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Stories from outside the textbook : "Counter Points" to colonial narratives in the British Columbia… Krieg, Elizabeth Anne 2007

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STORIES FROM OUTSIDE THE TEXTBOOK: "COUNTER POINTS" TO COLONIAL NARRATIVES IN THE BRITISH COLUMBIA PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEM By Elizabeth Anne Krieg B.A., Simon Fraser University, 2004 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Society, Culture, and Politics in Education) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA © Elizabeth Anne Krieg, 2007 ABSTRACT This thesis is an exploratory study into three participants' perspectives regarding Aboriginal representation, or the lack of it, in Chapter 15, "Urbanization" of the Social Studies 11 textbook Counter Points: Exploring Canadian Issues. The participants were Libby, a recently graduated high school student from the Musqueam Band, Arleen, a Euro-Canadian Social Studies 11 teacher, and Clayton, an acquaintance of mine of Tlingit and European descent. The participants shared how they felt their cultures were being privileged or marginalized by Eurocentric content in Chapter 15 and the public education system in general. Collaborative expert interviews, storytelling, and reflexivity ensured that the participants' perspectives and knowledges were at the forefront of the research. At the heart of my thesis were the participants' stories, created with their input and feedback, and consisting of a mixture of their interviews, personal reflections, and testimonial excerpts taken from the 1912-1916 McKenna McBride Commission. The testimonies helped to demonstrate how colonial ideologies of the past continue to persevere into the present. My personal family history was also braided into the historical analysis as a part of the reflexive component to the thesis. The stories from Aboriginal learners Libby and Clayton challenge the banality of colonialism within Chapter 15 and how it could be read as an extension of the settler society's assertion to land title. Arleen and I found that our perceptions regarding Chapter 15 changed upon our reflections of Libby and Clayton's stories, causing us to question how public education disassociates the colonial actions of the past with the present. Further critical reflection had us consider what our roles are to help stop colonial ideologies from being further perpetuated. The research indicated that Eurocentric knowledge continues to be disseminated in education and how storytelling may be a tool to challenge this information and build relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal learners. Future study needs to be conducted to determine whether these methods could create safe spaces in classrooms to engage teachers and students with the types of issues that were discussed in the thesis. ii TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT ii TABLE OF CONTENTS iii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS v CHAPTER ONE 1 Revealing Counter Points to Counter Points > .. 1 Background to the Study 2 Terminology 8 Overview of the Study 10 CHAPTER TWO 14 Literature Review 14 Scope of the Literature 14 Systemic Racism in Education: 15 Evidence in Textbooks and Curriculum 21 The Last Thirty years of Recommendations 25 Challenging Systemic Racism in Public Education 29 Conclusion 32 CHAPTER THREE 33 Theoretical Framework 33 Colonization of the Mind 33 Imperialism and Colonialism in British Columbia 35 Resistance 36 Perpetuating Eurocentric Knowledge 39 Conclusion 39 CHAPTER FOUR 41 Methodology 41 Introduction to the Methodological Approach 41 Method One: Expert Interviews 42 Method Two: Storytelling 47 Method Three: Reflexivity 50 Conclusion 53 CHAPTER FIVE 54 Stories 54 Libby 54 Discussion: Libby's Story 61 Arleen 65 Discussion: Arleen's Story 68 Clayton 69 Discussion: Clayton's Story 77 Elizabeth Anne Curtis Combe Irwin Williamson Krieg 80 iii Curtis and Williamson 81 Irwin and Combe 85 Discussion: My Family's Story 88 Conclusion 90 CHAPTER SIX 92 Conclusion 92 Overview of the Study 92 Major Findings 97 Final Reflections 101 BIBLIOGRAPHY 104 iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Thank you to Libby, Arleen, and Clayton for their willing participation in this project and valuable insights. This thesis would not have existed without them. I want to thank my family for supporting me and putting up with my endless questions about our history. Thank you to my thesis advisor Dr. Jo-ann Archibald and committee members Dr. Penney Clark, and Dr. Jo-Anne Dillabough for their patience and support. Finally, I want to thank Gavin and Joanna for their encouragement and understanding. CHAPTER ONE Revealing Counter Points to Counter Points This thesis is an exploratory study into the personal stories of one Aboriginal student, one Euro-Canadian teacher, and one member of the public of mixed Aboriginal and European descent, and their perspectives on Eurocentrism1 in Social Studies education. Through in-depth expert interviews, storytelling, and reflexivity, the participants identified Eurocentric ideologies within the content of Chapter 15, "Urbanization" of the Social Studies 11 textbook Counter Points: Exploring Canadian Issues, and provided critical counter points to Counter Points. The participants' stories differed depending on their cultural backgrounds, which they all believed was a significant determinant in their ability to identify Eurocentric content. They also explored how the intergenerational historical treatment of their families in the colonial system played a role in how they were, and are treated in the mainstream social system. To gain an understanding of the colonial history in the narratives, primary sources were taken from the McKenna McBride Land Commission of 1912-1916, and placed within the contemporary narratives. In each story the participant was able to choose a primary source that connected in some way with their narrative, giving a voice to the past as well as the present. The juxtaposition of historical and contemporary narratives demonstrated how the legacy of racist attitudes in British Columbia continues to marginalize Aboriginal peoples in and outside of the education system. 1 Marie Battiste's (2000) definition of "Eurocentrism" will be employed for this thesis. Battiste (2002) defines the term as the "habitually accepted superiority of European knowledge systems over non-European knowledge system" (p.21). 1 Background to the Study The British Columbia Ministry of Education rated Counter Points: Exploring Canadian Issues as one of the most comprehensive Social Studies 11 textbooks available to support Social Studies 11 curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2005, p.40). Chapter 15 of Counter Points entitled "Urbanization" introduces students to basic themes in human geography and discusses the geographic, economic, political, and social considerations of urban development. The chapter is divided into six sections - Introduction, Global Urbanization, Function and Form of Cities, Analysing Urban Functions, Land Use in Cities, and Towards a More Sustainable City. The Introduction begins with a historical narrative about what life what like for Canadians four years after Confederation. For men, this entailed farming, fishing, and working in quarries or lumber mills while women's lives centred on households and looking after children (Cranny & Moles, 2001, p.367). The narrative then describes how between the years 1871 and 1971 the population of people living in urban areas or towns and cities, jumped from 18.3 per cent to 76.1 per cent (p.367). The process of people moving to urban areas is described as "urbanization" and the text goes on to describe how "urbanization" has occurred in most of the "developing countries" and continues today in the "developing countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America" (p.367). The next portion of the chapter, Global Urbanization, looks at the international divisions between peoples living in urban and rural areas and how mechanization, industrialization, and technological change in energy sources prompt the movement of people into cities (p.367). The authors further describe how rapid increases of population into urban areas cause the depletion of resources and as a consequence, existing infrastructure is unable to meet the needs of the people moving in. The authors 2 also suggest that shantytowns and child poverty are also the result of rapid urban growth (p.370). The next two sections, Function and Form of Cities and Analysing Urban Functions, demonstrate how cities are often geographically situated in order to meet a particular objective. These objectives include defence, transportation, and resource extraction. Maps of Vancouver are used to demonstrate how the city is situated to take advantage of the natural resources and waterways to transport goods. Urban functions are divided between "basic activities" and "non-basic activities" or in other words, industrially driven towns such as mill towns that "serve a larger population than just the community and bring wealth into the area" and towns that exist to meet the needs of a local population (p.376). The remainder of Chapter 15 examines the social causes and effects of urban development and how there are competing land use interests within urban areas. The interests noted are "residential, industrial, commercial, transportation, institutional, and other" (p. 3 82). "Other" is defined as public administration uses, recreational areas, cultural facilities, health care facilities, and open space (p.382). These competing land interests are portrayed as a single factor that compromise potential for sustainable environmental and economic development. Poor urban planning and dependency on cars are also noted as factors that contribute to unsustainable development practises that contribute to urban sprawl. Images of suburbs in the Greater Vancouver area are used to demonstrate what this looks like. However, the authors also bring in the debate about how urban sprawl is a product of people choosing to live in suburbs and it has been argued that suburbs produce a lower cost of living than in cities (p.3 80). The chapter concludes with a look to the future of urban development in Canada and how the history of development has lead to unsustainable urban development practises that 3 threaten the well being of future generations. Reactions made by Aboriginal students to Chapter 15 and subsequently my own examination of the material, demonstrates how Chapter 15 is an example of how Eurocentric ideologies have been embedded in the education system. On two separate occasions, the chapter was brought up as an example of the settler society ideologically re-asserting their title to land. First, in 2002,1 was working in a Vancouver suburb as a youth worker and I ran an after school homework club where I tutored high school students. Counter Points had just been published in 2001 and was used in all of the high schools in the district in which I worked. To prepare myself for students' questions I had read through the contents of the textbook. At the time I was taking an Aboriginal history course for my undergraduate degree in geography and history, and was just being introduced to colonialism and issues of land title in British Columbia. I looked to see if these topics were included in the textbook. I was pleased to see that in some of the chapters of Counter Points there was an inclusion of the topic of Aboriginal land title and I did not give the matter another thought. Then a conversation with three local Aboriginal youth transformed my perceptions of the textbook and the general public education system. Before they left the youth centre one evening, the three youth wanted to finish answering a set of questions from Chapter 15 "Urbanization". As they settled down to work, a discussion arose about one of the photographs used in the chapter to demonstrate urban sprawl (Cranny and Moles, 2001, p.381). The photograph the students had been examining was of the suburb adjacent to the reserve on which they lived. What they had been discussing was how fitting it was that the reserve was not included in the frame of the photograph because also excluded from the chapter was the discussion about how the 4 land had been expropriated from their community by the colonial government and settlers for agricultural development. The injustice of current land development taking place on unceded Aboriginal territory had never occurred to me before and I began to wonder about the role of education in producing and reproducing knowledge that asserted that new and old settlers were entitled to the land. I was fortunate after this experience to work for the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) as a digitization technician for the Our Homes Are Bleeding Digital Collection (2005, http://www.ubcic.bc.ca/Resources/ourhomesare/). This project entailed digitizing the entire testimonies from the McKenna McBride Commission, also known as the Royal Commission on Indian Affairs for the Province of British Columbia 1912-1916, as well as compiling and digitizing UBCIC's many other historical materials. Reading through hundreds of pages of testimonies from First Nations, government officials, members of the general settler society, priests, and business men gave me a completely new perception of the history of British Columbia and what unceded territory actually meant. My supervisor and work colleagues would discuss at length the educational possibilities for Our Homes Are Bleeding Digital Collection and I thought about how different my understanding about land title issues and Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal relations might have been had I had an education that incorporated the knowledge that was being shared with me at UBCIC. With the encouragement of my colleagues I entered into the graduate program Society, Culture, and Politics in Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia to further my understanding of the education system in British Columbia and to incorporate the knowledge that had been shared at UBCIC into my thesis work. 5 As I was beginning my graduate work in Educational Studies, content in Chapter 15 of Counter Points was again identified by an Aboriginal student named Libby as an example of how the settler society was ideologically asserting their rights to land. Libby is a young woman from the Musqueam First Nation, whose traditional territory extends over the Greater Vancouver area. Libby became a participant in the study and provided valuable insight not only into how Chapter 15 was Eurocentric, but also how the rest of the textbook and greater education system were re-configurations of the colonial past. During the same time period that my initial conversations with Libby were taking place, I was enrolled in a Curriculum Studies course at the University of British Columbia on Texts, Politics, and Ideology in Curriculum Development. Most of my classmates were teachers in the public education system and in this course they expressed a mixture of emotions when the topic of Aboriginal title and rights arose. They also discussed how they felt unprepared to bring these discussions into their classrooms. Part of why they felt unprepared was that this was a topic that they themselves had not learned about in their own education and they felt uncomfortable to teach the subject matter because they considered it to be a politically sensitive topic. My conversations with these teachers prompted me to seek out Social Studies 11 teachers who would be interested in talking about their views on Chapter 15 and Counter Points and how they were introducing and discussing the issue of Aboriginal title and rights in their classrooms. A basic understanding about Aboriginal title and rights is a prescribed learning outcome of the Social Studies 11 curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2005, p.l 1), but I wondered how teachers were approaching the topic if teachers were feeling uncomfortable discussing the issues. 6 One teacher of Euro-Canadian descent, Arleen, came forth to volunteer and provided an important contribution to the study by demonstrating how reflection can assist in changing the hegemony of the colonial narrative in education. When she first joined the study, Arleen questioned why I was using Chapter 15 as an example of Eurocentric ideologies. After she listened to the stories of the Aboriginal students' concerns, she took some time to reflect on why she had not thought about these issues before. Upon reflection, Arleen felt she had been teaching without considering how her assumptions about land were assisting in the perpetuation of the colonial narrative. Arleen's story demonstrates that teachers can learn from voices that counter the colonial narrative, suggesting the potential to disrupt the cycle where students who are educated within the colonial narrative become teachers who teach students the colonial narrative, who then become teachers, and so on and so forth. As the study was coming together, a third participant contacted me to talk about his early education in the Yukon where local Indigenous knowledges and European knowledge were taught with equal weight in the classroom. Clayton is a member of the Tlingit First Nation and of European ancestry and the education he received in the Yukon was developed to create understanding between cultures. When he was eight years old he moved to the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and his education changed drastically. He immediately noticed the disappearance of local Indigenous knowledges from the curriculum. As he later reflected on this disappearance as an adult, Clayton connected it to the immediate issue of land title and the actions the settler society were taking to maintain their sense of title to the land. In his story Clayton focused on a section of Chapter 15 that discusses 'Sustainability' in urban environments (Cranny and Moles, 7 2001, pp.388-391). From Clayton's perspective, this portion of the chapter demonstrated Eurocentric knowledge by overlooking local Indigenous knowledges in the text. He stressed the importance of knowledge sharing to solve problems and help combat systemic racism.2 Clayton had experienced how this worked in the Yukon and believed that education without knowledge hierarchies could help address cultural tensions between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples. My discussions with the participants and reading through the McKenna McBride testimonies prompted me to examine how I am implicated in the racist colonial past and present. After conducting research into my family history I was able to create a narrative that placed my family directly within the context of colonialism and how my family played a clear role in maintaining the goals set out by the colonial government to expand the British Empire. I integrated this perspective into my thesis by taking excerpts from the McKenna McBride testimonies and relating them to the time and place in which my family entered the province and began to help build the colonial infrastructure. Their stories had never been told before as anything other than a benign part of the natural migration flow of Europeans coming to the most Western part of Canada. What I had not considered until listening to the Aboriginal youth back in 2002 was how this history continues to exclude Aboriginal peoples from rights and title to land. Terminology These context-dependent terms will be used throughout the thesis: 1) Aboriginal; 2) First Nations; 3) Indigenous; 4) Settler Society; 5) Non-Aboriginal and, 6) Dominant Society. The term "Aboriginal", defined by the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs 2 1 borrow Ng's (2003) definition of "systemic racism" to describe "systems of domination and subordination that have developed over time as taken-for-granted societal features... based on the ideology of the superiority of one race" (p.51-52). 8 (UBCIC), refers to "the first peoples of the land and was defined in the Canadian Constitution Act of 1982 as all Indigenous people in Canada, including Indians (status and non-status), Metis, and Inuit people" (UBCIC, 2005, p.l). According to Jo-ann Archibald (1993), the term "First Nations", "refers to the first peoples of Canada", and is the general term used when a number of First Nations groups are referred to (p.226). In British Columbia there are "ten major First Nations language groups" and the term "Nation" is used to distinguish the cultural, geographical, and linguistic boundaries of the First Peoples" (p.226). The term "Indigenous" is defined using the United Nations (1989) Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (ILO 169) declaration that Indigenous peoples self-identify as: a) Tribal peoples in countries whose social, cultural and economic conditions distinguish them from other sections of the national community, and whose status is regulated wholly or partially by their own customs or traditions or by special laws or regulations b) Peoples in countries who are regarded by themselves or others as Indigenous on account of their descent from the populations which inhabited the country, or a geographical region to which the country belongs, at the time of conquest or colonization or the establishment of present state boundaries and who, irrespective of their legal status, retain, or wish to retain, some or all of their own social, economic, spiritual, cultural and political characteristics and institutions. These terms will be used interchangeably throughout the thesis and will be referenced according to specific literature reviewed in this study. Historical geographer Cole Harris's (2002) uses the term "settler society" to indicate the "generally white [British and European] immigrants from the time of settlement" (p.46). The term "non-Aboriginal" is used to designate the broader range of cultural backgrounds of peoples who do not identify as Aboriginal and live in British Columbia (Furniss, 1999, p.xi). The term "dominant society" alludes to peoples who 9 "assume the superiority of their worldview and attempt to impose it on others" (Battiste, 2002, p.36) thus proclaiming "cultural superiority, material privileges, and political authority" (Furniss, 1999, p. 17). These ideas will be explored further in Chapter Three, Social Theory. I do not discuss exclusionary "racialized immigration policies [that] enabled land settlement by Europeans" or racial hierarchies that are perpetuated by current immigration policies that "Other" peoples who do not adhere to Eurocentric ideologies of the desirable immigrant (Thobani, 2001, p.49). These ideas are important to consider when discussing the decolonisation of education in British Columbia, but are outside the scope of this work. The focus of the thesis is on the experiences of the participants and to acknowledge that "Aboriginal peoples in Canada are the original inhabitants of this land, and accordingly, their experiences of racism are not necessarily the same as those of racial and ethnic minorities (British Columbia Human Rights Commission Report, 2001, p. 9). The counter points to Counter Points are not meant to dichotomize Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples, but to raise awareness that changes to the public education system are needed to educate settler populations about Aboriginal peoples from Aboriginal perspectives. Overview of the Study The research questions that guide this study are: 1. Where have Aboriginal learners identified Eurocentric ideologies in British Columbia's education system, particularly in reference to high school Social Studies curriculum? 2. How might storytelling disrupt and challenge these ideologies to help bring about social change and justice? 