UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Publications

Indian education newsletter Jan 1, 1973

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VOLUME 3 # 3
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NOV. &
DEC. 1972
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Room 106 - brock hall, U.B.C, SPEECH TO UNION OF B.  C.  INDIAN CHIEFS
In your brief to the Honourable John Munro, Minister of the
Department of National Health and Welfare, on March 2/72, you outlined
an approach which you called Community-Family Life-Education and you
said in your brief that this approach represents "the most effective
and feasible manner by which our communities can become an integral
part of the problem-solving process".  I am glad that you made the
point yourselves that education can only be regarded as part of an
overall plan to help Indian people.  The last 100 years has showm. you
that in itself and by itself, it can do little for you.  I am also
glad that you stressed that only insofaras you are allowed to be part
of the solution, and the major part at that, and not forever seen as
only part of the problem, will any good come out of any plan.  I am
glad of these things because my thinking, that of my fellow ministers,
and that of the people xvTho work for me in Indian education, is very
similar to yours.
Let me outline what we had considered because I am sure
you will find it very much in the same spirit as your brief.  The
Departments of Health, Education and Welfare had suggested that the
Province be divided into regions, and the fifteen regions you suggest
would make good units.  "Within each of these regions wTe planned to
set-up a "center".  Let me add quickly before I give the impression
that we wished to "organize" you again—along with all the bureaucratic trimmings—that we see these centers being controlled by
local Indian people with powers to set policies, priorities, and
budget needs.
The first thing about these centers to note is that all
services which presently are supplied to you now would be integrated.
On this point, you mention in you brief some terrible statistics.
You say:
"Forty percent of all children in the hands of the
Superintendent of Child Welfare are Indian children
despite the fact that Indians make, up two percent
of the population."
"Forty-four percent of the admissions to Woodlands
School in 1965 were Indian girls."
"The incident of accidental deaths is four times
greater, of homicides thirty times greater, of
suicides three times greater among Indian people
than among the general population." - 2 -
You went on to say that these statistics prove that present
services are not fulfilling your needs.  The services do not reach
sufficient people in the community and there is LITTLE CO-ORDINATION
between them.  It was to remedy this state of affairs that we
suggested that all services should be integrated and channeled
through these centers, controlled as I pointed out earlier, by local
Indian people.
After stressing that I believe education to be only useful
to. Indian people if it is regarded as being just a part of the total
service delivery, let me hox^ever, dwell a few minutes on education
itself as it appears to me and on how I see a Center helping specifically in this field.  We know that taking children away from their
parents at an early age and educating them in residential schools
did not work well for all children-—and that's putting it mildly I
We know that integrating children in public schools despite all the
good will involved is not xjorking well.  We are well aware of the
wastage of talent with the terrible drop-out-rates among Indian
students.  We knoxj also of the erosion of pride which takes place,
leaving the Indian child with so little self-respect that this in
itself becomes a learning disability.  We know that at this moment,
instead of having a pool of Indian people trained as professionals
in all fields, we have so very few.
So working from these centers, we wish to encourage and
support pre-school classes at the community level where the children
also receive steady and consistent: health care.  We x-rish to keep
the primary children as close to their parents during the early
school years as possible.  From the center, we x>rant ideas on new
curriculum approaches which can be tested and researched at the
local levels.  We want to encourage, and produce material specifically
designed for the Indian children of that region.  At these centers,
working with colleges and universities, we want to train para-
professionals and teachers from that area to x^ork in that area.
If a child does have to move away from his village to
continue his education, we want the center'to provide counselling,
and guidance to him in a group home run by Indian parents.  Through
the center, we want to encourage and support those students who
wish to continue their education and become the professionals we
so badly need.  At the same time, we wish the centers to work with
the parents in programs of adult education which, among other things,
could interpret the school and its aims to these parents so that the
parents xv'ould not, as they often do now, fell left out, feel that
they have lost their children to a society that neither understands,
nor feels for them. 3 -
If at the same time from these centers, were coming supportive services from Health & Welfare, I can see that education
would at long last become a tool that the Indian could use in the
achievement of his aims.
I should also add that all the concepts I have outlined in
conjunction with the center were ideas which came from native people
themselves.  We put them all together in one package because x^e think
that these services delivered in harmony with each other, are necessary
if. the future is to be as bright as it could be.
The Indian people are practical people.  I think you would
want to know now how these ideas could be made into reality.  Already
you have paved the xray yourself.  After your brief to Mr. Munro you
received tx^enty workers, most of them already in the field getting
the communities ready for the kind of services we have outlined.
We could agree xjith you right, now about the fifteen regions.
We could examine each region and find a place to locate the center
in co-operation with you.  During this year, we could set-up the
administrative machinery whereby the services which are presently
being delivered could be delivered through the center.  The most
efficient and feasible method of setting up the local controlling
group could be worked cut with you now.  As early as January, we
could begin training paraprotessionals to work in pre-schools by
September, 1973.  We could begin to recruit staff gradually to meet
those needs which could not be met even by integrating present services.
I don't doubt for one minute that we would run into all
kinds of difficulties and that in some areas we would succeed well,
and in others it would take up time to do well.  I do believe, however, that the time to start is now, the speed to go is as fast
as we can xvhile still doing a good job, and that the needs of the
Indian people are so obvious and necessary that all the peoples of
our province would be united in seeing that at last the things
that should be done for Indian people would be done.  I can't
help adding as a final word, that these things will be. the things
that Indian people have been telling us about so patiently and
for so long.
A A A A A A A ii A A A A *
When do we start this idea of Centers?  Now—we can agree upon
regions; we can pick likely spots within each region to set-up - 4 -
the center; we can work on the form of local control; we can negotiate
with the Federal government to join us in providing their services
through these centers; we can see that present services can be provided through these centers.  By September, 1973, we could be ready
to start in some centers.
Will we need any buildings?  Hopefully not.  All will depend upon
the facilities which exist now.  Prefer to see any buildings at the
local community level for the kids directly.  A huge building program would sink this idea.  The buildings are not as important as
the staff.
