 10 Culture 14 Indian Control of Indian Education 19 Conclusion 25 CHAPTER 2. DOING ETHNOGRAPHY: SOCIALLY CONSTRUCTING 27 REALITY Knowledge as a Social Process 27 Acknowledging the Human Element 29 Ethnography's Tools 32 Beginning the Relationship 37 Watching and Learning 44 Interviewing: The Conversations 46 The First Reflection 49 Second Reflections 52 Re-visions 57 Gender Analysis 59 Summary 62 CHAPTER 3. HISTORICAL FRAGMENTS: FIRST NATIONS CONTROL 64 IN BRITISH COLUMBIA McKenna-McBride Report 68 A Safe Place to Learn 76 The Allied Indian Tribes of British Columbia 80 Special Joint Committee 85 Adult Education 94 iv CHAPTER 4. BECOMING: A HISTORY OF THE NATIVE 103 EDUCATION CENTRE Out of Conflict 105 Structure and Philosophy 108 Students 113 Department of Indian and Northern Affairs 116 Growth and Transition 123 Native Adult Basic Education 127 Pan-Indianism: An Issue? 129 Community-Based Education 133 Continuing Growth 136 CHAPTER 5. A SAFE PLACE TO LEARN 143 Indian Control of Indian Education: Facilities & Services 144 The Physical Space 146 The Students Comment 153 The Board Comments 159 The Staff Comments 162 Conclusion 165 CHAPTER 6. THE PEOPLE AND THEIR HISTORIES 167 Indian Control of Indian Education "Teachers," Students and Others 168 Students and Their Histories 169 The Board 180 The Staff 185 First Nations Staff 186 Non-Native Staff 196 Conclusion 201 CHAPTER 7. CURRICULUM PRACTICES: CENTRE ACTIVITIES 203 AND UPGRADING The Document 204 Major Centre Activities 207 Upgrading Programs 213 The Process 214 NABE 1 219 NABE 2/3 222 Culture Classes and Life Skills 225 Outreach Native Adult Basic Education 230 College Preparation 231 Conclusion 232 v CHAPTER 8. CURRICULUM PRACTICES: THE SKILLS 236 TRAINING PROGRAMS Native Family Violence and Community Service Training 239 Native Public Administration Program 243 Micro-Computer Office Training 246 Native Health and Science Career Preparation Program 249 Implementation 252 Research as Conversation 253 Other Programs 260 Conclusions 263 CHAPTER 9. TAKING CONTROL: WHAT THEY SAID 265 The Document Revisited 266 Power, Knowledge, and Truth 268 Native Values 271 Community Involvement 275 Funding 278 Policy Decisions 283 Teachers 285 Curriculum 289 Student Control 291 Native Education Centre and First Nations Control 295 Control and Change 300 Conclusions 307 CHAPTER 10. CONTRADICTION, POWER, AND CONTROL 309 The Dialectical Contradiction 310 Particularities 312 The Principle Contradiction and What the People Said 314 Cultural Self-Hatred 320 Success, Growth, and Bureaucracy 323 Urban First Nations 328 Contradiction Transformed 330 Bibliography 335 Appendix A 354 Appendix B 360 Appendix C 366 v i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS To all the people who allowed me into their lives in my pursuit of understanding and truth, I am extremely grateful. I thank those First Nations people who, despite all the misrepresentations which they have previously endured, continue to work with non-Native people with patience and humour. And the non-Native people who "fight by their sides" and who took time from their demanding work to talk with me and help me. To the board members, the administrators, the teachers and, especially the students of the Native Education Centre, I am forever indebted. I only hope that somehow the understandings herein may prove in some way useful to the enduring struggle in which the people there are engaged: the struggle for justice, control, and the possibilities which lie with power. I acknowledge the students of the Native Indian Teacher Education Program, who passed through the Kamloops Centre between 1976 and 1987, and the Secwepemc people of the area for piquing my interest in the process of First Nations control. I also want to express my appreciation to Jane Gaskell, my advisor for her critical guidance, her relentless encouragement and her confidence in the women of the world to get the job done; Elvi Whittaker for taking me to heights of enthusiasm about ethnography from which I hope never to descend; and Kogila Adam-Moodley for her critical comments throughout the process. I acknowledge the other students in Social and Educational Studies, the Native Indian Teacher Education Program, and Adult Education at U.B.C. who provided stimulating and critical places for discussion. I want to thank my mother and father for giving me the privilege of books and a thirst for learning with people about their lives. I want to thank my children, Sophie, Josie and Roddy Vayro, for not allowing me to neglect them as much as I might have, for insisting that a mother must play with them sometimes. And my partner Bob Smith for being there, in all the places, so I could get this done. vii 1 INTRODUCTION Sometimes I want a book to break loose with a bunch of hooptedoodle. The guy's writing it, give him a chance to do a little hooptedoodle. Spin up some pretty words maybe, or sing a little song with language. That's nice. But I wish it was set aside so I don't have to read it. I don't want hooptedoodle to get mixed up in the story. So if the guy that's writing it wants hooptedoodle, he ought to put it right first. Then I can skip it if I want to, or maybe go back to it after I know how the story come out. Mac in "Prologue" to Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck This ethnography, like all writing of research, is a piece of interpretation. Reflecting conventional anthropological ethnographies it documents, from a particular perspective, a study "performed in some 'place' and with some 'people'" (Whittaker 1986:xix). It is an effort to go to the limits that "historically-informed, interpretive sociology can achieve" (Moodley 1983:321). It incorporates "previously established knowledge pertinent to the area," or what might be called historical evidence, bringing this documentary knowledge into a relationship with information provided by people historically involved with the 'place.' Field work, work conducted directly in the place with people, was the primary means used to create the knowledge within this document. "Fieldwork rests its ultimate sanctity and validity on the elusive, and at the same time invaluable entity, human experience" (Whittaker, xx). The knowledge is constructed in interaction amongst study participants within an historically, geographically, and socially situated place. The study struggles against a positivistic, scientific orientation to presenting research. While others may find some general significance herein, it does not seek to generate or confirm universal theory or even to generalize. It acknowledges the reflexive nature of doing research: the fact that the researcher's whole embodied self is the primary instrument of research (Dobbert 1982:5). In an effort to present 2 interpretations beyond those of the principal researcher, each chapter includes the transcribed words of the other study participants. Their words allow heteroglossia, "a multiplicity of social voices" (Bakhtin 1934-35/1981:263), to enter the ethnography. At the same time, their transfer from one time and place to a new context changes the meaning of the utterances. Similarly, the reader's history and context will further transform what is written. Like all ethnographies, this one is incomplete. It is a presentation of people's interactions and understandings in a particular time and place around some particular topics. Theory and method become inseparable. I can give you what I tried to do and how I tried to do it, what I saw and heard, and what I did with my understandings of those interactions. But I can only give you chunks of what the Native Education Centre is. I can only give you selections of what happened there in my efforts to have you see it as I have come to. I have done all I can to understand it and to express that understanding in a way that is acceptable to the people with whom I interacted in coming to this understanding. I have done this so that I can claim some truth in what I present: so that I can show you that it is not just I who say these things. There are other people involved with the centre who concur with my views or who, at least, have reached some point of acceptance of the interpretations presented here. As Culhane Speck said: Therefore, this is a true story . . . . There are many, I know, who are as familiar with the events documented here as I am, who will read these account[s] and say, "That's not the way it was at all." But I am confident that there are none who could say "That's not what happened" (1987:14). While I take primary responsibility for what is written here, I make no claims to being an omniscient observer. The truth I offer is a cautious one. Conducting research and writing ethnography are, necessarily, processes of selection. The researchers and writer negotiate substance and method, the what and the how. As 3 with theory and method, these decisions are intertwined; the substance frames the method and vice versa, in a complex series of mediations playing back on one another. The writer, ever conscious of the other study participants, chooses what to look at, what to record, how to look, how to record, what to analyze, how to analyze, how to order, what to write and how to write. She listens to responses to these choices and revises accordingly. She selects from seemingly endless options a single way to present the work. And at some point, she must be satisfied that the project is ended. Never complete, just finished. This ethnography, then, is a re-presentation of what some people connected with First Nations education have to say about "Indian control of Indian education." Their words are placed within a series of contextualizations based on the story of some people in a place and their activities. As the study progressed, I re-formed what was said in light of my experiences with the people there and in recognition of the need for a particular type of document. In structuring the chapters, I have tried to lead the reader through the process in which I was involved, to replicate the temporal and spatial bases of the development of my understandings. On the other hand, I begin at the end with a synthesis of non-Native academic and First Nations discourses (Mac's hooptedoodle) settled on only after the bulk of the fieldwork was done. I present pieces of the document which focused my attention and of several other documents which address "Indian control." I present some history. First, there is my history and the reasons I came to pursue this topic in the way I have. Then, there is a history of First Nations struggles to control their education in this province, culminating in a history of the centre itself. This history is the beginning of what I call the story this document tells. It is a story of the Native Education Centre, a story of people taking control in one particular place that may have implications for others in other places. 4 I present, as do most conventional stories and ethnographies, a setting—the physical details of the centre. For the people who work there, this material space becomes much more than the planks, glass and cement of which it is made. I select and order words of the people with whom I spoke to show how they gradually expanded my understanding of the place as defined through their interactions there. The centre is a community centre, a place to belong, for those people who have often found the city outside its walls alien and hostile. The people are the board and administration, the staff and the students. They tell me bits about themselves: where they came from, how they came to be here, and how they see themselves. They tell me about practices: what they choose as practices, what they do in the centre, and what they see done. Within this series of contextualizations, re-presentation of fragments of people's beliefs and practices, I place what the people said about "Indian control" in our exploration of its meanings. The final chapter looks back over all that has been said and done and selects some aspects for further consideration. I return to "hooptedoodle," to a discourse which relates what I have seen and heard there to what others have seen and heard elsewhere. Contradiction, the tension which drives the development of First Nations control within the larger society and the power relations which surround that tension, becomes central. 5 C H A P T E R 1 — DISCOURSES OF C O N T R O L A N D POWER For me, power is the problem that has to be resolved. Michel Foucault (1978/88:104) N o matter how much money your band may have or how much power it may say it has, if there is no power to make decisions then it has no power at all. Once you have your decision-making power clear, it makes no difference what form it takes because your people will know they are in control. Rosalee Tizya (1990:18) In 1971, Michael F. D. Young edited a collection of essays Knowledge and Control: New Directions for the Sociology of Education."1 From 1972-1977, Michel Foucault wrote the essays included in Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings. In 1972, the National Indian Brotherhood presented to the government of Canada its document, Indian Control of Indian Education. This chapter (and aspects of those which follow) connects these events and their considerations of power, control, knowledge, and education. It contributes to the discourses which have developed out of the events. The dissertation as a whole establishes a relationship between these documents, and the words and practices of people working (to control education) within a specific context. S O C I O L O G Y OF E D U C A T I O N : C O N T R O L A N D POWER While discourses on control are far from new, Young collected papers expressing some of the emergency concerns of Europe's "new sociologists of education" and North American curriculum sociologists such as Bernstein, Bourdieu, Keddie, Davies, and Blum. In his introduction "Knowledge and Control," Young acknowledges the importance of research on "class determinants of educational opportunity." Moving beyond a mechanistic explanation of reproduction theory, he suggests that sociologists 6 begin to move to explanations of how pupils, teachers and knowledge are organized (and it is only through such explanations that we shall be able to develop alternatives), [so that] existing categories that for parents, teachers, children and many researchers distinguish home from school, learning from play, academic from non-academic, and "able" or "bright" from "dull" or "stupid" . . . be conceived of as socially constructed, with some in a position to impose their constructions or meanings on others (2). By questioning assumptions such as "what counts as educational knowledge," the papers in the volume indicate a move to the sociology of knowledge (Berger and Luckmann 1966) as central to sociology of education. Bernstein's famous treatise on framing and classification explains changes in the organization of educational knowledge and their consequences (Young:8). Science and rationality are recognized as social constructs: Robin Horton (1971) suggests that those members of the public in Western cultures who "believe in" Western science to the exclusion of awareness of alternative systems of thought have more similarities to than differences from groups such as the Kalabari villagers of Africa (1971:262). Other papers focus on aspects of organization, definitions of knowledge and comparative perspectives of cognitive styles. Subsequent to this work, some sociologists chose to explore schools as sites of reproduction of the existing social order in more depth, especially its capitalist divisions (e.g. Anyon 1981; Bourdieu and Passeron 1979; Bowles and Gintis 1976;). The critical approach, insisting on the social construction of explanations and integral to Young's collection, led others to see the limitations of viewing power relations as solely reproductive. These sociologists working in specific locations recognized a significant lack in reproduction theory. They incorporated into their work a view of human agency, often derived from Gramsci, that made visible the active roles of students, teachers, and others working in education. The people were not passive recipients of the dictates of those supposedly in control. 7 Researchers focused on these more specific analyses to reform theory. Individual classrooms were increasingly the focus of the specific studies Young and others felt necessary for adequate explanations of social constructs. The results of these studies emphasized resistance (e.g. Willis 1977), and the relationships between knowledge, teachers, curriculum, and power (e.g. Apple 1979,1982; Shor 1980; Giroux 1981; Young and Whitty 1977). An amorphous group developed of these and other sociologists of education. Focusing their work on class analysis, they became known as neo-Marxists. Despite the early promise of comparative perspectives such as the consideration of different cultural groups in Horton, subsequent studies rarely addressed ethnicity or racism issues. Similarly, gender analysis was too often ignored. Feminists with many perspectives and from many disciplines, called, and continue to call, for gender as a dimension necessary for rigorous analyses. They criticized, and continue to criticize, those who make women invisible in their works (e.g. Delphy 1970, McRobbie 1980). People of colour and their allies insisted that racism and ethnicity are also necessary considerations for situated, specific analysis of the social constructs relevant to education. While the "new sociologists" often paid lip service to the important interconnections of ethnicity, class and gender (e.g. Apple 1986), their works tended to skim over issues of ethnicity. Calling for "rigorous, durable, and compelling explanations of the reproduction and persistence of racial inequality in schooling," McCarthy points out that American curriculum theorists and sociologists of education have been far more forthcoming in their examination of how the variables of class, and more recently, those of gender, have informed the organization and selection of school knowledge and the reproduction of subcultures among school youth (1988:265). 8 More recently, McCarthy (1990) examines the "politics of difference" around race and curriculum. Aronowitz and Giroux (1985:101-2) openly acknowledge the lack of "race" consideration in resistance theories. Some sociological studies do focus on ethnicity. England's "Blacks" (defined in at least one instance as immigrants from both India and the Caribbean countries) have been the focus of educational analyses (e.g. Barton and Walker 1983, Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies 1982, Stone 1981). In North America, Ogbu (1974, 1978) has considered ethnicity and ethnocentrism, and their effects on students. Showing an affinity for reproduction theory, he articulated a "job ceiling" which limited expectations of and possibilities for students of colour. Although his focus is predominantly black Americans, he does include Native-Americans and Hispanics in his theorizing. Li (1988,1990) looks at the intersections of racial oppression and class based inequity within Canada. In North America, multiculturalism and multicultural education are the labels often given to areas of educational study in which sociologists address aspects of ethnicity. Some multicultural educational theorists (e.g. Lynch 1987; Friesen 1985; Kehoe 1984) working to translate theory to action write of prejudice reduction as a goal. While they imply that prejudice is something which can be reduced, they too often fail to address the assumptions underlying such a claim. They have an admirable end in mind, but some neglect serious consideration of the social and historical context of the "prejudice" they seek to reduce, the muticulturalism they seek to enhance, or issues of control and power underlying racism which surfaces as prejudice and stereotyping. Rather, they focus on schools, teachers, students and classrooms as isolated locations of change, and continue to try to generate rules from their work. Other sociologists looking at multiculturalism as a social construct acknowledge that it has been little more than a government policy designed to 9 placate so-called ethnic minorities. They feel too many theorists of multicultural education have found that the solution to ethnic inequality lies "in educating people about cultural difference, and [in] psychological strategies directed at changing prejudicial attitudes" (Young 1987:10), while neglecting the social context of this inequality. Most of the studies in the field of multiculturalism emphasize populations other than First Nations people. As Moodley notes, some people see this omission as appropriate because aboriginal rights and land claims differentiate them from other groups in Canada (1983:318). Existing literature on First Nations education in North America may be loosely categorized into theoretical studies, evaluations, case studies, surveys and descriptions. Susan Philips (1983), Barbara Burnaby (1982), and Judith Kleinfeld (1975) focus respectively on cultural incompatibility and communicative competence, language education, and effective teachers. Evaluation reports such as those of Hamilton and Owston (1983) and those listed in Hebert (1987) focus on specific aspects of First Nations educational projects. Anthropologists such as King (1967) and Woolcott (1967) completed ethnographic monographs which focused on non-Native schooling for First Nations students in particular locations. More (1988) and the Canadian Education Association (1984) have been instrumental in documenting existing programs and changes in First Nations education. Many descriptive articles document the development of programs (e.g. Archibald 1986a, 1986b), schools (e.g. Gardner 1986) and occasionally a school district (e.g. McKay and McKay 1987). Finally people such as Verna Kirkness (1986) put forward ideas for people working in First Nations education to ponder and build on. This study will contribute to an existing body of theses and dissertations which investigate the relationship of First Nations control of education to particular aspects of current theorizing within sociology of education (e.g. Kouri 1983; Bleecker 1982; Kelly 1980). F O U C A U L T A N D P O W E R The work of philosopher-historian Michel Foucault speaks to the increasing complexity for which the new sociologists mentioned above were calling. In particular, the development of his "tool-kit" (Cousins and Hussain 1984:225) with which he pursues an examination of power relations offers seemingly endless possibilities for rigorous, historically based and specific research. I find a number of his approaches to research compatible with my own. His "open-textured"2 analysis, his insistence on the specificity of analysis, his acknowledgement of the productive aspects of power relations, particularly of resistance, and his concern with local knowledge and its dependence on the elimination of "the tyranny of globalizing discourses with their hierarchy" (1976/1980:83) all work to inform my research analysis. His attention to disqualified, subjugated knowledges and their concern with "a historical knowledge of struggles" (83) calls to mind the lack of attention paid to ethnicity in much of mainstream educational writing. Is it that not only the memory of, but also the hostile encounters themselves remain confined to the margins of knowledge? This dissertation joins a discourse of the struggles over education in which First Nations people have been and are engaged, bringing it into the educational apparatus called the university. I hope that it will serve in some degree to challenge "the effects of the centralizing powers that are linked to the institution and functioning of an organized scientific discourse within a society such as ours" (84). I hope that where First Nations are concerned, it will "make the present situation comprehensible, and possibly, lead to action" (Foucault 1978/1988:101). The considerations which arise out of a specific institution in its context, the expressions of the people who dwell there, are diverse and yet specific. For those who would compare, the study may serve as a moment of comparison as they pursue their own work. For those who seek Geertz's thick description, the study offers that. The ways that people talk about "Indian control of Indian education" are presented within a series of contextualizations which give them their specificity. The discussions of sociologists of education around control, summarized very briefly above, serve as a starting point for the analysis of this study. It is Foucault's incomplete and provocative "analytic of the relations of power" (Cousins and Hussain 1984:225) which provides an appropriately open arena for considering the relations of power and control around education evident in the field work and documentary research which are central to this study. Power relations are integral to the struggles between First Nations peoples and non-Native society and among First Nations people themselves, and educational practices are one of the ways in which power relations have been established and power circulates. Hinting of social reproduction theory, Michel Foucault begins an investigation of power by focusing on repression. However, he refuses to settle with a singular theory as he looks first at analyses which offer power as "essentially that which represses. Power represses nature, the instincts, a class, individuals" (1977/1980:90). Inverting Karl von Clausewitz's assertion that war is politics continued by other means, Foucault poses a politics that sanctions and upholds "the disequilibrium of forces that was displayed in war." Developing this thought further, he suggests that "[t]he role of political power . . . is perpetually to reinscribe this relation through a form of unspoken warfare; to reinscribe it in social institutions, in economic inequalities, in language . . . " (90). For First Nations people, the warfare has been reinscribed in schools which have, along with many other things, helped maintain economic inequities and assaulted the original languages. Foucault concludes this examination of power relations by shifting his focus from a couplet, struggle-repression, to struggle-submission. Coincident with critics of reproduction theory, he establishes that repression is "wholly inadequate to the analysis of the mechanisms and effects of power" (92). Subsequently, he posits one of his major theses that power is not merely a "force that says no" but, more than that, one which "traverses and produces things, it induces pleasure, forms knowledge and produces discourse" (119). Furthermore, reminiscent of Willis's explanation of resistance and Gramsci's counter-hegemony, he claims that . . . as soon as there is a power relation, there is a possibility of resistance. We can never be ensnared by power: we can always modify its grip in determinate conditions and according to a precise strategy (1977/1988:123). The public encounters of First Nations peoples with government officials revealed in the discourse of the documents and the accounts the study participants give of their own experiences in the Native Education Centre demonstrate some of their efforts to modify the use of power through resistance. The power relations discussed as this study unfolds show both productive and repressive aspects of power, which are incidentally not to be taken as existing in binary opposition to one another. Rather, they are simply a couplet on which Foucault chooses to focus some of his discussion of power. The ways that Foucault examines power, particularly this evolution of his discussion from power as repression to a much more complex recognition of the productive aspects of power relations also speaks to an evolving understanding of "Indian control of Indian education." The repressive aspect of power leads to moves to control education while the moves are simultaneously productive aspects of the power relation. A variety of approaches to and understandings of "Indian control" arise with resistance to being controlled. This variety serves the struggles to take control by leading to articulation, then to refinement of the discourse, and to an indication of possibilities for action as well as the action itself. This analysis of power relations informs the way I present my research with its representations of control and power relations. 