10 To provide context for the research questions, Chapter Two is a review of literature that discuss systemic racism in the education system in British Columbia. The literature review is organized into four sections; 1) Systemic Racism in Education: An Extension of Imperial and Colonial Ideologies; 2) Evidence of Racism in Textbooks and Curriculum; 3) Thirty-years of Recommendations and; 4) Storytelling: Challenging Systemic Racism in Public Education. The literature includes a discussion regarding how British Imperialists enforced a specific Eurocentric ideology regarding land and reason to justify land expropriation for their colonies and how this ideology became the basis of the public and residential schools systems in British Columbia. Chapter Three introduces the theoretical framework, which is situated within anti-colonial arguments that Western education maintains racist social hierarchies to re-enforce imperial and colonial ideologies. The theoretical presuppositions made by Indigenous scholars Linda Tuhiwai Smith (1999), George Sefa Dei (2002), and Marie Battiste (2000, 2002) were drawn upon because their work challenges the banality3 of colonialism in education. These academics' arguments illustrate how local Indigenous acts of resistance to the agendas of imperialism and colonialism provide the basis from which to challenge systemic racism in education. To conduct the research I chose collaborative expert interviews, storytelling, and reflexivity. This approach was inspired by the work of Leni Lenape/Potawatami and European education scholars Susan and Michael Dion (2004) and Salish Elder Ellen White and education scholar Jo-ann Archibald from the Sto:lo First Nation (1992). Their 3 The term "banality of colonialism" in this thesis refers to the acceptance of colonial practises as "normal". For more information regarding "banality" pleas refer to: Arendt, H. (1963) Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil Viking , New York. 11 application of collaborative oral4 and written storytelling to research methodology blur the lines between researcher and participant, creating a comfortable space in which to raise complex and difficult issues. This process helped the participants and me to risk sharing our personal accounts of how we experience Eurocentric knowledge. These ideas are discussed further in Chapter Four, Methodology. Chapter Five includes the written narratives, followed by a discussion of how each participant, including myself, identified Chapter 15, "Urbanization" of Counter Points as an example of how Eurocentric knowledge is passed on to future generations in education. Each story is followed by a discussion where I draw upon theoretical arguments that were introduced in Chapter Three of this study. Excerpts from the McKenna McBride testimonies are inserted into each narrative where the participant felt it was appropriate to demonstrate how the voices of the past intertwine with the voices of the present. Chapter Six provides an overview of the theoretical and methodological approach to the study and participants' reactions the study process. Recommendations for changes to the education system are also provided and reiterate what Aboriginal scholars and activists have been proposing for well over thirty years. These include "Indian control of Indian education" (NIB/AFN, 1972),5 implementing a mandatory curriculum created by Indigenous educators for all students, providing mandatory and relevant courses regarding the legacy of colonialism during teacher education, and the recruitment and 4 For further discussion regarding oral traditions of Indigenous peoples, contribution to knowledge and heritage, and as vehicle for transmission of knowledge and heritage, please refer to: Battiste, Marie & James [Sa'ke'j] Youngblood Henderson. (2000). Protecting Indigenous Knowledge and Heritage: A Global Challenge. Saskatoon: Purich Publishing Ltd. 5 The ideas discussed in Indian Control of Indian Education (1972) will be further addressed in Chapter Two of this thesis. 12 retainment of Aboriginal teachers and administrators (Archibald, 2002; Battiste, 2002; Hare, 2003; Ignas, 2004; NIB/AFN, 1972; Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP), 1996; St. Denis & Hampton, 2002). The experiences and perspectives of the participants were the evidence used to explore how Eurocentric content continues to spread through the public secondary education system, with great consequences for Aboriginal learners and future relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples. While Chapter 15 of Counter Points was identified as a symptom of the overall problems in the education system, it was the counter points made by the participants that demonstrated that recommendations Aboriginal educators have made for well over thirty years have yet to be realized. To act upon these recommendations would be a step in the right direction after 125 years of colonial disrespect and oppression. 13 CHAPTER TWO Literature Review Scope of the Literature The scope of the literature is an examination of how British Imperialists enforced a specific Eurocentric ideology regarding land and reason upon First Nations to justify land expropriation for their colonies. As I will describe, this ideology became the epistemological basis for the public education system in British Columbia and was used as a justification by the colonial government to create the residential school system. In these ways, the literature review draws attention to the historical factors of imperialism, colonialism, and racism, and illustrates how they continue to impact the current public education system. The literature review is organized into four sections; 1) Systemic Racism in Education: An Extension of Imperial and Colonial Ideologies; 2) Evidence of Racism in Textbooks and Curriculum; 3) Thirty-years of Recommendations and; 4) Storytelling: Challenging Systemic Racism in Public Education. The ideas presented in the literature introduce the complexities of cultural identification, the residual effects of imperialism and colonialism, and education. As education scholar Michael Marker (2000) states, "it is crucial to acknowledge that both Indians and Whites encountered each other and defined each other from cultural promontories" (p.84). He continued, "it has been too often assumed that only the Aboriginal person dwells within a cultural system and that government agents and church officials operated in an unproblematic cultural normativeness" (p.84). In order to disrupt Eurocentric cultural normativeness, these 14 literatures draw attention to the goals and aims of the British Imperialists, demonstrating that their actions were anything but benign and unproblematic. Systemic Racism in Education: An Extension of Imperial and Colonial Ideologies The aim of the following section is to understand "colonialism rather than the workings of the imperial mind," because it allows me to "investigate the sites where colonialism was actually practiced" (Harris, 2004, p. 165). One such site is the public education system, where, as Edward Said (2000) explains, celebrations of imperial and colonial culture take place as a "triumph of the collective advancement towards humanity" (Said, 2000, p. 177).6 The following literature challenges the banality of such social celebrations by presenting indicators that the colonial authorities in British Columbia initiated an education system founded on the hierarchical principles of race that divided peoples along lines of progress and humanity or civilization. The social construction of race in nation building will not be discussed at length in this thesis.71 want to move beyond just identifying the construction of race to demonstrate how this hierarchical principle was used to exploit land and First Nations and how the myth of racial hierarchies was entrenched in the public education system to become a part of the Canadian national narrative that lingers to this day. 6 1 would like to make note of postcolonial theorist Edward Said (1978, 1993, 2000) who has been cited by many academics (just to name a few: Battiste & Henderson; Harris, 2002, 2004; MacKenzie, 1995; Smith, 1999) as having been highly influential in the discussions of the construction of the culture of imperialism and colonialism. Said's work and social theories regarding imperial and colonial culture however will not be discussed further in this chapter. 7 For further discussion please refer to: Banks, James. (1995). The Historical Reconstruction of Knowledge about Race: Implications for Transformative Teaching. Educational Researcher, 24 (2). 15-25. Kabayoshi, A. & Peake, L . (1994). Unnatural Discourse: 'Race', and Gender in Geography. Gender, Place, and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 1 (2). 225-243. Manzo, Katheryn. (1998). Creating Boundaries: The Politics of Race and Nation. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers. 15 The ideology of progress hinges upon the European notion of private property and reason (Blomley, 2004; Borrows, 2002; Furniss, 1999; Harris, 2002; Smith, 1999). John Borrows (2002), an Anishinabe scholar and a member of the Chippewa of the Nawash First Nation, explained in his book Recovering Canada: The Resurgence of Indigenous Law how these definitions of space and law in Canada constructed a "legal geography of space" that continues to marginalize Indigenous peoples (p.30). These laws, enforced by the Indian Act, served to sever the spaces in which Indigenous peoples developed spiritual, political, and social customs, where each group "created its own distinctive ceremonies and formalities to renew, celebrate, transfer, or abandon their legal relationships to land" (p.3-4). The banning of cultural ceremonies such as the Potlatch on the West coast of Canada (Borrows, 2002; Marker, 2000) and the annual Sundance ceremony (Dickason, 1992) were acts of governments' repression of Indigenous peoples, although ceremonies continued to take place despite threats of jail and fines (Archibald, 1993; Borrows, 2002). Ultimately, Borrows argues that the attempts made by the Canadian government to acculturate First Nations were not successful (p.5). The resistance First Nations have put to the imposition of British culture continue to complicate the Canadian mono-narrative of what constitutes progress. Classical British thinker John Locke (1690) defined "progress" in his influential book, Second Treatise of Government, as space defined by the "natural law" of private property (In Blomley, 2004, p.l 15). Locke argued that peoples living within lawless spaces were inferior to Englishmen because lawlessness was indicative of how their sense of reason had not yet been developed (Arneil, 1996, p.303; Brown, 2004, p. 12). According to Locke "savages" could be saved from their lack of reason by accepting 16 Christianity into their lives; "Christianity will spread throughout the world by virtue of the growth of natural man's [Aboriginal] reason" (as cited in Brown, 2004, p. 12). Education and philosophy scholar Lee Brown (2004) explains that Locke's philosophies became the backdrop of the British imperialists' actions of land appropriation and the civilizing movement in Canada as colonists ignored the complex cultural laws that defined Aboriginal peoples' relationships to the land (p. 12). Brown writes that colonial churches had two books at their disposal: the bible and Locke's Two Treatise on Government (p. 12). The churches, along with the colonial governments took it upon themselves to educate Aboriginal peoples about the "natural law of man" by taking the land and enforcing the residential school system (p. 12). In many ways, Canadian laws regarding land title complicated the goals of churches and the colonial government in the land that is now British Columbia. In his book Making Native Space, historical geographer Cole Harris (2002) explains that the idea of progress was imbedded in existing European indicators of "unproductive" land uses, capitalism and technology, and the pursuit of self-interest (p.51). Imperialists, being the good capitalists they were, sold the idea of the colony as an open space for a patriarchal family to secure social standing and prosperity and to investors as a rich venture into an unlimited resource supply (p.51). In the way of such progress was the Royal Proclamation's definition and deference to Aboriginal title to the land. Harris explains that the British Royal Proclamation of 1763 declared that the colonial governments had a responsibility to negotiate land claims with Aboriginal peoples on a nation-to-nation basis, yet these laws were not followed when the British declared all land in British Columbia as Crown land (Harris, 2002, p. 15). In this thesis it is not my 17 intention to address definitions of Aboriginal title and rights,8 but am instead interested in how Aboriginal title and rights were denied because of Eurocentric ideologies. For example, Sir James Douglas, the first Governor of the colonies in British Columbia at first recognized Aboriginal title to the land and the need to settle title through treaties. According to Harris (2002), historical documents demonstrate that Douglas's initiative to create a comprehensive Native title policy waned during the first ten years he was governor (p.32). There are contested accounts of why Douglas did not deal with Aboriginal title but Harris thinks the most likely explanation is that Douglas believed the negotiations to be unfair, the results being detrimental to the well being of the First Nations (p.33). This assumption however did not lead Douglas to question the actions of the British. Douglas rather considered Indigenous peoples as ignorant, unable to recognize that they were being taken advantage of (p.33). Douglas believed then that the only solution to the "Native question" would be to civilize and assimilate Indigenous peoples, in effect, to save them from themselves (p.33). These sentiments became the language used to justify the imperial agenda of expropriating land from the original inhabitants and the creation of two education systems, one intended to teach young colonists their higher station in British Columbia and the other to educate Aboriginal peoples into believing their lower status. Racism was therefore already an intrinsic part of the public education system for non-Aboriginal children and denominational education system for Aboriginal children in British Columbia. Common schools or public schools in British Columbia were firmly established by 1871 and often held both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students. In an article 8 Please see Borrow, John. (2002). Recovering Canada: The Resurgence of Indigenous Law. Toronto: University of Toronto Press for further discussion regarding title and rights in British Columbia. 18 entitled, "The Emergence of Educational Structures in Nineteenth Century British Columbia", education historian Jean Barman (2003) wrote, "It was expected, indeed assumed within the dominant society, that persons who were non-white, non-Protestant, non-northern European would perform less well, whatever the measure, be it in or out of school" (p.39). Subsequently, children of Aboriginal descent were often made ashamed of their "bi/cultural identity/ies that they inherited from their parents (p.40). Barman provides primary historical documents that indicate English children were given preferential treatment in the majority of common schools, making school a place people of Aboriginal descent began to avoid. With Aboriginal children dropping out of the common schools, the government's goal to assimilate Aboriginal peoples into Euro-Canadian society was at risk. The education system therefore had to be upgraded to ensure that the government's burgeoning assimilation policies would be successful. The most aggressive of these missions was conducted through the residential school system as missionaries and governments attempted to "civilize" Aboriginal peoples by "separating the young from their families and thereby the old ways" (Archibald, 1993, p.98; Barman, 2003, p.56). Poor instruction, forced labour, inadequate living conditions, and numerous abuses befell the children and youth who were sent to residential schools (Barman, 2003; Brown, 2004; Kelm, 2003, Ing, 1991; Jack, 2001). At some institutions the death rates were sometimes close to fifty percent (Brown, 2004; Kelm, 2003). Jean Barman (2003) discusses how the residential schools schooled Aboriginal children for their unequal status in Canadian society. In "Schooled for Inequality: The Education of British Columbia Aboriginal Children," she explains that the residential school's origin "lay in a federal policy premised on Aboriginal peoples' assimilation into mainstream Canadian 19 society" (p. 5 5). However because of white supremacist ideologies, Aboriginal peoples were never expected to integrate into white Canadian society, unless it was to provide them with manual labour (p.64). The inhumane treatment of Aboriginal younger generations and loss felt by the older generations damaged relations between the colonial society and First Nations communities as these schools "consciously attempted to destroy the nurturing heart/mind connection," leaving an emotionally crippling legacy for Aboriginal families and communities (Brown, 2004, p. 13). The legacy of the residential school system continues today,9 as do the Eurocentric ideologies that initiated it. Academic literatures have overlooked the connections between specific players of the colonial project in British Columbia and education. Archival evidence indicates that the networks of the colonial society were small and many of the same people who were involved in the lands expropriation were also involved in setting up the education system. One such example is James Pearson Shaw. Shaw was one of the first high school teachers in Vancouver (Barman, 2003, p. 186) and was also one of the leading commissioners for the province during the McKenna McBride commission (Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, 2005). Shaw was often sympathetic to those who asked the commissioners to take care of the "obstacles, the Indians," and heralded urban and industrial expansion as the comings of progress to the province (RG-10, Cowichan Agency, 1913, p.3). Another example is Iver Fougner, a man who began his career in 9 For further discussion please see: Morrissette, Patrick. (1994). The Holocaust of First Nation People: Residual Effects on Parenting and Treatment Implications. Journal of Contemporary Family Therapy, 16 (5). 381-392. Hare, Jan. (2003). "Aboriginal Families and Aboriginal Education: Coming Full Circle". Children, Teachers, and Schools: In the History of British Columbia 2 n d Edition. Eds. Jean Barman & Mona Gleason. Calgary: Detselig Enterprises, pp. 411-430. 20 Bella Coola as a teacher (Pope, 1896). Fougner later became the Indian Agent for the Bella Coola agency and provided testimony to the McKenna McBride commissioners that the land was only an "incident to the Indians" because in his jurisdiction "Indians" were primarily fishermen (RG-10, Bella Coola, 1913, p.141). Fougner's assessment was indicative of the attitudes that many of the Indian Agents had regarding land use practises. According to them, if the land was not actively being used for agricultural or primary resource extraction, the value of the land had not yet been realized. These examples provide evidence that those who were responsible for taking away of land were also those who defined colonial discourses10 in public schools. In these ways, these literatures show evidence that Eurocentric philosophies were embedded into the education system at its very beginnings. The public education system taught young British and then Canadians how their forms of knowledge were superior over others while Aboriginal children were forced to attend residential schools where their knowledges and lives were consistently devalued relative to European ways of knowing and living. The following literature examines how these ideas appear in historical and contemporary textbooks and curriculum used in British Columbia. Evidence in Textbooks and Curriculum While there have been many studies done regarding portrayals of Aboriginal peoples in textbooks and curriculum in North America, (Apple, 1992; Decore, Carney & Urion, 1981; Clark, in press; Costo, 1970; Dillabough & McAlpine, 1996; Garcia, 1978, 1980; Hull, Knight & Barnett, 1982; Indian and Metis Conference Education 1 0 According to Howarth & Stavrakakis (2000), the underlying assumption regarding "discourse theory" is that it assumes that all "objects and actions are meaningful, and that their meaning is conferred by historically specific systems of rules" (p.2). In the context of this thesis, I refer to Spivak's (1985) discussions regarding imperial and colonial discourses, which is referenced in Chapter Three of this thesis. 21 Committee, 1964; Jackson, 1976; Kirkness, 1977; O'Neill, 1987; Marsden, 2001; McDiarmid & Pratt, 1974, 1979; Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, 1974; Seixas, 1993; Sluman, 1966; Vanderburgh, R. M., 1968; Vogel, 1968; Wilson, 1980), the next portion of the literature review focuses on three articles that speak specifically to studies that discuss British Columbia's education system. Timothy Stanley's (2003) article, "White Supremacy and the Rhetoric of Educational Indoctrination: A Canadian Case Study" indicates that by 1925, British Columbia was made into a white supremacist society (p.l 13). The education system was "integral to the construction of supremacist hegemony in B.C." and textbooks in particular were important in "transmitting a nexus of ideas about patriotism, citizenship, and character" (p.l 13). Racism was so deeply entrenched in the everyday language of education that the supremacy of whites was continually being validated. To illustrate his point, Stanley researched the textbooks used in B.C.'s public schools from 1885 to 1925. He concluded that history and geography textbooks in particular linked the colony of British Columbia to imperial Britain by using the same language to describe both Canadian nationalism and British imperialism. Curriculum in British Columbia not only "depicted the British Empire as a moral enterprise, it was also intended to instil in students a morality around imperialism, mobilize students behind this enterprise and enable them personally to participate in it" (p.l 19). The textbooks indicated that to participate in the formation of the British Empire there were specific character traits that had to be met. Stanley argues that these traits were race based and were expressed in textbooks such as the Dominion School Geography (p.l 19). This particular textbook described white society as the "most active, enterprising, and intelligent race in the 22 world" (p. 123). Aboriginal peoples were depicted as "wild", "savage," "cruel," and "uncivilized," a "vanishing race" that no longer belonged to the landscape (p. 113 and 123). The textbook dichotomized European and Aboriginal peoples as active and inactive contributors to the Empire; validating the colonial society's perceived inherent right to the land. Literature about contemporary Social Studies textbooks tells a similar story. Sto:lo education scholar Jo-ann Archibald (1993) wrote an article called "Resistance to an Unremitting Process" where, through a case study of the Sto:lo people, she examines First Nations reactions to the colonial goals of "Christianizing, 'civilizing', and assimilating children through formal educational institutions and curricula" (p.93). In this piece, Archibald cites a number of Canadian studies conducted in the 1960s and 1970s that looked at negative portrayals of Aboriginal peoples in curriculum and textbook analysis (p.104). These included Harro Van Brummelen's (1986) article Shifting Perspectives: Early British Columbia Textbooks from 1872 to 1925, Manitoba Indian Brotherhood's (1974) textbook evaluation entitled, The Shocking Truth About Indians in Textbooks, and Walter Werner et al (1977) national study called Whose Culture? Whose Heritage? Van Brummelen (1986) explained that the general portrayal of "Indians was... as cruel and revengeful, spending their time gambling, smoking, and feasting.. .pictures made native people look backward at best, brutal and savage at worst" (p. 28). The Manitoba Indian Brotherhood's review of textbooks, illustrated that textbooks used in the mid-1960s continued to portray Aboriginal peoples as "savage and hostile" and that the main feature of the textbook under review was "the tendency to treat the Native as an impediment to be removed so that the goals of European progress can be 23 realised" (p.41). Werner et al (1977) study found that information in textbooks used across Canada in public elementary and high schools, generally homogenized the diverse cultures of First Nations and Inuit and represented them from either a British or French perspective (p.27). Werner also commented on the changes that occurred in the teaching approaches and textbooks between elementary and high school. In elementary schools First Nations' cultures were taught as historical categories such as heritage or museum and in secondary schools, First Nations were portrayed as "discipline issues" or unable to integrate into Canadian society (p.33). After examining this literature Archibald (1993) questions, "How were these students expected to gain a realistic understanding of First Nations cultures?" and then discusses how the absence of First Nations cultures in education had detrimental effects on Aboriginal learners as teachers and students continued to reiterate paternalistic and ethnocentric attitudes towards First Nations (p. 105). The stereotypes about First Nations peoples in the education system during the 1960s and 70s reinforced white supremacist ideologies that were discussed in Stanley's (2003) article and position the next scholar's article as a continuance of the settler society "Othering" of First Nations. In an article entitled "Representations of Aboriginal People in English Canadian History Textbooks: Towards Reconciliation" curriculum studies scholar Penney Clark (in press) explored how current textbooks continue to "Other" Aboriginal peoples, a benign and safe way for the settler society to distance themselves from the "residual injustices and inequalities of colonialism" (Clark, in press, p.227). While the depictions of Aboriginal peoples in textbooks have changed over the last hundred years, they continue to be constructed to fit within the ideals of the dominant society. Clark argues that in 24 current textbooks Aboriginal peoples are portrayed as warrior protesters or uniquely spiritual and in some cases are simply invisible from the pages of the textbooks (p.228). She explains the absence of Aboriginal peoples in textbooks is caused by the settler society placing them "outside the narrative of progress that is Canadian history" (p.228). These three articles explored the role textbooks and curriculum have played in disseminating racist imperial and colonial ideologies throughout the history of the education system in British Columbia. The next portion of the literature review examines recommendations made by Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators and scholars who have proposed solutions to challenge racist rhetoric in education. The Last Th i r ty years of Recommendations Aboriginal political organizations such as the National Indian Brotherhood (NIB), which is now known as the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), scholars, and educational advocates have been identifying and speaking out about the injustices of the education system for Aboriginal learners for well over thirty years (Archibald, 1993; Barman, 2003; Battiste, 2002; Brown, 2004; Dillabough & McAlpine, 1996; Furniss, 1999; Hare, 2003; NIB/AFN, 1972; Marker, 2004; Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, 1974; Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996). There are decades worth of literature to read through and the consistent message in these documents is that the general public education system in Canada is racist and does not support Aboriginal learners. In 1972 the NIB/AFN presented the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs a policy paper entitled Indian Control of Indian Education. I focus on this document because it is often referenced in other documents regarding Aboriginal education as a key policy paper. 