What kinds of materials would be published?  That produced locally
and by exchange between the centers, and that from other regions
which would be of use.
Who would decide who xvould be in charge at the local level?  We can-
not ansxver that — we would look to you for guidance — local people.
What kinds of people would eventually be working out the centers?
Health Nurse, Dental Nurse, Ilomc-Scbool Co-ordinators; educators,
adult education people, social workers, welfare workers.  Ideally,
within five years most of these would be native Indian people.
How Ionn__tp_ get this prograra f u 1 ly operating a 11_over the Province?
Five years at the end of which x?e move forward again.
Is there any accounting to be made by the provincial__government on
box-; the Indian education money is being spent?  Yes, the previous
provincial government did not and the NDP government will give an
accounting to the Indian people.
How will the Hon. Frank CaIder's investigations fit into the proposal of Multi-Service Resource Centers?  If it isn't already
proposed by Mr. Colder the plan is that it .will be part and partial
to what he will do or he over and above what he will do.
How x-j1.11 the existine Indian Education Resources Center fit into
tbe_ plan of Multi-Service. Resource Cot.tern:  It is planned, after
discussion with the B, C. Nanive Inciau Teachers' Association that
the. present Resource Center will become part of the scheme.
A A:
j, 4.    .'.. .■-
A A A A - 5 -
'Indians' — the guilt-laden generality we wrap around a host
of peoples to hide them from our sight so that we will not have to
come to terms, look back into their eyes.
We talk — oh my God how we talk in our endless conventions
and sterilized research papers — about something knowTi by the significantly ugly term of individualized instruction.
And we take a little Nootka child, a son of the great whalers
of the Pacific, and we  tear him away from his mother and his father
and his brothers and sisters and all the people in the close Nootka
community.  We rip him out of the love-and-identity circle.  We remove
him to a strange place, where what we call a school is operating in
strange ways.  There xve ban his language from being a language of
learning (we think).
By banning his language, we.  ban him.  So let's have another
professional development harangue about the uniqueness of each child.
Halos please.
We profess education, and we  cannot see and identify these
people sitting right under our noses.
We go to teach Africans how to teach but do we know what a
Mohawk is?
We are such great big fat thundering teachers of the whole
world that we  do not knox; hew to listen to (this is more than
auditory) and cherish the Ojibwa as brother.
We don't have the slightest idea who he is (so we don't
know who we are,  either).
Try to find an Ojibwa school.  All you can find is schools
whites run for 'Indians'.
Although there have b»en honourable exceptions, although
there have been devoted groups and individuals who have broken the
pattern, the general picture of education as experienced by the
peoples for generations has bet.-n an unholy mess in which it x-jould
have been possible at times to sniff the odour of cultural genocide. - 6
Yes, I do know that there are now people working for the
Department of Northern Affairs and for Departments of Education who
are striving might and main according to their lights to try to
change the picture.  These lines, and many of the articles in this
issue, are offered as a tiny but sincere contribution to the success
of those efforts.
There are two reasons why every teachers in Canada has a
stake in that fervently-to-be-wished-for success.
1) If the teachers of the children of the little
nations can discover shining talents to bring
gifts to these children they will help us all
learn where to find talents to bring to the
feet of all children.  By this I mean that if
this advanced and strategic detachment of the
teaching profession can learn how to help the
Dogrib or the Salish child to claim and shape
as his own the disciplines of inquiry into
all aspects of reality, xrithout violating that
child's culture and identity, then these
teachers will have helped us all to solve the
same problem for all the students we encounter
in every school in Canada..
We have to get over the imperial conception of ourselves as
value-planters and people-moulders.  That may be even harder for us
to do than it is for the Onondaga child to put up wTith us.  Inquiry
is our business.  They will form their oxvn values, never fear —
among the Cayugas as among the whites.
2) This advanced detachment of teachers, working
wTith and (pray) learning from the young of
the little nations, may help us to clean the
remaining junk about 'Indians' out of courses
of study.  As n  part of being Canadian, all
our young people reed the opportunity for
real learning, for uncensored inquiry into
the truth about the original Canadians,
whether in history, geography, literature,
or x-nhatever.  Think, for example, of how the
study of literature can be enriched by learning the literature of these peonies — or of
how Canada can he strengthened by serious
attention to their hisrorv. There are assumptions to challenge:  such as the assumption
that getting young Tuscaroras into the same classes as white children
necessarily constitutes 'intergration'.
There are fundamental questions to raise:  can 'integration'
be justified?
There is much new work to do:  some universities have already
set up departments for the study of these peoples and are taking the
first faltering steps towards providing appropriate preparation for
those who will teach among them.
There is a nex^ goal to consider: that the schooling of the
children of the Chipewyans or the Micmacs will be taken over largely
by these people themselves.
And there is this to ask ourselves for openers:  are we
capable of letting them teach us about themselves — and about us?
The above article is taken from:  Volume 3 #9 - Monday Morning -
May 1969 issue.  (Canada's Magazine for Professional Teachers)
A A A A A A A A A A A A A -A   A A A A A:'- A A A A A A A A
A A A A A V: A A A A A 'A A A; ■ A A A A A A •"- A A A A A A A
A A A A A A A A A A "A A -A y; A ;v A A A A A A A A A A A
A A A A A A. A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A
Education as it relates to our Indian people is directly
controlled by the following areas:
I -   Dept. of Indian Affairs
a) Ottawa - National education policy.
b) Regional - interpretation of above policies.
c) District Sunt, of I.U.S.A. re-interpretation
of a) &  b) policies (usually to fit budget).
II -   Bent, of Education — B. C.
a)  Minister of Education - verbal, committment,
(Special Services - Superintendent   )
,  Vv ■        , .  ,.   . .    .   , ,,  ,-, i   to imolamcnt
c)  (Director or Lndi.au ndueation a Staff ) - 8 -
II -   Dept. of Education — B. C.  (cont.)...
d)  School Districts (since the High School
& Post High School programs began).