13 Foucault suggests that rather than address the question "Who exercises power?", one needs first to ask, "How does it happen?" And in order to address that question, one must describe the relations of power in a specific, local place (1978/1988:103-4). Relations of power are revealed in people's relationships with one another. The most rewarding points of study for Foucault are the mechanisms of power as revealed in people's interactions with one another. Like Blumer (1969), he seeks meaning in these interactions. Like the ethnographer, he seeks local knowledge. As an historian, he finds the local knowledges in documents while most ethnographers focus on fieldwork as a source. While Foucault refuses to generalize, by his actions of producing works whose intended audience is the world of academe3 but whose focus is localized, subjugated knowledge, he indicates that he sees value in bringing these knowledges into the institutions in order to oppose and struggle "against the coercion of a theoretical, unitary, formal and scientific discourse" (85). This dissertation is an effort to contribute to that project. Rather than emphasizing the control of the federal government, the study places its examination of control over education in the practices of the Native Education Centre, what Foucault might have called a place of power at its extremities, in its ultimate destinations, with those points where it becomes capillary, that is in its more regional and local forms and institutions (1976/1980:96). The study demonstrates through examination of people's practices and what they say about them something of how mechanisms of power function in the centre. Of particular importance to my work is the degree to which Foucault's analyses inform analyses of control in the Native Education Centre. While one might be tempted to say both the content and the form of his work hold significance for this study, I would not separate the two. They are inextricably inter-related. As 14 Bakhtin has stated, "Form and content in discourse are one, once we understand that verbal discourse is a social phenomenon" (1934/35/1981:259). Those ethnographers struggling with the conventional demands of academe which have too often insisted on this separation reiterate that what is said and how it is said are interdependent (Clifford and Marcus 1986). It is his refusal to be confined to a singular normative theory of power (or anything else) which ultimately makes Foucault's analysis of power so attractive to one who works across cultural boundaries. It also makes his work compatible with sociology of knowledge. As Fraser has suggested "Foucault's work ends up asking questions that it is structurally unequipped to answer" (1989:27). In work in the world of academe which attempts to move beyond the theories built on conventional assumptions, in the postmodern world with its "crisis of confidence in [so-called] western conceptual systems" (Lather 1990:1), perhaps it is important to pose questions rather than seek answers at this stage. In some sense, Foucault's limitations identified by Fraser enable us to do just that. CULTURE In Michael Young's collection, Horton articulates the significance of comparative work across cultures. Foucault talks of specific and local knowledge. In this study, with First Nations people, I worked across cultures and found this aspect of the study highly significant. Before moving on to examine the final piece of literature in this chapter, the document Indian Control of Education, I want to present some of the assumptions about culture with which I began my research. Although the document does not define culture, much of the discussion in it focuses on cultural differences and negotiation between cultures. This study examines the relationships of people from a variety of First Nations cultures and from the majority European-based culture. Raymond Williams has said culture "is one of the two or three most complicated words in the English language" (1983:87). The brief investigation of culture presented here articulates some of my assumptions about culture. Beginning with two conventional definitions, one reads in the Oxford English Dictionary that culture is: "A particular form or type of intellectual development. Also, the civilization, customs, artistic achievements, etc., of a people, esp. at a certain stage of its development or history" (1989:121). The main shortcomings of this definition are that it diminishes the dynamic aspects of culture and is an effort to see culture in isolation from history, "at a certain stage of its development." The Random House Dictionary defines culture as "the sum total ways of living built up by a group of human beings transmitted from one generation to another." The implications that culture is somehow transmitted intact between generations and that only that which is transmitted is culture, are reductionist. On the other hand, use of "a group" and "a people" implies that in speaking of different cultures, one is "referring to a very basic kind of difference between them, suggesting that there are specific varieties of the phenomenon of man (sic)" (Wagner 1981:2). In this thesis, as in much of contemporary sociology, differences, dynamism and accompanying change must be explicitly recognized as integral to the meaning of culture. Culture is not a static notion but is constructed socially in people's interactions, historically and contemporarily. Accentuating the notion of flux, which is fundamental to this research, one may add that it is important . . . to assert not what culture is but what it does. Culture serves as a medium through which individual human minds interact with one another in communication . . . [It] is a dynamic field within and through which individuals make contact with one another. It lies, as it were, between people and is shared by them . . . [T]o live within culture is to be able to understand, albeit in a partial way, the experience of those around us (Stenhouse 1967:13). This understanding is significant to elaborating the relationships amongst groups of First Nations peoples and the non-Native people in this study. These include those relationships between teachers in the centre, the non-Native research coordinator and other study participants who are primarily of First Nations origins as well as that of the dominant non-Native society and the education centre. The mention of partial understanding is of particular significance. While Stenhouse suggests that members who share a culture may understand one another in some partial way, this study looks at the efforts of people who are of different cultural backgrounds to understand one another. The complexities of these attempts are intensified by the fact that the people often have very different histories and experiences of the world, particularly in terms of relations to power. At the same time, as they work together on common projects, they come to share aspirations and chunks of histories—"the cohesiveness of similarities and the complementarity of differences" (personal communication: Moodley 1991). And always power continues to circulate amongst them. A second major assumption about culture for this study is tied up in the notion that "culture is ordinary" (Williams 1958/1989:3). While it is still possible to find those who refer to First Nations as dying cultures, increasingly, people acknowledge that the governments' attempts to assimilate First Nations people have failed. Governmental power is not merely a repressive force. An excerpt from an examination of the British working class suggests strong parallels with First Nations cultures in Canadian society both in terms of power relations and in terms of cultural production. Williams comments: There is an English bourgeois culture, with its powerful educational, literary and social institutions, in close contact with the actual centres of power. To say that most working people are excluded from these is self-evident, though the doors, under sustained pressure, are slowly opening. But, to go on to say that working people are excluded from English culture is nonsense; they have their own growing institutions . . . [C]ontemporary culture is [not] bourgeois culture . . . . There is a distinct working-class way of life . . . with its emphases of neighbourhood, mutual obligation, and common betterment. . . [It] is in fact the best basis for any future English society . . . . A dying culture and ignorant masses are not what I have known and see (8). While generalizations are dangerous, in this particular example, it is possible to substitute First Nations for working class and Canadian for English to make a most appropriate statement about current relations in Canada. The degree and impact of contact with the centres of power, such as funding agencies and accreditation gatekeepers, is a primary concern for those at the extremities who have been involved with the development and maintenance of the centre. Sustained pressure is slowly forcing some of the doors open. And educational institutions are concrete and ever-changing examples of the proliferation of First Nations institutions and the on-going renewal of their cultures. A recent comment by George Longfish, an artist and professor at the University of California, who was born on the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario captures the re-creation of culture which he sees. Stand on the back of the Turtle, our mother, and look at the land and wonder what it would have been like if Columbus would have been successful in his pursuit of India and avoided the eastern shore of this continent. Wipe your Indian hands on your Levi jeans, get into your Toyota pick-up. Throw in a tape of Mozart, Led Zepplin or ceremonial Sioux songs; then throw your head back and laugh—you are a survivor of a colonized people. Paint what you see, sculpt what you feel, and stay amused (1983/1989:22). Like Williams, "dying culture and ignorant masses" are not what Longfish writes of and not what I see in the work in which I have participated. With the vibrance of restructured and revitalized cultures, the power which penetrates the centre, circulates through all who participate there. As Horton claimed in his 1971 article alluded to above, assumptions of culture are most likely to be recognized in interaction with members of other cultures. It is within a border region, at the interface of cultures, that one comes to understand their significance. At that point, facing differences, people may recognize their assumptions and begin to articulate them. They must examine what they have taken for granted if they are to work with others across and within these differences. For a researcher of one culture meeting with study participants from other cultures, for a student from one First Nation meeting a student or teacher from another, . . . the understanding of another culture involves the relationship between two varieties of the human phenomenon; it aims at the creation of an intellectual relation between them, an understanding that includes both of them (Wagner 1981:3). The notion of an active and developing relationship predominates. Doing ethnographic research, the work of this study, necessitates the "bringing together of two equivalent entities, or viewpoints" rather than a singular analysis or examination with its "pretension of absolute objectivity" (2). A researcher uses her culture to study the notion of culture and the cultures of others. Her culture shapes the way she views the world and leads to the abandonment of claims to absolute objectivity. Rather, Wagner argues, one must strive for relative objectivity, an effort to recognize the influence that one's culture has on forming perceptions. The recent insistence of many ethnographers on declaring certain details of their backgrounds so that the readers may place research within the context of these details is based in this understanding. In this work, the cultures considered are First Nations cultures and a dominant, majority non-Native culture. While it is clear that the separation of these cultures in the current Canadian context is almost never complete, there are real differences in histories and experiences which justify a consideration of real differences of cultures. How may one regard these cultures? To begin, the dominant non-Native culture is presently made up of people of immigrant ancestry who do not identify the original peoples of this continent as ancestors. This dominant culture has been and continues to be controlled primarily by white, bourgeois males of northern European background. While there have been some inroads made by oppressed groups, such as workers, ethnic minorities and women, these men continue to hold most publicly recognized positions of power in government, industry, the family, and other social organizations. Clearly within any culture or group, there are many variations and always those who struggle for change and redistribution of control. Groups, cultures and control are all dynamic concepts, as changing as the time and space they occupy. First Nations cultures, in all their diversity, are traditionally based in a tribal lifestyle. There is a strong land-based community focus. First Nations life styles are "more often gynocratic than not and they are never patriarchal" (Allen 1986:2). Most importantly, First Nations cultures are themselves a range of different cultures. In B.C. alone, there are 26 languages and at least as many distinct cultures. It has been said that the main thing First Nations people have in common is "the white man." One might add their experiences of racism as a corollary. INDIAN CONTROL OF INDIAN EDUCATION While the "new" sociologists of education, Foucault, and others were working in universities refining their thinking about knowledge and control and the best places and ways to study their relationships, some First Nations people in very different cultural and social contexts in British Columbia and other parts of Canada were continuing their strategic planning by refining their official statements about control over education. Years of working toward control and dissatisfaction with the current state of education prompted the writing of the document, Indian Control of Indian Education. People knowledgeable of the issues surrounding Native education generally accept that Indian control of education is a positive move. However, the literature on Native education reveals that educators, researchers and writers only cursorily articulate the assumptions behind this belief and rarely debate their validity. Wirth has said: The most important thing we can know about a man (sic) is what he (sic) takes for granted, and the most elemental and important facts about a society are those that are seldom debated and generally regarded as settled (1936:xxii). Within the discourse on "Indian Control," there are many assumptions: some springing from the document discussed here; others arising in other contexts, in particular from the experience of being a First Nations person in this country at this time. This section offers some discussion of the tenets of the document as a starting point for the situated analysis of the example of "Indian control" which follows. The authors of the document spoke from positions of power within their various communities, ones which they had developed in interactions there. First Nations people, while participating with members of the dominant society in power relationships, also interact with one another in their own communities, in relationships of power to survey, normalize, and to produce influences of their own. In the early seventies, these activities were manifested in many ways including the preparation of the document. It comments specifically on the process of integration which has been a major thrust of the federal government since 1962 (Hawthorn, 1967:90). The following comment summarizes the National Indian Brotherhood (NIB) view. In the past, it has been the Indian student who was asked to integrate: to give up his (sic) identity, to adopt new values and a new way of life . . . . The success of integration is not the responsibility of Indians alone. Non-Indians must be ready to recognize the value of another way of life; to learn about Indian history, customs and language; and to modify, if necessary, some of their own ideas and practices (25-26). The kernel of the document lies in its concluding statement. It acknowledges the particular view of power relations inherent throughout: "There is one alternative which has not been tried before: in the future, let Indian people control Indian education" (28). Indian Control of Indian Education became a strong rallying point for those involved in Native education, even those who never read the document. For many of the latter, who were familiar with education through their own experiences or those of friends and relatives, the document was unnecessary. They had found other ways to arrive at an understanding of these experiences and to participate in action based on them. The document was, in a sense, an articulation of aspects of their assumed cultures. It served as a generalized articulation of directions developed in a variety of contexts over the years. It is a fragment, a break or rupture in a discontinuous presentation of efforts to control. Its apparent significance is somewhat deceiving in that there are those who argue, as I do in Chapter 3, that efforts to control education have existed at least as long as formal, European oriented education for First Nations people has existed. Prepared by the Working Committee of the Negotiating Committee of the National Indian Brotherhood (NIB), the document Indian Control of Indian Education is based in knowledge gained through experience with education of a group of First Nations people. The importance of focusing on local knowledge in any attempts to control education is central. This emphasis on specificity would have pleased Foucault. The document selects local control and parental involvement as integral to improving education for First Nations children. The preface establishes that the document is a statement of the "philosophy, goals, principles and directions" the NIB recommends, always with the implication and often with the articulation of the need for considering local context. The emphasis on local control has encouraged divergences based on the needs and concerns of particular communities. Because the NIB is a national group, it addresses the concerns of a great variety of nations. By including the emphasis on local control, the document acknowledges the need for diversity within this unified statement. The four main areas presented for consideration are responsibility, programs, teachers, and facilities. All of these are discussed from the point of view of stated beliefs, an "Indian Philosophy of Education." Beginning with the understanding that each Native adult is responsible to see that children know what they need in order to "live a good life," the authors, "modern Indians, want our children to learn that happiness and satisfaction come from pride in one's self, understanding one's fellowmen (sic), and living in harmony with nature." They call for education which allows children to be shaped by general cultural values of "self-reliance, respect for personal freedom, generosity, respect for nature and wisdom." They also suggest that it is essential for all Canadian children to learn about First Nations history, customs and culture in order to appreciate the differences amongst people. Demanding "radical change in Indian education," the document cites two goals as central to their project: "to reinforce Indian identity" and "to provide the training necessary for making a good living in a modern society." Their contradictory aspects are not addressed in the document. While asserting that only Native people can direct education which will meet these goals, the authors maintain that "it is the financial responsibility of the Federal Government to provide education of all types and all levels to all status Indian people, whether living on or off reserves." Again the contradictions inherent in such a relationship remain unstated. The statement of philosophy concludes that education should 23 serve: "as a preparation for total living, as a means of free choice of where to live and work, and as a means of enabling us to participate fully in our own social, economic, political and educational advancement" (3). The first major section of the document outlines acceptable practices related to jurisdiction. Speaking from an implied position of power and moving beyond statements of right to practical aspects of involvement, it calls for governments, both provincial and federal to involve First Nations as equals in their agreements as part of local control. Because the NIB is an organization of bands, it cites Indian bands as the appropriate participants in agreements. Bands should assume responsibility for budgets, types of schools, staffing, and administration among other things. Because so many Native children are attending public schools, Native people should be represented on school boards. The second section of the document addresses practices associated with curriculum and Native values. Sexist language aside, I know no clearer statement of Native people's directives for localized curriculum: Unless a child learns about the forces which shape him: the history of his people, their values and customs, their language, he will never really know himself or his potential as a human being . . . . The lessons he learns in school, his whole school experience should reinforce and contribute to the image he has of himself as an Indian (9). The document then goes on to articulate the possibilities for on-going change in curriculum: A curriculum is not an archaic, inert vehicle for transmitting knowledge. It is a precise instrument which can and should be shaped to exact specifications for a particular purpose. It can be changed and it can be improved (9). Implying the importance of local context, these changes must involve Native people in curriculum development. In addition, the authors, like many critics before and since, (e.g. Hawthorn 1967, McDiarmid and Pratt 1971, Manitoba Indian Brotherhood 1974) recommend removing materials which are "negative, biased or inaccurate" in their presentation of First Nations peoples. This section of the document includes specific reference to adult education, vocational training and post-secondary education and points to the need for trained people in Native communities. The third section of the document addresses teachers. It states first that. . . Native teachers and counsellors who have an intimate understanding of Indian traditions, psychology, way of life and language, are best able to create a learning environment suited to the habits and interests of the Indian child (18). As written it is unclear whether the intent is that any Native person is best able to work with Native students or whether only a Native teacher who has a particular understanding is best able to work with the students. This point has become a significant one as many Native run institutions work at hiring Native staff members. The authors further recommend that all non-Native people working with Native children take "compulsory courses in inter-cultural education, native languages . . .and teaching English as a second language" (19). Finally Indian paraprofessionals should be hired in positions "which serve as a training ground for professional advancement." This move allows for increasing control as the paraprofessionals can work their way into positions of increasing influence. The fourth section calls for the replacement of substandard facilities with new ones, the construction of schools in communities, and the acknowledgement of the need for diverse facilities depending again on local needs and concerns. While this may not seem like the most significant aspect of taking control, buildings may serve as important symbols of First Nations control as well as provide a defined physical space and the possibility of a community centre. The definition of control of education in the National Indian Brotherhood's document serves as a summary of the concerns expressed and the action called for. Control is "the right to direct the education of our children." It includes the "freedom to choose among many options and alternatives" and to "make decisions on specific issues." These choices are to be based in "a suitable philosophy of education based on Indian values adapted to modern living" within a local context (3-4). The authors anticipated this right to direct their own education would be respected by others, and that choices would be made and acted on. Numerous and varied interpretations of the notions expressed in the document have produced a wealth of practices—programs and projects all which could presumably claim a degree of fidelity with the intents of the original statement. In the Native Education Centre, students come to develop skills they need for further education and employment, and, at the same time, to develop, maintain and enhance their cultural understandings. Within the centre, they become part of a group unified by common histories, experiences, or aspirations. CONCLUSION This dissertation has importance both to educational theorists concerned with analysis of power relations and control of education and to people who are engaged in the process of defining First Nations control. Power relations evident in the process of development, the people's perceptions of control and the relationship of the educational institution to mainstream society are in themselves significant to the discourse. To paraphrase Eisenstein (1988), while I am indebted to Foucault for parts of my analysis, my work is not meant to be an explication of his. Neither is it meant to serve the development of universal theory. Rather the specific focus on First Nations cultures emphasizes an aspect of analysis which has too often been ignored. Focus on cultural diversity and the racism which too often accompanies the differences associated with particular cultures is central to this dissertation and offers much to the development of a discourse which must do more than pay lip service to diversity. Practically, this thorough examination of a particular case of Native- controlled education proves enlightening in a number of ways. The study contributes to a rather thin body of published literature on Native-controlled institutions (e.g. James 1989; McCarty 1989; McCaskill 1987; Bashford and Heinzerling 1987). It may prove useful as a contribution to the discourse of other First Nations groups who are engaged in taking control. Because there are some parallels between groups who have been marginalized and silenced, this study may also have some practical implications for other people participating in taking control of their education—community groups, feminists interested in education, and various other minority groups who seek alternatives to existing institutions. Notes ^One may argue that these events have some common roots arising out of the same dissatisfaction with existing power relations as the worldwide student unrest of 1968 (McEvedy 1984:191). It is however beyond the scope of this paper to pursue that claim. 2For the term "open-textured" I follow Eisenstein who uses it to "point to the relational status of meaning. In other words a thing is both what it is and what it is not, and what a thing is not is endless" (1988:8). Original emphasis. This use resonates with the notion of contradiction as the identity of opposites, developed in Chapter 10. 