25 Indian Control of Indian Education (1972) provided guidelines and recommendations for the Ministry to work to "build mutual understanding and appreciation of differences" between "those who have chosen, often gladly to join us as residents of this beautiful and bountiful country" and "this country's original inhabitants and first citizens" (p.2). The document focuses on the principles of "Parental Responsibility" and "Local Control of Education" stating that the Department had an obligation to support the education initiatives of First Nations and to train and prepare non-Aboriginal teachers and counsellors for working with Aboriginal learners (p. 19). Some of the initiatives included; 1) The involvement of Aboriginal parents in the decision making of their children's education; 2) Recruitment and retention of Aboriginal teachers and administrators; 3) Compulsory courses in inter-cultural education and native languages; 4) Assistance for non-Aboriginal teachers to adapt curriculum and teaching techniques to the needs of the local Aboriginal children (pp.3, 20, 19). In 1973, Jean Chretien, the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs at the time, approved all of the proposals in the report and committed the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development to implementing them (p.iii). Evidence in the following literatures indicate that little else was done by the government to implement the 1972 proposal. Education scholars argue that governments have long been aware of specific changes that could improve the form and content of education for Aboriginal learners, but have not implemented such changes. Since NIB/AFN presented the policy paper in 1972, Aboriginal educators such as Anishinaabe scholar Jan Hare state that little has changed. In her 2003 article "Aboriginal Families and Aboriginal Education," Hare wrote how the recommendations made in 1972 were raised again in the 1988 study Tradition and 26 Education, Towards a Vision of Our Future (p.420). The Assembly of First Nations published this study declaring that "many of the shortcomings identified in 1972 were still in existence" (p.420). In 1996 the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) suggested similar recommendations as those found in the 1972 report and in 2002, the National Working Group on Education of the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs concluded, "little had changed" since the 1972 report was published (Hare, 2003, p.421). This lack of change is alarming considering British Columbia's own Ministry of Education has written reports about what types of consequences occur when racism is evident in the education system. Reports written by the British Columbia Ministry of Education (2003) demonstrate that the lack of change to the education system has had severe consequences on Aboriginal learners. One consequence is often described in the British Columbia Ministry of Education annual report: How are we Doing? Demographics and Performance of Aboriginal Students in BC Public Schools.11 The studies, which focus on data from the test results, have shown over the years that Indigenous youth have disproportionately lower rates of academic success in British Columbia's public education system than their non-Indigenous classmates (BC Ministry of Education, 2003). This report however does not problemetize why Aboriginal students are less likely to do well on standardized tests than their non-Aboriginal counter parts, such as cultural discrimination in curriculum and textbook content (Archibald, 1993; 1 1 Please see B C Ministry of Education, Knowledge Management Department. (2000, 2001; 2001, 2002; 2002, 2003; 2003, 2004; 2004, 2005; 2005, 2006). How are we Doing? Demographics and Performance of Aboriginal Students in BC Public Schools. Retrieve April 13, 2007. http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/abed/performance.htm. 27 Barman, 2003; Battiste & Henderson, 2000; Battiste, 2002; Brown, 2004; Furniss, 1999; Hare, 2003; NIB/AFN, 1972; Marker, 2004; RCAP, 1996). In the most recent of these reports, the Ministry states that while there is an increase in Aboriginal students meeting or exceeding academic tests and foundation skills assessments, there continues to be a disproportionate amount of Aboriginal students in the Behavioural Disabilities Group (p. 8). Another report published by the Ministry addresses this particular concern. In Over Representation of Aboriginal Students Reported with Behaviour Disorders (2001), the researchers set out to determine why there is such a disproportionate number of Aboriginal students categorized as having severe behavioural disabilities (p.l). This process involved discussions with Aboriginal children, parents, and community members to better understand what the experiences have been for Aboriginal learners in the education system and how these experiences might affect the behaviours of Aboriginal students. This study demonstrates that the Ministry of Education is already aware of how much better Aboriginal students fare when school districts have "open relationships with the Aboriginal community, have expectations for Aboriginal students that are in keeping with all other students in the system, recognize cultural diversity in the school culture and traditions, create a welcoming environment for parents and children in the school, and keep parents informed and involved" (see page 61 of report for further discussion). To attain these goals the report recommends three significant aims for the education system. These recommendations coincide directly with those in the 1972 NIB/AFN report: 1) Parental involvement in the education of Aboriginal learners; 2) The recruitment and retention of Aboriginal teachers and administrators to create a teaching force that is representative of 28 the students served in the education system and; 3) Relevant local cultural program content (p.60). The researchers stress that it is vital to "include in the curriculum an understanding of cultural diversity and the methodologies for making classrooms more culturally relevant" (p.60). These three recommendations have been at the heart of what Aboriginal organization, scholars, and educators have been recommending and working towards for over thirty years, yet, change has been slow in coming. The literatures in the next section explores the possibility that part of the reason change has been so slow is because of the Canadian governments' and general populations' denial that systemic racism in education towards Aboriginal peoples exists. Challenging Systemic Racism in Public Education Although educational organizations like the British Columbia Teachers' Federation (1999) have identified racism "in particular in regards to Aboriginal peoples," many people and institutions continue to deny that racism towards Aboriginal peoples is entrenched in the public education system and the greater social system (Battiste, 2000, 2002; Dion & Dion, 2004). Cree and Metis scholar Verna St. Denis, from the Beardy's and Okemasis First Nation, and Eber Hampton from the Chickasaw Tribe, Oklahoma (Saskatchewan), highlight how systemic racism in education affects Aboriginal students in their Literature Review on Racism and the Effects on Aboriginal Education (St. Denis & Hampton, 2002). St. Denis and Hampton (2002) describe how racism towards Aboriginal peoples has been actively denied and silenced, (in and of itself a racist practise), and also how people avoid discussing the issue because they perceive that it might make matters worse (p.31). They conclude that the denial of racism at the institutional and personal level, limits the educational success of Aboriginal students, and 29 that an honest approach to the problem would be to acknowledge Canada's complicity in denying historical and present racism (p.37). For the colonial society to come to terms with its imperial and colonial past, Canadians must reconcile themselves with how racism is systemic not only in the education system, but society a whole. Education scholar Susan Dion (2004) explains, "Canadians willingly accept the position of respectful admirer or patronizing helper when learning about Aboriginal people, history, and culture but actively resist learning that requires recognition of their own implication in the relationship and a responsible response" (p.5). Dion continues to explain that Canadians take on these roles as they '"refuse to know' that the racism that fuelled colonization which benefited all non-Aboriginal people, not just the European colonials of long ago" (p.4). To "refuse to know" provides comfort to the individual and allows the denial of systemic injustice to continue. Dion proposes that in order to move past denial, the "(re)telling" of stories can be used as a tool to face difficult knowledge" (p. 14).12 "(Re)telling" of events "helps both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians better understand the historical substance and significance of the events of colonization" (Sumara & Upitis, 2004, p.ix). History professor Jean Manore (2005) describes how classroom environments can become quite tense when these issues remain on the fringes of education. At the "First Nations, First Thoughts" Conference Centre for Canadian Studies, at the University of Edinburgh, Manore presented a paper entitled "Professing an interest in First Nations History: Reflections 1 2 Deborah Britzman defines "difficult knowledge" as "study of experiences and the traumatic residuals of genocide, ethnic hatred, aggression, and forms of state-sanctioned-and-hence-legal-social violence" (p.5). Educators often avoid difficult knowledge because it is perceived to be too controversial for children and youth to learn. For further discussion please see Britzman D.P. & Pitt, A. (2003). Speculations on qualities of difficult knowledge in teaching and learning: an experiment in psychoanalytic research. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 16(6). 755-776. Also, Britzman, D. P. (1998). Lost Subjects, Contested Objects. Albany: State University of New York Press. 30 on Teaching Native/Settler relations in a Canadian University". In this paper, she described her own reflections of working through the guilt that she felt as a Canadian once she learned about the effects imperialism and colonialism have had on Aboriginal peoples. Manore stated: I have gone from an ignorant person to an ashamed person to a reasoned person to an angry one as I learn more and more about my past. Ignorant because before taking a university course on 'Indian-white relations' as it was then called, I knew literally nothing of the First Nations peoples on this continent; ashamed because once I did learn something, I learned that my tolerant, liberal and even generous country, as I had understood it to be, had initiated policies that were racist and imperialist and that consequently caused a great deal of harm to the First Nations; reasoned because in gaining an understanding of First Nations people and their cultures, I could then re-evaluate my own understanding of myself and of my culture as a Euro-Canadian (p. 5). Her reflections caused her to consider the meaning behind emotional tensions between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students in her history classes. Manore explained that the "Mohawk students were extremely angry by the colonialist policies they had endured while growing up. The other students were perplexed by this anger, being ignorant of the history of Native/Colonial relations, and resented the accusations of racism launched against them by the Mohawk students" (p. 13). The disconnect between the two groups was described as "aside from the uncomfortableness each group felt at being forced to share the same space for one hour, the tensions between the two groups aptly demonstrated the anger created by the politics of dominance" (p. 13). Manore's experiences demonstrate what can happen when difficult knowledge is not addressed and how issues that are silenced in the classroom inevitably come to the surface. Remaining silent when faced with these issues allows systemic racism to persist. Anti-racist education and pedagogy have been addressing some of these issues and will be explored further in the following chapter. 31 Conclusion In this literature review, I have focused on the historical and contemporary education practices Aboriginal teachers and learners have been challenging for well over 125 years.The literatures highlighted in this chapter tell us that the public education system in British Columbia was founded on language and rhetoric of racist imperialist ideologies. Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples have been actively challenging this system for over thirty years. However, as the colonial society continues to ignore its problematic past it perpetuates its narrative as the dominant and legitimate form of knowledge. As a result, the education system remains unchanged. The racist national psyche is a reality that the colonial society must confront to understand systemic racism embedded in history and in present culture. In order to achieve social change and justice, the settler society must realize that the myths and stories that legitimate its existence on expropriated land must be challenged in order for change to occur. The following chapter explores the colonial agenda and describes how education became an institution where power hierarchies were taught as social norms. The theoretical assumptions expose the issues the colonial society needs to come to terms with to help it move beyond the barriers of difficult knowledge. 32 CHAPTER THREE Theoretical Framework The theoretical presuppositions for this thesis build upon ideas presented in the previous chapter regarding the culture of imperialism and colonialism in education. Several authors have argued that imperialist agendas are maintained in the education system by colonizing the minds of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples (Battiste, 2000, 2002; Dei, 2002; Smith 1999). These arguments demonstrate the lengths the settler society has gone to maintain control by examining connections between Eurocentric knowledge in education and land acquisition. To further explore this argument, I provide a short discussion of Michel Foucault's (1975) descriptions of "official knowledge" through which he argues that powerful, ordering worldviews are integrated into state education programs. Foucault's ideas offer further insight of how non-Indigenous peoples remain complicit in the process, reproducing imperialist ideologies. Taken together, these theoretical perspectives support my central argument that the education system is a critical site in the production and reproduction of particular knowledges and thereby provide greater insight into inequities in Western education and society as a whole. Colonization of the Mind Anti-colonial theorists Marie Battiste & James (Sa'ke'j) Youngblood Henderson (2000, 2002), George Sefa Dei (2002), and Linda Tuhiwai Smith (1999) explore connections between imperialism, colonialism, and education. While these four scholars self-identify as Indigenous, 1 3 Ngugi Wa Thiong'o (1986) first referred to the "colonization of the mind" in his influential book Decolonizing the Mind: the Politics of Language in African Literature. London: James Currey. 33 their backgrounds are diverse.14 Although they come from different continents and cultures each of these scholars argues European imperialism and colonialism sought to destroy the spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional bonds within Indigenous communities and their ties to land (Battiste & Henderson, 2000, p.l 1; Dei, 2002, p.74; Smith, 1999, p. 23). Writing from personal experience they explain how the impacts of this agenda continue to be felt to this day. In this section I first examine Linda Tuhiwai Smith's (1999) definition of imperialism and how it has a particular discursive field of knowledge that perpetuates the ideology of colonialism to maintain the dominant society's privileged social position (p.20). I draw upon the colonial history of British Columbia to demonstrate how Smith's definition can be applied to British Columbia. Next, I incorporate George Sefa Dei's (2002) arguments that anti-colonial discourses provide the framework to deconstruct colonialism. He argues that those who benefit from colonialism are unlikely to dismantle the power structures that perpetuate their privileged social position. I then draw upon the work of Marie Battiste (2000, 2002) to demonstrate how Smith and Dei's assumptions are connected to imperial discourses in education. Battiste, along with fellow colleague James (Sa'ke'j) Youngblood Henderson (2000), suggested that the founding ideologies of imperialism and colonialism continue to form the underpinnings of the education system, having psychosocial impacts on both the colonized and colonizers. 1 4 Marie Battiste is Mi'kmaq from the Potlo'tek First Nations in Unama'kik (Cape Breton, Nova Scotia). She is a professor in the College of Education and Coordinator of the Indian and Northern Education Program within Educational Foundations at the University of Saskatchewan. James (Sa'ke'j) Youngblood Henderson is Chiskasaw, born to the Bear Clan of the Chickasaw Nation and Cheyenne Tribe in Oklahoma. He has had a long law career in North America seeking through scholarship and litigation to "restore Indigenous culture, institutions, and rights (Battiste & Henderson, 2000, p.326). Henderson continues to work with the University of Saskatchewan, as a member of the institution's College of Law and a senior administrator and research director of the Native Law Centre. George Sefa Dei is an African scholar, born in Asokore-Koforidua, in the Eastern Region of Ghana. He is a professor at the University of Toronto in the Ontario Institute for the Study of Education. Linda Tuhiwai Smith is Maori and is professor of Maori Education and Director of the International Research Institute for Maori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. 34 Imperialism and Colonialism in British Columbia Building upon Maori experiences of colonization and the work of critical social theorists, (Collins, 1991; Goldberg, 1993; Hall, 1992; Nandy, 1983; Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, 1987; Said, 1978), Smith discusses how imperialism and colonialism created "shared cultures" between the colonized, as well as the colonizers grounded in a language and knowledge of colonization (Smith, 1999, p.45). These knowledge systems developed alongside Western categorization systems that determined social positions upon the construction of race. According to Goldberg (1993), "race as a category, was linked to human reason and morality, to science, to colonialism and to the rights of citizenship in ways that produced the racialized discourse and racist practises of modernity" (p.62-69). Smith asserts that these historical ideological and political phenomena continue to affect colonized peoples, ensuring that Western interests remain dominant (p.47). According to Smith (1999), the agenda of European imperialism and colonialism15 was "(1) economic expansion, (2) the subjugation of 'others', (3) an idea or spirit with many forms of realization, and (4) a discursive field of knowledge" (p.21). These four points are clearly evident in the colonial role British Columbia played in the expansion of the British Empire. However, since I am interested in how colonial outposts have remained cultural sites of power hierarchies, it is important to focus on how education disseminated information coded in colonial language. According to Smith imperialism as a discursive field of knowledge16 became firmly entrenched in the minds of the colonists and was subsequently forced upon 1 5 Smith (1999) defines "imperialism" as the "system of control which secured the markets and capital investments" and explains that "colonialism facilitated this expansion by ensuring that there was European control" (p.21). 1 6 Gayatri Chakravoty Spivak (1985) also wrote about 'imperialism as a discursive field of knowledge' in her article, Three Women's Texts and Critique of Imperialism. Critical Inquiry, 12(1). 243-261. Spivak (1985) defines 'discursive fields' assumes the existence of a "discreet set of signs" that are taken as self evident or universalized truths (p.247). 35 Aboriginal peoples. While Smith argues that the culture of colonialism was shared between the colonizers and colonized, this discourse could not be challenged by the settler society because they were not the ones subjected to its racist and oppressive policies. R e s i s t a n c e Building upon Smith's ideas I turn to Dei (2002) to discuss how local Indigenous knowledges and languages may deconstruct imperialism arid colonialism. Dei has written extensively (1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002) on the need for education to move away from the multicultural teaching approach for understanding cultural differences to anti-racist pedagogies. Dei (1999) describes anti-racism as an "intellectual discourse as well as an educational advocacy for change" (p.24). At the heart of anti-racism, Dei argues, are the voices that have resisted colonial regimes and that they should be at the center of the debates regarding how to identify and challenge systemic racism (Dei, 2002, p. 8). This argument speaks to why it is so important for the recommendations of Aboriginal educators and learners to be implemented in order for meaningful change to occur. As will be made evident in the following chapters of this thesis, attempts at change that have come from non-Aboriginal educators and learners, while not ill-intended, have not been successful in dealing with the legacy of racism towards Aboriginal children and youth in the public school systems. Dei (1999) argues that anti-racist pedagogies and anti-colonial theory address the power dynamics instilled by imperialism and colonialism and "the bland, pluralistic, multicultural talk celebrating 'cultural diversity' and/or cultural difference' fails to affirm the context of power in which differences are produced, and the significance of dislodging such power relations (p.3). Dei (2002) states: 36 As a theoretical perspective, anti-colonialism interrogates the power configurations embedded in ideas, cultures and histories of knowledge production and use. It is an epistemology of the colonized, anchored in the indigenous sense of collective and common colonial consciousness. 