III -   Indian People
a) parents
b) Education Committees
c) Band Councils
d) High School Graduates
e) Churches
f) Community Organizations
Education is a total x^ay of life.  This then means, education
is made-up of continuing changes in our lines.  Supposedly from this
thinking, changes made in the above 3 areas, should improve the education of our Indian people.
I -   For years, Indian people have been demanding changes to be
made.  Very little input by Indians has been accepted cr
implemented.  Plans, programs etc. by non-Indians - but
the Indians suffer the poor results and are blamed for the
poor results.  Indian people are made to fit into the system.
II -   Up until a few weeks ago, this area had a hands-off policy
towards Indian Education.  As long as Federal funds xvere
available, Indian students were condoned or put up with,
hence the sick state of the present "integrated" set-up.
Noxj, with a verbal committment by the Minisr.er of Education
the future seems brighter.
III -   If education is a total way of life, then, all that goes
on outside the classroom (before school life & during
school lire) directly controls the success or the failure
in the classroom.
- Those parents who Xs'ish for success in the
classroom, must begin, and go beyond wishing, before the
child enters school.  Daily genuine love and affection,
and a growing interest in the childs likes and dislikes,
an encouragement for the child to speak out, an encouragement in the social training (meals, sharing, meeting - 9 -
other children of the same age, respect, for others,
taking part in the home routine etc.)   and cementing
some real health habits in the child (sleep, cleanliness, wholesome meals, pride in one self etc.)
are a few things to start with.
- Those parents who are interested in the
school success of their children, MUST meet all of
the teachers that these children work with.  A real
effort on the parents part to work along with teachers
(right from nursery teachers up to the principal)
will go a long ways in guiding and encouraging these
children toxjards success.
- Churches can supplement the efforts of
parents and teachers.  Sunday school and vocation
vacation school programs are really extensions of
the learning program.  The. six groups under III
(Indian People) should actively, and co-operatively
x«rork toxjards seeing that such programs are In the
villages for "their" children.
If this area III (Indian People)—really lived Fducation,
the children coming out of these families and reserves will, be so
strong in mind and character, that they will be good citizens and a
credit to the Indians.  It: is this area III that can force Areas J. &
II to carry out the changes in school programs which will assure you
children of a more meaningful education.
The purpose of this paper, is to bring out xreakness areas
in this post high school education as I experienced as a student,
and as I have had contact with many post high school Indian studen
universities, junior colleges, vocational schools, Indian affairs
guidance, and vocational counsellors, ana high school personnel
since then.
Post high school education is anyone going beyond gra
10 into vocational, art schools or similar training set-ups.
those going beyond grade 12 (technical, junior colleges, univc   ties)
are also in this grouping.  Mature Indian students (late 20's  .1 up)
X'/ho have a genuine interest to up-grade their academic stand'   are in
special set-ups (in conjunction vir.h MANFC'vER) , for a Basic   Mning
& Skill Development Program, whorehy they can up-grade to <       .e 8
to 10 and into grade 12,  A handful of Indian Seservo Ccw:       .ties
also provide Adult Education Night School Programs tl.einr    with
the BTSD Program.  It woulo sound then, that every oppco   ity is
made available to Indians for nest high school educati-    In the 10 -
1971-71 school year - a conservative guess at members in the post
high education for Indians could be 1200 Indian students.  LESS
than 40 Indian students were enrolled at U.B.C, S.F.U., University
of Victoria, out of this number.
The aim. of any post high school education program is to
further prepare students to enter into specific specialized areas in
the work field, and to encourage students to go beyond a skilled area
of interest, into the professional fields.
The transition of the Indian today needs a strong group of
specialized professionally trained Indian people.  From the vocational
and technical fields, we have a small number of established semiskilled, people in the work field.  We have too few in the semi-
professional area, and_,_we hjrve virjrrually uo_people coming out of the
universities in to_s  n  • j <- ' - •    :  tec nicxans, rectors, dentists
dieticians, psychiatrists, psychologists, registered nurses and public
health nurses, marital counsellors, family counsellors, social workers,
trained child care workers, vocational or guidance or school counsellor
lawyers, business administrators; political scientists, research
scientists, efficiency experts, bookkeepers, general and certified
accountancy, teachers, and an unending list of other fields.
T'Ther!<a\mr som-i program Is Jaunchod for I ho, benefit of Indi-n
people - for their betterment and catching up to the rest of today*?
society - the planning and the carrying out of tha plans of controlled
by non-Indian people xcho Jack a total, understanding of the way of life
of the Indian and their specific needs as to bands or districts.  Much
of the time Is spent on trial & error attempts, and by tin time the
program is underway - a good percentage of the funds have keen swallowed up in administration costs.  Very little of the funding ever gets
into the grass roots level cf operation.
If we the Indians in B. C. - note able to place cur own
people in these top professional levels, re would exit, cut this xcastaga
of funds In planning and adminixteri.ng these plans.
A case in point - Is the well developed Community - Family •-
Life Education Program that the U.D.C.I.C. is now attempting to launch,
Such a  vitally needed prog, a:- should he offered in ever)1 resarve, and
to expect 100/' effectivennss from tints pro:-rar5 the U.S.C.I.C. should
have been able to nick proiosslona.lly trfineo B. C, Indians to head
all phases of this operation,  I understand thai. to gut inks program
into operation, they have had to rely on non-Tndinii ax   out cf rim
p r ovin c e e xp art1se . - 11 -
My main point, is that, in the post secondary education for
our people, we are just leaving up to chance the results of such a
program, where we should be directing, encouraging and actively supporting the directions of such a program we should be ending up xtfith.
With this focal point in mind, the D.I.A., the Provincial
Department of Education the U.B.C.I.C. and all their respective levels
of operation should, in co-operation with the BCNITA, the bands and
districts, the parents etc., should be co-operatively working towards
a more productive post high education for the Indians.
