The Importance Of Aboriginal Education

1066 Words5 Pages
Recently deceased former South African president, philanthropist, politician and human rights activist, Nelson Mandela states that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” A significant lack of education, awareness and understanding has resulted in continued naïve and ignorant attitudes, stereotypes, generalizations, and classifications towards Aboriginal people through forms of media, popular culture, family beliefs and educational teachings in schools. Educational systems are one of the primary foundations in the development of early childhood teachings and beliefs. “It has been argued that there is an essential relationship between students' culture and the way in which they acquire knowledge, manage and articulate information, and synthesize ideas.”(Barnhardt, 1999; Bell 2004; Kanu, 2005). Lessons taught to young school children are first fundamental steps in shaping their future ideas, opinions, thoughts and behaviors and how that influences how they view the world and those around them. One of the simplest ways to properly educate Canadians about the lives, history and accomplishments of Aboriginal people is through introducing Aboriginal history beginning in early childhood education. Children are the future; if they are given the proper education and tools to correctly inform future generations they hold the power to correct the impact that decades of stigmatization, marginalization, inequality, colonialism, and denial of responsibility has had on Aboriginal life and spirituality. In order to properly educate these children, educators too must be informed. Previously in Canada, Indigenous education was not discouraged but was also not a required mandate in the curriculum. Pa... ... middle of paper ... ...bility is a concept Aboriginal people have understood and practiced for their entire existence. 21st century media and popular culture has encouraged and normalized the idea that Aboriginal history and Canadian history are two unconnected entities. The nativity and ignorance of most individuals in modern Canadian society has resulted in the thought of distinct separation between Canadian history and Aboriginal history. In a common goal to further educate Canadians about the lives and history of Aboriginal People it requires Aboriginal People and Non Aboriginal People to acknowledge and relate to one another, respecting one another’s laws and institutions, educating and empowering one another and working together peacefully to create social justice for the mutual benefit of the entire society. Self-awareness serves as a catalyst for the goal of Aboriginal education.
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