3Foucault also acknowledges being "delighted that historians found no major error in Surveiller et Punir and that, at the same time, prisoners read it in their cells" (1978/1988:101). CHAPTER 2 — DOING ETHNOGRAPHY: SOCIALLY CONSTRUCTING REALITY Every time a white person stands up to talk about Indians, I get knots in my stomach. Verna Kirkness Director of the First Nations House of Learning University of British Columbia KNOWLEDGE AS A SOCIAL PROCESS Ethnography, as research, is based on the direct study of human beings in interaction. Epistemologically, ethnography claims that knowledge, while always tenuous, is best established by doing fieldwork, i.e. research with people in their natural settings. As people interact, they create their social realities, (Berger and Luckmann 1966) and derive meanings for the things in their lives from this interaction with one another (Blumer 1969:2). Ethnography is research based on these tenets. As such, it resembles the routine ways that people make sense of their lives. It focuses on the intersubjective negotiation of meaning in what Schutz (1967) calls the "lived-in world" of people in "face-to-face" situations. Reality lies in the mutual examination of the world by all the study participants including the principal researcher. The ethnographer begins to establish authority important to the written results by spending time in a place talking with, acting with, and watching the people who dwell there. Ethnography offers the possibility for a researcher to collaborate with other study participants in creating the kind of knowledge recognized as valid by people in academic institutions. Simultaneously, it is based in an approach to the world which, although it challenges the scientific model of knowledge building, cannot escape it. It arises in contestation with the logical-positivist approach which would give us an objective value-free knowledge. It exists in relation to what has been variously called the Western, European, white, bourgeois, rational, male dominant ideology. It is peopled with members of splinter groups who are struggling to make more democratic the business of creating knowledge. Ethnography has failed miserably in aspects of that struggle. Feminists point to women's limited and distorted visibility in traditional ethnographies (e.g. Bell 1983). Members of studied populations feel unrepresented or misrepresented in ethnographies (e.g. Owusu 1978). Addressing the concerns of those who see ethnography as "soft," subjective research, ethnographers seek to validate their work, to claim some truth in what they produce. Clifford organizes these struggles to establish authority into four categories. The classic ethnography exemplified by Malinowski's works (e.g. 1922, 1935) relies on "unique personal experience" (Clifford 1988:26) and training in "the latest analytic technique" (30) as the bases for authoritative work. Those taking interpretivist approaches regard culture as a series of texts and the work of the ethnographer as that of interpreting those texts. In the two former modes of authority, Clifford points out that the other study participants disappear as the text is constructed (40). The dialogic ethnography is one which moves beyond the traditional single voice to include the words of another, usually major, study participant. For example, in Nisa: The Life and Words of a Kung! Woman, Marjorie Shostak (1981/1983), alternates her observations with translations of Nisa's comments on the same subject. Moving a step further, Clifford calls on Bakhtin's heteroglossia to suggest the polyphonic ethnography. While acknowledging the difficulties inherent in such an approach, he sees this type of ethnographic authority arising from several study participants having the opportunity to create and control the outcome of the study as well as the process of developing it. The inclusion of extensive quotations from the other study participants, the opportunities for their editing and comments are two ways, this study has attempted to establish authority. Lather (1986) suggests reconceptualizing validity to include the catalytic so that valid 29 research becomes that which stimulates action on the part of the study participants. My hope that this study will serve as some catalyst for action can only be realized by others over time. This study is an ethnography. It is an investigation of the ways that people associated with a particular First Nations adult educational institution talk about and act on their understandings of First Nations control. As an ethnography, it does not seek to make generalizations about all such institutions. Rather it presents "thick description" (Geertz) in a particular context which may serve someone else as a guide to the study of other such places. Each detail presented becomes merely an hypothesis when one moves to a new context. Constant comparison reveals the specificities of any different location of First Nations control. A C K N O W L E D G I N G T H E H U M A N E L E M E N T In the process of exploration which is ethnographic research, one may choose to acknowledge the self-reflexive character of study. Those who see "knowledge as contingent" (Whittaker 1986:73; Gould 1990) insist on the importance of documenting such details. Other anthropologists view the presentation of self as ". . . 'confessionals' tainted either by surreptitious attempts to write autobiographies or by publicizing unnecessary closet guilt" (Whittakenxx). I identify with the former and feel it most important that a researcher acknowledge her impact on the world she studies. She is irrevocably a part of that world (Hammersley and Atkinson 1983:15). Conceding this, the conscientious researcher attempts to make explicit her assumptions (Lather 1986). She must do this cautiously lest she be accused of narcissism or doing "vanity ethnography" (Van Maanen 1988). In this study, the fact that I am a white woman of privileged background working with First Nations people in an institution designed for and run by First Nations people on a topic of current importance to them is significant. Let me offer an explanation of why I chose to address the diverse meanings of "Indian control of Indian education." Having been involved in First Nations education in a variety of capacities over a number of years, I know how significant this phrase "Indian control" is. I had even begun to use it uncritically myself and offer it as the solution to what ever problems continued to plague too many First Nations students in educational institutions from pre-school to university levels. I was fascinated and drawn to the phrase when I saw the accomplishments of a local cultural education society which strongly advocated First Nation control. The Secwepemc Cultural Education Society, located in Kamloops in the same building where I had been working with First Nations teachers in training was engaged in curriculum development, primary research, the establishment of a museum and archives, and publishing among other things. In a time of funding cutbacks in provincial education, the society managed to find operating grants to run a burgeoning enterprise. If this was "Indian control," and people said it was, then "Indian control" must be good. The apparent irony of a non-Native person talking about "Indian control of Indian education" while working in First Nations education was not lost on me. But I persisted and I do persist. In a summer course with Afsaneh Eghbal, an anthropologist of Iranian origin who insisted on critical approaches, I was forced to question my assumption that Indian control of Indian education was "the answer" to the problems which First Nations students were encountering in education. I had developed this view in interaction with many colleagues and students over a number of years. By the time I had finished with her course, I had formed a strong desire to discover what "Indian control" meant to the people, including myself, who used it so freely. I wondered if they saw similar things or different things from one another and from me. I wondered most of all what my role as a non-Native person might be in "Indian-controlled" education. If I was to support the principle of First Nations control, it was important that I understand what people meant by it, especially what people intimately involved with First Nations meant by it. I became very concerned with the document Indian Control of Indian Education and pondered its relationship to what I had heard people saying. I remembered that when the document had first appeared in the seventies, I had not read it, feeling somehow that it pertained to First Nations people and not me, focusing instead on my role of working with student teachers who just happened to be of First Nations origins. Like most concerned teachers, I knew that students' origins were significant: I wanted to know personal and cultural histories and values of the students with whom I was working. But I had no delusions of being an "expert" in First Nations education. And I held to the myth that somehow I could be outside the politics and that, more than that, I should be, if I were to do my job properly. My parents had led me to the belief that if one appears non-partisan, one can appear above politics and perhaps closer to some "objective truth." Shades of this understanding persisted. I also sensed that as a non-Native person, I should not concern myself with First Nations politics; that was for First Nations people alone. I did not judge my position as political in either a partisan way or in the broader sense, which proclaims that education itself is a political act (Shor and Freire 1987:13). My original interest in conducting a study like this one came with my experience with student teachers and with my knowledge of a variety of First Nations projects around education, particularly the Secwepemc Cultural Education Centre mentioned above. I had been around First Nations people for most of my life. I knew what schools had done with First Nations children. I remembered my own elementary schooling from 1952 to 1958 when many of my classmates were from the local reserve and integration was in full swing. When I got to high school and the streamed, "ability-grouped" classes of the day, I was never again in a class with a single First Nations student. No one talked about this fact; it was assumed to be appropriate. In my adult life, many people told stories of their experiences at the infamous residential schools. In my magisterial research, I came to a clearer understanding of the power relations between First Nations people and the so-called dominant society within that institution. Many of the students in the residential school resisted the culture to which they were to concede. Families and communities provided enough support and cultural understanding that many of the students withstood the efforts of the church and government to have them abandon their cultures of origin. (See Haig-Brown 1988a). I saw the Native Education Centre as a place to investigate more current relations within the context of an "Indian controlled" place. The notion of "Indian control" seemed inextricably bound to power relations. My magisterial work served as a foundation to an investigation of people's understandings of "Indian control." I became interested in the relationship of these understandings to the official policy statement of the National Indian Brotherhood which represents the interests of many First Nations groups across Canada1 It seemed to me that a thorough investigation of people's perceptions of Indian control within a single institution could bring me to a clearer understanding of what people meant. E T H N O G R A P H Y ' S T O O L S The primary tools of the ethnographer, whose whole self is the instrument of research (Dobbert 1982:5) are interviews and observation. The ethnographic interview (e.g. Hammersley and Atkinson 1983; Spradley 1979) is open-ended but with some stated structure and purpose. I have come, through this work, to call these interviews research as conversation. Although the emphasis is clearly on one side of the conversation, this is often the case with intense personal talks. It provides like all open-ended interviews, an opportunity for the participant to direct the willing interviewer in their mutual exploration. At the same time, I often felt that I should disclose some aspects of my life which related to what the person was saying in reciprocity for their trust and sharing with me. At one point near the end of an interview, I started to talk about my father. Celia: I don't know why I'm telling you this. I'm supposed to be interviewing you. Joseph: No, that's all right. It's nice to listen to you because I prefer coming and giving an interview or more or less a conversation which I'm looking at right now and not an interview (Field note: July 5, 1988). The interview is formal in that it usually occurs in a separate room, with minimal disturbance. For this research, the conversation was recorded and a schedule of questions loosely guided our talk. Unless I forgot, I gave a copy of the questions to the other person so that they had some idea of what directions our conversation might take. Towards the end of the interview, I would glance over the questions to see if there were any major areas which we had not addressed. Usually, I found that most of them had been. The formal interview often resembled very strongly the intense and intimate conversations one occasionally engages in with a close friend, perhaps over a meal. We sometimes went out to lunch for these conversations, partly to find a somewhat private space, removed from the centre where people could speak more freely and partly so that I could reciprocate for the time and knowledge people were bringing to the situation. Perhaps, because it is only rarely that people have the full attention of another adult human being with the sole purpose of understanding their experience, the interviews often became very intimate. "In interviews, I ask people to stand naked, to bare themselves, to expose" (Field note: July 5,1988). This sense of intimacy may lead the study participants to take some risks in their disclosures. 34 They may later regret this openness or they may feel very positive about having had the opportunity to talk about aspects of their lives in such detail and for a purpose. People may ask that the tape recorder be turned off when they speak of details which are particularly painful or are not common knowledge. On those occasions, I respected people's right to tell me something in conversation which they saw as separate from the study. I did not make notes or use these incidents although I find that a number of them stick in my mind. Informal interviews, so close to everyday conversations, or what I have come to call research as chat, are also important in ethnographic research. These may occur at any time, once a researcher becomes familiar to the other people in the place of study. I usually recorded these chats after the fact as field notes. They often served as opportunity for people to follow up on more formal interviews or simply to comment generally on the day's significant events or details they thought I might be interested in. Observations involve spending time in a natural setting, the everyday world of the study participants and gathering information from that location itself and from the interaction which occurs there. The inescapably "unnatural" aspect of the setting is the intrusion of the researcher. Participant-observation (e.g. Agar 1980:114), also an important component of my research, draws on direct participation as an "insider" in a place. In this study, I worked as a student in lectures, workshops and in some culture and life skills classes, and as a teacher in the centre. I went through all the complexities of an initial interview, negotiating salary, planning lessons and answering to the administrator regarding the organization and delivery of the class. This kind of participation may bring a sensitive researcher closer to the "native's point of view," a notion introduced by Malinowski (1922 in Kaberry 1957:72) and highlighted in Geertz (1976). When working with members of traditionally exploited and oppressed groups, a person must continually ask whether ethnography is not just another form of colonization. This form, more subtle than the last, may be so subtle that even those with the best intentions and supposedly critical approaches fail to see that they continue to serve the dominant ideology. Clearly I do not believe that the work I am doing is contributing to oppression or I would not do it. But it is a very real question which we must persist in asking ourselves in light of the many others who have gone before us exploiting in the name of knowledge, serving self, not those with whom we work. Despite this caution around exploitation which I felt necessary to consider, ethnography is a particularly appropriate form when doing cross-cultural research. It has, of course arisen primarily out of anthropology which, regardless of its many shortcomings, has had "other" cultures as a focus of study since its inception. As shown above, ethnography provides opportunity for the sensitive interviewer and the interested co-investigator (study participant) to develop mutual understandings as they work together. While not essential to conventional ethnography, participant involvement becomes possible at every stage in a carefully constructed study. From the framing of the research questions to the final written report, the researcher has the opportunity to structure her work in interaction with the other people participating in the study. In my work, I began this process by encouraging people to read my proposal, which was based in previous experience in First Nations education, and make suggestions. At an initial staff meeting, some people sought confirmation that their input would be taken seriously. For First Nations people, this possibility for participation holds special significance. Many people involved in First Nations education object to the strong Eurocentric bias of the language and concepts in some studies conducted by academics (Notes February 1988). Much research based in First Nations has been extremely exploitative. While Whittaker acknowledges that "all research is exploitative" (1986), First Nations people have been subjected to too many researchers who use the information they gather for their personal and professional benefit without giving anything back to the people. In addition, failure to check back with the people can led to inaccurate and unfair representations and a sense of objectification on the part of the "studied subjects." There is another reason that ethnography is a particularly suitable approach to research with First Nations people. The behaviour of the trained ethnographer is in some ways congruent with the behaviour expected of learners in many traditional First Nations cultures. Learners are expected to listen and observe. While there are clearly limitations to this analogy, ethnographic interviews and observations do emphasize learning through listening and watching. Learning the language of the people, the ethnographer attempts to come to know the world of the other study participants with as little disruption as possible. At the same time, one must be constantly expectant that people may censor their comments based on their beliefs about who you are. In one interview, a young man referred to "the land which we once may have had." Since I firmly believe that aboriginal rights have never been settled in British Columbia, I responded, "You still have." Joseph: Well, we still do. I don't really know sometimes about the terms that I should use, you know. Celia: I know. You're being polite, right? Joseph: Well, I guess so, you know. Actually I don't know if I would hurt your feelings in any way, or else if I should, if it would. Celia: People are very polite. This opening led to his description of a racist incident in a bank after which he "could just feel the anger building up." His politeness was leading him to protect me from thoughts and incidents which he felt might be interpreted as anger towards me. BEGINNING THE RELATIONSHIP People doing research engage in a process called gaining access. For me, it conjures up a vision of breaking down a gate or coming with a search warrant. I prefer to think of the start of research in which I participate with other human beings as beginning a relationship. I could begin the work only because other people accepted me as a worthwhile confidante. While their acceptance was merely permission to conduct an interview, in many cases there was an implication that this interview held the possibility for more work together and even friendship. In some way, my eventual acceptance as researcher began with my initial contact with the Native Education Centre (NEC) in the winter of 1986-87. At that time, a person from the centre phoned me to see if I would be interested in developing a curriculum for a science and health careers preparation program for First Nations adult students. I was interested for two reasons. I had heard about the NEC over the years and I was curious about it. I also wanted to do some work to encourage First Nations students to enter science and health careers where they were desperately needed. In the back of my mind was also the possibility that the NEC might be a site for doctoral research if I decided not to return to Kamloops to conduct research there with people with whom I had already developed a relationship. I have a commitment to initial work with First Nations people only on their invitation. Once the people in control have some opportunity to come to know me, I feel less hesitant about asking permission to conduct research. I was eventually hired to prepare the curriculum outline in the summer of 1987. By this time I had begun to frame my research proposal and had decided to compare two examples of what the people involved could call "Indian controlled" education. 38 At the same time, I agonized over the suitability of centering my research in First Nations education. Ipondered whether doing research for my own benefit could possibly be justified. I read extensively what people of colour, particularly feminists, had to say about white people working around them. Little of it was positive. I considered my ten year history of direct involvement with First Nations education and my lifetime of passing, but important to me, involvement with First Nations people in a variety of contexts. I could not deny that or pretend it did not exist. I knew the politics. I knew the exploitation of First Nations people in which academics had engaged for generations. And I recalled a few non-Native people who had contributed to First Nations struggles in some important ways. I thought of Freire's discussion of those who commit class suicide and work at the side of the oppressed. Were there parallels in the work I wanted to do? Could this work be useful to the people with whom I wanted to continue to be involved? I became familiar with the literature on action research. Sol Tax argues that the ethnographer "should operate within the goals and activities initiated by the groups seeking to direct the course of their own development" (in Chambers 1985:22). Perhaps I could do work which would contribute in some way to the struggle of First Nations people to be heard. I thought of Judit Moschkovich's comments that it is not the duty of the oppressed to educate the oppressor (1981:79) and wondered if my work might contribute in some acceptable way to the education of my racist brothers and sisters. I also recognized that educational institutions like the Native Education Centre exist in a border land between First Nations cultures and mainstream employment and higher education. This was the same border world in which I had worked as an employee of the university with First Nations students. I also pondered the on-going debate about the suitability of non-Native writers writing about First Nations people's experiences. I knew the charges of 39 appropriating First Nations stories and misrepresenting the people. Recent developments in experimental ethnography played an important role in my eventual decision. Through reading and discussion of the current soul-searching going on in the field of ethnography, I came to understand that no individual can adequately represent the experience of any other. An ethnographer, while acknowledging that she can never come to a full understanding of another's experience, must try. This intense work at the university brought some clarity to the work I was doing among people whose social and personal histories diverged so greatly from my own. I came to accept myself as a member of a "border culture" no less significant because I was there by choice (Haig-Brown 1990). By the time I had completed the science curriculum outline, I had decided that the NEC would be a good place for my research. About that time, I was invited to sit on a committee called the First Nations Federation of Adult Educators, a group of administrators of First Nations institutions from around the province. The NEC administrator had prompted the groups' formation as part of his efforts to encourage cooperation among educators working with First Nations adults. I volunteered to work with two others on a research proposal to the provincial government which was successful. It resulted in my participation as researcher retained to prepare an overview of the NEC in the spring of 1988. At the same time, I approached the advisory committee of the teacher education program with which I had worked to see if I could use their program as comparison with the NEC as an alternative model of First Nations control. That request was denied. The comment conveyed from the committee was that First Nations people should conduct such research. Although I felt hurt at first, I recognized the legitimacy of such feelings. Refusing to abandon my goal to do something other than add to the already predominate literature on non-Native people, I turned my focus to the NEC. 40 Because the administrator was away in South America, the assistant who was taking his place raised the issue at a board meeting. It was tentatively approved. I continued working on a proposal and the ethics committee forms. When Samuel, the administrator, returned, he made it clear that I should meet with the staff and students to get their approval. In late April of 1988, he agreed that I could present my proposal to the staff meeting on May 11 and the student meeting on May 17. I prepared a short talk, selected my clothes—not too formal, not too sloppy—and crossed my fingers. I settled myself in the classroom where the staff meeting was to be held. People wandered in slowly, curious about me. "Have you joined the staff?" "Oh, you're a special guest. You have money for us?" I laughed and said, "Guest, not special, but no money. Sorry." Gradually about thirty people filled the room. I was first on the agenda. I knew the staff was tired after a day of teaching and would have little patience with long winded academic jargon. I began with three reasons I had for choosing this study: A question about where the strength of First Nations participation in the education centre comes from; the fact that academics are, for the most part, ignoring First Nations education; and that I liked being a student. I briefly described the kind of research I would do, not statistics, but ethnography, talking to people to come to understanding. The kinds of questions I would ask were about their education backgrounds, what brought them here and, most importantly, what First Nations control means to them. Finally I talked about initial contact by letter to give every opportunity to say no to an interview, my strong desire for input at all stages, and anonymity where necessary. I finished. Then [the administrator] dropped the bombshell. He said that basically in order to proceed, the staff would have to approve my coming by voting. I might have freaked but, under those circumstances, one can only perform calmly as if this is important but not as if the earth under one's feet is trembling (Field notes: May 12, 1988). They then had the opportunity to ask questions. They were stimulating and thought-provoking. I found my excitement at the possibility of working with the people asking these questions growing. They included: "If you're doing ethnography, will we have a chance to have input on what you're going to research," some questions about logistics of the vote and my lack of clarity about the Native Adult Basic Education program being different from regular Adult Basic Upgrading. The final question was the clincher, "What's in this for the Native Ed Centre?" I felt that I had stumbled on the action researcher's dream. I responded that I could make no promises, that if it looks good, it may be helpful in negotiating funding. But that the primary benefit would be to engage in a process together with an opportunity to reflect on the work done here in a slightly different way than in the day-to-day interaction with one another. The administrator also responded that funding was unlikely to be affected but that public recognition could result. This was an opportunity to communicate to others what the staff already know themselves and having a Ph.D. student do it was worthwhile. He also pointed out that what I was doing was not an evaluation like the one that Echols and Kehoe (1986) had conducted earlier. I had not been hired to evaluate and make recommendations for the future of the centre's development. Another teacher talked about what she saw as advantages. She referred to my