'Colonial' is conceptualized, not simply as 'foreign' or 'alien', but rather as 'imposed and dominating' (p.7). The idea that colonialism was and continues to be imposed and dominating suggests that colonialism is an active process that oppresses Indigenous peoples and not a benign foreign or alien concept. To meaningfully challenge this power structure Dei argues that it is imperative to recognize the importance of "locally produced knowledges emanating from cultural histories and daily human experiences and social interactions" (p.8). These experiences tell the stories of resistance to the colonial agenda that was imposed upon Indigenous peoples. The continuous resistance of First Nations to the colonial agenda supports Dei's (2002) arguments that the practical application of "local, specific and historically informed analyses grounded in spatial and cultural contexts" (p.7) challenges the "Eurocentric monologue" or "cognitive imperialism" (Battiste & Henderson, 2000, p.13). Cognitive imperialism is similar to Smith's (1999) description of "imperialism as a discursive field" in that it perpetuates Eurocentric discourses. This particular discourse is defined as the "orthodox context of knowledge" that is "imaginative and institutional context that informs contemporary scholarship and laws (Battiste & Henderson, 2000, p.21). Battiste and Henderson (2000) argue that nothing has been more effective in oppressing Indigenous knowledges and heritage than cognitive imperialism in the educational system (p.86). They build this argument using Elizabeth Minnick's (1990) arguments that modern Eurocentric curricular are built on the roots of four errors: 1) faulty generalizations; 2) circular reasoning; 3) mystified concepts and, 4) partial 37 knowledge (in Battiste & Henderson, 2000, p.88). "Faulty generalizations" arise from the assumptions of universalism that there is one ideal or norm that dictates power dynamics (p. 86). "Circular reasoning" limits study to Eurocentric social norms, becoming "mystified concepts" or ideas that become so familiar that they appear to be 'truths' (p.86). "Partial knowledge" is the by-product of the other three errors as questions are posed and resolved according to the rational of Eurocentric knowledge (p.86). What cognitive imperialism imposes is an identity and knowledge system on Aboriginal learners that thrusts them into what Battiste and Henderson described as "double consciousness" (p.86). Borrowing this term from scholar W.E.B. Du Bois (1903), they write that Indigenous students experience "double consciousness" when they reject the colonizers vision of them, becoming aware that their heritage and identity are being measured against the assumed universality of Eurocentric knowledge (p.86). Battiste and Henderson argue that the norms dictated by cognitive imperialism are evident in the lack of knowledge non-Aboriginal educators have about how "Indigenous students are raised and socialized in their homes and communities, and even less about how Indigenous heritage is traditionally transmitted" although curriculum has been designed to inform educators about these cultural practices (p.87). Battiste (2002) calls on the modern education system to radically examine "what, or whom, the curriculum and pedagogy represses, excludes, or disqualifies to examine who continually benefits from education and how these students are consistently rewarded and nourished in schools where white privilege is normalized" (p. 13). Otherwise Eurocentric knowledge will "continually be modified to deflect or incorporate challenges into its legitimacy" (p. 15). For this reason, anti-colonial theorists state that 38 knowledges situated within traditional Western thought cannot be at the base of changing its authority. Perpetuating Eurocentric Knowledge While Indigenous peoples oppose imperialist agendas, the majority of non-Indigenous peoples remain complicit in the process. From a theoretical perspective, Michel Foucault (1975) explained that in Western education systems, knowledge that is disseminated is controlled to maintain certain behaviors. In "Means of Correct Training" (1975) Foucault focused on how individuals become disciplined through the scientific process of observation, examination, and normalization (Foucault, 1975, p. 196). The power of scientific observation or scientific gaze ultimately controls the individual by qualifying and classifying them according to measurable social norms (p. 196). To illustrate his point, Foucault described how schools became a means of disseminating "official knowledge" as students began to have their knowledge from textbooks and lectures examined on a regular basis. Therefore social indicators, such as scores on standardized tests, become the means by which people monitor their behaviours. When behaviours are self-monitored peoples are less likely to engage with knowledges that challenge the system of official, normalizing knowledge. Conclusion The theoretical perspectives introduced in this chapter focused on anti-colonial critiques and stories of resistance to systemic racism in education. According to anti-colonial theorists Smith (1999), Dei (2002), Battiste (2000, 2002), and Henderson (2000), education continues to focus on a cultural construction of knowledge built on Eurocentric origins. Anti-colonial definitions of imperialism and colonialism are important to draw 39 upon because they rely on those who have resisted these processes to name and challenge hegemonic power relations. This assertion was incorporated into the methodological approach to the study as well as re-surface in the major findings of the study discussed in the final chapter of this thesis. Descendants of the colonial society need to recognize that they have been educated to remain complicit within this system. Foucault's work provides a Euro-Canadian historical context as a means to understand certain educational traditions that encourage passive behaviour. These behaviours have to be carefully examined to establish how they perpetuate the unjust treatment of Indigenous peoples in Canadian society. 40 CHAPTER FOUR Methodology Introduction to the Methodological Approach A collaborative qualitative methodological approach was used to develop the study. The methods chosen enabled a collaborative process to take place as the participants' willingness to engage with the study provided the momentum for it to move forward. The methods were expert interviews, storytelling, and reflexivity. Literature regarding these methods describes how these practises facilitate collaboration because they acknowledge power dynamics between the researcher and participant (Archibald, 1992, 2005; Connelly & Clandinin, 1988, 1990; Dillabough & McAlpine, 1996; Santoro & Allard, 2006; Tripp, 1983). For instance Michael Connelly and Jean Clandinin (1990) explained how narrative research, reflexivity, and placing the participant as the expert of their experiences, gives the "practitioner, who has long been silenced in the research relationship, the time and space to tell her or his story so that it too gains the authority and validity that the research story has long had" (p.4). They warn though that the step from interview to relaying the knowledge of the participant provides an opportunity for the researcher to think that she/he can objectively take what is needed and create the narratives. The researcher has to be aware or reflect on how knowledge- sharing is a subjective process where she/he must become consciously positioned and continue to gain permission from the participant to disseminate the information (Connelly & Clandinin, 1990, p.5; Santoro & Allard, 2006, p.44). In my case, I had to reflect upon 41 how my position as a Euro-Canadian graduate student intersected'' with the participants' cultural and social backgrounds. Each interaction held different power dynamics and I had to be aware of how these dynamics would affect each interaction with the participant. I considered these dynamics carefully when making choices about the study design. Method One: Expert Interviews It was my privilege during the course of my research to conduct three in depth expert interviews using Chapter 15 "Urbanization" as a catalyst for discussion. The first interview was with Libby, a young Musqueam woman whom I had worked with at a young parent program in Vancouver. The second was with Arleen, a Euro-Canadian teacher who had responded to the research invitation from the list-serve recruitment. The third interviewee was Clayton, a friend of mine who had heard about the project wanted to share his outlooks on education from his Tlingit and European perspectives. Collaborative expert interviews were chosen to allow the participants to be active members of the research process and not subjects and to recognize that "they are experts rather than research subjects" (Lawson, 2004, p. 18). Educational scholars Jo-Anne Dillabough and Lynn Mc Alpine (1996) also stress the importance of such active participation in research to ensure that the participants' perspectives and knowledges were at the forefront of the discussions. Furthermore, the interview situation is increasingly understood as a situation of knowledge production in which knowledge is created between the views of two partners in the conversation (Haig-Brown, 1992, pp.104-105; Kvale 1996, p. 296; Santoro & Allard, 2006, p.52). Another educational 1 7 For further discussion regarding "intersectionality" and "positionality", please refer to: Collins, Patricia Hill. (1998)."It's All in the Family: Intersections of Gender, Race, and Nation". Hypatia 13(3). 62-82. See also Rose, Gillian. (1997). "Situating Knowledges: Positionality, Reflexivity, and Other Tactics". Progress in Human Geography, 21 (3). 305-320. 42 scholar, Celia Haig-Brown (1992) described this type of interviewing as "research as conversation" and "research as chat" (p. 104-105). My interviews with Libby and Clayton were conducted as "research as chat" because they are both familiar to me and we have had interactions on a frequent basis (p. 105). In Libby's case, I had known her for over a year from volunteer work and Clayton for over eleven years as a friend. In Arleen's circumstance, we began the process as "research as conversation" because we were strangers but as I went back to her for clarification about her interview, story, and narrative interpretation, the discussions became more chat-like. However, in all of my interactions with the participants, they maintained control over how in-depth we went into a subject, allowing them to relay to me the information they were comfortable sharing. Designing and Conducting the Interviews Sampling In developing my interview sample specific personal attributes were taken into consideration. I asked Libby to participate because she had raised concerns about the textbook when I was a tutor at her school. Arleen became a participant because of her position as a Social Studies teacher who had used Counter Points: Exploring Canadian Issues in her classroom. The last interview was also purposeful in that Clayton approached me and wanted to share life experiences that he believed were relevant to the study. All of their narratives were important to include in the study as they added depth to the research and assisted in formulating responses to the research questions. 43 Pre-Interview Before I conducted the interviews, I asked Libby and Arleen four questions that would guide a reflexive response about their experiences with the textbook and the in-class discussions regarding Aboriginal title and rights. Libby and Arleen were asked to share their experiences in a format they felt most comfortable with (i.e. writing, poem, drawing, oral telling, etc). The intention of asking the pre-interview questions was to establish themes from which I could create general interview questions. I hoped these general questions would then serve as a guide for the interviews. However, neither participant engaged with the pre-interview questions, as they were both too busy before the interview took place. The pre-interview questions therefore became the general interview questions. The reflection questions for Libby were: 1) . What was your understanding about land development before you read the textbook? 2) . What were your main concerns about the chapter regarding how the information was communicated to you? 3) . Did you notice that Aboriginal title and rights to land were not included in the chapter? If so, how was it brought to your attention? (For example, own knowledge, remembering the discussions from other parts of the textbook, etc). 4) . What did you learn about land title issues from in-class discussions with your (classmates, students)? The reflection questions for Arleen were: 1. Do you consider Counter Points: Exploring Canadian Issues to be useful in your classroom when discussing issues pertaining to colonialism and Aboriginal title and rights? 2. Was it apparent that Aboriginal title and rights to land was not addressed in Chapter 15 "Urbanization"? If so, was this omission brought to your attention? (For example, own background knowledge, topics from other parts of the textbook, etc). 3. The introduction to Chapter 15 "Urbanization" begins with a narrative that reads: 44 Think about what life was like for young Canadians in 1871, just four years after Confederation. For most young men, life revolved around their jobs on farms, in lumber mills, at quarries, or in fishing boats. The lives of young women centred on households, with chores such as preparing and preserving food, looking after children, and maintaining homes. In 1871, the majority of Canadians were rural dwellers, living in small communities or isolated farms. By 1971, this percentage had changed drastically. Consensus figures showed that most Canadians-76.1 per cent -lived in town and cities. In the first hundred years or so of its existence, Canada had become an urban nation. Such a movement of people to cities is referred to as urbanization" (Cranny and Moles, 2001, p.367). What are your thoughts regarding this statement and what reactions have your students had to it if any? 4. What types of responses have you had from students when teaching historical and contemporary understandings of colonialism, urban development, and Aboriginal title and rights to land? What are some of the tools that you use when teaching difficult knowledge (information that produces emotional responses such as grief, anger, denial, and/or guilt)? These questions became the means to focus the interviews, which then in turn became an open-ended interview process. Data Management At the beginning of the interview, I gave each participant the opportunity to choose a pseudonym and whether he/she wanted to be directly quoted in the narratives and analysis. Only one participant chose to have a pseudonym. Although there were only three participants I gave each participant an interview number to ensure that the data was managed properly. The numbering system served as an indicator of whether it was the first, second, third, etc. time I am met with a particular participant and kept the interviews in chronological order. Interviews Each interview took place at a time and location convenient to the participant. Libby's interview was a three-part process. After not having seen her for six months, I first 45 reconnected with Libby to touch base and talk about the project to find out if she was still interested in being involved. At the second meeting we began the interview but the location was loud so we agreed to meet another time at a quieter location. The last time we met we were able to conduct the interview without interruptions. Each time we met Libby was in control of the interview process and was able to start and finish when she wished. In total, her recorded interview ran an hour in length and was later transcribed. Arleen's interview was more difficult to coordinate because she lives outside of the Greater Vancouver area. I offered to drive to meet her but we both agreed that a phone interview would have to do considering the poor conditions of the roads. While the phone interview was somewhat awkward, I was able to tape my end of the conversation to prompt me for later transcription. I also took notes on the computer while we were talking to also help remind me. The interview took approximately one hour. Arleen was available when I had to re-visit any of the themes discussed during the initial interview. During the time we spent re-visiting the interview, Arleen was able to provide further insight about her experiences from having had time to think about the questions. Our total discussion time was three hours. Clayton's interview began like the others, however the general questions I had asked Libby and Arleen held little relevance to him so our conversation started by Clayton explaining to me why he wanted to be included in the study. Clayton had initially contacted me because he wanted to share his story about how his education changed when he moved from Whitehorse to the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. He then moved on to discuss current urban development practises in British Columbia outside the context of the textbook, touching on ideas that both women had expressed in their interviews. Clayton was also able to comment on the issues outside of knowing the textbook because they were problems that he faced in his 46 education in and outside of the classroom. In other words, although he had not read the textbook chapter when he had first heard about the study, he was still able to comment on its content because of his lived experiences. The interviewing process provided the framework to build trust and working relationships between the participants and myself. I provided the participants opportunities to look back on their original statements, and so they were able to think through some of their ideas and determine whether or not I had properly captured their words. Before I moved onto the next method, I made the necessary changes to the original transcript until each participant was satisfied that the information they shared with me was ready for the next methodological approach: storytelling. Method Two: Storytelling I chose storytelling as a way to disseminate the information that arose in the interviews because as Connelly and Clandinin (1990) explain, "humans are storytelling organisms, who individually and socially, lead storied lives. Thus, the study of narrative is the study of the ways humans experience the world" (p.2). In wanting to capture the participants' experiences, storytelling became the pivotal instrument for writing my thesis. The following section is divided into two sections. First, I talk about responsibility and knowledge sharing through storytelling, and then I discuss how storytelling allows for histories and narratives to create new understandings about Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal relations. Coast Salish Elder Ellen White and scholar Jo-arm Archibald from the Sto:lo First Nation (1992) demonstrate how storytelling can be a collaborative process in the article "Kwulasulwut S yuth [Ellen White's Teachings]: A Collaboration Between Ellen White 47 and Jo-ann Archibald". Archibald wrote about her experiences working with Ellen White and how the collaborative process was based on respect and responsibility and a teacher/learner cultural relationship related in a research context (p. 150 & p. 164). The intention of drawing upon the work of White and Archibald is not to culturally appropriate the traditions and teachings of the Coast Salish peoples, but to acknowledge what I have learned from the lessons White and Archibald shared. The lessons I learned are that there are many responsibilities associated with being the recipient of a story and that it is important to be careful when relaying the gained knowledge to other people. To demonstrate what I learned from White and Archibald, the entire narrative process, much like the interviews, was transparent in that each of the participants read over their story and provided feedback to what I had written. Again, being aware of the power dynamics that I had as a researcher, I have to acknowledge that the participants might not have been comfortable telling me where they thought I had gone wrong. However, because of the nature of the relationships that I had built with the participants during the interview process, I hoped that they would indicate any problems to me, which all three participants at some point did. At the same time, I am not denying that my own experiences, perceptions, and assumptions about the context of the participants' words played a part in how the stories were written. However, the risk of creating a story that misrepresented the participant was minimized by their constant feedback and support. The process therefore became reciprocal and each participant in the end was pleased with the final outcome of his or her story. Susan and Michael Dion's (2004) work "Braiding Histories Stories" and "(Re)Telling to Disrupt: Aboriginal Peoples and Stories of Canadian History" also 48 inspired the information to be told as stories. Susan and Michael are brother and sister and identify as mixed Aboriginal (Leni Lenape/Potawatami) and non-Aboriginal (Irish/French) ancestry (p.77). Together they decided to "(re)tell" stories to contribute to an "alternative way of knowing about First Nation people and Canadians, a way of knowing that will engage [the] readers in a rethinking of their current understanding" (p.77). The stories they created included personal and historical examples of how different interpretations of identity and history come from our own cultural perspectives. For instance, they wrote a (re)telling about the Beothuk woman Shanawdithit, who was the last of the Beuthuk people after they had been hunted and murdered by European settlers and died from disease brought upon after European contact (p.86). The Dions wanted to capture the boldness that they saw in Shanawdithit's spirit as well as recognize the genocide of the Beothuk people (p.87). They spent a lot of time talking over the implications for writing a narrative for a woman, who in the historical sense was deceased, but whose presence remains with the land (p.87). What guided their writing was the question, "What is important about this person to us and how can we pass that on to our readers?"