As I see it, the major weakness areas in the Post High
School Education for Indians are:
A/ Majority of these students at this level are mis-
trained, miseducated and misdirected.  There is
presently a high drop-out rate at the vocational,
technical and junior college levels.  It could
be as high as half of those entering a program
drop-out before the completion of that program.
B/ At its best, the total program is increasing in
enrollment numbers only - very few are going
beyond the second year of Junior College.
C/ Many Indian students enter any program just to
remain in school. They lack proper counselling,
and their abilities are not challenged. The
initial interest was there, but being put on the
wrong program, and due to a lack of a one to one
counselling program, these students, as a result
they fade out of the picture.
D/ Many students will complete the programs BUT
have no interest in the skilled areas of the
Xtfork field the)- are. trained for, nor in the semi-
professional levels they have reached.  These
people x>7ill enter into other areas of work,
other than their training.  They are unable to
be cf some service to their respective bands,
or to the U.B.C.I.C, or to pursue these
studies to higher levels.
A/  Mi.straining, MIseducat ion , Mi sdirection
All people in the post high school area are young adults -
With ideas, beliefs, ways of life etc. that are already well, set for - 12
the rest of their future lives.  Very little can be done to adjust
or change these well set patterns of thought.  Therefore, to continue
to expect them to just naturally fit into the traditional programs,
would be to encourage the non-productive P.H. program as it now exists.
There are countless numbers of students in the vocational
or technical courses, who have not completed the apprenticeship section
of their courses.  There are countless numbers of diesel and automotive
mechanics, electricians, welders, carpenters, food service workers,
tellers, and other clerical workers etc., x^ithout jobs or who have
given up.
A first attempt at improving the situation would be for
"the powers that be" (D.I.A., Dept. of Education, Vocational &
Technical Institutes, and Manpox<?er) to abandon the idea that Indian
students can be fitted into traditional programs.  The reaction to
this way of thinking thus far, is that if the programs do not appeal
to Indian students, they can either take it or leave it.  A real
effort should be made by the top level brass to work in closer
consultation with the U.B.C.I.C, with District or Band Councils,
or with the BCNITA to properly evaluate Indian students as to
their future plans; their capabilities; their interests in the work
field.; their interests in the semi-professional or skilled areas;
or in their desire to serve their people on reserves or at district
or provincial levels.  These should be made the key factors in seeing that Indian students are programmed into courses that will put
them into productive work areas, and not just to complete coursesl
As stated earlier, the 3 M's under this weakness category
are almost, non-controllable at the post high level.  The preparatory
years (as early as grade 6, right through to high school) are the
controllable years.  The guidance/vocational/school counselling program in these years lack an informative instructive content of
career planning and providing basic incentives to encourage a
directed approach to post high education.  By grade 10, most non-
Indian students have been exposed to a vast expanse of choices in
the work world, including the professions through such media (from
the time they can speak!) as IV; living in urban centers; weekend
family excursions; annual vacation trips; youth organization or
service club or government sponsored exchange trips to different
parts of our province of other provinces etc.  At grade 10 level
most Indian students are just beginning thin kind of exposure.
The D.I.A. guidance/vocational counselling services should be comprised cf 75% ot this type cf enriched career oriented programming.
The Indian people should demand at their reserve elementary schools
or in provincial schools, that their children receive this continuing career typo orientation urogram.  Such an. emphasis, would begin
to produce, trainee, educated, directed post high school students. - 13 -
B/       Increase in enrollment of the post high education area
should no longer be the overall objective.  This is happening already, and indications are that it should be increasing on its ox-m
We should be concerned about the end results - i.e. how
many people are leaving the vocational schools and are establishing
themselves in the work field and are still in a position to go
beyond this initial training?  How many of our people are leaving
the technical institutes and are becoming technicians in the
hospitals, or the many fields of industries?  Row many of our people
are going beyond the first or second year of Junior Colleges, and
going beyond the semi-professional levels into professional levels?
The suggestions mentioned in category A should be pursued
at all costs.  Those bands or districts, those parents, who can
strive extra hard to provide this enrichment for their children will
meet success,  I mean by this that anything that parents or bands
etc. can do in providing this background for their children are
offering direction, and encouragement.  Perhaps, Indian parents can
demand that they also he included in thin career orientation upgrading program - in adult education classes!
Band Councils, if within their finances, can go beyond
verbal encouragements.  Small bursaries or awards from the hand
council or other village society groups could encourage-, some grade
7 student to try extra hard.  In this respect, the district councils,
or other larger Indian organisations (U.B.C.I.C. and ether federation
or tribal groups etc.) can he In a position to offer bursaries in
specific post high school education related to their respective needs
o r a s p i r a t. ions.
The major emphasis to improve the total overall situation
should be as outlined In category A - these other suggestions are
merely supplementals.
The type of guidance or vocation or relocation (retraining)
counselling offered at this level should ho specific and not general
personnel in those ponitnenn should bo experts, and all their
counselling should he on a one to one basis - and net none through
an office or by telephone.
Should U.B.C.I.C. and District Ccvr.cils  be Involved, in
screening applicain.:., or suggesting applicants for those vitally
important counselling positions? - 14 -
There is a need to assure vocational and technical students
of jobs after courses.  Should U.B.C.I.C. and District Councils be
involved in some sort of employment referral type agency?
C/       Poor programing of students, wherein abilities and interests
are not met, are the most common cause of dropping out of the programs.
As stated earlier poor quality of counselling, and a lack of counselling,
is the cause of this dropping out.  As pointed out in section B - choice
of counsellors, or making sure that there are counsellors available
should improve this weakness area.  Similarily, the preparatory years
(high school) and counselling in section A, are also Important, and are
areas where we the Indian people could demand that the proper preparation
in terms of career orientation be begun.