initial presentation in which I mentioned that academics talking education often ignore First Nations people. If I could contribute to their paying attention, it could have an eventual effect for the NEC, one not necessarily directly measurable, but nevertheless significant. I was thrilled at her understanding but felt a little uncomfortable with the fact that she was non-Native. Here were two white women in complete understanding trying to convince the staff, some of whom are First Nations, to "let me in." I was asked to leave the meeting at that point so that they could vote. I went out to the central hall to wait. I walked around and looked at things. There were three students in the room: two doing work and one guy who I kept thinking was the janitor but he wasn't. I sat down gazing into space, fretting a little. He came over and introduced himself. "I'm Tony," and started chatting. He's been in Vancouver for a year and a half. Quit drinking two and a half years ago. He's a student in the NABE 2/3 class from the Prince Rupert area, Tsimshian. He almost immediately began talking about what he was learning in his class. A film on mercury poisoning—in Wisconsin, I think he said. He said, "The best thing they teach about at this place is respect for the land." He felt people were not thinking about their grandchildren but only about making money. We talked for awhile and then I had to leave. I shook his hand and said, "I hope I see you next Tuesday." I had told him about the staff meeting and that if I was approved, I could come to the student meeting. [The staff meeting had not ended but I had to get home to children.] . . . . So that was my day. I went home with very mixed feelings, but also a sense of calm. This decision by a staff, the majority of whom know me only through the fifteen minute presentation I gave, would affirm a direction I was hoping to take for the next year or would deny me the opportunity. I could do nothing at this point (May 12,1988). At 8:42 the next morning, my phone call confirmed the staff's acceptance. The next group to approach was the students. After the staff meeting I was feeling very apprehensive, hoping I would not have to get by another show of hands. At the student meeting, I had only five minutes to talk. I went over the main points covered in the staff meeting, using slightly more casual language. In explaining ethnography, I said, "I like to talk to people." I also emphasized that I was a student myself. Finally that their views of First Nations control are important to me. They applauded when I was done. I found later that they almost always applauded speakers at student meetings. Three people approached me indicating an interest in being involved. I explained that I was not prepared to interview yet, but that I was delighted they were considering it. That was it. There was no suggestion of a vote which was in some ways disconcerting because it seemed that adult students should have the chance to present a group decision. But I had stressed that, as with the staff, only those who chose to be involved would be. Although the board had already given approval verbally through the assistant administrator, I really wanted to give them an opportunity to respond to the proposal which I was in the process of finishing. I arranged to attend the meeting in late August and sent copies of my proposal to each member asking for input. At the meeting, I did a brief overview, assuming people had had the opportunity to read the proposal. I explained that I really want feedback, that I can change the proposal and will if they have any concerns. Eva and Sophie both speak very favourably. Samuel asks about access to the final product without going through U.B.C. I explain that it is no problem and also that I will share the copyright on any published material—not that anyone will get rich. I encourage people to call me or contact me if any questions or comments come up (Field notes: August 24,1988). At that point I felt that the relationship had really begun. Other human beings, staff, students and board had met me, heard me speak, responded to what I had said and agreed for the most part to let me work with them. Only the staff had an official vote that I am aware of. Some told me that three of the staff voted against my coming. One came to me later to explain that she only voted against to protest what she saw as too little time to consider the implications and discuss it amongst themselves. After reading my proposal, she had decided that she approved of the work. Another was said to vote against anything that the administrator was in favoured. Direct consent for individual interviews and classroom and meeting observations was a longer process. I had decided to do fifty interviews, somewhat arbitrarily, using Diane Persson's (1980) Blue Quills study as a guide. I circulated 44 sheets to all the classes asking for written permission from the staff for me to observe classes, for volunteers to participate in interviews, and for the names of students who would agree to be interviewed. Once those were obtained, I selected a number of classes to focus on and began my work in earnest. The last request for consent was one I had not anticipated. It was related to my participation as a teacher of one course. I agreed to do the teaching, thinking that it would add a wonderful dimension to my research. It was only after a student raised it on my second day in the class that I realized I would need to get the students' permission to conduct research specifically as a part of my teaching. My field notes include the comment, "Ah, ethical being. What blinders we have. So many permissions and this perhaps the most obvious one, a captive audience" (November 16, 1988). I also realized that I was now in a difficult position. There was a power differential between me, the teacher and them, the students. I had to be very sure that they had every opportunity to say no to my research without feeling that there may be some ramifications in terms of marks or even in my attitude toward them. I decided to circulate a letter again explaining my work and my particular interest in the class. I then asked another of their instructors, the program coordinator, to raise the issue with them and to give them every opportunity to say no, emphasizing that there would be no backlash if they did so. Fortunately, they agreed. W A T C H I N G A N D L E A R N I N G Although I did some work before and during the summer of 1988,1 really felt that the work began in September with the new classes starting and most of the permissions in place including an approved proposal. I decided to focus on observations to start with. I sat in the library and read annual reports. I sat in the main central room, talked to passers-by and listened to conversations around me. I went to the annex in a nearby office building where a number of the programs were temporarily located while the addition was being built. I sat in on the classes of the programs on which I was deciding to focus. I looked at how people's understanding of "Indian control" translated into action within the centre. I wandered around, looking at architecture, bulletin boards, and people engaged in many processes. I felt uncomfortable often. The building was very crowded. The classrooms were often filled to capacity. I tried to find a far corner to sit in during classes so that I would not detract from the students' work. At one point, the coordinator of one program asked me not to come to a class any more because there were just too many people in the small room. At beading class, I felt that the teacher should not spend much time with me when there were other students who were there by right. I was there only as a guest. I worked in the small library and watched to see if any student needed or wanted my space. And through all of it I thought about First Nations control. I could not keep my eyes off the many exciting things going on around me which might or might not relate directly to the topic of study. I made field notes, always pondering which details to select from the bombardment of sensory perceptions in any given environment. My notes themselves comment, "Is this a field note? All this mind rambling? I should be recording the physical details" (May 29,1988). The ethics of field notes bothered me early on in the research. The question of timing is one issue. If one writes while observing, the details may be more immediate. They can be no more complete as the hand moves only so fast and the mind must still select from millions of stimuli. As you write about one thing, you may be missing another. Often, people feel quite comfortable coming up and asking, "What are you writing?" The same is true if one records a conversation in the place of research. I eventually took to writing notes after the fact to avoid having to appear secretive about what I was writing. I sometimes wrote notes which were suitable for public viewing at the scene and wrote others elsewhere. Following the recording of a very private conversation during which I had reminded the person that I was doing research, I wrote the following: Now I'm worried about this book. Obviously not for public consumption. Even with what I have written, I feel the censor at work. What is written can be read. What is written remains, but is interpreted in an ever widening cycle of possibilities (May 29,1988). A few days later: (Later). I had to stop writing. I realized that I do not want to be secretive about what I'm doing and if someone walked up to me and said, "Oh, what are you writing?" I wouldn't want them to read these notes. I also feel I want a secret, secret field book with my really personal gut reactions to what's going on . . . . So interesting. I guess I mean I don't want to appear secretive (June 1, 1988). I never got such a book. I decided that some things were best left unwritten. After about three months focusing on observing, there came the time that I felt that I knew most of what I would see when I went to the places. They became familiar. There was always some new piece worth recording, but the overall operations became somewhat predictable. I realized then that I was finished with the general observations, that in some limited way, I "knew" the place. Although there was no tidy separation, no day when I left observing, the time came when my focus shifted to interviewing. INTERV I EW ING : T H E C O N V E R S A T I O N S The interviews form the nucleus of the study. I set out to investigate what people said "Indian control of Indian education" meant to them. In order to provide a context for what staff said about control, their interview schedule began with questions about their roles in the centre. Their histories including some personal details emphasizing their involvement in education further located their 47 statements. The third section of the schedule dealt directly with people's beliefs about control. What does "Indian control" mean? Is it important? Is this place "Indian-controlled"? Are you familiar with the document called Indian Control of Indian Education? The fourth section goes on to look at a specific statement from the document which focuses on Native values. The final section deals with the relationship between the education for individual students provided by the centre and general social change for First Nations people. All schedules end with the question, "What questions should I have asked you which I didn't?" in order to give the person interviewed the chance to say the final word. The schedule for the board was very similar but included a section on change in the centre. The student schedule was slightly differently worded but covered most of the same areas. (See Appendix A for schedules.) I initially contacted people in writing, asking for volunteers. Staff received requests in their mail slots; staff asked students in their classes to sign a sheet indicating interest. (Appendix B) Some people completed the forms and returned them to me. Twenty-three students volunteered to be interviewed. Seven instructors agreed to be interviewed and six of those were agreeable to having me observe in their classrooms. One refused. Other people approached me, without completing the forms, and indicated their willingness to participate in the study. Oral consent for observations came from five other programs. The people in the programs were all willing to be interviewed although one person decided not to participate after arranging for two different meeting times. She did not indicate what her concerns were. As the study progressed, about twenty additional students indicated their willingness to be interviewed. I then followed up on a number of those who signed one or the other of the forms. A number of people approached me before I had circulated the requests. Three students volunteered immediately after my first presentation at the student meeting. One staff member whom I had never met came to me in the library and asked what I was doing for lunch. She said that she wanted to talk to me, preferably away from the centre. We arranged to meet for lunch (Field note: June 2,1988). Because I had decided to interview about fifty people, I was in a position to choose amongst the volunteers. After two or three initial interviews with staff and students, I found that the greatest concern with First Nations control was coming from the staff. Students, as might be expected, were focusing on their more immediate educational concerns although control was clearly a part of those concerns, as becomes evident in later chapters. I chose three programs in which to interview five students each and eventually included two students from a fourth when these students approached me. I interviewed twenty-three staff: administrators, instructors, co-ordinators and clerical workers. Because there were some changes in staff during the time of my study, I did interview two different staff members for two of the programs. Students also moved from one program to another and one student who had volunteered to be interviewed became a staff member before I followed up and spoke with her. I approached five of the nine board members and all agreed to be interviewed. Every person interviewed signed a copy of the U.B.C. Ethics Committee approved consent letter and received a copy of that letter. (Appendix B). Despite the rather extensive list of questions on the schedule, we did not necessarily follow it or cover all of the topics. I tried to leave lots of space for people to present issues that they thought I should hear. During the conversations, one person reworded a question that he thought should be different. Another brought me back to some of the questions which we hadn't discussed which were important to her. Two people simply said, "That's enough," when they grew tired of talking or ran out of time. My desire to know the person's history in order to place their ideas of control within that context occasionally led to our spending so much time on life history that we talked very little about control. On two occasions, I planned to return for follow-up interviews, but never did. I began my interviews with students, then moved to board members and finally focused on staff members. Because I had done a brief ethnographic study for the First Nations Federation of Adult Educators, I had interviewed some staff members before my study began, although with a different emphasis. The students provided a clear definition of the kind of people the centre attracts: primarily those who have had some negative experiences with school previously or who have been away from school for some time. Some of them had thought about self- government and First Nations control before coming to the centre, but many of them were being introduced to the terms and their significance. This introduction came indirectly in classes through looking at history of First Nations peoples and more directly through presentations by the large variety of guest speakers at the centre. The board members, most of whom have been involved in First Nations education in many capacities, had all thought extensively about First Nations control. Most of the staff were also very aware of the moves by First Nations peoples to control education. Some of the two latter groups had knowledge of the document; most had not read it. Almost none of the students knew of the document. THE FIRST REFLECTION I interviewed twenty-three current and two former staff members, seventeen students, and five current and two former board members. Two other former board members did not agree to participate. Some of the staff were also former students. One staff member had belonged to the board previously. All of the tapes were transcribed by me and two other people whom I hired to work with me. This in itself was an experience. Although we had clarified issues of confidentiality, I had not anticipated the impact of the transcribers' asides. Both occasionally commented on what they were transcribing. The comments from one were pleasant interruptions, but interruptions nonetheless, as I read through transcripts. At one point, she wrote, "[The long lovely sound of water being poured]" which was actually tea at the table of the person with whom I was talking. Elsewhere, she commented, "Autonomy means real respect for the other, and the other could be a tulip. [I don't know if the word is really "tulip," but I like the sound of it!]." The word really was tulip. These were minor distractions compared with the editorial cuts and comments made by the other transcriber whose credentials I should have checked a little more closely. He frequently had trouble understanding what people were saying and just put an (I) to indicate that he could not transcribe at that point. He seemed somewhat selective in what he could hear. For example, in one transcript, he typed the following: Joanne: I feel the strength. (I) . . . the guys, we don't have too many guys in our class, but native men are nonconformist. When I listened to the tape as I did with all of his transcriptions, I heard: Joanne: I feel the strength. Being with Indian people. But I also feel it being with women. Like, I really—there is a strength there. So, I'm a female chauvinist. I keep on bugging the guys. We don't have too many guys in our class, but Native men are known to be chauvinistic. In the middle of another transcript was the comment: "(tape does something weird here—eating sound a la exorcist [?])." In another is the comment typed around a word he was having difficulty with, "(this is NOT racist, many of these people simply do NOT enunciate?!) this obviously makes my job much harder)." Unfortunately, I did not read this transcript until near the end of the interviews he transcribed or I would have looked elsewhere for a transcriber. There were other remarks about the speed with which I spoke, "in a machine gun-like staccato," amongst others. I had not expected these complications because on the one other occasion on which I had hired a transcriber, we had developed a relationship previously. She never wrote comments on the transcripts. Accurate transcripts are most important to me. Losing context and expression, I remain committed to the idea that there is some kind of truth inherent in at least getting the words right. When I want to re-present what people have said, I use extensive quotations. When these quotations are clearly separated from the words of the ethnographer, readers have available at least portions of the primary sources on which the ethnography is based. It is then possible to consider alternative ways of organizing and presenting what people have said. Although she is writing about quoting others' writing, Josephine Donovan notes: . . . I have elected to include liberal citations from the theorists themselves because I wanted to convey the flavour of their rhetoric as well as the substance of their ideas, and so to be as faithful as possible to the detail of their thought (1985:xii). For people whose traditional cultures are oral, I feel it most important to include their words verbatim in order to preserve that aspect of their speech. Clearly moving the word from conversation where its context includes a particular environment, history, body language, and expression and to transfer it to paper where it lies still, waiting for a reader in some other context, transforms it beyond recognition. Yet, I believe that the printed word can convey much of the speaker's original intent if the writer places it carefully and sensitively in its new context and seeks approval for that placement with the person who spoke. This is a truth for which the ethnographer strives. S E C O N D REFLECTIONS When I got to what I see now as second reflection stage, I did two things. I began to struggle with a way to organize this wealth of information I had garnered. And I began to review and investigate further some notions from the literature that seemed to me integral to the study: culture, contradiction, and power relations. The first was significant in that the study investigated people of First Nations cultures working for control of education; the second emerged from the work as it progressed. Power relations as developed by Foucault was the final investigation which eventually came to frame the study. I found it most appropriate to what I had seen in the centre and in the work which I had done with First Nations people before. I found that I could incorporate it into the study, which was in a sense already complete, without doing violence to the understandings to which people had led me. Indeed, it seemed to clarify and inform the issues which were raised in my interactions in the centre. Again, my work is not meant to be an explication of Foucault's. It is not intended to serve the development of universal theory. It is not the definitive analysis of First Nations control of education or even of the Native Education Centre. It is a representation of one person's efforts to understand a place through fieldwork circumscribed by the world of academe. It is an effort to represent in a way acceptable to all the study participants and to a university doctoral committee an open-textured analysis of some experiences and interactions between human beings and between human beings and text. As text itself, its usefulness, cohesiveness, truthfulness lie with the readers as well as the writer. This is not to downplay my responsibility for any error this work may include or pain it may cause people, but to acknowledge the degree of control which lies beyond me, the power relations between me and others. This effort to bring together my empirical work with some theoretical writing was a major effort: I struggled with the desire to present the study as I had done it, always knowing that I could only achieve some limited re-presentation. My desire to make it speak to those in the world of academe, to contribute to the discourse of control and education in a way that could not be ignored or marginalized, required that at some point I surrender to theory. The study of contradiction, which I have now placed in Chapter 10, was the first step in this tactical submission. After a long time in "the field," in the centre, I found myself frequently thinking of contradiction. At the same time, my thoughts were not of logical contradiction, but of a tension central to the development of the centre and of many of the students who were working there. The final chapter brings together some pieces of what people said and did with my own conceptual "digging" around the notion of contradiction. I wrote the conceptual parts before I worked through the interviews and added the empirical work after the other chapters on the centre. Next, I began the process of coding the interviews. I decided against the computer despite the fact that nearly all my transcripts are on disc. I felt more comfortable with pen and paper, reading and re-reading, and trying to find a pattern that would bring organization. I began making notes and attaching them to each interview. Out of these notes, I identified emergent categories. The list grew and grew. As I closed the cover of one file folder and moved to the next, I forgot what I had seen. A sense of chaos reigned. My partner recommended coloured highlighters. I collapsed the categories to a manageable six, began marking the files in technicolour, and making lists of references on particular topics. At first I wasn't sure how it would work. It was a tremendous relief after the first chapter using the marks to find that they worked quite well. By the time I got to the process chapters, I could see that it worked very well indeed (Note May 23, 1990). At this point, "working" meant that what I considered the salient points were coming into focus in one category or another. I tried to visualize chapters based partly on my proposal and more clearly on what I had seen. Eventually, when the writing was nearly done, as I pushed through all the chapters with a major edit, I realized that all the chapters are about control. Each one is a tentative approach from a particular position: histories, geography and physical space, the people, the programs and curriculum, the direct words and finally relationship of control to a theoretical construct which appealed to me, contradiction. Contextualization is important. It spirals through the thesis with each chapter. After the fieldwork was over but before the writing of the ethnographic chapters, I decided to include an historical overview of First Nations taking control of education, referring to a variety of government transcripts and other documents. Our reliance on existing documentary evidence to reconstruct the shifting relations between First Nations people and Euro-Canadians around education is a problem which leads to a sense of discontinuity. It is a problem with historiography which Foucault claims remains to be resolved (1978/1988:100). Taking his understanding of the fragmentary nature of historical representation and directing it to the present, it becomes apparent that it is impossible to present a complete view of anything. Indeed, this is a difficulty which ethnographers are articulating and with which attempting to deal (e.g. Clifford and Marcus 1986). Historical documents, because of their predominantly Eurocentric focus are particularly limiting in attempts to reconstruct First Nations' roles and responses to the changes occurring in their lands. Nevertheless, I spent a number of days in the library of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs looking for First Nations responses to education as revealed in documents. I used this as the initial historical chapter to argue that First Nations have been seeking control for a long time. I used an interview with the first teacher-manager of the centre along with news clippings and other articles to reconstruct some of the history of the centre as the next layer of context. From there, I moved to three "P's:" the place, the people, the practices. More context. In order to make sense of what people say about control, one can place their words within a physical context, the place and in a social context, with people. Ultimately, their practices as revealed in programs and curriculum in the centre demonstrate further the complexities of control. In Chapter 9, the people speak specifically about what control means to them. Another step in organizing came with another spiralling move, a return to the document Indian Control of Indian Education in each chapter of the ethnography proper. The four areas of focus: responsibility, programs, teachers, and facilities fit compatibly with the organizers I had chosen. The more I considered the document and its emphasis on local control, the more I realized how comprehensive and appropriate to a wide variety of contexts it was. From these considerations the chapter outline became firm. As I had been pursuing the literature on contradiction, I began to write a chapter which focused on the major concepts in the study. By the time I was done, I felt satisfied that this research could play some role in the thesis but not as the central organizing focus that I was still seeking. My committee felt strongly that it was something of a tangent. This chapter had since disappeared into segments throughout the thesis positioned where they relate to the things that people told me. The next chapter I wrote was the history of the centre. I was by this time craving to use the interviews, the words of the people rather than just my own and those from books. Moving out of the history chapter, I was somewhat clear in my