(p.87). By asking this question, the story became a tool to build relationships with and between the subjects of the story (p.87). They did not want to write an objective history of the person, but to build a relationship with the person and the events that shaped their lives. Their work is an example of an anti-racist pedagogical approach that challenges historical narratives that contribute to popular racism in education (Dei, 1996; Dion & Dion, 2004). The stories I write for this thesis are influenced by the Dions' work and became a literal "braiding of histories"; as the stories are a combination of the collaborative expert interviews, archival data found in the B.C. 49 Archives and Library and Archive Canada's digital and paper collections, and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) website, Our Homes are Bleeding Digital Collection. Our Homes are Bleeding Digital Collection introduces historical evidence of the colonial society's disregard for Aboriginal title and rights and the sense of entitlement they had to own the land. The evidence is presented in the testimonies given to the McKenna McBride Commission from 1913-1916 by First Nations and members of the colonial society. By investigating the testimonies of First Nations and colonial communities and relating them to the stories provided by the participants and myself, I am placing historical and contemporary narratives together in a space where they have been traditionally separated. Splicing the McKenna McBride testimonies into the narratives produces a "telling that will disrupt the taken for granted way of knowing" (p.3) about White colonial society and Aboriginal peoples. Method Three: Reflexivity Reflexivity became a prominent part in the creation of my thesis. Not only did this process make me question my role as the researcher, it also developed an understanding of how peoples' views can transform once they have been challenged to see beyond their ways of knowing. In the context of my thesis, both Arleen and I went though a reflexive process where we began to realize that our way of knowing the world was not common sense. I want to first address the difference between "reflectiveness" and "reflexivity" because they are separate but complementary processes. To discuss the differences I draw upon the work of educational researcher David Tripp (1998) and his personal descriptions of the "ideas of reflex" [original italicization] (p.39). Tripp explains that at the very basis 50 of the word 'reflect' is the understanding that something has turned back into itself, which is why the term has generally come to refer to a mental process where one thinks about things by going back over them (p.39). This is a solitary process and one encouraged in professional development in education (p.39). While Tripp views reflection as an important part of learning, he explains that it does not necessarily lead to "reflexivity", a stronger form of the verb "to reflect" that indicates that some form of action was taken as a result of reflection. He explains: Specifically, reflexivity involves a kind of circulatory in understanding in which the person is trying to understand the so called 'objective' phenomenal world they are investigating, examines the way in which their developing understanding changes them and their relation, not only to the phenomenal world they are observing and their knowledge of it, but also to how they are observing and understanding the phenomenal world (Tripp, 1998, p.39). In other words, Tripp suggests that in the research process reflexivity goes beyond the private "feedback system" of reflection in order to use the principles learned to inform decisions and evaluate, clarify, and improve subsequent projects (p.38-39). It is one thing to reflect on an issue and another to actively use those reflections to engender change. Critical education scholars John Smyth and Geoffrey Shacklock (1998) also investigate how the personal dimensions of research are pivotal to understanding the links between the "theoretical discourse of critical social research and its methodological imperative, to the particular research act" (p. 1). Critically reflecting upon the research process and the role of the researcher takes into account the "epistemological, methodological, and political issues that are always inherent in critical qualitative research in educational and social setting" (p.l). These were important ideas for me to 51 consider because I am a member of the colonial society and was educated in the Eurocentric education system. To reflect upon this heritage and to critically evaluate my own involvement within it in the context of the thesis has been a very important part of the research process. Going through a reflexive process in many ways led me to include my family's colonial narratives in the next chapter. As I was discussing with the participants their own narratives about colonization and land, they wanted to know what my experiences were with these issues and why this topic was important to me. As we spoke, it became evident that I had little knowledge about my own family's history or how it played into the colonial narrative. I began to research my family history to satisfy my own curiosity and was amazed at the connections between their time of entry into British Columbia and the emergent colonial process. This would seem rather obvious considering my family has been in the Vancouver and Vancouver Island since the turn of the nineteenth century; however it came as surprise how closely my family's history was to the expropriation of land. I further examined these thoughts on colonial narratives when I was writing about imperialism, during which time I began to realize how much imperialism has affected my views of the world. Reflexivity also taught me about the importance of examining my own behaviours throughout the research process. The original idea for the study was to interview more of the young women I had worked with at the young parent program. However, they all graduated from high school in June of 2006 and I was not at a point in my own studies where I could formally approach them to participate. Between June and September I had kept in contact with some of the students, who were still willing to be interviewed. 52 However, by September only one of the young women responded to the formal invitation to the study. Letting go of what I felt should have been was difficult and I was worried about whether or not the study would have any meaning to me or anyone else because of the low numbers of participants. The deflation of the ego was an important step in the research process because the project stopped being about me, allowing me to focus on those who were willing to share their stories with me. Conclusion In my research, I chose the methods of collaborative expert interviews, storytelling, and reflexivity. Literature about these methods indicated that they provide a research process that is ethical by framing the research around the concerns of the participants and having them guide the research relationship (Archibald, 1992, 2005; Connelly & Clandinin, 1988, 1990; Dillabough & McAlpine, 1996; Hogan, 1988; Mattingly & Lawlor, 2000; McLeod, 2000; Mills, 2001; Noddings, 1986; Santoro & Allard, 2006). It is important to follow these lessons to build trust with the participants and also to counter academic research that exploits knowledges for personal gain. It has been well raised that the Academy, in particular concerning Aboriginal peoples, has a reputation for exploiting knowledge and interpreting information according to Western scientific norms (Battiste & Henderson, 2000; Goldberg, 1993; Hall, 1992; Smith, 1999). Conducting ethical research by involving participants and having the researchers reflect on their roles and intended goal for being involved in the process helps resolve some of these issues. Ethical research is a process of trust that plays a key role to open up "understanding for everyone" (Kirkness & Barnhardt, 1991, p. 10). 53 CHAPTER FIVE Stories The narratives begin with the three participants' stories and are organized in the sequential order that the interviews took place, followed by my family's narrative. Common to all the narratives was how each person identified Chapter 15 "Urbanization" as Eurocentric knowledge. Each story is accompanied by a short discussion of the participant's personal narrative and how it might deconstruct Chapter 15 "Urbanization". Many of the ideas introduced in these discussions will be examined further in the following chapter. Libby Libby's narrative contains her experiences of colonization inside and outside of the classroom, including the prejudices her siblings have faced in school. Libby then explores how Counter Points: Exploring Canadian Issues reasserts the colonial society's claim to land. At this point I bring a portion of the McKenna McBride testimony into the narrative to illustrate how the language Libby used to describe her relationship to the land is similar to that used by a member of her community almost one hundred years ago. The tragic death of a young woman named Amanda is included at the end of Libby's story. Amanda was one of the women who graduated with Libby from the young parent program. She was killed by an out of control driver while waiting for a bus in January 2007. Libby wanted to add Amanda into her narrative as a way to remember and honour her friend. 54 Vancouver, 2006 Libby arrived at school with her young son, kissed and cuddled him before putting him into the hands of the trusted caregivers. She would see him throughout the day but it was hard on the heart to leave him. Every morning she would try and slip away unnoticed to prevent her son from crying and some mornings she was more successful than others. When she had left the Musqueam reserve that morning she watched another house on Crown Street be demolished. She had the feeling that a new house would take its place and be roughly the same shape and size as the previous one. The demolishing and building of new houses on this street had been going on since her mom was a young woman and not once did she know of any developers going to her Band and asking permission to build on the land. Yeah, she thought to herself, it's like a monopoly game, buy and take and make more off of it. It was also like the park across the street from the houses on Crown Street. The city and the province were persistent in their attempts to try and change the park. Libby's community kept fighting to keep the park a park because when they had sold the land, the government said they wouldn't do anything to it. Libby thought, the intention was not to get rid of what we had; we wanted it to stay a park where we could walk. Last year they [the government] had wanted to make the park a bus loop, having buses going all the way out to UBC, they had one Dunbar bus, one MacDonald, they would all come here and stop and park here at night. At one point they had wanted to put bus stops on the reserve but it's all we've got left. We don't want it taken away some more. I used to think that would be cool, just walk to my corner and catch a 1 8 Italics that appear in each narrative indicate either a direct quote from the participant or testimony from the McKenna McBride commission. 55 bus, but its quiet. We have to walk up the big hill to get to the bus stop, but so does everybody else. The school day started as usual, however one of Libby's friends had been upset in the morning. There had been some confusion with her baby's dad, who was supposed to have dropped the child off at the school, but the baby hadn't shown up and the dad couldn't be reached on his cell phone. The dad's parents were contacted and as it turned out they had the child and were on their way. The panic on her friend's face subsided and they were all able to concentrate much better. They looked out for one another in this program, we are like a family. Libby wished her sister were having a similar experience in school. Her sister was in a program called the Bridge program. They put all the Natives into the Bridge program and some of them want to leave that program, but they won't let them. Either they try to kick them out or make them settle for different things. It holds her back because she can't get her Dogwood [high school diploma] if she stays in that Bridge program. Libby's sister had told her school counsellor that she didn't want to stay in the Bridge program because she wants a Dogwood. The counsellor told her "I don't think you need your Dogwood, you 're not going to go further then you are ". When she had heard this Libby became pissed off because she was getting her Dogwood and with a kid. Libby's sister had worn a t-shirt the day she went and met with a school counsellor to discuss her classes that read, "Study? I'm here to see my friends". Apparently the counsellor did not find the shirt amusing and said something to the effect of "oh I don't think you need normal classes, you can just stay where you are ". Libby's sister said, "but I want my Dogwood" and the counsellor replied, "oh are you going to come to class? Are you going to be a waste of time? " Confused Libby's sister 56 exclaimed, "What are you talking about? " The counsellor said, "Obviously your shirt doesn't prove your point, you 're not capable of doing the work". When Libby had heard this she had to laugh and said to her sister, "Oh, nice way to put it, you go and argue with a teacher to get into regular classes and that's what it says on your shirt? I wondered why your teachers were getting lippy, why the hell did you wear that shirt for? " Regardless of the shirt, Libby believed that if her sister was willing to put up a fight, they should be at least willing to let her learn what she is capable of learning. Twice a week at school there was an hour and forty-five minutes of open study time in which Libby could work on anything that she wanted. Today she was going to tackle Social Studies 11. Social Studies consisted of going through the textbook Counter Points-Exploring Canadian Issues, chapter by chapter and answering questions that were identified by the teacher. Libby often thought I just want to get the work done and give it back as soon as I am done because I want to get it out of my hands. I don't like this book. Usually what Libby and the other students did was move to the page the questions were on and read back to find the answers. The work went much more quickly this way and besides, there had been few reasons to stop and read what else the book said. What she had read often made her angry and upset. A few days earlier Libby had finished a chapter that showed a reserve in another part of Canada and the book had asked her to compare it to a third world country (Cranny and Moles, 2001, pp.354-355). As she read further her eyebrows raised in disbelief and she asked aloud why would they portray reserves like this? To Libby the text stereotyped Native people saying all reserves have broken down cars, houses, more than 10 people living in a home. It says that they can't 57 take care of their families. Libby was frustrated because the book did not explain that the government put them on reserves and they don't help. She examined the picture in the text that was used to exemplify the "high unemployment and a low standard of living" (p. 3 5 5) on reserves in Canada. Libby turned to a new class tutor that was helping her and told her "That's not what my reserve looks like, what do they think we are, all dirty Indians? " To be able to move on in the textbook Libby was supposed to answer two questions: 1. In an organizer, compare and contrast conditions on Canada's reserves with those in developing countries 2. a) Identify solutions that First Nations suggest to improve conditions and lessen dependence b) Brainstorm ways in which the federal government could support these suggestions. Then develop three to five detailed suggestions you would send to the Prime Minster's office (p.355). Libby refused to answer the questions. She had nothing to say to the Prime Minister about reserves except to tell him "You owe me land!" In the end, Libby still had to finish the questions to be graded on the assignment. Instead of writing to the prime minister she wrote a letter to a family member about her concerns regarding the behaviour of the government towards Aboriginal peoples. Libby moved onto the next chapter "Urbanization". The first thing that she noticed was a map of the Vancouver area. Looking at it you would never know there were land reserves in Vancouver and North Vancouver. I think my reserve is right over there. They put us out of everything. They always take us out and put us in our own little group. Reading through the chapter she didn't find one mention of Aboriginal peoples. She thought it was like they found it all. Another map showed Vancouver Island, where her grandfather lives and they are fighting for their land. They are fighting for the whole 58 island, but they said that the land you are living on is what you already own. Libby did the chapter as quickly as she had done the others. It made her mad though because nowhere in the chapter did it mention Native people or land claims. How were people supposed to learn and understand these issues if no body talked about them? She thought, I don't think anybody knows, except the government. I think they have a big map and they are figuring out what they are going to do now, who they are going to rip off next. The original boundaries of the Musqueam reserve, let alone the original territory of her community, were supposed to go from all the way to the end of the high way to the other end of the golf course. It was all of our land and it was supposed to cut down that way all the way down Dunbar and back. It's all cut-off, a big chunk of it. 1913 Musqueam Reserve (RG-10, Meeting with Musqueam: Reserve no.2, 1913, p.61) After the British Crown asserted sovereignty over all of the land in British Columbia, James Douglas's men surveyed what would become the Musqueam reserve in 1869. As time passed and the government needed more land for the growing city of Vancouver, sections of the reserve were cut off. In 1913 the Royal Committee for Indian Affairs came to the Musqueam community and spoke to Chief Johnnie about the reserve size. Chief Johnnie was representing the Musqueam people who lived on Reserve No.2. The commissioners were representing the Dominion of Canada and the province of British Columbia. They were Chairman Edward Ludlowe Whitmore, Commissioner Day Hort MacDowall, Commissioner James Pearson Shaw, Commissioner James A.J. McKenna, and Commissioner Nathaniel W. White. After formal speeches had been made, Chief Johnnie told the commissioners that before Sir James Douglas had created the reserve, there were no whitemen here then, only the Indians. 59 He (Sir James Douglas) put down the posts of this reserve, and speaking through his own mouth, he told the Indians that he was sent by the late Queen Victoria to do this work. He told the Indians that he did not come to steal the land away from them but was only doing what the Queen wanted him to do. There were twenty Indians in the canoe, and Sir James Douglas asked the twenty Indians how much land they wanted, and the Indians appointed the place, the length and the width. Chief Johnnie told the commissioners that according to Douglas, Queen Victoria herself promised that no whiteman would enter into the reserve territory to settle. Chief Johnnie wanted the commissioners to know that this promise had been a futile one. He told them, "Since these posts were put down by Sir James Douglas for the Indians, the land has been lessened twice. The Indians were not notified or consulted when it took place, and after that three persons came here to Musqueam and told some of the Indians that the posts that Sir James Douglas had planted meant nothing at all. That is the grievance I wanted to bring before you Commissioners ". Ignoring what the Chief said one of the commissioners; a Mr. McDowell, asked him why families were moving away from the reserve. McDowell asked, "Isn't this reserve large enough for you all to live on? " Chief Johnnie's reply reiterated what he had said previously. "You gentlemen know what I have said - This land here is not enough. We are anxious indeed to cultivate the land - But it [the Dominion and provincial government] is just like as if I am between two persons, one person is on my right and one person is on my left saying T have a share of your reserve' and I want those two persons to let my hands go and give me the control of my own land -1 don't want anyone to bother me. Even if it was only one man holding on to me it would be better, but when two men are holding me it is hard to cultivate the land" (p.62). The commissioners did not respond to the Musqueam people and they were left with only a small portion of their traditional territory. 60 Vancouver, 2006 As the years passed, Libby's community fought back as the land around them was further developed and city infrastructure touched the reserve's corners. In recent years there had been some victories. For instance in the late 1920s, the provincial government had sold Musqueam land to the University of British Columbia for a golf course without the Band's consent. The British Columbia Court of Appeal overturned this ruling in 2005. Musqueam band news stated, "In a precedent setting case released March 7, 2005, the British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled that the provincial Crown breached its constitutional duty to accommodate the Musqueam Indian Band's aboriginal title rights when it sold the UBC Golf Course land to the University of British Columbia" (Musqueam News, 2005, para. 2). Even though this case had been won Libby thought, we only have bits and parts of land...This park isn 't even our land any more, its government property. All we complain about is land, but we want our land back. We are stuck on this small reserve! Months went by and in June, Libby graduated from high school with many of her friends. Life carried on as did her relationships with the other young women in the program. However, in January of 2007 one of her friends from school was killed by an out of control pick up truck as she waited for the bus. Amanda had lived with Libby for a time and now she was gone. Libby and her friends rallied together to give each other comfort and gathered together whatever mementos they had of her to give to her son. Amanda's stories were now silenced but Libby promised that Amanda's son would know his mother through her memories. Discussion: Libby's Story Libby focused on the maps of British Columbia used in "Urbanization" to illustrate where urban development in the province occurred. The maps included 61 representations of the Lower Mainland of Vancouver, Vancouver Island, the Canada/U.S. border, and the interior of British Columbia. Libby's statements about the maps were reminiscent of Linda Tuhiwai Smith's (1999) comments about the "spatial vocabulary of colonialism" and how this vocabulary was implemented through mapping (p.53). Smith assembled the vocabulary around three concepts, (1) The Line: Used to map territory, to survey land, to establish boundaries, and to mark the limits of colonial power; (2) The Centre: An orientation to the system of power and; (3) The Outside: Positioned territory and people in an oppositional relation to the colonial centre (p.53). Libby made reference to these ideas when explaining her reaction to the maps in the chapter. When we had looked at the maps together during the interview, Libby pointed out where her unnamed reserve was and stated "theyput us out of everything, they always take us out and put us in our own little group'" (page 5 of interview). To Libby, the maps verified the governments' past and present attempts at isolating and segregating her community from the rest of society. This statement relates back to Smith's assertion that Indigenous peoples are often placed "outside" or in opposition to "the centre" of European power. The "Lines" of the maps furthered Libby's feelings of isolation as they dictated the colonial territory. As far as Libby was concerned, the maps indicated that the entire territory belonged to the government, creating a homogenous political image that did not include First Nations' territorial boundaries. Libby's thoughts about the maps paralleled what Smith (1999) said about maps radically transforming space into the image of the west (p.51). These spatial images represent the tangible structures of the nation-state and are not imagined configurations, and have profound consequences for colonized and marginalized groups (Dei, 2002, p.9). 62 Place names on the maps also had a similar effect on Libby and furthered her reluctance to engage with the material, reflecting Smith's (1999) statement that "renaming the land was probably as powerful ideologically as changing the land" (p.51). As the testimony provided by Chief Johnnie in 1913 indicated, Douglas told the Musqueam people that he was not there to steal the land from beneath them. However, the renaming of sites important to the Musqueam community was an indicator that the land was indeed stolen. When Libby reads place names such as Vancouver, Victoria, and Thompson River, she is being reminded of the colonial past and fighting her community has had to undergo to maintain what land they have. According to Libby's experiences, Chapter 15 "Urbanization" was just another example of the settler society reasserting its dominance. Libby's interview and narrative went beyond the confines of Chapter 15, "Urbanization". She commented on other parts of the textbook that had also affected her as well as how her siblings were faring in the education system. Libby's statement "Ijust wanted to finish it and get it out of my hands'" (page 8 of interview) summed up her general feelings towards the textbook in general. She did not want to engage with the material except when Chief Dan George was discussed because she believed that he was someone who tried to represent Aboriginal peoples in a way that contradicted how the government was portraying them. When I asked Libby how she thought the government portrayed Aboriginal people she responded, "They think we are all the same, alcoholics or whatever" (page 6 of interview). Libby felt that these sentiments had also been expressed in the textbook when describing her reaction to the "Up Close - Poverty on Aboriginal reserves" (Cranny & Moles, 2001, p.354). During her interview Libby stated, "They should talk more about a whole bunch of different Natives and not just the poor 63 ones like [starts to quote book] that most of them are on welfare and 70% don't work. See here? They say children start drinking as early as six. Not all of them are like that, maybe just the ones that are there" (page 6 of interview). When asked whether this had caused any problems in the classroom between students she replied: They were more worried about getting the book done then talking about other people... they know better then this, this is ...