D/       Some re-training or re-evaluation of students who just complete
courses, should be begun.  As I understand it. there students are left
to finish their non-productive programs, and their is no follow up to
their initial attempts,,
When there is sxich a great demand on our reserves, at our
District Councils and at the U.B.C.I.C. levels for trained Indian people,
cam District Councils feed into U.B.C.I.C. office suggestions of various
types of positions or jobs that they need, and perhaps the U.B.C.I.C.
can tabulate or co-ordinate these into specified courses that they can
approach the various training InstJtutions with? Here again, the
employment referral type agency in suction I can be of some use.
In conclusion, over-riding all cf these xv'eaknesses areas, is
the total lack of direct communication amongst all those involved in
the education cf the Indian.  Policies are bring interpreted at the
various levels of the D.I.A,, and the Department of Education, and
again re-intcrpreted at the regional and district levels to fit the
budget.  In tiiis while process, the welfare of Indian students takes
second or third place or ignored altogether*  Perhaps in this respect,
if these two departments can be encouraged to deal, with the regional,
(provincial) common problems of the B. C. Indian, isolated from the
D.I.A. national educational policy, or the Department of Education
district of education policies - i.e. through, the U.B.C.I.C, or
District Councils, in conjunction with the BCNITA - then some headway
can be made with reference to alleviating scan of the critical problem areas of the post high school ect-cstic: fcr Indians.  Ottawa
level personnel are still perpetuating tee idea that they, and only
they, can decide on critical Isaum tor innovations or enrichments
in the education of the Indian.  There is NO Ottawa level expertise
as such Cor the Provincial Department of Education - educational
matters for B. C. dealt with in the province.  In this concentration
of common interests, educational matters for Che eon-Indians of
B. C. are keeping up vich continuing changes to un-grade their system.
For Indian Education in I. C, - changes are controlled by hue availability cf funds and If the current fiscal year has no funds,
pertinent changes in education are left until the following year.
Is it not nonnible for the D.I.A. hi.ernrehv to set-up a B. C. Rep ions. 1 - 15 -
team of consultants, to co-ordinate educational matters for B. C
Indians?  Such a body could be comprised of educational representatives
from 0ttax<7a, Regional Offices, Representatives from the U.B.C.I.C,
and BCNITA.  This group can then be in a position to work more cooperatively xtfith the Department of Education in B. C Educational problems for Indians have many progressive districts, and for these people,
a more closer co-operative direct liaison x^ith the Provincial Department
of Education is all that is needed for more success.  As it now stands,
a breakdown in communication at Regional D.I.A., and the B. C Indians,
and BCNITA leaves everything at a stand still.  The Ottaxra level of
dealing with these stalemated issues, is to see how we fit into their
national education policy, and by telephone or telex, the future of
B. C  Indian Education is decided upon.  Such an issue as the social
counselling position is a classic example.  The planning for such
courses, and the operation of such courses has been put on a national
level.  B. C Indians must fit into the content.  Why wasn't the Home-
School Co-ordinators' program in B. C. Used as a basis for such courses7
Here,  B. C Indian people have been in the educational field for
three years, and have been involved in summer session orientation
courses, but no recognition has been given to the value judgement in
the field, experience, and training that these Home-School Co-ordinators'
have been receiving.  They now have to go outside of B. C to train,
receive a diploma, and then be recognized.  The first BCNITA heard
of it, was the. announcement that the course was available outside of
B. C!  Another classic example, is the school of the future idea that
the Nass PJLver people are demanding.  Some breakdown in communication
with D.I.A., Ottawa and Regional. Office has taken place - so that when
the local school board and the Nass Delegation reached a disagreement,
it was left at that! — the Indian people are at a loss, as to who to
approach, or put faith in to get this project into operation — the
D.I.A., Ottawa or Regional Office or the Department of Education in
B. C?  A—B. C. team of consultants, as proposed in this paper,
would be a group to resolve such a stalemated situation!  The matter
of the cultural Education Centers is another issue.  Indian people
in Canada have to make overtures to the too level brass in Ottawa
to receive such grants, and in their first phase of the program four
provinces received massive grants.  It appears that to be favoured
by such grants - those with the most pressure and top level contacts
are receiving consideration.  Why is this fund being administered in
Ottawa., rather than provinciality, under such a co-ordinating group
as proposed!
The whole point of summing up tills paper In this manner,
is that, oven if all of the suggestions to strengthen the weak areas
were carried out - we.  the Indian people, cf B. C are being denied
the right, to decide, make plans, and carry out these plans for
education.  Ideally, there should be only one co-ordinated group to - 16 -
enter into agreements or working liaisons with the Provincial Department of Education.  Today, Ottax^a has a master contract - this is
correlated with their National Indian Education Policy become so
mixed-up, that, people in regional who have no understanding of
education make the final decisions.
If all of us agree, that the future of any group of people,
depends on the quality of education their children recieve, then the
B. C Indian people have no real future to look forx/ard to, due to
the non-productive type of post high school education their children
are forced into.
Therefore, to be in a position to control and direct the
outcome of those Indians in post high school education, let us to
away xtfith all of the multi-complex levels of communication that
currently exists and lets demand that a B. C Team of Educational
Consultants be set-up!  In this manner, direct, co-operative working liaison is assured with the B. C Department of Education.
A A A A A A A A -A A A
U.B.C. - November 25, 1972
All but two of the newly elected Center Council Members
(total 16) x.;ere in attendance.  This body cf educators main terms
of office are to re-evaluate, re-elaborate and to set priorities
from the general membership's plans of actions.  In the following
areas, nex-7 ideas, further direction was agreed upon.
1/  Publishing of enriched Curriculum Writers
Projects to be pursued immediately.
2/ A member be given authority to put into
action, plans to edit R.A.V.E.N, tapes,
so that they can be adapted to classroom use.
3/  That prior to General BCNITA Conference
in Easter - that members in their respective six districts, hold a District
Workshop. - 17 -
4/  Incentive Bursaries for Post—High School
Indian Students were reviewed and categorized.
Director and his assistant are to complete
processing immediately!
5/ Reports on - I.E.R.C Budget & Projected Year IV.
- BCNITA Budget & Projected Year IV.
- Budgets were discussed.