direction. One chapter of the ethnography after another rolled on to the pages. At times I was frustrated with the tedious process of putting into text the thoughts of yesterday and the day before. Talk is so much more efficient but so soon gone in my culture. As I worked at the chapters, I wondered constantly if they were meaningfully organized. May 20,1990. I have just finished the draft of People which I find most unsatisfying. I ended it with a section on Samuel. But the disconcerting part is that I am laying out segments of people's histories which seem significant to me without saying why they are significant. I am laying them out in such a way that they speak to my eventual deeper analysis or disruption of the way things are. It seems too narrative and not enough of substance. And at the same time I am very aware that everything I have done so far is an analysis, an overlay of what I think is important about what I experienced and observed. Somehow the way I am laying out the pieces of lives without a lot of commentary is an effort to present the information which I gathered through participation with others with minimal disruption. That way those who are reading can see more clearly the process which leads me to the conclusions and deeper observations with which I end the thesis. But perhaps I am not saying enough by following this tactic. This uncertainty persists. But I feel that my decision to proceed this way was well grounded. It is in some ways an attempt to resist theory for as long as possible, which is, of course, theory in itself (de Man 1986). In another way, it is a resistance to linearity. My experiences at the centre were not linear. I did not clearly understand one thing and then move to another. Rather with each person with whom I spoke and with each day I was there, my understanding deepened. I now see each chapter as a sign of this deepening understanding which spirals out to the final two chapters on control and contradiction. While their focus is specifically control, all the chapters are about control. Each one is another layer which serves simultaneously as foundation and as source for the following chapters. By the time I got to the chapters called "Practices," I could see the end in sight. As I reviewed the interviews and field notes time and time again, I began to see that many of the important points had been incorporated into the three chapters already written. With only two remaining, I could see how other pieces would fit nicely into them. At the end I planned to write this chapter you are reading. For a variety of mundane reasons, I jumped to the initial draft of this chapter before the final two, but returned to it at the end to complete several sections. RE-VISIONS In this work, I brought what I wrote back to the people. I could not go back to all the people if I ever wanted to finish, even if I could have found them all. But I worked with some members of each group, board, staff and students, seeking criticism. I see analysis as a series of deepening disruptions. Disruptions, ruptures, with the intent of presenting a clear description as the foundation for a clear argument. Or explanation. And circling back, all explanations are hypotheses. I test this set by taking it back to the people to see if my explanation-description coincides with theirs or is at least not a violation of theirs (May 20, 1990). On taking a part of one chapter and the whole of another to some study participants as I was still writing, I received very helpful comments. Two of the people asked that I drop the pseudonyms and use their real names because they felt that I had done a fair job of re-presenting what they had told me. They also asked for specific changes in wording to reflect more accurately the way they see. One person asked that where I had used the word "begged," I substitute "asked." "I've never begged for anything in my life," he said. One person wanted me to include her clan and band name with her name. In some nodding deference to external validity, I gave one chapter to a First Nations student in another program who found the analysis suitable and sensible. I found this reality check reassuring. Sometimes I worried that people asked for no changes out of politeness. At other times, I wondered how I could be so patronizing (matronizing) to think that a person when asked would not say what she thinks. With the initial draft complete, I took the thesis to the centre for formal feedback. I left ten copies in the library for circulation. I distributed copies to a few key individuals as well, just to be sure they had every opportunity to respond. These included the five board members, five staff and two students. I attended a student meeting and held two special meetings for board, staff and student comments. At these meetings, six people attended. One brought feedback from current students who were in the two of programs described. I also made myself available for individual meetings if anyone desired. Three people participated in these; four phoned me. I spent hours on the phone with some who were too far away for meetings. And there were suggestions for changes. A few factual details—Cree was offered as a night school course once—to some concerns about the need for a subtle shift in emphasis. One person asked me to change one word in a direct quote. No one else requested any changes within the quotations. In one place, a personal detail was too clearly associated with an individual and I needed to restate it with more anonymity. Some graduate students with whom I was working insisted that I should also have taken the transcripts back to people. I chose not to do this primarily because I use relatively little of each interview. A person could spend hours editing and reworking the transcript from which I might use only a sentence or two. I feel that asking people to spend too much time on work that, in the end may benefit only me, is unfair. I also feel that if they see the way I have used their words in the thesis, they can make a clear statement of whether they approve of my use of their words. On the other hand, I have given copies of the tapes and transcripts of their interviews to study participants who wanted them for their own use. Other than the person with whom I spoke, the transcripts are available only to me. As the study draws to a close, I do regret failing to send a transcript and tape to only one participant. As he read the draft, he found his words surprising. In an ideal world with infinite time and money, perhaps it would be better to take all the transcripts back. This world has neither. Ultimately, I made some adjustments to the text in order to represent people in ways they deemed appropriate. GENDER ANALYSIS I struggled intensely with the role that gender analysis would play in my work. Many of the First Nations women, in all the roles they have in the centre, are clearly very powerful people, very intimately involved in the power relations there. I am a feminist, becoming stronger every day. While gender issues are as significant with First Nations people as they are in all cultures, I did not systematically address gender issues throughout the study. In the face of the racism of the majority society, I found myself focusing more consistently on culture and ethnicity. Gender and class issues, evident in the following chapters, require additional, similarly intense study. First Nations gender issues, because of the diversity of cultures represented in B. C., require specifically situated analysis. The racist nature of society complicates these issues further. Within many First Nations communities, as in the larger society, there are women dealing with and working against men's oppressive ways. In a recent article, one woman referred to this situation as part of the legacy of colonization. Ardith Wilson, of the Git'ksan Nation commented on the Indian Act, that special compendium of federal law which applies only to First Nations people, and which Lee Maracle, a Vancouver author, has cited as evidence of Canada's apartheid system. Wilson considers the Act patriarchal, a male model which the Department of Indian Affairs has promoted. She points out that this non-Native system "never did envelop the system that we had in the feast house." While recognizing the traditional respect afforded women in her society, she said, "We cannot look at the world through rose-coloured glasses. Wife abuse, rape and child abuse are all realities" (Haig-Brown 1988b:20). In a recent article, Osennontion, a Kanien'keha:ka woman, summed up the complexity: . . . . I could never separate my gender from my origin . . . . We attempt to get the "others" to understand that we encounter problems and obstacles that often times go far beyond those that are referred to as "women's issues" . . . [D]espite the fact that these "others" claimed to want to support us "in the struggle" . . . we often times cannot distinguish the "female" view from the "male," and so we find ourselves dealing with maternalism, as well as paternalism. In Nairobi, at the Women's Forum, I was especially appalled with the behaviour of women toward other women . . . (1989:14-15). The roles of First Nations women in traditional cultures, the history of their issues, is significant to a consideration of gender. Conventional anthropology has been challenged for too often basing its analyses in an ethnocentric view of women's roles as inferior. Etienne comments: Overtly stated acceptance of the status quo is less prevalent today among anthropologists than it was several decades ago; but implicit or explicit belief in the universal subordination of women, if not in its inevitability, continues to obstruct efforts to understand both other societies and our own (1980:2). If one questions the universal, one comes to understand that the struggles of particular First Nations women are different from those of other First Nations women and non-Native women. Again acknowledging the serious problems which accompany any attempts to generalize about the various First Nations cultures, I return to Allen's statement that they are "more often gynocratic than not and they are never patriarchal" (1986:2). Gynocratic in Allen's work is used interchangeably with gynocentric and refers to a woman-focused world view. Osennontion comments, In our Nation, while there is no question that the woman is the central figure in the scheme of things, our official government leaders are still men . . . this, too, becomes the responsibility of the women, for we have to select and groom the men for these positions." (14) Because of the complexities of the relationships within the centre, and because I was caught up in the other aspects of the struggles there, I did not do justice to gender issues. At the same time, my concern with gender is revealed in this section and throughout the study. I included a question about gender relations in most of the interviews which stimulated varied responses. Some people had not considered gender an issue; others shied away from it. One person asked that I turn off the tape recorder before she responded. Still others raised gender issues and feminism as part of their responses to other parts of the interviews. I include here a few examples of these vastly differing views. On one occasion, a young student spoke very forcefully about her feminism. I'm a feminist. I don't care if you don't like what I have to say. But I'm going to tell you now that you're not going to leave women on the bottom. We can be just as powerful—if not more powerful—than men in any position. And nobody's going to tell me any different as long as I'm on student council. A non-Native instructor credited her success with students to her "feminist background" which had given her insight into people taking control of their lives. On the other hand, a female board member powerful in her various roles of work with the centre and elsewhere spoke disparagingly of aspects of the feminist movement: One of the main difficulties I had with the it [women's liberation], it was just like that old scenario of the people who are oppressed becoming the oppressor . . . . I also feel that groups such as that will try to latch on to our struggle . . . . I learned that lesson about 1975, when in Toronto, the Marxist-Leninists took into their ranks a high profile Native man and used him. She went on to speak of the strength of women, traditionally and now: In our own history, but also since recorded history, women have always been the ones who have done a lot of the work, the ground work and a lot of the clearing. Even in the Indian movement, it really has been a lot of the women have done the work. Just in my own thinking, I haven't read it anywhere, but about what has happened historically to Native people and Native men feeling, I don't know if emasculated is the right word, but something like that because of what's happened to us in colonization. I think that because they were typically the ones who were out there providing for the family, the woman was sort of in the background. When the reserve system came in and the cash economy came in and the welfare and all that, Native men just lost a whole lot of their inner strength and power. Somehow, because of a need, a necessity, or maybe it was a natural sense from within, that women have had to step in. As far as it being significant, I don't really think that it is that significant when you look at it that way, in terms of our history and what has happened to the men. I really feel, I don't know if it's sympathy or what it is that I feel, for a lot of the Native men because it's tragic. A lot of Native men have been able to pull themselves out of that, but for some it has just broken their spirits. It's true for Native women too, but I think maybe to a lesser extent. Another female board member said succinctly: "I've never thought of Native women as secondary. We are important to our Nations. If it wasn't for us, we wouldn't have anybody." These samples demonstrate some of the complexities of gender issues which the people who work in and around the centre see. The difficulty of doing justice to an analysis which addresses class, ethnicity and gender is one with which researchers continue to struggle. Throughout the presentation of the research, there are clear gender issues. There are also clearly powerful women, students, staff and board. I have not singled them out because, as the quotations above indicate, their relations within the centre are not single, gender issues. At the same time, gender cannot and should not be ignored. SUMMARY Let this then be called the methodology chapter. It is much more than that to me because I feel that ethnography is more than a simple method. Its epistemology assumes the social construction of knowledge. Its purposes are congruent with those of theorists like Foucault to reveal local knowledges in our efforts to understand. With him it insists on a degree of relativism which prohibits grand theory from directing the process or rising out of it. The chapter lays out for you some of what I did and some of how I did it. In that it gives you method. It also tells you much of what I thought about and in that it gives you more than method. Its purpose is to prepare you for what follows and I hope that, in company with chapter 1, it has done that. Note l rThe National Indian Brotherhood has been renamed The Assembly of First Nations, partly in recognition of the important roles women have played as key actors and policy makers. C H A P T E R 3 — H I S T O R I C A L F R A G M E N T S : F I R S T N A T I O N S C O N T R O L I N B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A The successes of history belong to those who are capable of seizing these rules, to replace those who had used them, to disguise themselves so as to pervert them, invert their meaning, and redirect them against those who had initially imposed them; controlling this complex mechanism, they will make it function so as to overcome the rulers through their own rules. Michel Foucault (1971/1977:151) Just as "Indian government is not something that has developed recently" (Little Bear 1984:183)1, First Nations2 efforts to control education are also not new. Although the National Indian Brotherhood's (NIB) document Indian Control of Indian Education (1973)3 is frequently cited as the first expression of concerns about education (e.g. Barman et al, 1987:2, note 1), it is actually only a notable event4 in a long history of First Nations efforts to control education. The power struggle around education, described in documents5 since at least 1916, emerged as governments and missionaries increased their presence and their demands in First Nations territories. Throughout these documents, the statements of First Nations people resonate with the understanding of control articulated in the NIB document: the right to direct education, to choose among options and alternatives, and to make decisions on specific issues. The speakers focus on concerns related to physical facilities and their locations, to teachers, and to programs available for First Nations students. Then as now, there is a call for education equal to that of non-Native students.6 This equality called for is not one which would obliterate First Nations cultures, but one which would enable those who participate to make the choices referred to above. Before non-Native settlement and the influence of Christianity permanently changed the life styles of British Columbia's First Nations peoples, education was the responsibility of the community. While there is a danger of reductionism in speaking generally about the diverse nations within British Columbia, some examples demonstrate the kinds of education in which people engaged. Rita Jack says of the Secwepemc: The methods used to teach skills for everyday living and to instill values and principles were participation and example. Within communities, skills were taught by every member, with Elders playing a very important role. Education for the child began at the time he or she was born. The child was prepared for his (sic) role in life whether it be hunter, fisherman, wife, or mother. This meant the child grew up knowing his (sic) place in the system . . . . Integral to the traditional education system was the participation of the family and community as educators (1985:9). Schooling was not separate from daily activities and education. Children were integral parts of the community and were expected to participate with adults in whatever way their skill level and physical development permitted. They learned by watching a task being performed many times and gradually taking on more responsibility for it. Only at puberty were children removed from the community and educated separately (e.g. Harris 1974:9; Hill-Tout 1899/1978:47). In the evenings, elders recounted parable-like stories emphasizing ethical concepts, history, and myths important to the people. This life long education was not only for the children but for all the community members. In the mid-nineteenth century, missionaries began introducing early models of European formal education to the First Nations. Day schools on reserve and larger boarding or industrial schools became increasingly common. The federal government joined forces with the church in efforts to "Christianize and civilize" First Nations peoples by supplying funding support and establishing legislation designed to ensure school attendance. The focus for education was the children. Indeed, the definitive report which led to the establishment of the system of schools included the following comments: 66 . . . as far as the adult Indian is concerned. Little can be done with him (sic).... If anything is to be done with the Indian, we must catch him (sic) very young (Davin 1879:2/12). First Nations people, on the other hand, saw adult education as most important in their increasing involvement with non-Native people. As this chapter reveals, they frequently raised the possibility of education for adults and school leavers in their moves to control. When government and church officials ignored First Nations' efforts to participate in the structuring of an effective education for their children, the resultant education was often unsuccessful. As a result, there has been increasing demand for adult education as those who left school as youths look to education for change in their lives. Documents indicate that First Nations peoples have consistently used meetings with government officials to attempt to direct and make choices about the new, formal education. First Nations people's testimony from these documents demonstrates the persistence of their directives to government officials as well as the refinement of the presentation of their demands as they came to know and participate in the non-Native society encompassing them. First Nations people articulate clearly in the documents examined here that they have never been conquered.7 The public encounters of First Nations peoples with government officials, revealed in the discourse of the documents examined here, hold the possibility for an analysis of the simultaneously productive and repressive aspects of power relations. The First Nations' presentations are, to a degree, submission to the dominant system, but their consistency reveals a tactical submission which struggles against it. Their presentations are not those of a submissive people. This chapter's somewhat discontinuous examination of First Nations people's efforts to control their education is an initial genealogy8 of control, beginning with its ties to power as a repressive/productive relation. It brings to light genealogical fragments of local knowledges, interred in documents, and renders the bits capable of "opposition and of struggle against the coercion of a theoretical, unitary, formal and scientific discourse" (Foucault 1976/80:85). It moves beyond an analysis which sees relations of power with the government as merely repressive. These documents show First Nations people variously struggle and submit in their efforts to take control. They struggle by presenting their views of how their children should be educated. They submit to learning the negotiation system of the Euro-Canadian society in order to better control it. They submit to aspects of the power which represses and find in that submission forms of knowledge and discourse with which they challenge the power. And throughout these interactions, they retain a knowledge of their own power tied to the land. They learn the laws of the non-Native society, their rights within it, and continue the process of seeking control on these grounds as well as on their own. A fundamental contradiction arises from the very goals of the opposing groups. For the most part, governmental policy9 has worked toward the annihilation of First Nations cultures. First Nations cultures, on the other hand, have sought to participate fully in the new society building upon their traditions rather than abandoning them. Indicative of this split, Peter Kelly spoke of the Indian taking "his place in the body politic" (Conference Minutes 1923:110), while government officials spoke of "absorbing" the Indian into the body politic (Scott in Miller 1978:114). The discourse within documents studied here demonstrates a similar dissonance arising from these contradictory goals. In selections from The Report of the Royal Commission on Indian Affairs for the Province of British Columbia (British Columbia 1916), documents related to the Allied Tribes of British Columbia (Conference minutes 1923; Canada, 1927), and the Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence of the Special Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons Appointed to Examine the Indian Act (Canada 1947; 1948), First Nations people consistently assert their concerns about education. They make specific recommendations for direction and change on such issues as choices of boarding10, day, or public school, selection of teachers and curriculum, and planning programs and facilities for the future. While the nature of these concerns changes from nation to nation and over time, the desire for control does not. The government's desire to exercise power also remains constant. Despite the fact that First Nations people were speaking out, government officials were not listening. The repeated concerns expressed in all the documents indicate that the action for which First Nations people were calling, access to the education system of the "white man," did not occur. The government officials responded only to those requests compatible with established policy directions which ultimately sought the annihilation of the First Nations cultures. MCKENNA-MCBRIDE REPORT The McKenna-McBride report is a four volume Royal Commission Report (British Columbia 1916), named after the federal commissioner and the premier of the province who signed the original agreement on September 24,1912 (10-11). In this agreement, there is no specific reference to schools or education as the subject of inquiry. Although the general statement indicates the role of the commission is to "investigate the condition of Indian Affairs in British Columbia," the terms of agreement all focus on land. The Commission's primary task was "to adjust the acreage of Indian reserves in British Columbia" (10). Despite this, the report acknowledges that, "On every occasion where meetings were held with the Indians, they expressed their views freely on questions of administration . . ." (20). The relationship between land and education is one tied directly to understandings of power. With the continuing encroachment of settlers on First Nations lands and the colonizing mentality of power-seeking governments, traditional ways of living were disrupted and traditional education no longer solely sufficed. Despite this, First Nations peoples continued to see the land as theirs. On at least one occasion in the hearings, the connection between land and education was clearly laid out. In a meeting with the Scowishan Band11, the following exchange occurred: Question: [Commissioner] Which do you think would be better, a day school or a boarding school? Answer: [Chief Jimmie] I wish to see a good, nice industrial school here, in which the children would obey and the Government would buy their clothing and teach them, but as it is now, when my children go only to school I have to buy clothes and food for them, and it takes nearly all my money. The Government should buy the clothes for them. Question: Where do you think the Government is going to get all the money to do all that with? Answer: I think if the Government got hold of all our land, they ought to have enough money to look after the Indians (New Westminster Agency: 334).12 Perhaps this connection between land and education was not one the commissioners wanted reiterated: they subsequently dropped this line of questioning. Despite the commissioners' reticence, people in a number of bands demonstrated their understanding of the connection in other ways. Some felt concerned that discussion of education would be interpreted as acceptance of the extinguishment of land title. In the Bella Coola Agency transcripts, Chief Moody Humchitt and Jacob White, a Bella Bella Indian, both stopped testifying about anything when the commissioners would not talk about land title first. Jacob White: I want to know why you are asking all these questions. The Chairman: It does not matter for what purpose we are asking these questions. All you have to do is tell the truth (Bella Coola: 62). Also refusing to testify, Chief Jim of Kitwanga Band, said,". . . all we are asking is to get our land back" (Babine:14). Albert Williams, spokesperson for the Kitwancool Band, elaborated a similar perspective. After Williams said he did not want to address the school question, the commissioner tried to assure him that his comments on "doctors, schools, and a farming instructor" had nothing to do with the land question. Williams's response indicated his continuing concern with the relationship between the two questions, Witness: Where does the Dominion Government get the money to pay these doctors and preachers who come amongst us? Mr. Commissioner MacDowall: Answer: From the white people all over the country. Witness: Question: Is it not the taxes they get from our lands that they have taken from us? Mr. commissioner MacDowall: Answer: No. It is from the custom duties that they get from bringing things across the ocean. The Dominion Government does these things and it has no land in this province except what it buys. The Provincial