(reading from book again) poor sanitation and water quality, substandard housing and health care, high levels of infant mortality and infectious diseases and safety concerns '...that's only here though. Well, one student, when she first came on the reserve was surprised and said that this place didn't look like a reserve. Look at that (pointing to picture on page 355), not all reserves are like that, not my reserve, on my reserve the streets are safe, it's a safe place and we are all pretty healthy. And not all of us drink, especially not the young kids, they would get in trouble if they do (page six of interview). Libby's comments provide further evidence that the textbook was written from a Eurocentric perspective, representing Indigenous peoples as "inherently different from, and inferior to, the colonizing populations" (Furniss, 1999, p. 12). These ideas serve as "strategies of power that not only legitimate but also necessitate the ongoing surveillance, control, and subjugation of colonized peoples" (p. 12). Libby's story about her sister's power struggles with the school counsellor also illustrated this point. Libby's sister wanted to enter into a class that would allow her to graduate with her high school diploma as opposed to a leaving certificate. The counsellor's reaction was to put her back in her place by picking on the t-shirt she was wearing as an implication that she might be "a waste of time" (page 6 of interview). Libby's following statement is indicative of how systemic racism in education is affecting Aboriginal students. Libby explained, "I had also read the educational concerns [in the textbook] but it wasn't what I had thought it would be". When asked what she thought it would be about, Libby thought that the textbook would go into a description about how Aboriginal students were not capable of doing the work, "that they couldn't do it" (page 7 of interview). The tone 64 of the textbook as well as her and her family's first hand experiences of discrimination in the school system led Libby to believe that the textbook would explicitly talk about how First Nations children and youth were not capable of completing high school. Cumulatively, Libby's interview and narrative indicate how deeply entrenched Eurocentrism continues to be in the education system. Arleen Arleen was the only teacher to commit to the research after an invitation was sent out on a number of educational list-serves, including the British Columbia Social Studies Teachers Federation list-serve. A few other teachers responded stating that they would be interested in participating but because they were so busy preparing students for the final exam, they did not have time. Like the other participants' stories, Arleen and I shaped how her narrative would read, however hers was changed the most over time. Part of the changes came from Arleen's ability to reflect on our conversations about Chapter 15 and Counter Points. When we first began the interview process she had little to complain about the textbook, it was indeed a source from which she drew her own knowledge about Aboriginal peoples. Through the interview process Arleen realized how her mind had been shaped by the colonial discourse and how she played a part in maintaining that system. Having been raised in Canada and educated within a Eurocentric system it was difficult for her to come to terms with some of the assumptions she had about her own knowledge regarding Aboriginal title and rights, especially considering that she teaches predominantly Aboriginal students. However, by participating in the interviews Arleen was better able to understand why her students would sometimes challenge her position as a Euro-Canadian teacher and why they disliked the textbook so much. 65 Arleen's narrative is the only one where I did not include a portion of the McKenna McBride Commission. In an earlier edition of her narrative I had included a portion concerning the intended outcomes of the residential school system; however, Arleen decided that it did not fit with her story. I had suggested a few other quotes but we agreed that it would be better to take it out all together. What was interesting about this process was that there were no examples that I could find in the testimonies of members of the colonial society questioning the legitimacy of the education system. Find a matching historical counterpart was therefore difficult and in the end, impossible. Northern British Columbia, 2006 Arleen lives in a small town in northern British Columbia and has taught there for the last five years. This year her biggest challenge was the Social Studies 11 class. The final exam was looming before her and she did not feel that her students would be ready in time to do well on the test. To help prepare them she used the textbook Counter Points: Exploring Canadian Issues to introduce the subjects that would be on the exam. Arleen did not really mind this textbook all that much. It was better then previous Social Studies textbooks. The other textbooks were written for a population other than First Nations students and she found it useful as a foundation for teaching. Other textbooks had not delved into First Nations issues and as a teacher without a lot of knowledge about First Nations issues, Counter Points had been a useful reference. The majority of her students were Aboriginal and she wanted to be informed about issues pertaining specifically to them. As she walked to her class Arleen thought about the role that Counter Points had played in her classroom and although she used the textbook in her classroom she did not feel as though she had the time to delve into many of the issues that arose from it. She 66 had just been chatting about it the other day with colleagues and Arleen had told them, "My attempts to discuss difficult issues are not always totally open-ended, although I always provide perspectives from all sides. In most cases, Counter Points is a great text for facilitating this, especially when augmented with video and other sources. The provincial exam, however, is somewhat biased. This makes teaching the material quite difficult. Unfortunately, Ifound it difficult to use Counter Points as a springboard to meaningful conversations because we were straight-jacketed by the provincial exam preparations last year. We did not have nearly enough time, as I would have liked to really explore meaningful ideas, despite my ambitions to do so. Despite the final exam she found it difficult at times to engage her students with the contents of the textbook. There were a lot of comments on the denseness and how difficult and boring the textbook was to get through. One of the adult students really liked it though and was engaged in the course. Arleen also contemplated the discussion her class had had on Friday' afternoon regarding her being their teacher. As a white woman teaching in a predominantly Aboriginal community she understood why her students would challenge her position as a non-Aboriginal person teaching at their school. Arleen did not take the challenges personally and talked openly with the class about how she was aware internally of the issues regarding colonialism and discussed with the students how she was born here and was doing what she could to promote justice. However, it was not until Arleen was challenged to think about Chapter 15 of Counter Points as a vehicle of colonialism that she realized there was much more she needed to learn about First Nations then she could obtain from the textbook. 67 Initially Arleen had not thought about this chapter [Chapter 15] specifically in regards to linking it to First Nations content. When she taught the chapter, her focus was on the discussions surrounding sustainability and the importance of environmentally sound city planning. When it was first brought to her attention Arleen was perplexed because it seemed there was little relevance between Chapter 15 and discussions regarding Aboriginal title and rights. It was not until she was asked to read the opening paragraph of the chapter while thinking about Aboriginal rights and title did it begin to dawn on her that the narrative spoke only about the European experience of urbanization. When she had taught the class the previous year none of her students said anything about the content of the chapter. After reflecting on the issue she came to the conclusion that it might be because colonial assertions to land in the curriculum was nothing new to them. They had an awareness already of these issues outside of what they learned in the textbook. Arleen took some time to think about what this personally meant. She realized that if she were to be the teacher she wanted to be that she would have to learn what was outside of the textbook and inside the minds of her students by speaking with them more openly about the subject content in Counter Points. Discussion: Arleen's Story Arleen's first reaction to Counter Points was that it was an improvement over the older versions of the Social Studies 11 textbooks and at least included discussions of First Nations issues. Arleen initially questioned me why I was critiquing the textbook and not the new Social Studies 11 final exam, which, in her view, was much more oppressive than the textbook. As a teacher who is dedicated to teaching students critically thinking, she found that the final exam inhibited her teaching abilities. The stress of having her 68 students perform well on the final exam had stopped her from delving more deeply into what students were reading in Counter Points. Arleen felt that the final exam made her job more about maintaining the status quo than of producing enquiring minds (page 3 of interview). Because of teaching conditions such as this, Arleen does not believe that she will be a life long teacher in the public education setting (page 3 of interview). When we first began the collaboration Arleen was unaware of the reactions that students, particularly Aboriginal students, were having to Chapter 15 "Urbanization". It was not until I was able to further explain the rationale for the study that Arleen understood the concerns that were brought up by Aboriginal students. Upon reflecting on her initial statements, Arleen felt more aware of the ways in which her background as a Euro-Canadian had influenced her teaching style and her views of the textbook. She realized that even though she questions many of the colonial society's actions, she was also raised and educated within the colonial discourse, making it often difficult to identify. Arleen's reflections allowed her to begin to confront some of the ideas regarding Eurocentric ideologies that perpetuate systemic racism in education. Arleen's willingness to engage with the story moved her beyond anger and denial that many British Columbians have about their role in the colonial process. Clayton In January 2007, Clayton approached me to talk about his experiences growing up in the Yukon and how his education drastically changed when he moved to the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. When he had lived in the Yukon there had been curriculum that centred on local Indigenous and Euro-Canadian knowledges. After he moved to the Lower Mainland he was shocked to be in an education system where the 69 curriculum revolved solely on Euro-Canadian perspectives. Clayton graduated from high school thirteen years ago, but when he looked at Chapter 15 "Urbanization", he saw it as another example of the Eurocentric education he had received. Vancouver Suburb, 2007 Clayton moved to the Lower Mainland of BC from the Yukon when he was eight years old. He vividly remembers the move that he made with his dad and brother and having to get accustomed to suburban life. His first impression of the landscape was that it seemed like everyone lived in mansions. The houses all had manicured yards and had all sorts of cars parked all over the place. For most of his young life he had lived in a village setting where there were more horses then there were anything else. Clayton also found that the sheer number of people surrounding him was overwhelming. Even today, the population of the entire Yukon Territory is less than the suburb he is living in how. Although Clayton's culture shock began to fade there were some changes to which he found difficult to adjust. One of these changes was the style of education. Clayton is of Tlingit and European descent and his awareness of his identity came in part from his formal education in the Yukon. The education he had received in Whitehorse was dramatically different than what he experienced in an urban environment. In Whitehorse they taught a lot of Native history in their education system. Not so much in the curriculum but in the day-to-day schoolwork. For example, every morning they would try to incorporate language, Native language into the announcements. The person giving the announcements would give everybody a word of the day to work on, going through the whole steps of mother, brother, father, water, fire, earth. Clayton also remembered that there was a big Inuit population as well, so there was a lot of study about their 70 culture. The teachers and administration at his school were teaching people to be aware of themselves, aware of their surroundings, and who, what people were up there. When his family moved, a lot of that stuff disappeared. The schools were run differently and any sort of education about Aboriginal peoples was out of a book, not out of any sort of association with them. When Clayton was younger he did not understand why but as he grew older he thought the reason might be the fear factor that non-Aboriginal peoples have in interacting with Native folks because of racist stereotypes. He remembered that up in the Territories, you don't live so much of the stereotype of Natives, whereas city Indians are a bit different. Thinking about his trips to downtown Vancouver over the years he recalled, you do see a lot more of them down on Hastings but that is another deep-rooted story. Clayton is visually creative and has put these energies into becoming an accomplished chef and wood worker. In these work environments he always felt the most comfortable around people who had their identities figured out. He believed that this was because no one can tell you who you are. Clayton's mother had taught him from a very early age that you know who you are better then anybody else. You can't let anybody else tell you how to think because you are only inside your own mind. You can put as much makeup and clothing on as you like but it still doesn 't take away from your insides, what your insides are telling you. Clayton carried with him always the story of his great-great-grandmother refusing to become recognized by the government as a status Indian as an example that no one can tell you who you are. His great-great-grandmother believed that by becoming status that she and her community weren't included as people 71 in white society. Status used to mean sub-human. So basically if you declared your status you were declaring that you were below humans. Clayton believed that not knowing who you are is a major difference between the civilized society and the tribal society, because with tribal society it is very apparent. Although there is good and bad in all societies, it seemed in tribal society that they always remember who they are. They share their roots because there is an outlook that in order to know your future, you have to know your past. So share the knowledge, share the wealth. With civilized society it became so that these were people who tried to forget who they are as a society. There is no other importance except for the civilization that surrounds them because if that crumbles, then they crumble. They don't know how to hunt, they don't their background, they don't know how they got there, or how things work. To Clayton civilized society is kind of sad because it is an aimless culture. Many of the people that Clayton met in the Lower Mainland didn't know why they were doing things; they just did them. Clayton saw this on a daily basis looking at the built form of the suburbs. To him it seemed like they were just building and building and building without knowing where they were going. This was a major point of cultural difference between the colonial and Indigenous society's and how they would have a tough time co-existing. Each one has its benefits, but finding a good middle ground is very difficult for a lot ofpeople because none of them really understands the other. He saw this reflected in a high school Social Studies textbook he had just been introduced to. In it, there was a chapter that discussed urban development and suburban sprawl. Sprawl to Clayton was an indicator of the settler society's need to secure its influence over the land in British Columbia, whereas the writers of the chapter blamed sprawl on poor planning practises. 72 Clayton could not help but think that regardless of how the settler society planned urban areas, they were still pushing their claim to the land. Having spent time in his community up north and Vancouver and being of mixed ancestry Clayton considered himself to be pretty lucky. He told someone once "I think I am able to see the way it is. I have been able to travel between both worlds I guess. Tribal people don't understand civilized people, civilized people don't understand tribal people, and it just confuses the hell out of both of them ". In school they never spoke of such things because who wants to talk about present day Native affairs? It's so controversial. If you start talking about those things, you are going to have to start talking about a wide variety of topics, like pollution, land claims, genocide. Clayton believes that between the cultural confusion and the unsettling silence in education about the relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples that something very drastic almost has to happen if any sort of dialogue can take place. Someone is going to have to do something drastic to open up the table and say, obviously things are going sideways, they aren't going straight. Somebody's got to admit something or somebody's going to explode something. Clayton's memories of the violent Oka crisis in 1990 informed these ideas. Clayton had been in grade nine at the time when the crisis began in the town of Oka, 60 kilometres west of Montreal, in a dispute over a planned condominium expansion to golf complex (First Nations Drum, 2000, para. 10). The housing was to be built on land claimed by the neighbouring Mohawk community of Kanesatake and would have 73 encircled the Native cemetery (para. 11).19 While he and his classmates were bombarded with the image of the Mohawk man and OPP officer staring each other down, his educators behaved as though nothing had happened. Only one of his teachers would broach the subject although Oka had been in the headlines all summer. This was a teacher who at least was willing to promote discussions even though he remembers that teachers were very restricted to what they were allowed to talk to their students about...religion, politics. This particular teacher would put out a discussion for students to have amongst themselves. The discussion that ensued in his group about Oka was made memorable by one of the students who said that her mother had told her that Natives naturally had alcoholism in their blood. Clayton told her to fuck off openly and got detention for it. It was not the first time he had heard those words coming out of the mouth of someone from the colonial society; however it bridged in his mind the violence of Oka and the everyday racism of Native stereotypes. Clayton understood why there was such mistrust amongst both communities. There is so much anger developed on both sides that people are really angry and get blind to things that are right in front of them. If you are yelling at someone across the way you aren't going to look down at your feet and find the evidence. The detention and attitude of the teacher changed after he explained his Native background. Clayton attributed his teacher's ignorance to his background because Clayton does not look how Native people are supposed to look. He later told a friend that a lot of people, their guards are down and they don't mind saying things in front of me. Their racism is more obvious. However it makes things easier for 1 9 For further information regarding the Oka Crisis, please refer to First Nations Drum. (2000). Crisis Inspired Many Native People. Fall Issue. See also Miller, J.R. (2000). Skyscrapers Hide the Heavens: A History of Indian-White Relations in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Sanders, Doug. (1994). Developing a Modern International Law on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Vancouver: Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs. 74 me in society to move along because I don't have Native features, which makes people feel a little more comfortable around me. But if I had the really dark skin or really Native features people might not be so open about these subjects with me. Another teacher had made this explicit when Clayton complained to a school counsellor about a racist joke on a math worksheet made at the expense of Native people. The teacher apologized to Clayton without looking him in the eyes and he said that he had been unaware of his background, as if the joke was only inappropriate because there was a Native student in his class. Clayton had actually complained to the counsellor for more reasons then just the racist joke. Clayton wanted to tell the math teacher that he was a horrible teacher and that he hadn 't been helping him. Although Clayton in the end accepted his apology the issue was never fully resolved and Clayton was placed in a learning assistance class. When Clayton was in school in Whitehorse he did not remember any specific racial tensions between the students or teachers. The tensions that he was aware of came from his own family and their own religious tensions, but that was due to their own history and their own experiences going to Catholic schools and churches and how the churches would shun them. The experiences of Clayton's family in Catholic residential schools fuelled his ideas that education can be a form of slavery sanctioned by the State. Clayton knew that the church was directly involved with the government because the government protected the church. The role of the church was to create good citizens who would not question the government. Although the agenda of the residential schools was to stop Aboriginal peoples from questioning the authority of the colonial powers, it was not successful. 