* A
Thank you Mr. Chairman, Chiefs, Chief's Executive, Panel,
Ladies & Gentlemen. It is indeed a pleasure to appear before you to
put forth some questions and ideas on Indian Education,  I would like
to thank the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs for this opportunity.
I certainly do not want to stand before you on the subject
of education projecting a "Messiah Image."  I say this because there
are as many ansx^ers as tc what education is and what it is supposed
to do as there are people.  To put it simply, I would like to put
forth to you as Indian people, with the txjenty minutes that I have,
what my colleagues in the B. C Native Indian Teachers' Association
and myself have in the way of questions and ideas on the subject cf
Indian Education.  I will call these point issues in Indian Education,
These are many, many issues that each of us must consider at one
time or other on Education — but the points I xrish to discuss are
the ones which appear more often than others and on this basis I
think they need a good deal of consideration by those of us x<?ho are
education officials and those of us vrho  send our youngsters to these
institutions of learning.
II   Universal Issues in Education
First of all let us not pretend that the Indian people are
the only ones who have the most difficult position in terms of
choices, decisions and plans in Education.  Nothing can be further
from the truth.  Total education is elusive — even the whiteman - 18
has problems knowing hox? and what to teach his child.  I would like
briefly to show you what -, our universal problems is in a very general
manner and through it, we can see how our children are caught in
this one problem.
Firstly, the question of relevance and irrelevance of the
provincial and federal school curriculum.  Fundamentally, there is no
difference between the provincial and federal school system in considering relevance and irrelevance.  I suggest to you that the curriculum which contains the material to be taught to our children is in
some respects irrelevant, that is to say that:
"they fail to teach the child how he can relate
the learning to his life outside of school."
In other xvords the school is a poor reflection of the real world outside.  It has become an artificial mini-world that poorly reflects
the outside world.  Taking it to the extremes the teacher is a poor
real life situation stuck in the confines cf the classroom trying to
relate to children while he himself is an adult.  To be more specific,
let us examine the present learning process being used in the schools.
A specific type of practice currently used by our schools
is the memory technique of grasping facts.  If there is a sacred
practice which ensures success in the education system in B. C,
this is it!  "Education emphasizes the lesser function of the human
brain, memory, while relatively neglecting its major function, thinking.  The only thinking going on which may have importance is that
type which is required to solve problems which have definite ariswers.
If you consider the subjects as mathematics, science and grammar,
the thought process involved in these subjects is down-graded because
to excel in each of these subjects you must have a good memory and
confine yourself to that type of thinking which x-zill ensure you the
correct answers.  Educators decide the right answers to problems then
pose the problems to students and thus it is certainly oriented.  In
other words we teach our children in schools only to get the right
In this real world x/e kncx-; better.  We know that many
questions have many possible answers.  How should we teach our children so that what we teach them is relevant?  That question of course
requires many different answers because we all have a stake in our
educational system.  But, for the immediate problem relating to
relevance involving the thinking process, let me say this:  let's,
let go of the certainty principle, which says, that all questions
asked in our schools has definite right/wrong answers, begin to
teach our children to think, approach the problems to find the
reasonable alternatives then Implement the best possible answer to
these questions.  This xrould be in opposition to blindly echoing
right and x;rong answers. 19 -
Many more examples of irrelevance can be found in existence in our schools but x^hat are we doing about it? When it comes
to curriculum revision, lets examine the relevance of the curriculum
as a whole from time to time and in revising curriculum, lets keep
away from fence repairing, and the use of the band-aid approach.
Let us, teach our children to really think!
I wish to revert to curriculum towards the end of my
Ill  More Specific Issues in Indian Education
Let us sanction the present educational system for a
minute as we all must and investigate some of the more current,
specific issues in Indian Education.
An accounting needs to be made — an accounting is required of how the "Indian Money" is spent for our Indian children's
education.  If one great administrative issue is to be resolved, it
is that of accounting, how the provincial government spends the monies
turned over to them, by the federal government for Indian Education.
It is bad enough that we  as Indians do not participate in master
agreements xfith these senior governments but it's worse if we cannot
at least have an accounting of the monies spent.
We must study these spendings so that x^e can participate
in the educational process in a democratic fashion.  We must study
these spendings so that we can clearly see xvhere x^e need beef up
spending in education.  We must study these spendings, because it
is this accounting and by the end of the day you should pass a
resolution demanding an accounting.  I say this not only to our
Indian in B. C, I say this also to all Indians in all provinces
of Canada.
Let me now put forward to you an even more specific issue,
an issue more pertinent and in a very direct xv'ay, affects each of
your children.  There have been minor tremours in Indian Education
in British Columbia that each of your probably felt in some fashion.
In other quarters like the Indian Education Resources Center,
Camosun College and others, the tremours were greater in magnitude.
In the quarters of the Indian Education Administrative Structure,
I could imagine greater quakes.  Sometime, over a year ago the
decision malting process in Indian Education made a shift.
It shifted from the hand of the Regional Superintendent
of Education to that of the Regional Director of Indian Affairs.
This shift, I cannot for the life of me fathom — for my money I - 20
cannot condone the practive of having the Regional Director decide
on edxicational matters.  I cannnot see for the life me how someone
without an educational background, insensitive to education, to say
the least, take over the decision making power at the Regional Office.
I am referring to the Regional Director of Indian Affairs.
I cannot leave the subject xvithout mentioning to you some
incidents X'jhich has prompted me to bring this up as an issue.  I
mentioned the Indian Education Resources Center to you a minute ago.
To meet the demands, on the Resources Center for this year and to
catch up on our commitments for the forthcoming year, our budget
request to do our job for the year was in the neighbourhood of
$85,000.  The budget was presented to Mr. Ray Hall for processing
and in response, the Regional Director, Mr. Larry Wight paid us a
visit.  In the course of %  hour he managed to cut the budget to
$54,000. and informed us further that his office will not in the
forthcoming year carry us in his budget.  To top that, he thought
the British Columbia Native Indian Teachers' Association was a
union.  We sent to his office prior to our Meeting a detailed
funding request as always together with information as to tv*ho we
are and what we  have accomplished in the past.  I contend that he
did not do his homaxrork, I can only conclude that he x-;as there with
the expressed purpose of cutting us out of his budget, which he x:ill
probably succeed in doing.  Camosun College Indian Program has also
been cut to the bones in almost the same fashion.  You probably
remember the incident last year where the fares of an X number of
Indian students was going to be paid to go home for Christmas.  Mr.