Government administers the land, so the money the Dominion Government spends on the Indians comes from the white men and not from the land at all. The records show that "At this point the meeting closed" (Babine:9). Similar scenes were repeated with many northern bands and some in the Okanagan and Williams Lake Agencies. Many band representatives and some individual band members did co- operate with the commission by responding to their questions. As well as inquiring about such details as the number of livestock, cleared acres, or churches, the commissioners frequently asked about schools. Variations of the question above about day or boarding school and of the following occurred: Do the children from this reserve go to school anywhere (NW:351)? Is there any school on this reserve (NW:351)? Why don't you send your children to the public school there (NW:346)? In responses to these questions and in unsolicited statements, First Nations people indicated their awareness of, and often their dissatisfaction with, their children's schools and education. Many of the people interviewed recognized a need to use non-Native education to deal with the changes that were occurring in their territories. Although interpretations of suitable education changed over time, they consistently implied a desire for an education parallel to that of non-Native children, an education which they felt was not available to them and one which would be useful in their new circumstances. In his opening comments to the Commission, Chief James Stacker of the Pemberton Band said: Now as soon as the white man arrived in this country, we began to get wise that we needed education—that education was as necessary to the Indian as to the white man—that they might become wise. So that all the Indians here think that is necessary and they all agree to it (New Westminster: 357). In an exchange with the chair of the commission, Chief Mathias Joseph of the Capilano Indian Reserve suggested a relationship between alcohol consumption and inferior education in his call for useful education: These sisters are French. They don't know when school time is over, and they don't teach my children anything. And I am asking you Commissioners here for more education. I have been to school myself. I go through the eighth book, but all I know is to drink liquor, nothing else. And J would like to see my children like the white man so that I will be proud of him and the government will be proud of him. (My emphasis.) The Chairman: Surely you cannot say that the nuns teach your children to drink? Chief Joseph: No, perhaps, no. But they did not teach them useful things (NW:37). Some people saw literacy as the key to successful adaptation to living with non- Native people. Chief Harry Peters of the Sam-ah-quam Band, proposing a school closer to home, said: And my children—they want to learn to read and write. I sent my first children to school but it was hard for me because the school was so far away (NW:372). Chief William Peeps of the Soda Creek Band complained that the children coming out of school do not know how to read and write. "They stay ten years there and when they come out they know nothing" (WL:142). He went on, "The Indians want the children to go to school and learn everything, just like a white man" (WL:143). (My emphasis.) Others also spoke of wanting children to have an education which would serve them in their adult lives. Expressing his desire for choice in education, Chief Stacker said: We want our children when [they] go to school to learn a trade, such as blacksmithing, carpentering and all kinds of trades just like the white men do. We have been sending our children to the Mission Junction a long time, and we have noticed that they never went very far ahead. So I am telling you we want an industrial school here (NW:357). (My emphases.) Directly addressing adult education, the commissioners raised the possibility with Fred Whelsown of the Musqueam Reserve #2, a young man who had become a plumber, of First Nations people apprenticing for trades as non-Native people did. He gave them a clear message of the need for separate training facilities. Question: Well, if you can go out and learn a trade, why can't the other Indians do the same? Answer: The conditions that I had to go through, I would not like to mention them. Mr. McKenna: You mean that the Whiteman does not give you a fair show? 73 Answer: Witness here cries bitterly and says he would sooner not be asked to recall the hardships he had to undergo while serving his apprenticeship as a plumber (NW:70). Adhering to the non-Native sex-role stereotyping of the day, Chief Kelly of Lacomen focused on females in his call for more advanced and useful education: And then there is another thing. There is no reason at all why the Government should not take two or three of the smart girls out of the school and train them to be nurses so that they would be able to treat the Indians who are sick. I fought a case of pneumonia that my wife had and I came near losing her. Whereas if we had one or more competent nurses, in my opinion, a great many lives could be saved which are now lost through lack of proper attention. And if the Government would train three or four girls, I think it would be a fine thing (NW:427). Interestingly, he prefaced these comments with a call for the teaching of music to all students. Chief Bob of the Clinton Band, when asked if they would send the children to Lillooet said, "It is only this that would make a difference: They have a different language in Lillooet from what my children talk" (Lytton:108). He articulated the assumption that the children should maintain their language of origin as well as attend the non-Native school. As Redford (1979-80) has shown, before 1920, one of the most common ways that First Nations people registered their disapproval was to refuse to send the children to school. That year, when enrollment become compulsory (The Indian Act, 1927:2170), this form of control became more difficult, but was not abandoned completely (e.g. Haig-Brown 1988:86-87). In 1894, "a school attendance clause had been inserted into the Indian Act" in an effort "to maintain adequate enrollment in industrial schools" (Titley, 1986:90). Once children had enrolled, they were required by law to continue. People refused to send their children because they could not pay the expenses associated with schooling, because there was sickness in a particular 74 school, because punishments were felt to be unduly severe, and because the children were needed and wanted at home. Many people expressed the right to financial assistance for schooling as traditional hunting, trapping and fishing territories were limited and disrupted by settlement and new laws. Chief Stacker of Pemberton said, "Since the white men came in, they are trapping over our ground and the Indians are squeezed out" (NW:358). While refusing to discuss schools, Albert Williams of Kitwancool stated: "[Hunting] has fallen off quite a bit since the white men came into this country" (Babine:24). Chief Joseph Kelly of Lacomen expressed his concerns about finances and schooling: We cannot help saying we are awful poor and I can tell you there is no joke about it. We have to work pretty hard to make a living. And some of our people have had to send their children to Tacoma because there is a school which supported the children . . . . This holiday they got a letter saying that they could not keep any Canadians over there . . . . I spoke to the parents and I said "Turn them into the Mission School," but this they were unable to do 'cause there were no clothes for them. So now the children don't go to any school (NW:426). Others talked specifically of the expense of sending the children to schools farther away, this time with the clear statement that proximity permitted home visits. Distant schools were unacceptable. In response to a question about children attending school, Chief Stacker commented, We send them, but very few. And when vacation comes we haven't got enough money to bring them home and send them back again. And that is why we want a school right here (NW:361).13 He had spoken to the commission earlier and said: Now there are Indians who wish to put their children in school, but being short cannot afford to supply them with clothing when they are in school. So gentlemen, all these people here wish to have a school— an industrial school—where the Government will supply them with clothing, books, and everything necessary for them when they are in school (NW:357). Some of those who were able to continue aspects of traditional work saw boarding schools as desirable in that the children's education would not be interrupted and their basic needs might be met. While calling for a school nearby, Chief Stacker explained his preference for an industrial school over a day school as follows: The reason for that is because a day school they have to come home every night and their mother and father would be out fishing and they would not get anything to eat (NW:361). Chief Paul Douglas of the Douglas Band echoed others who wanted their children close to home: "I could send them [to the boarding school] if it was not too far away" (NW:401). Chief Paul of the Skookumchuk Band affirmed that a boarding school would be best "A little ways up the road, about half a mile" (NW:384). Others flatly refused the idea of boarding schools. When asked about sending children to Kamloops, Chief Francois Scotty of the Ashcroft Tribe said simply, "We don't approve of the children living here going away to other schools" (Kamloops:112). Johnny Titlanetza of Cook's Ferry Band stated clearly, "We would rather have a day school if possible because when the children go to a boarding school they are just like being lost to us" (Kamloops:138). Implicit in these statements is that the children would have more direct access to home. That way, they could receive the benefits of non-Native education and still remain within the influence of their families and communities. Nowhere is it apparent that First Nations people were abandoning their children to the Europeans. Rather they were seeking control over their children's education. They wanted the children to be a position to learn the skills necessary to live as First Nations people with the invaders. A SAFE PLACE TO LEARN Finding a safe place for the students to learn was often a source of concern. The children's physical well-being was paramount in the reasons many witnesses gave for avoiding some schools. While there was a strong desire for education, it was not to be had at the expense of children's lives and health. Chief Mathias Joseph of Capilano said, I don't want my children to go to a boarding school because they don't feed them so good. But if I have an Indian public school here like white men, I can look after them (NW:38). (My emphasis.) In other agencies, parents were concerned about the severity of punishment and the overwhelming work loads their children suffered. Many chiefs in the Williams Lake Agency initially refused to testify because of a letter which they had received with advice from their lawyer, Mr. Clark. He recommended that they wait his return from England where he was pressing the Secretary of State for the Colonies to submit the original petition from British Columbia Indians to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in order to deal with the question of land title. The commission was refusing to address the issue. However the severity of concerns about the school there prompted some individuals and eventually some of the chiefs to present their concerns. Basil Simon testified that "They locked me up in a room all day and never gave me anything to eat and sometimes for two days" (WL:22). Chief Too-sey of the Too-sey Band reiterated the plea for education, "we are so anxious to have our children taught," while condemning the Mission school outside Williams Lake: The Mission School is pretty sharp for the Indians. The boys over at the Mission work and they get tired. And then they hike out home by themselves. And I don't like putting the children there (WL:73). Chief Anaham Bob concurred. Claiming that the people at the school whip the children, he added: Three of them died in the school. The treatment of the children at the school is pretty rough and the children sometimes run away in consequence. One time, three boys started off home. On the way, they caught a cold and when they reached home two of them died. They had no clothes on them and coming through the mountains, they caught a cold and died (WL:87). Chief Louis of the Stone Band said none of the children on his reserve were attending school, "I have tried once to send them to school, but they died on us and we don't try any more. It is too far to send the children to school" (WL:100). When questioned, he said that children died at the school. "I have an idea that they worked this boy too much," he offered as the cause of one death (WL:101). Chief Baptiste Williams of the Williams Lake Band pointed out that the children "haul the dirt into wagons . . . work on the farms . . . cut the wood . . . (they have lots of stoves there)" (WL:138). Similar concerns were expressed in the Lytton Agency. Head Chief Klawaskut commented about St. George's School: No, the Indians are not satisfied at that school.... The children run away and just run up on the hills.They don't go home. One of the reasons I am sorry for is (sic), I think some of the children might freeze to death when they run up on the mountains . . . . I have asked some of those boys, but they say they are frightened of the teachers. Of course, you know that a man when he has a boy, he corrects him and uses a stick on him. The teacher is trying to correct them and they are afraid of him (Lytton: 139). Chief Charlie of the Kanaka Bar Band told of taking his grandson out of the school because he was punished. One other boy from the reserve had attended, but "He was punished so bad by being slapped on the ears that he would not go back" (Lytton:204). Many chiefs said that they did not send their children to particular schools because there was no room. Chief Charlie of the Matsqui Band stated about the school at Mission in the Fraser Valley, "I went over to the priest there to try and find an opening for the children, but he told me there was no room for them" (NW:144). While this may not appear to be a form of control, Chief Johnnie of the Harrison River Band indicated otherwise. He interrupted another witness who claimed that more of the children did not attend the school at Mission because "there is not enough room for them down there," to say: I want to tell you why we don't send more children to the Mission school. A good many of the children when they leave the Mission school they are very unhealthy. I sent two of my boys to that school. They were very strong when they went there. But after they came home, they both died . . . . I think they were worked too hard at the school and got consumption and they died. In the summer time, it is very hot down there at the Mission and they have to work very hard (NW:235). Illness played a role in other parents control of their children's education: they often refused to send their children to schools where health problems existed. Chief Joe Hall of the Scowlitz Tribe explained to the Commission why their children also no longer attended St Mary's Mission School. We have had complaints about that school and a great many other children come out sickly . . . . Sometimes consumption and we get afraid to send any more there . . . . Because the Mission school there is no partitions to the rooms and all the children sleep in one room (NW:417-8). When a commissioner pressed him about this concern, Chief Hall explained: . . . The reason why I say it is because I was in that school myself when I was a boy and with other boys. And they took consumption and died. And that is why I know the school is not safe . . . . The other school [Sechelt] they have doctors to come and examine the children. During all the time I was at Mission, I only saw a doctor once (NW:419). Many other witnesses referred to health problems at various schools as the reason they do not send their children there.14 One can only wonder how many of those who said there was no room at a particular school really had other concerns. People also cited age as a factor in their children's absence from school. Sub- chief Johnnie Lewis of the Upper Sumas Band said that two children from the reserve who were "about ten years old," were not attending school "because we think they are rather young yet and we will send them later" (NW:164). To the consternation of the commissioners, Chief George Cooper of the Swoohalie Band acknowledged that George Doctor, a band member, was not sending his children aged eleven, nine and eight because they were too young (NW:212). On the other hand, Head Chief Paul Klawaskut of the Lytton Band said that some parents of children "about fourteen years old . . . reckon they are too old to go to school and those that help their parents, they don't send them to school" (Lytton:137). In some places, where the "white people" did not object, First Nations people exercised control by sending their children to public schools. Chief George of the Seeacham Band described his experience: I used to have a son going there, but the Indian Agent used to get after me and told me that it was not right to send the boy there because he would learn the white people's fashions. But I did not care about that (NW:346). This comment is particularly telling in light of the First Nations concerns with wanting an education "just like the white man." Apparently the Indian Agent had other views. Despite his objections, Chief George continued to send his child to the school. Chief Harry Joe of the Squatisse Band said that people were satisfied with their children's education at the public school nearby where they had been asked to send them. On occasion, children were invited to attend in order to meet the numbers required to maintain a public school in a particular area. Others who tried to send their children to public school and found their way blocked kept their children out of any school. Chief Hall acknowledged that the children on his reserve could not attend the public school at Harrison Mills. Because the white people would not allow Indian children to go there. We sent two there one time and the Council they made a kick and we had to take them away (NW:419). 80 Isaac August John of the Katzie Band declared: "The Indian children are not allowed to go to the public school on account of the objection of certain of the white ratepayers" (NW:93). The segregation of First Nations children from the public schools was based partly in funding arrangements: the federal government assumed responsibility for First Nations education at Confederation. On the other hand, comments like the one of the Indian agent above hint of the racism which led Europeans to regard First Nations people as inferior and not to be educated as white children were. THE ALLIED INDIAN TRIBES OF BRITISH COLUMBIA In 1923 and 1927, the Allied Indian Tribes of British Columbia met with government officials to challenge the outcomes of the McKenna-McBride hearings. Again education was a topic of concern. Again this inquiry demonstrated the inseparability of concerns about education from concerns about land title. In 1915, a number of interior First Nations had met to form a support group for the 1913 petition by the Nisga'a for the recognition of land title, sent to the Privy Council in London. By 1922, in an organization arising out of this meeting, twenty- two bands had joined to form The Allied Indian Tribes of British Columbia (Conference Minutes 1923: foreword 1978). In 1923, the Allied Tribes met with Duncan Campbell Scott in an effort to persuade the federal government to reject the recommendations of the McKenna-McBride Commission. The government hoped the outcome would be a tripartite agreement among the Allied Tribes, the dominion and the province (Taylor 1984:73). Neither goal was achieved, but the meeting did provide a forum for the continued expressions of concern about education and their recommendations for change. The repetition of many of the directives which First Nations peoples had given during the hearings from 1913 to 1916 is a strong indicator that the original ones had fallen on deaf ears. People sought education which would bring people "to the position where they are on equal footing with the white man" (Conference Minutes 1923:118). Representative Reverend Peter Kelly emphasized a number of points reminiscent of those raised in the McKenna-McBride Report. On August 9, 1923, he made some general comments about education. He first spoke of schools while presenting the chiefs' views on medical services. As so many had commented in 1914-16, little medical help was available. As a result, diseases spread unchecked from one student to another. Kelly spoke specifically of day schools of which he had direct knowledge while skirting the issue of boarding school, commenting, "no doubt medical men are brought in from time to time" (111). He spoke of the importance of education for dealing with the exercise of Euro- Canadian power. Using inclusive language, perhaps indicative of the traditional respect accorded women in many First Nations cultures, Kelly commented: Take the executive members of the Allied Indian Tribes—I don't say this in any way boastingly—but just pointing out a fact that I think in almost every instance a member was picked because his fellow tribesmen saw that he could present their views—I mean she included in that—could present their views intelligently. Somehow, although it may not be admitted in so many words, they feel that one who has had educational training is able to bring any grievances before the Indian Department, or the Government, better than one who has not (116). Echoing statements made in 1913-1916, he pointed to the need for vocational training and higher education. "To be able to read and to write and do elementary kinds of arithmetic, I do not think is quite enough" (117). Using agriculture as an example, he again demonstrated the people's desire to have the same types of education as those available to white students. For illustration, the white people who are farmers realize this. Although they have brought their sons up on the farm, the necessity of sending those boys off to agricultural college exists, because new methods, progressive methods, are found necessary by these old farmers if they are going to maintain that general upward progress. Now, if that is true in the case of those who have had such extensive experience in farming, how much more is it necessary in the case of those who have had no training at all (117)? He went on: "The Indian has not had the chance of going to any of the vocational schools or technical schools" (117). Speaking specifically of higher education, Kelly referred to Carlisle School in the United States as an exemplar of the type of institution which might meet the needs of the students. I have noticed these young men who have been through Carlisle School, they come out with a certain amount of feeling of independence. They feel somehow that they have been brought to the position where they are on equal footing with the white man. And it gives them a feeling of confidence. Now I do not say that that in itself is enough . . . . We would like to have an institution where our men and women would be so fitted that they will be able to take their place in the larger public life of this country, and feel that they are equal to any life (118). Duncan Campbell Scott's amazing response to these statements follows: If anybody else would like to make a concrete statement as to education, it will be well. But I think practically enough has been said. Although I would like it placed, as you did the fishing question, in a more concrete form. Mr. Kelly: I think it could be done. Dr. Scott: For instance, on a half page of foolscap, the Minister could get your mind on the question of education (118). (My emphasis.) With that the meeting adjourned for the day. Reverend Kelly returned the next day with some additional specifics as well as repetitions of the suggestions he had made in the first meeting when Scott, at least, appeared incapable of listening. He began by saying: We realize that today we must confine ourselves to something definite; but at the same time until actual negotiations are entered into, we find it a little difficult to talk about all the details of adequate system of education. Any one who gives that a thought can see that point at once (118-19). He went on to call for qualified teachers for the schools. He asked that those who pass into high school be allowed to participate in high school instead of finding their education terminated through lack of local facilities, refusal of public schools to allow them entry, and lack of funding to travel for high school. Pointing to his own time at Chilliwack Industrial School where he spent half his school days and all his summers farming, he called for provision to be "made for those students to spend their time on something that will fit them for the battle of life." He was from the Queen Charlotte Islands where "farming is not a necessity; we did not have land for farms; and farming was a useless thing for myself" (120). He continued to address the problem of what he called industrial schools where children spent "perhaps, three hours in attending classes, and the other half a day going out in the fields." The First Nations delegates felt "that savours of child labour." Again demonstrating an avant garde awareness of what Dale Spender (1980) has called "man made language," Kelly stated that rather than young boys engaged in "hard labour . . . such as clearing land," . . . we would like to see a system put in operation where these boys—of course, that applies to girls too . . . will have to be out to the task with something in view . . . qualify the students for something very definite (121). Finally, he called for financial assistance for "Indian boys and girls who are aspiring to be qualified doctors or lawyers" (121). Almost four years later, the Allied Tribes again met with government officials to discuss claims. This time a Special Committee of the House of Commons and the Senate met with some chiefs in addition to those representing the Allied Tribes. While the time elapsed was perhaps too short to expect implementation of the directions suggested in 1923, so little action had resulted that Rev. Peter Kelly even used the same examples to address the committee. It appears from their responses that the committee members had not taken the time to familiarize themselves with the transcripts of the previous meeting. In an interchange over land use, Kelly commented: This is the point I wish to make: gentlemen if the white people, after hundreds of years of agricultural life, find it necessary to send their brainiest boys to agricultural colleges so they may learn still further how to till the soil how much more necessary is it for the Indians to learn the primary principles of agriculture? Hon. Mr. Stevens: That is sound . . . . That is sound commonsense and you will have a sympathetic hearing here (Canada 1927:156). Acknowledging the repetitious nature of his directives, Kelly referred specifically to the 1923 meeting. . . . the present Minister of the Interior and Doctor Scott will bear me out that I stressed this very thing in my address before the committee in Victoria: that is that we should have such intensive training for the Indians as would enable them to earn a decent living among the civilized people of to-day (158). Perhaps in an effort to separate educational concerns from the larger issue of title, Kelly went on to point out "that education is the duty of the State to anybody, not just the Indians." He again called for "Not only agriculture, but vocational training for Indians. That is what we have been demanding" (159). (My emphasis.) In a telling comment on the possibility of extinguishment of land title by acquiescence, Kelly elaborated his views of the ability of government officials to indicate they have heard what First Nations people have said. I think this is the very point on which we differ. One member says that it has died a natural death, if I may put it that way, because many years have elapsed since the matter was discussed, or at least been acknowledged or recognized by the government, and it has not yet been dealt with (170). (My