75 1914 Williams Lake (RG-10, Williams Lake Agency, 1914, p.22) On July 17th, 1914 a young man testified to the Royal Commission on Indian Affairs about how he was being abused at the Catholic residential school he was forced to attend. When asked by one of the commissioners, "The Chief said here a few minutes ago that you were very badly treated at the School? " the youth answered, "They treated me badly when I was there. They locked me up in a little room all day and never gave me anything to eat and sometimes for two days ". The commissioner believed that this young man must have done something wrong for the priest to treat him this way and prodded him to reveal his misdeeds. "Hadyou done anything wrong? " "I thought that I had always been straight". "Did the priest tell you that this treatment that you received was a punishment for something you had done? " "No". When the commissioner could not extract the answer he was looking for, the Chairman tried. "Wereyou locked up often? " "Yes, sometimes for two days without anything to eat". "How many times were you locked up? " "Four times and I was never told for what reason ". The chairman decided to try and drop the subject by asking, "How long were you at school? " His attempt was not successful because the answer he received was, "The first time they locked me up for one day and the next time for two days ". The chairman attempted a second time, "How long were you at the school? " 76 "Seven years there and I did not have much schooling". Puzzled the chairman asked, "What did you do for the seven years you were there? " "I was working like a slave ". Vancouver Suburb, 2007 For Clayton, slavery and assimilation are synonymous and believes that the education system today has pretty much the same agenda as it did at the height of the residential school system. People are educated to keep the system of slavery alive. Discussion: Clayton's Story Like the previous narratives, Clayton's story reveals indicators that Chapter 15, "Urbanization", perpetuates Eurocentric ideals regarding land. His described urban sprawl as a symptom of the colonial society's need to maintain its sense of power whereas the authors of the textbook, Cranny and Moles (2001), discuss sprawl in the context of poor city planning (p.389). At the end of the Chapter 15 is a section called "Urban Problems and Sustainable Opportunities" where students are told "the way we have constructed cities over the past century is not sustainable" (Cranny and Moles, 2003, p.389). The blame is placed on the automobile for having allowed people to "move to the suburbs, producing urban sprawl" and massive amounts of waste (p.3 92). Clayton believes that the current concerns regarding urban sprawl are occurring now because the settler society recognizes that the taxation of urban sprawl on the ecosystem threatens the social and capitalist system that fuels it. "Sustainability" is the phrase the writers used to introduce students to what can be done about sprawl. The textbook defines sustainability, as an ideal where "resource decisions today do not compromise the quality of life for future generations a sustainable 77 approach recognizes that decisions must take into account the community, economy, and environment, and the ways in which these components interact" (Cranny and Moles, 2003, p.389). However, this interpretation of "sustainability" ignores how the settlers had to first attain resources in the past, at the cost of Indigenous peoples rights, build up this system in the first place. Clayton offered another point of view that suburban sprawl is the projection of the colonial society maintaining its need of "civility". Clayton's perspectives on land development are influenced by knowledge he acquired as a young boy growing up within the Tlingit community. These lessons were also a part of the daily curriculum in his public school. Although a full discussion regarding the Yukon education system is outside the scope of this thesis, Clayton noted that all of his classmates learned the same information, as there was no separation or prioritization of Indigenous and Western knowledges in the classroom. Because there was no separation, he and his classmates learned about cultural differences and to have respect for that diversity. Some of the most important lessons that he learned were to know your culture, cultural history, and connection to the land because it defines who you are. These lessons were taught to him by his mother and reinforced in the classroom. It tied into the belief that "in order to know your future, you have to know your past" (page 3 of interview), a process that he did not witness students doing when he moved to the Lower Mainland. To Clayton, the students he went to school with were lost and "didn't know why they were doing things; they just did them" (page 3 of interview). Clayton tied the aimlessness that he and his classmates experienced to the built landscape. To Clayton, the suburbs were a reflection of the colonial society's need to maintain its infrastructure on expropriated land to sustain itself because without it, the 78 society would fall apart. This is why the suburbs appear to have been developed "without knowing where they were going" (page 4 of interview). Clayton referred to the urban landscape and those who live within it as "civilization" and referred to his community up in the Yukon as "tribal" (page 2 of interview). Clayton changed the connotations about each of the words counter to how he learned them in the Lower Mainland's public education system or how his family members learned them in the Catholic residential school they were forced to attend. When he was in school "tribal" was made in reference to peoples who were considered "primitive". In essence he and his classmates were educated to position Indigenous societies as "ignorant and underdeveloped" (Smith, 1999, p.25). However, because of the lessons he learned as a child from his family, community, and school, he never doubted that the term "tribal" was synonymous with community, awareness, and strength. From Clayton's perspective, the experiences of racism from teachers and students towards himself and other Aboriginal peoples were linked to the settler society's need to maintain its legitimacy over the land. This explains why he thought the McKenna McBride quote was an appropriate choice for his narrative. When he read the 1914 testimony of the young man from the Williams Lake Agency who was being abused in the residential school, Clayton interpreted it as an earlier example of how the European society was systemically oppressing Indigenous peoples to maintain their control over the land. The commissioners' inability to acknowledge the abuse the young man telling him about during the testimony was reminiscent of how he saw his teachers dealing with the racism that he experienced. Current systemic racism in education worries Clayton because from his perspective, it makes the non-Aboriginal society blind to the land title 79 issue. As he said, "if you are yelling at someone across the way you aren 't going to look down at your feet andfind the evidence" (page 5 of interview). El izabeth Anne Curt is Combe I rwin Wi l l iamson K r i e g My family's narrative is the last to be told and is divided into two story structures. The first narrative is of the Williamson and Curtis family, my maternal grandfather's family. The second narrative is the Irwin and Combe family, my maternal grandmother's family. These are the stories of the families coming to British Columbia, interwoven with segments from the McKenna McBride commission and other aggressive colonial tactics. The combined evidence illustrates the steps the colonial governments took to colonize the land and minds of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Vancouver, 2005 My grandmother Dorothy has passed away. I have been searching for hours in treasure filled boxes, looking through letters, telegrams, and photographs for the images and words that encapsulated my grandmother's life. I find a mix of generations as I open each box and begin the odious task of asking family members "who is this?" because I did not ask my grandmother when she was alive. My mom and I find love letters that my grandfather sent to my grandmother while he was working at logging camps in the interior of British Columbia and then as a train conductor for the CPR, both professions that took him away from Vancouver weeks at a time. There were also the photos of when my grandparents were courting (Figure 5.3) and pictures taken around Stanley Park (Figure 5.4) with their friends. 80 My mom and I shared a box of tissues as we each tried desperately not to shed our tears onto the precious papers. We were constantly being diverted from our task by never seen before letters from Scotland addressed to my great-grandmother or letters from my great uncles to their mother as they worked all over the province as loggers, whalers, and hydro linemen. These artefacts were answering questions I had not yet asked. Where did my family come from? What brought my family out to British Columbia, when did they leave their homes, and why did they stay? Looking at the dates of the letters I realized that my family was in Vancouver when British Columbia was being initially being developed as an urban environment. I was shocked. My family was a part of colonization? They were a part of the oppressive colonial legacy that I had learned about in history and geography courses? Why did we not talk about it in high school, elementary school? Why were we never asked to examine our lives in B.C. in relationship to the land we all lived on? Why did we never talk about the social processes that allowed us to stay here and who was dispossessed in order to make it so? As I began to conduct the research for this thesis, these questions came back to me. The following narratives are some of the answers I have discovered by speaking to surviving relatives, reading through family letters, and researching at the British Columbia Archives and on-line records from the Canadian National Archives. Curtis and Williamson Canada, Early 1900's As the train moved her further and further away from her home in Owen Sound, Ontario, Elizabeth Curtis looked out the window at the changing scenery. It was the beginning of the twentieth century and the beginning of a new life for her. Before she had left, Elizabeth spent as much time looking out on to Georgian Bay as she could. As 81 she stared at the water she would sometimes catch a glimpse of the steam ship that her father had captained. Leaving him had been hard for he was old and she did not know if she would see him again before he died. Shifting uncomfortably in her seat she had already decided that travelling across Canada on a train would not be something she would be making a habit of. A deep snoring sound brought Elizabeth back to the present. Looking over at her sleeping sister, Elizabeth had to smile to herself. She and Ellen had gotten along well during the journey. Well, as agreeably as two sisters can over a long train trip. In her thoughts, Elizabeth guiltily acknowledged that her behaviour at times was not all that lady like although she did not know yet if she would share these thoughts with her sister. Ellen had looked after Elizabeth after their mother had died when Elizabeth was just a young girl. Their relationship at times took on the characteristics of parent and child as opposed to sisters even though Elizabeth was nearly thirty years old. Looking back out the window thoughts of what Calgary would hold for them excited her. They had answered an advertisement asking for ladies with secretarial skills to come to Calgary and help the growing number of professionals in the city. With few prospects in Owen Sound, the sisters had decided to take their chances out west. Each morning they travelled to and from work on plank sidewalks, which, depending on the weather were covered by snow or mud. Elizabeth was constantly looking down at her feet, inviting daily collisions with people walking the other way. On one such occasion, a man wearing an eye patch bumped into Elizabeth, almost sending her sprawling into the dirt. The stranger apologized profusely, saying that he had just recently lost his eye in an automobile accident and would she not excuse him for being a clumsy oaf. Elizabeth accepted his apology with a prim nod and walked into the office, 82 never expecting to see him again. The next day the one eyed man was waiting for her outside of her work and asked if he might be able to introduce himself properly. He gave her a card that read "Edgar Williamson-Owner". Below the writing was a drawing of a little car. "That's right", he said, "after coming out here I started buying and selling automobiles with a pal. I tell you, it is much more exciting than farming in Ontario. That's how I lost my eye. See, there's a guy out in Edmonton who also sells Fords and for the past two years we have been racing our cars to get some publicity. This year unfortunately, I lost". He smiled at Elizabeth and she could not help but smile back at him. Much to Ellen's chagrin, Elizabeth married Edgar Williamson the one-eyed car salesman.. Ellen however could not complain too loudly because at least he was from around home. There were hard times ahead for Edgar and Elizabeth. While the First World War raged on, people stopped buying cars and Edgar eventually lost his automobile business. After the war was over, Edgar could not find any work and Elizabeth was pregnant with their second child. After much deliberation they decided to start anew in British Columbia where they heard that land was available for farming. By 1918 Elizabeth and Edgar had two sons. They named the eldest boy George Curtis and the younger Peter Max (Figure 5.5). As soon as Peter was able to walk on his chubby little legs, the family packed up and moved to Vancouver Island. They had heard from a friend that Vancouver Island was the place to go, but to be sure to stay on the south east coast of the island, as it was the most civilized. Their friend suggested the Courtenay area. The government, both federal and provincial, had made more farmland available to those citizens who were willing to farm it. Together, Elizabeth and Edgar 83 poured over a map of Vancouver Island and when Elizabeth saw the bay that Courtenay was situated on, she was lost on a wave of homesickness and knew that that was where she wanted to be. One of their new neighbours was a man by the last name of Cameron. He told them that their timing in coming to Courtney could not have been better. The federal government had just passed the Indian Affairs Settlement Act and the B.C. provincial government had just passed the Land Settlement Act. Cameron smugly explained how he was part of the reason why the government settled what had been bothering the good folks of Courtenay for years. Land, good land, was going unused by those Indians and loyal subjects to the King needed it for their own use and profit. Back in 1913, Cameron headed a group of people to speak with the Commission on Indian Affairs at the Elk Hotel in Comox (Figure 5.6). They had been told that the Commissioners were there to settle land title between the Natives and whites and these whites had a bone to pick with the commissioners. The Dominion and provincial governments had appointed the commissioners so Cameron figured if the men who represented the elected body would not help him, he would appeal to those who answered to the King. Raising himself to his full height, Mr. Cameron approached the Commissioners and said, "Mr. Chairman, and Gentlemen, The question we desire to bring to your notice, is one with respect to the Comox Indian Reserve, the land lying between the Junction of the Pentledge and Isolum Rivers at Courtenay. This land is of no use to the Indians at the present time, and the Agricultural Society would like to be able to buy or lease a portion of that Reserve for Agricultural and Park Purposes, and for the general good of the district". 84 The commissioners assured the citizens of Courtenay that although they did not believe they might be any help that they would look into the matter. Chairman Wetmore, an aged and frail looking chap advised," If this is not an abandoned Reserve it cannot be sold without the consent of the Indians. All we could do so far as your application is concerned would be to place it before the Government with such recommendations as we may think proper, and we will be very glad to do so in your case " (RG-10,Cowichan Agency, 1914, pp.93-94). Edgar and Elizabeth listened to the story and looked at each other uneasily. They were just getting comfortable on their land and the last thing they wanted was for another disruption. Edgar asked Cameron "wouldn't the Indians want their land back?" Cameron laughed and told him not to worry. He had heard from a lawyer friend of his that the new legislation allowed the government to cut off land without the consent of the Indians. Other laws were being passed to change the Indian Act to make it illegal for Indians to hire lawyers, gather funds to get lawyers, or come together to even talk about lawyers. So be at rest, he told them, your land is safe. Irwin and Combe Canada, 1915 The Irwin family were farmers from Mennedosa, Manitoba. They had settled there after emigrating from Ireland around 1880. They arrived in Vancouver a few years later and eventually bought land in Vancouver which is now Broadway and West 6 and 7th When the land was purchased, a government official asked John to sign papers to pledge that King George the Fifth who "By the grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and of the British Dominions beyond the seas, KING, Defender of the Faith, Emperor 85 of India " would have rights to any minerals or other resources found on the land (British Columbia Certificate of Land Purchase, Lands Department, confirmed 1909). Although suspicious of signing such documents, John was loyal to the King and pledged his allegiance by signing on the dotted line. As a carpenter John was in high demand to build houses, which he did alone until his son James was old enough to pick up a hammer. Years passed and James seemed to turn from a child into a man overnight. John watched his son spend more and more time working at the docks and he was fearful that he would lose one of his best workers to them. James was not a tall man but he had been pounding hammers and carrying loads of wood since he was a child, so he had the strength and agility needed to be a longshoreman. John figured James's attraction to the docks also attracted him to his wife Nellie, a fishmonger from Scotland who was better acquainted with the sea than land. Nellie, (named after her mother Helen), was born in 1885 in the port town of Leith, Scotland. The women in her family had been fishmongers for years while the men in the family caught the fish that they scaled and later sold on their carts. Around the turn of the century she immigrated to Canada with the help of her older brother John Combe, a sailor with tattoos on his forearms and chest (World War One Enlistment Papers, National Archives of Canada, 1915). During the late 1800s he had witnessed some of his neighbours in Leith be recruited by Canada's Crofter Colonization Scheme for the "emigration of 'crofters 'from Scotland to settle them on the seaboard of the province " (BC Sessional Papers, 1888, p.464). Although a fisherman and not a crofter, John vowed that when he was old enough he would also immigrate to Canada. He was, as they required, "ready to take up a trade or occupation as required to make a community complete and self-sustaining" (BC Sessional Papers, 1888, p.464). John Combe eventually settled down in Victoria with his 86 wife Helen and son Christopher. When his sister first arrived, he was able to secure her a position as a maid at the Elk Hotel in Comox (Figure 5.7) on Vancouver Island, figuring that she would be content living in a small town on the ocean. Nellie lasted there only a couple of months. After having experienced Montreal and other eastern cities, she wanted a different life than what she would have had in Scotland. Nellie packed her things, tucked the pistol her brother had given her into her trunk, and headed back to Vancouver. It was at a social gathering that James Irwin first asked Nellie to dance and according to family folklore, he swept her off her feet to the tune of "Waltz me around again Willie.. .around, around, around". They were married in Vancouver on New Years in 1907. They eventually had seven children, five that lived past infancy. Helen was the eldest, and then came Mary, James (Jimmy), Dorothy (Dotty), and the baby, Elliot (Ed). When Nellie was pregnant with their third child, James brought her and their two daughters to his parents for supper. Nellie needed a break and he had a story for his father about the port. More and more businesses were sending their ships to Vancouver and the port needed to expand to accommodate the growth. James's bosses were a part of a harbour commission that went to Victoria to meet with the McKenna McBride Lands Commission. Word gets around quickly at the docks and James had heard that on May 12 1915, members of the Vancouver Harbour Commission met with lands commission. The head of the committee, a Mr. Maitland addressed the Commission as follows. Gentlemen - In introducing the matter under consideration I need not refer at all to the preliminaries that have been gone through already - that is our early application to the Dominion Government in July 1914, and the correspondence that has passed between your Royal Commission and the authorities at Ottawa and also the interview which you were kind enough to give Mr. McClay and myself some few weeks ago, so I will come at once to the matter of our application which has been directly made by your direction or 87 suggestion to the Dominion Government in order that no technical objection or objections might crop up in our negotiations. Now I will ask Mr. McClay to present for your consideration the scheme, which we have outlined for the development of the Kitsilano Indian Reserve in its relation to the general harbour development of Vancouver City. We have brought over with us several copies of an explanatory memorial (which are handed to each member of the Commission) and I have here a signed copy, which I will hand to the Chairman. This scheme, as you will see by reading the memorial, provides for the berthing of twenty-one ships at one time when the work contemplated is consummated. We have seven plans made - indeed eight plans which we have here with us today to present for your examination in connection with this harbour development scheme. This scheme when finished is estimated to cost upwards of sixteen millions of dollars, and the pins, which we have brought over with us for your inspection, will speak for themselves. When James heard this, he was relieved. As his family grew he knew how hard it would be to support his family. That the governments were working towards securing the ports for business comforted James as well as his father because it also meant that John would also have work. More business generally meant more development and with the aid of John's hammer and James's strength, they would be doing what they could to help Vancouver grow. Discussion: My Family's Story I believe that the history of my family and their sense of entitlement to the land are characteristic of the settler society, ideals that are perpetuated in Social Studies education. The word colonization did not appear in the official family narrative just as it is does not appear in the opening paragraph of Chapter 15, "Urbanization". The opening paragraph encourages the reader to: Think about what life was like for young Canadians in 1871, just four years after Confederation. For most young men, life revolved around their jobs on farms, in lumber mills, at quarries, or in fishing boats. The lives of young women centred on 88 households, with chores such as preparing and preserving food, looking after children, and maintaining homes. In 1871, the majority of Canadians were rural dwellers, living in small communities or isolated farms. By 1971, this percentage had changed drastically. Consensus figures showed that most Canadians-76.1 per cent -lived in town and cities. In the first hundred years or so of its existence, Canada had become an urban nation. Such a movement of people to cities is referred to as urbanization (Cranny and Moles, 2001, p.367). The description given of what Canadians were doing in 1871 is reminiscent of the active nation-building characteristics Timothy Stanley (2003) identified in earlier textbooks that were used to create racial hierarchies and justify assimilation policies (p.l 13). For instance, the description of the Canadian population is completely homogenized, creating the appearance that it was normal for people to be living in small settled communities or cultivating the land on isolated farms. From reading this narrative it would appear that all people were equally participating in these activities, indicating that perhaps Aboriginal peoples were assimilated into Canadian society and provided with the same opportunities as the settler population. Another interpretation could be that Aboriginal peoples during this time had disappeared altogether, leaving the land open for development. It would seem that the fate of Aboriginal peoples is almost left to interpretation. What is clearly left out of Chapter 15, but was important to include in my family's narrative, are examples of colonial policies that by 1871, attempted to supersede Aboriginal title. The portions of the McKenna McBride testimonies included in my narrative illustrate how the colonial society actively approached the government to take land away from Aboriginal peoples to ensure that their needs were met. Settlers, like Cameron in the Williamson story and my great-great grandfather in the Irwin story, believed that they had an inherent right to the land because they were loyal subjects to the King and would develop the land in accordance to the nation's laws (Harris, 2002 p.53). 