Ray Hall okayed the. funding of it — I think at that rime your
protests were misdirected, I think it would have been more proper
to direct it to the R.D., who, x-/as probably responsible for its
almost not getting off the ground.
I know Xv'hat justification is going to be given to you for
these moves.  The excuse will be that the budget on Indian Education
was cut drastically this year and that the frills of education will
have to be cut out.  I say to you that there will be justification
that xvill side step the more important issue.   The issue here is
that the decision making process, and power must stay with the
educational administrative structure, in the office of the Regional
Superintendent of Education, no matter hex; much, the budget is
cut, or box; small it is for that matter.
Another probably more important, certainly no less of an
issue than the rest is that concerning the physical plants, the
schools.  All reserve schools are in rural, settings - rural settings
where population '..'ill probably increase very little even in the next
50 years.  In these rural settings are reservations with 1 or 2 or 4
classrooms.  Schools without gymnasiums, let alone activity rooms. 21 -
Each of these schools will probably never ever have gymnasiums.  They
were not there xvhen you were children, they are not there now and
probably will not exist in the next 50 years.  In other xrords,
generations of Indians have been short changed in the physical education and cultural education sector of their education.  We, as Indians,
cannot accept anymore the old argument that "oneday, x-;hen your village
groxvs in population, the enrollment of the school reaches 300 students
and that will xv'arrant 8 classrooms then you will have a gymnasium."
We all know better than that!  How many villages can you count today
that have schools with 8 or more classrooms and that have gymnasiums
— one?  two?
I say the physical development of a child is just as
important as the spiritual and the mental development of the same
child.  Lets face the fact.  The. greatest percentage of all Indian
Reserves in B. C will not have 8 classrooms in the next 50 years
and lets not vrait 50 more years to demand at the very least large
activity rooms in all small day schools in all of British Columbia.
Finally, it disturbs me to know as it probably does you
that we have produced students in the present educational system
who are failures.  Failures to the extent that over 90% of our
students fail to complete high school.  It bothers me to think
that we may continue to permit our Indian students to continue to
fail.  1 believe, at this point in time, we should question the
educational system, of the past and today.  I would go as far as
to suggest, we begin to investigate for ourselves the reasons for
being, misfits in the education system.  I suggest further that x?e
set up model, learning centers or schools where we can begin to base
a curriculum on Indian values.  In a model school setting different
learning and teaching approaches can be tested as that education
to us can be relevant and in the end produce success not failures.
Let us investigate Indian Valleys today, begin to build curriculum
on that foundation, and use. different approaches to teach our
children.  There is no question in my mind that Indian children
are as intelligent as any non-Indian.  I qxiestion, however, the
method of teaching, the contents of curriculum, then xrould suggest
that the curriculum is irrelevant for us and the teaching methods
In conclusion, the issues I have raised, are here today,
they are issues you must consider, and because of the limited time
I have, I cannot raise others, but I am certain that in the future,
we will, be in consultation.   Tomorrox; you will hear more from
our friend Mr. Alvin McKay on the subject of Issues in Indian
A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A - 22 -
Robert Sterling
Assistant Director - Indian Education Resources Center
The Education Workshop at Bella Coola on November 24 made
a special effort to involve Indian people on the programme.  It xvas the
first time that Indian people in Bella Coola had been given an opportunity
like this, and they took full advantage of It.  Sitting before a group of
some 45 people, mostly teachers, a panel consisting of Bella Coola Chief -
Ivan Tallio, Band Manager - Ed Mood)7, Home-School Co-ordinator - Sandra
Tallio, Indian Education Committee Members - Francis Mack,and Jemima
Schooner and Secondary Students - Wally Weber, Wilma Mack and Alice
Schooner outlined problems, weakness areas and faults giving evidence that
Indians, in their unique sitatlon, were not having their needs met in the
school system.  The theme of the workshop xcas communication and dialogue
and the resultant exchange of ideas, plans for further meetings and the
enthusiasm over the results of this exchange can clearly be seen as a
successful effort.
Much of the credit for this successful effort go to the
people involved, including the local teachers association, Indian people,
various Principals of schools, and a seemingly nameless group of ladies
who prepared the deh'clous pre—conference lunch.  My person?-! bow of
respect goes to Richard '"Red" Hughes whose hospitality, concern for people
and willingness to seek new approaches in education make him as a man to
admire and respect.
Bella Coola yre.s  one of the first districts in the Province
to institute the Integration system, allowing Indians to attend Provincial
schools some 20 years ago.  In this small area of about 1500 population,
the 550 Indians account for nearly half of the school, enrollment and around
30% of the secondary School enrollment.  A very good pupil/teacher ratio
of some 13 students per teacher average gives evidence of plenty of time to
give individual attention.  The majority of teachers are "old-ti.rn.ers" many
of whom have been teaching in Bella. Coola for over a deoa.de, and would knox*
the needs of their area and how to meet them.  The Indians do not have a
School Board member and have not been involved in any of the school programs
affecting their children.  In an integration set-up that is 20 years old
the Indian people are finally being given a chance to participate.
The dialogue that took place at the Bella. Coola x^orkshop was
an inspiring afternoon of 2-way communication.  The ideas and opinions that
came up, the questions and answers, and the desire to carry this exchange-
further, into plans of action, has set the tone for a future of sharing &
co-operation.  All persons who participated can feel proud to have done so,
and enlightened , for Indians have, so much to offer, but most of all a cooperative effort of this type is so all-necessary to ensure a relevant
future not only for Indian children but all children or Bella Coola.