emphasis.) Acknowledgement and recognition of educational directives were not forthcoming as a result of this meeting. Neither was there any settlement of land title. The committee's report however was only a temporary setback for the First Nations people. Their "grievances remained very much alive . . . and would surface again and become the nucleus of new organizations" (Taylor 1984:85). SPECIAL JOINT COMMITTEE In 1946, they did indeed resurface, in a new form in a new context, but many of them strongly reminiscent of the educational directions the people had called for in the previous documents. Again people came to present their concerns with a sense of their struggle, using the tools of the Euro-Canadian society to strive for control. The Special Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons appointed to examine and consider the Indian Act provided another forum for the expression of First Nations concerns about their education. Delegates from British Columbia met with the committee on a number of occasions. Bands and support groups submitted briefs as well. The right to present concerns was only a token concession. At the second meeting, The Honourable Mr. Castleden gave notice of motion to involve "at least five Indians" to represent five parts of Canada by sitting in on all the deliberations and being available as witnesses. He based this motion on a call for democracy because: . . . the amendment of the Indian Act will establish for years to come, the type of control which will determine the standards of life, training and perhaps, the very existence of, these subordinated human beings to whom democracy is denied in Canada . . ." (Canada 1947a:ix).15 His motion was tabled. Eventually the committee agreed to have one member of the Six Nations Band to attend the meetings and organize the presentations of all the First Nations in Canada (39-40). This concession was not to be seen as a response to Castleden's motion which remained tabled when he did not present a quick way to select appropriate representatives from each of the areas (415). Clearly demonstrating their unwillingness to listen to First Nations people, the officials favoured their own discourse as they silenced the others. While refusing to have First Nations representatives monitoring the committee, members did agree to hear submissions from interested organizations. From British Columbia, Chief Andrew Paull of the North American Indian Brotherhood and Reverend P. R. Kelly of the Native Brotherhood of British Columbia spoke. Andrew Paull began his presentation with some strong remarks about the lack of First Nations representation on the committee. Pointing out that First Nations peoples had called for a Royal Commission to look at both sides of the issues, he saw the current set of meetings as ones where ". . . you are sitting as a committee investigating yourselves . . . you have no Indians on your committee" (420). Chief Tom Jones of the Cape Croker Reserve in Ontario, a teacher himself, presented the N.A.I.B. position on education. . . . we are not given a free hand in our schools. I mean by that we have no board of trustees . . . we want state education, we want the control of our schools because the very existence of our children and our posterity depends on that... we are living today in a different age, we are living in an age where education is paramount, of outstanding importance for all of us . . . . It is therefore for that reason that I made that the first, the most important step we wish to take up, education; to have it in our own hands so that we may enjoy much that we hope for (430-431). (My emphasis.) In 1947, members of the Native Brotherhood returned to give further direction to the committee. Guy Williams representing the "Unaffiliated Indians of British Columbia" stated: "It is the feeling of every Indian parent that the school system should be changed . . . . Education is the answer to the Indian's problem. It will lead him into professions; it will lead him into trades; it will lead to a situation where the Indian will be self-sustaining" (1947b:777). As the hearings progressed, people presented very specific directives about education. This time, they insisted on taking more time than that which could be confined to the "half page of foolscap" Scott had called for in 1923. Their recommendations, not always unified, focused on several areas. They continued to seek an education which would permit their active involvement in Euro-Canadian society while retaining and developing aspects of their traditional cultures. Phasing out residential schools, more day schools, access to public schools and opportunity for higher education, both academic and vocational, were frequently addressed. The need for qualified teachers was reiterated in briefs and presentations from around the province. There were some comments on curriculum and on facilities. While people had asked for boarding schools during the McKenna-McBride hearings, the qualifying factor was that the schools be close to home so that contact with family and community might be maintained. This had not happened for most bands. It was a move in direct opposition to the government policy of cultural annihilation. The schools which were located close to reserves, most of which were established before the hearings, did not permit the children to visit their homes frequently anyway. By this time, many more people had experienced the residential schools either directly or through their relatives and friends. The Songhees people of Victoria submitted a brief demanding that "All residential schools and those under church jurisdiction should be abolished as it estranges the children from their parents during the school years" (1947a:858). Major MacKay, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in British Columbia, acknowledged, "that one of the great weaknesses of the Indian residential school system is that there is a lack of contact with the Indian home" (1947a:129), something First Nations people had said clearly in 1916. The Lower Kootenay Reserve Band demanded "Children to come home on Christmas and New Year's holidays if the parents wish them" (1947a:865). The Fort Good Hope band said, "Only if the schools could be built closer to our homes, we should be glad" (814). Although their evaluation of "mission schools" opposes the sentiments expressed by a number of the chiefs in 1916, a non-Native support group, The Okanagan Society for the Revival of Indian Arts and Crafts of Oliver, B.C., recommended: A new system of education should be established. Mission schools of the past have performed much devoted work, caring for children when parents went to hunt for fish, but the task now facing them is beyond their powers either as regards money or personnel. They are not able to provide an adequate modern education . . . " (1947a:633). If they were to be retained it should be for "underprivileged children," said Chief Andrew Paull (456) and members of the "Stahlo" Tribe (849). The ten chiefs and councillors of bands in the Stuart Lake Agency concurred and added "and children from remote bands where Day Schools are impracticable" (874). Chief Maxime George, echoing concerns expressed about Williams Lake and Lytton schools in 1914, called for a day school. The reason for asking for a day school, at one time children ran away from Lejack (sic) Indian residential school, Fraser Lake, B.C., two have frozen to death while running away, because of the poor care and treatment at the school (1947b:826). Clearly, no controls over the operation of the residential schools had managed to curb the "poor care and treatment" often cited in the earlier hearings. The government officials, if they were listening, had not acted effectively on the directions they were given. Some people, in efforts to deal with the immediate shortcomings of the residential schools, spoke of specific changes needed, again reiterating the demands expressed in earlier documents. In another non-Native support group's presentation, reference to the American boarding schools where twenty years ago children were still required to do "manual labour connected with the operation and maintenance of the schools" included a note "Still the case in Canada today" (1947a:629). The Allied Tribes had spoken strongly against such exploitation in their documents of 1923 and 1927. Reiterating the concerns of Chief Mathias Joseph in 1915, the same support group made reference to the effects of nutrition on I.Q. and called for "proper supplies of food" for First Nations children in schools (621). The 89 Lower Kootenay Reserve Band called for "more schooling hours . . . change of teachers and principals, no sisters, less spiritual teaching, more mechanical, and farming or such" (1947a:865). They preferred a day school on reserve. The call for more day schools was fairly general (1947a:456,849,874; 1947b:854,826). No consensus existed on the topic of denominational versus non-denominational schools. For some the topic was insignificant (1947a:446). On the other hand, Peter Kelly of the Native Brotherhood and a moderator of the United Church argued that "education should be strictly non-denominational" (1947b:798), while the Catholic Andrew Paull, representing the North American Indian Brotherhood, stated, "I am in favour of denominational schools" (1947b:890). The most often repeated directive was for qualified teachers (e.g. 1946:849). Peter Kelly announced, "That is the aim, to have qualified teachers . . . " (1947a:445). When recalled and questioned the following year, he again stated that generally teachers in the Indian schools were not as well qualified as those in provincial schools (1947b:800). Concurring, Andrew Paull demonstrated his awareness of the non-Native system of qualification. He said: Answer: And, they should be qualified teachers. Question: What do you mean by "qualified"? Answer: So that they may have teacher's certificate that they can teach. Question: Under the Indian department or under provincial laws? Answer: Provincial laws. Thomas Gosnell of Port Simpson appeared before the committee in 1947 with an example of the unqualified teachers active in his area. As chief councillor, he visited the schools "to see what is wrong with Indian education." . . . on one of my visits during school hours when I came into that room I saw the teacher at the desk taking a comb and combing the hair of a little pet terrier with the children flying around in the room throwing books at each other. I asked the teacher, "Is this recess time?" "No." "What is this? Is this a school or what?" "No, this is school hours." "But what has the dog got to do with it?". . . . "I threatened to fire her . . . . At the end of the term the Indian agent got rid of this lady. One or two years later I went on my roamings up and down the coast and I found the same teacher in the Skidegat (sic) school, the very same teacher that was fired. Mr. MacNicol: Still combing the dog? The Witness: I did not see the dog this time (1947b:790-l). Other First Nations people wanted regular inspection of the schools by both provincial inspectors (1947a:791) and band inspectors (1947a:849). Two non-Native support groups were noticeably active in submitting briefs. The government officials also successfully ignored their suggestions, ones which were contradictory to the goals of assimilating First Nations peoples. The Okanagan Society for the Revival of Indian Arts and Crafts reminded the government officials of the Annual Report of the Indian Affairs Branch of March 1942 in which they referred to the possibility of providing "special courses of study for Indian Day and Residential School Teachers" (1947a:620). They noted: It is appalling to think that authorities had not realized the necessity for specially qualified instructors until 1941 . . . . We would like to be assured that the Department is actively planning for the training schedule now, so that the program may be established as soon as personnel becomes available" (620). The non-Native Society for the Furtherance of British Columbia Indian Arts and Crafts stated in regards to teachers and other professionals working with First Nations people that: It is essential that the trained personnel selected . . . be equipped with a knowledge of the history, customs, temperament and traditions of the districts in which they serve (1947a:606). In a statement of support accompanying this brief, Mr. Anthony Walsh "internationally known as a teacher of Indian children" added: . . . the educational policy of the last two generations has not been a success . . . . One of the main causes of this failure has been that teachers have failed to take into account the fact that they were working with children of a different background than their own. We can never hope to bring about successful Indian education until teachers are willing to do research work into the background of the people with whom they are working and living" (1947a:846). Indubitably, this research would lead the teachers, and perhaps even the government officials, to the importance of listening to what First Nations people were saying about the educational needs of their children. When the committee asked Rev. Kelly his views of the provincial curriculum, his response indicated the desire for a more local control. We think that however well our system is prepared, that is to say by the Indian department, directed from here [Ottawa], it would still be, in a measure, segregation (1947b:835). He preferred the provincial system, "We think a system under the province would help the people advance more rapidly and we are in favour of that" (835). Chief Tom Jones stated,"... we want the public school curriculum that your communities enjoy" (1947a:433). In addition, some bands such as the Cowichan (1947a:870) focused on public schools as desirable. The clearest indication that government officials had not been listening to First Nations peoples' previous presentations on education arose out of the statements on higher education. On at least two occasions, witnesses referred to the 1927 discussions held between federal officials and the Allied Tribes of British Columbia. An unnamed "Indian leader" is quoted: In the year 1927 the Parliament of Canada provided that any Indian child who showed promise would be assisted in learning any of the professions . . . but that promise made by the Government. . . has not yet been carried out (1947a:621). Andrew Paull cited specifics which suggested that while officials had responded to one request, their hearing recovery was unfortunately temporary. In 1927, they [the department] were asked for better education If you examine their report you will see that they agreed that this money would be used for Indian study. After 1927 several Indians went to technical schools . . . . They went through their courses with flying colours. Then the Indian education department shut the door and would not let anybody else go . . . to technical school, normal school, or to the university (1947b:888). He went on to mention four well-qualified and highly-recommended boys for whom the Indian agent had denied access to technical school (889). Peter Kelly, William Scow, and Thomas Gosnell gave additional examples of refusal of funding for higher education. Indian agents had refused funding for both Scow and Kelly's own children on the grounds that their parents could afford to pay. Gosnell had heard a young man's presentation the month before, at Massett, of a similar circumstance (1947b:811). In addition to funding for technical schools and university, there was a concern that the number of grades in schools be increased (1947:883) and that support be given to those who decided to pursue further education and resultant employment (882). Increasing teachers' pay was another way of improving the schools by encouraging qualified teachers to stay (884). Stuart Lake chiefs and councillors called for: Establishment of vocational training centres, so that our boys and girls after leaving school, may learn useful trades and occupations, and High School facilities be made available for those who qualify for higher education (1947a:874). Thomas Gosnell focused on the differences between a public school and a day school in his community. You can talk across to the other school. They are developing pupils there up to the eighth and ninth grades and they go into higher education. Yet in our Indian school within a stone's throw, it's the 93 same old routine. You get to the fourth grade and you are too old to go on to higher education . . . . We blame the Indian department school system (1947b:791). The statistics used by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for British Columbia confirms Gosnell's sense of things. Of approximately 4100 enrollments in B.C. schools in 1946 (1947a:161), 24 were in high school (165). Just as Andrew Paull had emphasized in 1927, agricultural training was again cited as priority, this time for adults, by the United Native Farmers' Organization of the Stahlo Tribe in Sardis, B.C. "The Department should provide scientific methods of farming in order to educate Native farmers along modern scientific farming." They also stated that high school, college and university education should be financed by the federal government (1947a:849-50). The Fourth Report of the Special Joint Committee recommended "revision of those sections of the Act which pertain to education." The ensuing years brought some changes but again not the education which First Nations people were seeking, not an education which would give their children the same opportunities which non-Native children had. ADULT EDUCATION 1 6 As the children's education was showing little improvement, the need for adult education could only increase. The continuing lack of success of many First Nations people in the school system led to renewed efforts on the part of First Nations people to establish relevant and compatible adult education. Non-Native people and organizations joined in the call for improved opportunities. In 1950, in British Columbia, a Provincial Advisory Committee on Indian Affairs was established. Both Native people and non-Native were members. By 1954, the Annual Report included the statement that, during the previous five years, "approximately 100 Indian boys and girls had attended the Vancouver Vocational Institute" (British Columbia, 1954:6). Subsistence allowances were paid by the Apprenticeship Program of the Provincial Government. Fifty percent of the "boys and girls" came from out of the city of Vancouver and most were in the twenty to thirty year old range. Over the next ten years, the reports of the Advisory Committee document the increasing numbers of students at W I and other vocational institutes such as Nanaimo and Burnaby. The Extension Department of the University of British Columbia conducted band leadership courses annually. The dearth of full time students in the universities was decried to little avail. The 1959 report included the following which hinted of what was to come for adult education on reserve. The Vancouver School Board had developed an innovative program, a sewing course for women on the Musqueam Reserve in Vancouver which was believed to be the "first of its kind in British Columbia" and which was "was being watched with interest by the Vancouver and other school boards" (British Columbia, 1959:9). In 1957, the Canadian Association for Adult Education (C.A.A.E.) included one of their first comments on First Nations adult education in their annual report. W. R. Carroll wrote of "initiating new program services to special groups such as Indians and new Canadians" (C.A.A.E. 1957:n.p.). The following year the Chairman (sic) reported the successful launching of the National Commission on the Indian Canadian (N.C.I.C.). It was designated to be a consultative body, not one to initiate programs. The commission originated with an Ottawa study group led by Rev. P. A. Renaud, O.M.I., the Director of the Native Community Development Bureau of the Oblate Fathers in Canada. The group consisted of senior civil servants and others whose work brought them in contact with "Indians and the so-called 'Indian Problem.'" For the next two years, the N.C.I.C. served primarily as a clearinghouse, collecting and distributing information about First Nations education to interested people and organizations. John Melling, hired from Leeds University, directed the commission which began publication of a bulletin and organized a conference on the Canadian Eskimo. A major study conducted in 1958 (Hawthorn, Belshaw and Jamieson) directly acknowledged the need for adult education in the province of British Columbia. Recognizing three categories of people who might benefit, the report pointed to migratory seasonal workers faced with long winters in isolated communities where trapping was reported to be in decline, less isolated people seeking alternative vocations or improved qualifications, and people in positions of serious community disruption who might benefit from concentrated community development initiatives. Commenting that the latter group would require serious commitment of time and funds, the producers of the report recommended an experimental mobile unit which could visit three communities for six week to two month periods on a trial basis. In 1960, the National Commission on the Indian Canadian separated amicably from the C.A.A.E. and became an independent body called the Indian- Eskimo Association (TEA). It sought to establish a relationship with Band councils and one of its first tasks was to prepare a brief to the Joint Parliamentary Commission on Indian Affairs to examine, among other things, the social and economic status of Indians. Over the next eight years, the recording of Miss Lola M. Bratty's 1966 service as consultant to the IE A was about the only acknowledgement in the C.A.A.E. annual reports of First Nations education. In 1965, the British Columbia Advisory Committee on Indian Affairs included the comment that the B.C. Indian Arts and Welfare Society had been working with the Indian-Eskimo Association to establish a British Columbia branch. In 1961, the National Superintendents' Conference keynote address raised the issue of adult education. The Director of Indian Affairs, Lt. Col. H. M. Jones, commented: The importance of and the need for an effective adult education program has long been recognized. It has been retarded only due to the urgent necessity of devoting our energy to the building of a first-class school system; but the day has now come to enter the adult field with vigour. I would suggest that we pay particular attention to the development of a program of academic upgrading and social orientation for selected groups as a means of preparing them either for immediate employment or for vocational training leading to early placement in jobs (Jones 1961:12). While he mentioned the possibility of "purely academic education of the class-room variety," he implied that this should be a goal for children; his real concerns lay with "those thousands now past school age," whose options appeared not to include university or professional training. Significantly today, many of the First Nations adults now "past school age" are choosing to go to school and prepare for university and professional training as well as for vocational training. The B. C. Advisory Committee, in its 1963 report, included some details of the 101 students at Vancouver Vocational Institute: The girls trained in beauty culture, practical nursing, power sewing, and secretarial and commercial courses. The men took training in carpentry, auto mechanics, diesel engines, machine-shop, electronics, and welding (British Columbia, 1963:9). The most startling aspect of this quote is the division of the students into "girls" and "men". The gender division of their training was usual at the time. Interestingly the report also stated that "12 young men and women were studying at the University of British Columbia" (9). (My emphases.) It went on to say that the Indian Affairs Branch was beginning to show interest in the provincial Advisory Committee. At the 1964 A.G.M., Indian Commissioner J. V. Boys announced new plans and policy of the federal Indian Affairs Branch to move into community development including adult education. Nineteen sixty-four was also the year that First Nations people had their next major opportunity to speak to governments about education. The Hawthorn survey begun in 1964. The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration approached a number of scholars to study "the situation of the Indians of Canada" (Hawthorn 1967:v). While the individual voices of those who addressed the research team are for the most part buried in the report, Hawthorn and his team made significant efforts to speak directly with First Nations people from across Canada in order to assess their situation in a number of regards including education. Sixty-five adults and 125 adolescents were interviewed. In order to guarantee anonymity, the names and bands to which the study participants belonged were omitted and the results generalized. In relation to children, parents expressed their preference for integration in public schools over attendance at residential schools, based primarily, Hawthorn suggests, in their own negative experiences at the residential schools rather than any confirmed opinion that the public schools could provide an education like the "white people's." Echoing a now common theme of First Nations people addressing governments on education, Hawthorn wrote: It was based on the idea that segregated education had not helped them achieve their goals of employment and "a better life" and that white people seemed to achieve such things. They felt the discrepancy might be eliminated by having their children obtain the same type of education as white children . . . feel that such learning will help their children interact more than they can with non-Indians on an equal basis (138). (My emphasis.) At the same time, Hawthorn was aware of the problems with curriculum materials used in public school classrooms and, although curriculum was not one of the areas mandated in the study, recommended the elimination of "inaccurate, over- generalized and even insulting texts" (13). Most significantly, the report acknowledged moves to self-government as positive ones which indicate "the need for full consultation with the Indians" (26) and again "full participation by the Indian people under their own leaders" in the development of government policy. Hawthorn mentions adult education only in passing (105, 171). In 1965, the focus of the Annual General Meeting of the Provincial Advisory Committee was Education and the Indian People. The report states: . . . the greatest barriers to the Indian pupil's educational progress may be deeper and more subtle than an inferiority in ability or intellectual capacity. In order to improve the educational life of the Indian child, it is necessary to recognize there is a difference in Indian and non-Indian values, attitudes, and way of life, and that one is not necessarily better than the other. Attitudes need to change on both sides of the fence; we must stop regarding the Indian as an inferior person, incapable of making a decision about his (sic) own life, and the Indian must stop expecting us to be both rejecting and paternalistic (British Columbia, 1965:6). The report went on to say that the Indian Affairs branch had sent five community development officers to Indian communities and were sharing the funding for one other with the Province. A Regional Advisory Committee was elected by the Native people to represent their concerns to the federal authorities (8). In 1965, there were 301 students enrolled in vocational programs and "only" 18 at university (12-13). The following year, the annual report of the Provincial Advisory Committee documents that Indian Affairs in co-operation with Public School Boards was delivering adult education courses in literacy, basic skills, homemaking, navigation, first aid, farm mechanics, carving, and cedar bark weaving. The 1967 annual report commented that education continues as a grave need of the Indian people of the Province. There is a need for programs that will prepare young native pupils to cope with the problems which the Canadian culture of today presents and, at the same time, value the traditions of their ancestors (British Columbia 1967:6). In 1968, the federal Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development was listed as a donor to the Canadian Association for Adult Education for the first time. In 1969, the Saskatchewan division acknowledged as one of its most critical 99 needs in adult education "to include educational programs for deprived populations such as Indian, Metis, urban and rural poverty groups." (C.A.A.E. 1969:A.27) The Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development continued as a donor. Two years after the Hawthorn report, disregarding its recommendations (Weaver 1981:6), the federal government produced a white paper which "proposed a global termination of all special treatment of Indians, including the Indian Act" (4). It was partly in response to this document and partly as a continuation of the struggles to control education that the National Indian Brotherhood presented the document Indian Control of Indian Education to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. Their refined restatement of concerns expressed in earlier documents indicated, that despite the movement from residential school to provincial schools, there had been little fundamental change in the experiences of First Nations students. First Nations peoples reiterated their pleas for control over staffing, programming and facilities in order to give their children an equitable education. They continued to call for education "to reinforce Indian identity and to provide the training necessary for making a good living in modern society" (National Indian Brotherhood 1973:3). The 1969 report17 of the Provincial Advisory Committee mentions the significance of the federal government's new White Paper on Indian Affairs, the establishment of the First Citizen's Fund, a provincial funding source for First nations people, and an increasing shift to local school districts so that eighty percent of the classes were administered through local school districts with input from local Indian people in many cases. By 1970, this had climbed to ninety percent. When schools continued to fail First Nations children, adult education played an increasingly important role. As the next chapter demonstrates, in the Native Education Centre, achievement of the goals, of the NIB, became a central concern. For First Nations people in the cities, away from home reserves and/or non-status, 1 0 0 finding an educational institution to meet the two goals for which the WIB were calling was particularly difficult. Some band members felt commitment to an opportunity for First Nations education in the city; others felt that funds should be limited to band community use. This conflict continues to be an issue and led to moves to diversify funding discussed later in the thesis. Notes Ŝee also Cassidy and Bish who point out that responses to the White Paper of 1969, which preceded the Indian Control document, was merely another indication of long standing moves toward self- government evident since "contact with Europeans" (1989:11). 