89 According to settlers like Cameron, Aboriginal peoples were not partaking in development and wanted the government to take land away from existing reserves and give it to the settlers. The description provided in Chapter 15 only continues to "Other" peoples, relating back to Penney Clark's (in press) work when she described how Social Studies textbooks place Aboriginal peoples outside the narrative of progress. Before conducting my graduate work I probably would have read this paragraph without recognizing whose history and knowledge was being validated. However, when I read the paragraph now I think of Linda Tuhiwai Smith's words "History is about power. It is the story of the powerful and how they became powerful, and then how they use their power to keep them in positions in which they can continue to dominate others" (Smith, 1999, p.34). I can recognize now that I had been taught in school to believe the colonial story of land settlement by Europeans. This helps to explain why the Eurocentric content of the textbook was lost upon me until Aboriginal students brought their concerns to my attention. Conclusion The narratives all indicate how Chapter 15 of Counter Points is an example of Eurocentric ideologies, validating what scholars (Barman, 2003; Battiste, 2002; Clark, in press; Dei, 2002; Smith, 1999; Stanley, 2003) have said about the premise of public education in British Columbia. Having gone through the research process I also conclude that storytelling is a way for people to learn about cultural differences as well as a way to teach and learn about difficult knowledge. However, there are still many questions about the role of narrative and storytelling in diversifying curriculum and how to implement these methods in a meaningful manner. While I had permission from the participants in 90 the study to use their interviews to create stories, stories have been written on behalf of peoples that further stereotypes and ultimately perpetuate the colonial discourse. Asking people to share their stories is also dangerous if they are spoken in anger or those who are there are not ready to witness or listen to what is being said. Elizabeth Furniss wrote about one such instance when at a community meeting in Prince George, Frank Peters, from the "Ulkatcho Carrier community in the west Chilcotin" was describing the relations between the Aboriginal and colonial society in a story (Furniss, 1999, p. 158). As Peters was speaking, a man of Euro-Canadian descent yelled, "Go to work for once! Like we do! Asshole! Enough of this shit!" (p.58). As Jo-ann Archibald (1992) states, words have the power to heal and the power to hurt (p. 161). The anger exhibited by this person was an attempt by a member of the colonial society to hurt the speaker and furthered tensions in the room. To be able to listen, the colonial society must undertake the process of dealing with its denial about its role in colonization. The narratives have taught me that change is dependent upon the work that the colonial society must undertake to come to terms with its imperial and colonial past. 91 CHAPTER SIX Conclusion This study was an exploratory investigation into three participants' concerns about the ideological nature of the public education system in British Columbia. From their different cultural perspectives, Libby, Arleen, and Clayton all shared how they believed their different cultures were being either privileged or marginalized by Eurocentric knowledge in education. Chapter 15 "Urbanization", of the Social Studies 11 textbook Counter Points: Exploring Canadian Issues became the catalyst of the study but was only one small example of where and how this colonial knowledge has been disseminated in public education and British Columbian society in general. O v e r v i e w o f the S t u d y The problematic nature of Chapter 15 originally came to my attention as a result of Aboriginal students' concerns that it demonstrated an ideological assertion that the settler society had complete title to the land. Before listening to these youth, I would not have recognized the implications of Chapter 15, or the greater education system for that matter, in perpetuating Eurocentric ideologies. Their words instigated the creation of this study as well as five years of personal reflection on the role the settler society, new and old, has in maintaining these ideologies. The literature that was reviewed for the thesis as well as the theoretical presuppositions guiding the study supported these ideas. The literature reviewed indicated that the history of the education system in British Columbia is inextricably linked to the colonial process, where Aboriginal peoples were systematically treated as inferior to Europeans for the exploitation of the land and resources and to support the British world view of their cultural superiority which was 92 central to their perceptions of themselves (MacKenzie, 1984, p.2). The basis of the imperialist's arguments were founded on the philosophy that the European system of land ownership was indicative of natural law and reason (Blomley, 2004; Borrows, 2002; Brown, 2004). This became the base of the European and then Canadian legal system, and these complex religious, political, and social customs, were enforced as the unarguable norm (Borrows, 2004, p.5). This ideology in turn was used to demonstrate how Aboriginal peoples were not civilized and in order for them to become more like Europeans, they had to accept Christianity and give up their distinctive cultural practises. At the same time the colonial government had made agreements about land, however not treaties, with First Nations in British Columbia that recognized Aboriginal title to land and their inherent rights as the first peoples (Barman, 1999; Harris, 2002). As the need for land grew in late eighteenth, early nineteenth century, the colonial government ended up breaking their own laws and promises in the name of progress to secure their future (UBCIC, 2005). Growing racism towards First Nations was evident as all of their rights were taken away under the Indian Act and they were forced to live on reserves, sent to residential schools, and inhibited from demonstrating their cultures and speaking their languages (Archibald, 1993; Lawrence, 2003; Marker, 2000; Kelm, 2003). While Aboriginal children were forced to attend institutions that belittled their cultures, children of the settler societies were attending public schools where the curriculum was based on the ideals of white supremacy (Stanley, 2003). The two systems complimented each other as the superiority of the European society was disseminated through both. The ideologies of the colonial time period have continued through to this day and can still be found in the public education system (Battiste & Henderson, 2000; Clark, in press; St. 93 Denis & Hampton, 2002). Aboriginal political organizations, community members, and educators have demonstrated for over thirty years how this was apparent in how Aboriginal children were being treated in the school system (NIB/AFN, 1972; Hare, 2003). However, because of the denial of systemic racism in Canada, little has changed for Aboriginal learners over the last thirty years. Denial has kept the settler society from realizing that they have a responsibility to speak out about the injustices of the past to help change the present and the future. Anti-colonial theorists Marie Battiste (2000, 2002), George Sefa Dei (2005), and Linda Tuhiwai Smith (1999), provided the theoretical arguments that imperialism was not a benign development but a systemic process that subjugated Indigenous peoples in the name of God and progress. While the political structures have changed, the ideologies regarding the supremacy of Western knowledge continue to have severe consequences for Indigenous peoples around the world. All of these theorists recognize how education has played a part in maintaining the hierarchies that imperialists enforced. The recognition of how these ideologies continue to appear in the social networks come from the resistance Indigenous peoples have put up to them for generations. The inability of the settler society to recognize how their actions and knowledge perpetuate inequality coincides with Michel Foucault's (1975) description of how Western education became a "Means for Correct Training". Foucault described how the Western education system became a regulatory system where social norms were passed onto future generations as truths. Foucault's work provides a basic understanding of why the settler society continues to deny their role in perpetuating Eurocentric knowledge. When this knowledge has been taught to a privileged society as a 'truth', there would be little reason to question 94 it, especially if there were perceived consequences for not adhering to the status quo. To gain a better understanding of how these power dynamics are experienced by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal learners, a collaborative methodological approach was chosen to bring forth the voices that challenge the banality of Eurocentrism. The initial conversations with Aboriginal youth, the literature review, and theoretical presuppositions all influenced how I designed the study methodology. By learning from the methodologies demonstrated by educational scholars Jo-ann Archibald (1992) and Susan Dion (2004), I set out to create a collaborative process that involved in-depth one to one expert interviews, storytelling, and reflexivity to demonstrate how different perspectives from different times and cultural backgrounds can be told separately to inform an idea. The idea in this case was that the education system perpetuates Eurocentric ideologies regarding land and law, affecting the future of relations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples and having consequences for Aboriginal learners. For instance Libby's narrative encapsulated many experiences with systemic racism that were tied to, but went beyond the education system. These included her experiences as a Musqueam woman living on reserve, the reserve's relationship to the growing City of Vancouver, and the challenges her community has had in making the government live up to the promises they made over a century ago. Libby's story also related that what she was being taught in school and how Aboriginal students were being treated, was an extension of the disrespect the government and settler society have shown to First Nations communities. Libby was able to relate her experiences of having her culture marginalized to Chapter 15, "Urbanization" because the place names, the images, the narrative, all represented the broken promises of the colonial past and demonstrated 95 how the development of British Columbia is continually portrayed as a benign process. Arleen's narrative re-affirmed much of what Libby was saying in that from Arleen's perspective as a Euro-Canadian who was educated in Canada, she was not taught to think critically about how the colonial government's actions in the past continue to affect First Nations communities. She also did not realize how the education system could be perpetuating a singular discussion about land development. For her, the ideas presented in Chapter 15 were just 'common sense' until she had heard the concerns that were raised by Libby and the Aboriginal students who were introduced at the beginning of the thesis. Arleen's narrative provided an example of what Marie Battiste (2000, 2002) called cognitive imperialism because as she later stated herself, she had been educated not to recognize how the colonial past affects present day relations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples. Clayton's observations and discussion touched on how political this topic is and how, subsequently, the issue becomes avoided. When he had been a child growing up in the Yukon, the curriculum had included local Indigenous knowledges as well as European. Clayton believed that this was an important part of building cultural understanding and respecting the original inhabitants of the land. Clayton stated that the lessons in Chapter 15 reflect the colonial society's need to teach its younger generations to maintain a monopoly over land in order to survive. He mentioned the Oka Crisis that took place in 1990 as an example of what happens when this control is threatened; racism comes to the forefront, producing violence. Clayton is concerned that by not building these bridges in education that when and if change occurs at the political level to respect Aboriginal title and rights, the general public will not understand and disrupt this 96 development by supporting those who oppose the process and/or create potential for further violence. The history of my family and their sense of entitlement to the land are characteristic of the dominant society's ideals that are perpetuated in Social Studies education. My family's involvement in colonialism was something that I had objectified for most of my life because I was taught to examine history as though I was disconnected from the processes that have led me to where I am today. I was not encouraged to look at how my background intersected with the colonial process. Plus, I did not want to examine my family's history because it implicates my family as well as myself in a racist past and present. While conducting the research I felt sad, angry, and powerless as I came to realize the depth of my own colonized mind. However going through the process has eased the guilt that I had about colonization and my part in it because it no longer feels abstract. I can now name the processes that give me privilege and I can take what I have learned and share it with other educators. M a j o r Findings I believe that the employment of narratives was a way to deal with difficult knowledge (Britzman, 1998) in education because as illustrated in this thesis, the creating and sharing of stories began to unravel some of the complexities of the relationships between peoples and their cultural relationships to place. However, I believe that it is the unravelling of these relationships that the settler society in particular must undertake in order to begin to listen to the voices that they do not want to listen to. As Verna St. Denis and Eber Hampton (2002) stated, the experiences of racism are often dismissed and silenced. This is not to say that there are not allies in these times, but the general settler 97 society remains unaware of how their education has assisted in shaping their perspectives about Aboriginal title and rights and subsequently, how they treat First Nations peoples. The information provided by the participants was also indicative of how recommendations that were made to improve education for Aboriginal learners for over thirty years have gone unmet. Libby's sister's experience with the school counsellor demonstrated how Aboriginal youth continue to be treated as though they are unable to perform well in school and what happens when they come across a racist school representative. One of the concerns that Libby had about the textbook that was not included in her narrative was how she did not believe that many Aboriginal students would be using Counter Points because they are often put into "special classes" that do not use the regular school curriculum (page 6 of interview). She mentioned one particular program at one of the high schools in Vancouver where all of her siblings had been enrolled on the basis of their cultural backgrounds. Her brother ended up dropping out of school after he was not allowed to leave the special program to enter regular classes and her sister transferred schools to get out of the class so that she could graduate with her high school diploma (page six of interview). The racism, isolation, and disruption Aboriginal students experience in the public school system were concerns raised by the NIB/AFN (1972) regarding how Aboriginal learners were being treated in the school system. It is appalling that after all these years, Aboriginal learners like Libby and her siblings continue to face discrimination in the school system. Clayton also told of similar experiences where teachers and students would tell racist jokes or repeat racist sentiments, only to retract their statements after learning that he was Aboriginal. The absence of Aboriginal students in the classroom does not mean that these attitudes should 98 be allowed to continue unchecked or that the issues of land title should not be developed further. Arleen mentioned something in her interview that teachers who did not have Aboriginal students in their classrooms did not spend as much time on the issue of Aboriginal tile and rights and felt more comfortable talking about the issues pertaining to Aboriginal peoples because they felt their assumptions would not be contradicted (page five of interview). Her point re-emphasizes the need for local Indigenous knowledges into the classrooms in a meaningful manner. Collectively, the methods helped identify the hegemonic colonial narrative in Chapter 15 "Urbanization" as well as identify other problem areas in the education system at large. Writing the stories would have been impossible were it not for the willingness of the participants to be involved in the study and share their stories. Further study would have to be conducted to determine whether these methods could potentially create safe spaces in classroom environments to engage students with the types of difficult knowledge that were discussed in the thesis. All of the educational institutions in British Columbia have a responsibility to create educational programs for teachers so that they may learn about the specific issues that affect Aboriginal peoples from Aboriginal perspectives. For instance the Sto:lo First Nation developed the Coqualeetza Cultural Education Centre and have been creating curriculum since 1976 to support Sto:lo students in the education system as well as "provide resource support to educational programs through resource people, demonstrations of traditional arts and textiles, archival data, etc" (Coqualeetza Cultural Education Centre, 2007). Recently a milestone initiative was submitted to the Association of British Columbia Deans in Education (ABCDE) by the Aboriginal 99 Teacher Education Task Force (2006) made up of members from all of the Faculties of Education and teacher education programs in British Columbia as well as representatives from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Advanced Education, the British Columbia Teachers Federation, and the First Nations Education Steering Committee (p.l). Entitled Aboriginal Education in British Columbia: A Plan for 2006-2011, the task force proposed a five year plan that would strengthen teacher education programs for Aboriginal peoples and Aboriginal education in teacher education programs (p.3). The ABCDE have approved the report and have agreed to work on recommendations made in the report which include "access (to increase numbers of Aboriginal teachers), recruitment, retention, employment, Aboriginal knowledge, program review, in-service to faculty and sponsor teachers, data collection, retention of Aboriginal faculty members, partnerships, research and knowledge mobilization, policy/monitoring, and funding" (p.5). ABCDE and education partners have also taken on the responsibility to lobby for long term programming and Aboriginal student funding, funding through universities for educational initiatives, and adequate faculty and staff to ensure that these initiatives are successfully carried out (p.5). The Ministry of Education supports this initiative and should they make these recommendations a part of the mandatory education system, there is a greater possibility that meaningful change will occur. The work of Indigenous scholars and educators must be utilized and built upon. I believe that the colonial society is unable to make such changes at this time because it continues to benefit from having its values and morals replicated. 2 0 Please see full report and recommendations at B C Deans of Education. Aboriginal Teacher Education in British Columbia Plans and Prospects. (2006). http://www.educ.sfu.ca/abcde/taskforce.pdf. Retrieved July 6, 2007. 100 Final Reflections Personal reflections on the issues raised during the research confirmed that I learned how to disconnect from the past through my education in Canada, particularly regarding colonial assertions to land. Before entering university I was not aware of the land title issues in British Columbia, having only been introduced to the idea in high school. My interactions with the participants as well reading the testimonies given to the McKenna McBride commission have been an integral part of my learning process. The testimonies demonstrated how Indigenous peoples in British Columbia never ceded their territories and how the colonial government broke their own laws to enforce the imperial desires of the British Empire. Documentation of the deliberate actions by government and settlers taken to remove Indigenous peoples from the landscape enabled me to read into the past and see how colonialism was systemic and unjust. The education system has played a key role in maintaining those power dynamics. The residential schools attempted to assimilate and oppress Indigenous peoples, while public schools taught British children that their culture was superior to all other peoples. While Indigenous communities have their own knowledges about the effects and resistance to colonization, the settler society must investigate their histories and connect their pasts with the present to understand their role in perpetuating inequalities. Another group of peoples who were exploited by systemic racism in British Columbia have already begun this process. A Chinese-Canadian organization called Canadians for Reconciliation (CFR) have organized events to acknowledging these relationships as they invite "elders and scholars to tell stories and remind new immigrants about the relationship between the First People and earlier Chinese to BC, a piece of history which is almost lost" (CFR, 2004). The 101 event seeks to create a safe space for stories to be told, and is an important indicator of how storytelling can build relationships. The event also sets an example for Euro-Canadians to follow, and take the initiative to draw awareness to the role their ancestors took to colonize the land. Another such initiative is Simon Fraser University's collaborative teaching modules entitled "Indigenous Peoples Teacher Education Module (IPTEM)" and the "Aboriginal Focus Teacher Education Module (AFTEM)" (SFU, 2006). IPTEM and AFTEM are "collaborative cohorts addressing two pressing issues in education today. Through IPTEM, SFU seeks to increase the number of First Nations/Aboriginal teachers in BC, while through AFTEM we seek to increase the skills and competencies of non-indigenous teachers working with Aboriginal youth and children in our schools" (SFU, 2006). I have recently applied to this program because I still have much to learn about what I can do to in the education system to challenge the education system that privileged my cultural background. I made my decision to apply after a recent experience at a local high school. I was in a Social Studies 11 classroom where a new lesson plan about colonialism and Aboriginal title and rights was being implemented. I was facilitating a group of students in a discussion about what has changed and what has stayed the same in the last hundred years of colonial authority in B.C. After reading through the primary sources supplied in the lesson, one student asked why the issue of Aboriginal title and rights was not at the forefront of the provincial government's political agenda. Before a response could be made, another student piped in, "Does anyone want to hear a good Indian joke?" Racism is alive and well in the education system and I feel I have a responsibility to the people 102 who participated in the research to learn from their experiences and do what I can to create safe learning spaces. This thesis provided an opportunity for peoples from Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal ancestry to come together and talk about the education system. Together we created stories that expose the racism within and outside of the education system and each of us has taken something from that process. Libby felt that by sharing her experiences, she opened a window of communication between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples. Arleen shared how she is reassessing her own knowledge about land development and title and rights. Clayton was thankful to have the opportunity to talk about his educational experiences and was happy to provide another voice to challenge the status quo of education. For me it was a confirmation of the responsibility I have to speak out about colonial history and listen to those around me who have stories to share. I invite all members of the colonial society to do the same. 103 BIBLIOGRAPHY Apple, Michael. (1993). The Text and Cultural Politics. 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