Teacher Aide Training
This idea of training teacher aide originated from one
young Indian graduate who volunteered to work in Bridge River
Elementary as a volunteer aide.  This person wTas doing such a
tremendous job and we clearly saw the change in attitude of a
number of pupils.  This prompted us to look for funds and pay
this aide for full time employment as an aide.  We were unable
to do this through Indian Affairs as they said that the person
did not have any training.  From there a brief for training
teacher aides materialized.
Mr. Len Plater, our Elementary Supervisor, having had
precious valuable experience put doxm on paper a detailed outline
of the course.  (For details of brief write to Saul Terry -
Home-School Co-ordinator, P. 0. Box 556, Lillooet, B. C)
At any rate, our brief won favourable comment from
Department of Indian Affairs officials but due to lack of policy
for such a program and further complicated by budget difficulties
our spirits were tried on a number of occasions.  A.s Len would
say and did sat}', "We were born to be winners." - so we again tried
another approach.  Finally the L.I.P. shox/ed up to finally get us
on the road.
The course started last Monday, November 27 and will
terminate on December 22/72.  In a xo'ay the final course set-up
X73S basically xvkat we had asked for the in the first place.  We
ended up with the instructor we first had in mind, a total of
twelve trainees, and our school board still: totally behind us.
Apparently there is some uneasiness being expressed on some
teachers part but we hope through examples of the effectiveness
of T.A.'s that this will not be an on-going difficulty.
The trainees involved came from Bella Bella, Williams
Lake, and lillooet.  By numbers there are three from Bella Bella,
five Williams lake, and four from lillooet.  We are all quite
impressed with the caliber and enthusiasm of these people. 24 -
Perhaps I should point out that our Lillooet candidates
along x^ith the others will go on T. .J. in their home areas after
Christmas until the end of May.  Our school board here is quite
prepared to employ them through the month of June.  Preparations
are already underx^ay to employ our people for next year.
Needless to say we were very happy to finally get the
show on the road and xve must surely congratulate our local trainees
for their patience xdLth us.  If the five applicants, four are with
us, and the fifth wento into Welfare Aide Training so we don't
consider her a loss.
A .   K E L S E Y
Yesterday I X'.Ta.lked across the campus lawn.
How many have walked before me?
How many have walked before me...
Only a few Indian brother...
At what price?
It cost my brothers much...
It cost my brothers their life...
His image is no longer Indian...
He no longer speaks the Indian mind...
and he has become a dirty word...
White Indian is now his name...
What small Indian, thought is left
he wears like a badge..
Something is lost in the turning...
He is not white, lie  is not Indian...
Shamed by a rich heritage...
Disgraced, by a proud people. . .
Guilt-ridden in the tragedy of a
conquered race...The same is his,
not his people. - 25
But the end is not near...
For I am joined by one...two...
I can hear the Indian Drums...
and am strengthened...
The price I pay is far less, then my
I walk the campus lawn	
and I am Indian	
A A  A A
1. Helping Hand - FOR PURCHASE FOR 50c PER COPY — is based on materials
prepared by Sister Mary Paul Howlitt, deals with
the help which Interior Indians gave Alexander
MacKenzie on his journey to the Pacific Ocean
in 1793.
2. When Strangers Meet - FOR PURCHASE FOR $2.00 PER COPY - a second
study, based on materials prepared by Charles
Hou.  The theme that runs throughout the study
is aptly summarized by  the title, When Strangers
Meet.  The first documents shox<r what happened
when Europeans traded or lived in a region where
a well developed native culture was dominated
by a technologically advanced European culture.
It is hoped that by studying these documents
students will become more sensitive to the
problems faced by minority groups in any
3. Chief Dan George Soliloquy Cassett Tape  - FCR LOAN FOR ONE WEEK.
Chief Dan George was born 72 years ago in a
small Indian village on the north arm of
Burrarc! Inlet,  For most of his life he has
worked as a woodsman, a longshoreman, and a
construction worker.  He served as Chief of
the Burrard Indian Band for twelve years.
More recently, he has become a successful
actor with major roles on television, on the
stage, and in feature films.  Probably few men
of our time have gained as much respect in
both the Indian and white communities as Chief
Dai, George. - 26 -
4. KSAN - teacher/pupil source unit.  Prepared by a B. C Native
Indian Teacher.  An overview of the cultural
history of the Skeena River Indian people.  It
is comprised of 40 coloured frames of filmstrips
with an accompanying text.  FOR PURCHASE - $5.00 PER UNIT
5. Assessment of the Integration Program in the Sechelt School District
- an attempt to determine the overall effect of
the integration program for native Indian students
in one area.  FOR PURCHASE OR LOAN - 50c PER COPY.
6. The Upper Staulo Indians (Fraser Valley)—Wilson Duff - a reprinting
of an informative booklet about B. C Indians in
this area. FOR PURCHASE OR LOAN - $2.00 PER COPY.
7*  Curtis Collection - 40 coloured slides of early Indian Life (1890's
onxjard) — Coast Salish (Vancouver Island) and
Nootka areas.  FOR PURCHASE OR LOAN - FULL SET $11.00.
8.  Jesup North Pacific Expedition (Most of the papers prepared by Tait)
- also referred to as "Teit Papers".  Deals with
the following areas:
a) Thompson area - J. Teit (1900) 250 pages - $12.50.
b) Shuswap area - J. Teit (1919)
with myths ~ 33 2 pages - $15.60.
without myths - 175 pages - $8.75.
c) Lillooet Indians - J. Teit (1908) - 107 pages - $5.35,
d) Chilcotin Indians - J. Teit (1900)
appendix to Shuswap - 32 pages - $1.60.
e) Traditions of the Chilcotins - Farrand -
56 pages - $2.80.
A;.' '.c.. tc >\ 'tty. V; v< x;»
A A « A A A
A A A A' A A A- A A A A A
A A A A A A j'v A A A A A A A A A A A A A
ROOF! 106 - BFOCK '


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