2The use of the words First Nations serves to indicate the distinct and separate histories, territories, and languages of the aggregates of aboriginal people which existed in what is now called North America, and the primacy of those nations. It is interesting to note the 1875 use of nation in "Report of the Government of British Columbia on the Subject of Indian Reserves" where it is stated "that each Nation (and not tribe) of Indians of the same language be dealt with separately . . . "(British Columbia 1875:9). This reference demonstrates that government officials were aware of the existence of some things called "Nations" with which First Nations people could be identified. 3The document was presented to the government in 1972. The version with which I am working gives 1973 as the date of publication. 4Foucault describes an event as "not a decision, a treaty, a reign, or a battle, but the reversal of a relationship of forces, the usurpation of power, the appropriation of a vocabulary turned against those who had once used it, a feeble domination that poisons itself as it grows lax . . ." (1971/1977:154). The presentation of this document to the government, written in a vocabulary appropriate to government, is clearly an event. 5The documents examined in detail in this chapter are The Report of the Royal Commission or Indian Affairs for the Province of British Columbia, documents from 1923 and 1927 related to the Allied Indian Tribes of British Columbia and the Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence of the special Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons Appointed to examine the Indian Act. 6I have added emphasis on quotations where this plea is particularly evident. 7For example, Peter Kelly stated clearly in a meeting between the federal government and the Allied Tribes of British Columbia, "We have not been conquered," to which Hon. Mr. McLennan responded, "Well, call it peaceful penetration in British Columbia, fortunately" (Canada 1927:156). Andrew Paull also raised this issue in 1927 report of the meetings described above, he stated,"... one paragraph of that report which states that the refusal of that committee to allow our claims was due to the fact the committee said the Indians in British Columbia had been conquered by the British. Now, that is historically incorrect" (Canada 1947b:885). 8While I feel affinity with the genealogies of Michel Foucault, this chapter is only a beginning. Foucault claims that genealogy "requires patience and a knowledge of details and it depends on a vast accumulation of source material." (1971/1977:140) This chapter focuses primarily on three sets of source material. In all likelihood, there are other materials which could add to the analysis presented and 1 0 1 which would lead to a much more extensive work than the present thesis can accommodate. On the other hand, Foucault talks of genealogy recording events "outside of any monotonous finality;... it must be sensitive to their recurrence, not in order to trace the gradual curve of their evolution, but to isolate the different scenes where they engaged in different roles" (140). This chapter presents events, not in any final way, but as a collection of different scenes related to the process of taking control. 9See Fisher 1977:146-174; Titley 1986:201-204; Haig-Brown 1988a:25-28. 1 0While the commissioners focus on differences between day and boarding schools in their questions, some of the First Nations people refer to industrial schools. For example, in the Lytton Agency transcript, one commissioner, who has been told that St. George's School is an industrial school, later again asks the witness, Head Chief Paul Klawasket if the school is day or boarding. Although both Titley (1986:76) and Redford (1979-80:41) indicate that the Department of Indian Affairs differentiated between boarding and industrial schools, the commissioners, for the most part, appear unaware of the distinctions. In all likelihood, this use contributed to the continued blurring of the terms. In British Columbia, the schools under discussion during the Royal Commission hearings do not adhere to the criteria which Titley outlines as characteristic of the two around the turn of the century. ^Throughout this chapter, I have maintained the names of bands and the spelling of those names as they are in the documents. 1 2Throughout this paper, references to transcripts of The Royal Commission on Indian Affairs for the Province of British Columbia are given by agency and page number. The two abbreviations which are used are N W for New Westminster and WL for Williams Lake. For all others, the agency name is written in full. The transcripts used are those in the library of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs. 1 3 I have taken some liberties with the editing of the quotations, primarily around punctuation. I have tried to be extremely cautious in this editing not to change meaning but merely to smooth the reading. For example, in the transcript I have available through the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, this response was transcribed as a single sentence: "We send them but very few and when vacation comes we haven't got enough money to bring them home and send them back again and that is why we want a school here." It seems unlikely to me that this sentence was spoken without pauses of any kind. 1 4 F o r example, in the Lytton Agency transcripts, Chief Johnnie of the Shawlook Band comments,"... it seems that there is only one school at St. Mary's Mission and there is always sickness at that school. And we are afraid to send our children to that school." (293) Chief Jimmie Joseph of the Ohamie Band echoes these comments. (302) John Harry of the Swoohalie band in the New Westminster Agency said of Coqualeetza, "My oldest girl has been to school and she got sick at school, and that is why I don't send the others" (213). ^References to the Special Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons appointed to Examine and Consider the Indian Act, Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence, will be given by year and page number. I used one volume from each year for the purposes of this genealogy. These volumes are the ones in which major presentations for British Columbia were made. 1(>This section differs from most of the rest of the thesis in that it does not focus on the concerns and words of First Nations people or those non-native people directly involved in the daily delivery of educationational programs. It is a fruitful area for further ethnographic work, particularly interviews with those people silent in this section. It is included to provide some chronological coherence to the thesis. 102 17The 1969 education section repeats the first paragraph of the 1966 report. The first paragraph of the section on education in the 1968 report is repeated in the 1971 and 1972 documents. One wonders how serious the Director was about his involvement with education during those years. 103 CHAPTER 4 — BECOMING: A HISTORY OF THE NATIVE EDUCATION CENTRE . . . as soon as there is a power relation, there is a possibility of resistance. We can never be ensnared by power: we can always modify its grip in determinate conditions and according to a precise strategy. Michel Foucault (1977/88:123) This chapter introduces a specific site with its localized knowledge, "a place of power at its extremities" (1976/1980:96). Tracing power and control within this context, the chapter begins with another "fragmentary" history, that of the Native Education Centre (N.E.C.) the focus of this study. It places current relations of control in the centre historically and reveals some of the practices in which people engaged as power relations developed in and around the centre. It relies predominantly on interviews with two long-term administrators, documents such as annual reports and articles related to the centre and, to a lesser degree, on interviews with former staff and board. First Nations women and men, with a few key non-Native supporters and workers, organized and worked together to create an education centre different from existing institutions, one which would reflect First Nations control of education. Students returning to school as adults are seeking change. While their previous educational experiences have been ineffective or of limited duration,1 they now see a value in education. For First Nations students, interrupted education is very common. In 1968 when the centre began, and still today, this lack of success indicates the need for a change in the nature of education available to those seeking to improve their lives through participation in education. First Nations people, with some non-Native people, have worked to control education in order to develop institutions more responsive to their needs. In this sense the work of making this centre was and continues to be a challenge to existing power relations between First Nations people and the majority society. At the same time, the need for funding and recognition by institutions outside the N.E.C. is a submission to existing power in which education serves a normalizing function. As the last chapter indicates, just as First Nations people have worked for control, non-Native people have attempted to define education for First Nations students since the first schools began in the province. Within the centre itself, power relations are revealed in on-going interactions over the definitions and delivery of appropriate education. From its inception, First Nations people have worked for control within the Native Education Centre in order to offer Native adults an alternative educational experience to that available in existing institutions. The people working to establish and later keep the centre wanted to address control in two ways, in terms of culture and credentials. They focused on both the delivery of acceptable mainstream education and, concurrently, the enhancement and development of First Nations cultural understandings. Mainstream education refers to education which employers and institutions of higher education recognize as equivalent to comparable public education or, in the case of skills programs such as microcomputer training, to private or provincially recognized institutions. This recognition would ensure that students could leave with a credential in hand which would serve them beyond the centre. Culturally, the centre's board and staff seek to provide opportunities for the students to investigate their heritage, their current social context and to grow in their knowledge and understandings of the significance of being First Nations people in contemporary society. The contradiction of these two goals is an important part of the unfolding of the centre. Mainstream education for the most part has paid little attention to First Nations people's lives and histories. But students want the tools of mainstream education in order to improve their lives. At the same time, the centre staff seeks to offer an education which does not do violence to students' lived experiences by 105 denying their place in the world and making them invisible as they co-exist within the dominant society. Specifically, First Nations cultures and histories are included in the curricula offered in the centre. OUT OF CONFLICT The original centre developed out of a specific conflict. In 1968, First Nations people, many of whom were women, struggled directly with the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND) over funding. A meeting of the powerful Native women's organization, Indian Homemakers Association of B.C., "a society which takes in a much broader range of interests than baby care and domestic skills" was held in Sardis. The organization is the oldest non-profit provincial Native organization in B.C. The Indian Advisory Committee's 1968 report documents what it calls "a drastic change" in the Homemakers' role to a more "sophisticated" participation in Indian Community affairs. (British Columbia, 1968:10) As an independent voice for Native women and families throughout B.C., the organization has long demonstrated its ability to respond independently and quickly on a variety of matters.2 In a newspaper article of June 17,1968, an important meeting of the Homemakers was detailed. Disgruntled with cutbacks to their clubs, "since they had become more of a pressure group," the final straw was the withdrawal of funding for delegates to attend the annual meeting. The group met anyway, changed their constitution and registered under the Society's Act. Striking "out for independence from the Department of Indian Affairs," the women focused on why "they aren't treated like other citizens." Acknowledging that "the men don't really understand what we're trying to do," the chair commented that they would go ahead just the same (French 1968:n.p.). An association newsletter at the time stated clearly that one of their desires was to begin to influence personnel changes within the Department of Indian Affairs, a step in the process of taking control. Specifically their concern centred on Ray Collins,3 an adult education specialist who had been working around the province. We were dissatisfied with the proposals by the Branch [of DIAND] in the cut-back of the adult education program which we had waited for for years . . . . We found out that the Adult Education specialist Mr. R. Collins who had been with us for three years and who had assisted us in getting started with many of our programs in sewing, cooking, community programs, handicrafts and upgrading courses would no longer be available to work with us in the continuation and extension of those needed areas of education . . . . We decided that many of our employees of the Branch over the years that worked with us were removed without our knowing. It is time we think that we should be considered when there are changes being made in personnel and programs which we believe are helping our people. (My emphasis.) . . . After carefully considering alternative actions, it was decided . . . to stage a march to the Regional Office [of DIAND] to meet with the Minister and the Commissioner. This was done (Indian Homemakers 1968). The Province of Tuesday, June 18, 1968 reported: About 70 Indians marched with protest placards to the old post office Monday to complain about the education, welfare and job opportunities to B.C. Indian Commissioner J. V. Boys . . . . But he refused the Indians request to bring in Ray Collins 55, "adult basic education teacher" whom the delegation says has been taken out of the field and put in to an office . . . . The Indians like Collins and want him back in the field they said. Carrying signs which included "Reactivate Ray Collins," "We Demand Justice Now," and the perennial "What about the B.C. Land Question?", the marchers represented several Native groups as well as the primary organizers, the Homemakers. The Sun in its article about the march included comments from Mrs. Evelyn Paul, of the Indian Advisory Board, that "members of the Indian Homemakers Club feel that department officials dislike Collins because he helps Indians too much." Ray Collins had been hired by the Department as an Adult Education Specialist to work with First Nations throughout the province. After completing a short training course in Ottawa in 1965, Collins began working "in the field" around British Columbia with several bands organizing adult education programs either at their instigation or, at his suggestion, with their consent. Native people responded positively to his work and the numbers of programs offered were growing. After about three years, he found his position terminated. In a letter addressed to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Collins requested reconsideration: The recent "managerial decision" of the Region to terminate my position this July is difficult to understand. Especially is this so, since last year I was told that even with enlargement of the staff, there would be more than enough work here . . . It seems that it is regressive and uneconomical for the elimination of a position that requires an extensive training, a depth of understanding that only comes with wide experience, travel and study, and at a considerable expense visiting the Indian communities throughout this Region (Collins 1968:1). Rumours circulated that Collins's job description had been changed in order to accommodate the hiring of a friend of the person in charge. A 1975 article in Indian Voice, the Homemakers' newspaper, added, "One of the complaints lodged against him was that he fraternized with Indian people instead of maintaining a professional manner." Despite the protest and Collins's request, the Department of Indian Affairs did not give the Native people what they were asking for. They continued with their plan of working with the Province and its school districts to decentralize adult 108 education. Their plans had not taken into account urban First nations people. As a compromise, they offered Collins an alternative position in adult education, that of manager-teacher with duties to establish an Indian adult education centre in Vancouver. Whether this centre had been planned before the protest or whether it was a design to pacify the people without disturbing the changes in policy and personnel which had already been implemented is worthy of further investigation. The development is, however, a clear reflection of the productive and repressive aspects of power relations and of the contradiction within the development of the centre. While they did not get what they were asking for, the department's compromise yielded important results for urban First Nations people. The N.E.C. continues to make important contributions to their education. S T R U C T U R E A N D P H I L O S O P H Y The Indian Education Centre was born in September 19684 in downtown Vancouver with Collins as principal. It was established across from the Greyhound bus depot in a former drafting room of Vancouver Vocational Institute the institute which had served vocational education for provincial First Nations students during the earlier years. The centre had two main goals: to help First Nations people prepare for employment or for enrollment in further education courses and to ease the transition to the city for those coming from the interior, northern parts of the province, and from jail. As the "very unique centre" opened, a news clipping of the time reported: [The] principal has a very person-oriented, student-oriented school for Indian adults wishing to improve their educational standing. Classes of about 15 each permit individual and small group learning situations in a friendly and cooperative setting . . . . There is continuous enrollment and graduation . . . . Close interaction is maintained with the Indian community. Visitors are welcome.5 (Collins n.d.) Although it was frequently threatened by funding cuts, the centre operated for the next ten years under Collins's guidance in much the same way. Always faced with the contradiction of providing education acceptable to the majority society to people who had been oppressed by the system which the education represented, he worked to establish a balance between the opposing demands. Starting from a position of respect for the adults with whom he was working, Collins provided instruction in reading, writing and mathematics with an emphasis on every day living and on preparation for further vocational or academic training. "Indian History and Handicrafts; Some Geography and Science, Typing and Drawing-Drafting; etc." were also advertised as part of the curriculum. A community focus was most important from the inception of the centre. The extent to which relatives and friends were encouraged to participate in the centre was almost unheard of in adult education offered in school districts and vocational schools. Clearly, the small size of the classes facilitated these activities, but even with growth, they have remained an integral part of the centre. Collins commented: They [the students] got so they would bring their families in and their children and their grandfathers and their mothers and their friends in and we would have Christmas parties. We would have really good Christmas parties and birthday parties and Halloween parties. And they'd go out bowling and they'd got to the park and we'd go to various Indian conventions and we'd get the Indian chiefs in and the leaders of the different organizations would come down and talk to us and visit with us. So it was basically a help, a friendship centre with education and help and assistance and backing. They had a home there. They'd go out and come back. And they knew that they weren't to sit in the back of the room. That it was . . . their place when they were there. In January of 1969, four months after the centre started, the city required a move as the site was considered unsafe. In 1971, the centre moved again, from the two 110 converted offices at 525 West Pender to larger premises in a government building on Howe Street. Informality continued to be essential. As one article commented, "The students are men and women whose formal education ended 20 years ago. They can come here with their hopes and ambitions and not be put down by a conventional classroom atmosphere so remindful of early failures" (Norcross 1971:46). The coffee pot, stereo tape deck, television, pictures and articles on current Native issues on the walls, ping pong and pool tables and "irregular seating arrangement" provided a welcoming site for adult students. Collins's former work with business and other schools gave him a sensitivity to power relations: I've been in various job situations where I was the boss of men. I had been in big plants and labs, also in a number of the schools and I had this feeling that there was this threat all the time. The students were threatened; the men were threatened. I began to think that this isn't the right way especially in the schools to have it, so we, I decided, we decided we'd drop all of it. They were my friends in there and I was their friend . . . . So this was a fundamental attitude that wasn't too common. It still isn't common . . . . When I found out that someone was trying to interfere with that, well then I'd have to tell them I wasn't going to stand for that. And I would tell the superintendent, if you get some of those ideas, just don't show up here. And if you do show up, you're going to find you're very uncomfortable. So they got the idea that they weren't going to give their bureaucratic harshness down in the school. This clearly articulated commitment to work against the repressive tendencies of power produced a number of notable developments. Peer tutoring and counselling were encouraged. A particularly poignant example with overtones of family interaction illustrates the two-way benefits of peer tutoring. Dora Cook, a band councillor on numerous committees at home, is upgrading her formal education from Grade 6 level. She comes to a difficulty in her math. She turns to a much younger student for help, rather than to Collins. It's not that she lacks confidence. The young boy, as she very well understands, does (Norcross 1971:46). (Original emphasis) Some students found the atmosphere unusual at first and took a while to get used to it. Collins reported that one student commented, "It can't be a school because there are no threats here." But, he said, when they got used to it, they liked it very much. Collins developed some curriculum materials with an emphasis on Native content and combined these with the use and adaptation of standard adult education materials such as Mott, Saskatchewan Newstart, Cambridge Adult Basic Programs, Laubach, Follet, Stech-Vaughan, Britannica, Reader's Digest and SRA. In describing the program to the Canadian Guidance and Counselling Association National Conference, Collins commented: We are continually trying new and better ways to get involvement and participation, relating our skill development programs to real situations, and using problem-solving approaches, discussions, and group co-operative work as much as we can . . . . Monthly academic achievement tests indicate progress and proficiency levels for graduation . . . (1974:37). In recognition of the need to be accountable to the Indian Affairs Branch and also because one of the goals of the centre was to teach mainstream skills, testing was an important part of the school. Assessment tests including non-verbal ones, used in conjunction with other types of "information gathering," provided a reasonably good estimate of work needed for students beginning their studies. Personality and aptitude tests were less successful, but served their purpose. They [personality tests] were useful in that when the students were going to take them at some other place, they wouldn't be scared of them because they'd already gone through them. Actually, the tests weren't very reliable. These were the tests that were being used in industry and business and we'd use them and look at them. We'd try them out . . . . We also had aptitude tests that we used and we questioned. These comments on testing reflect the contradictory demands which the centre was facing. While the tests were not useful in themselves either for the purposes 112 intended or as supplements to the curriculum, they served as important preparation for students looking to further employment and education which in all likelihood would include such measures. The measures were however always used cautiously. Collins commented, "If the tests didn't do what I thought they should, I knew they were no damn good." In his work in the centre, Collins focused on the importance of the teacher's counselling role to stu