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Decolonization For All: Mi'kmaw And Mainstream Education In Nova Scotia

1059 words - 5 pages

The Mi’kmaq Education Agreement allowed for the creation of the corporation, Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey (MK), which acts as the administrating body of resources transferred from AANDC as well as over see’s education programs services administered to the participating Mi’kmaq communities. However, it is with the individual bands to create jurisdictional education laws, not MK. As opposed to provincial school which are accountable to the school board, MK takes a different approach where they are accountable to the schools.
The 2004 Auditor general report on Aboriginal education in Canada, though highlighting some areas that needed to be resolved within the agreement stated that it has been ...view middle of the document...

Mainstream Education in Nova Scotia
While decolonizing First Nations education in Nova Scotia has been in a large part successful. It would not appear that the same success has occurred within the provinces mainstream education system. In the summer of 2013, the Nova Scotia Council on Mi’kmaq Education, called for the need for more Mi’kmaq education in the mainstream school system. While schools in the province are mandated to integrate Mi’kmaq history and culture into the mainstream curriculum the Council on Mi’kmaq education continues to feel that enough is being done to do so. In lobbying the Provincial government for more representation of Mi’kmaq culture, the council stated that the Province explains that need for more Mi’kmaq content is only warranted if there are high rates of First Nations students in the provincial schools.
This response given to the Nova Scotia Council on Mi’kmaq Education is problematic in that is based in the belief that the integration of Mi’kmaq content, or First nations content in general into the mainstream education system is solely tied to the benefit of Mi’kmaq/First Nations students. Further, it would appear that the provincially mandated curriculum content that includes Mi’kmaq content are two high school classes, Mi’kmaq Studies 10 and Canadian History 11. Though no outlines for this classes are readily available to the public, The Nova Scotia Office of Aboriginal Affairs has published a learning resource entitled “Wabanaki: People of the Dawn” along with two videos of the same name (part one and two) for the use in these two classes.
Though the guide was collaboratively developed with the Mi’kmaw Advisory Committee, take a depoliticized approach as well is based on “education about the other.” All three of these resources centre on an archeological find at the Mersey River, and use this find to introduce aspects Mi’kmaq history and culture. Approaches such as this have been criticized for taking an anthropological view of culture, and ignoring continued lived experiences of Aboriginal peoples.
While “education about the Other,” may bring about awareness of the Mi’kmaq, it risks creating an essentialized single narrative of the Mi’kmaq, without critique Scholars who have written on anti-racist and anti-oppressive curricular...

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