“Historic” agreement for indigenous education

An agreement between Ottawa and the First Nations, described as “historic” in principle, paves the way for a “substantial” increase in funding for schools on reserves and more autonomy for the management of indigenous education systems.

According to what Duty The agreement was welcomed with open arms among Quebec’s 22 indigenous communities, who have been calling for years to take action to protect their language and culture. The agreement must be approved by each band council by the end of June.

The move follows a promise by the Trudeau government to “de-colonize education” after the residential schools were hit, which was created for the assimilation of young aborigines. Grave discovery Anonymous to this religious schoolFor over a year, First has shed harsh light on the system’s violence against the people.

“We have experienced trauma, but today we are in a good position to improve the funding and management of our schools,” confirmed Dennis Gross-Lewis, executive director of the First Nations Education Council (FNEC), which represents these 22 indigenous communities. Quebec.

Mr Gross-Louis declined to disclose details of the agreement with Ottawa, which should be unveiled in the coming weeks, but noted the need for first-generation education. Federal funds have been frozen to 1996 levels, he said. Additionally, the Office of the Auditor General determined in 2018 that most on-reserve students drop out of school before they graduate from high school.

“Diploma Certificate”

Indigenous reserves come under Ottawa, which finances services, but band councils must withdraw a Tour de Force: Quebec education system must be adhered to while teaching the language and heritage of their ancestors.

First Nations in Quebec follow the Ministry of Education’s program to “guarantee the credibility of diplomas,” explained Dennis Gross-Louis. Indigenous students will have to take the end-of-year ministerial exam, especially like other Quebec children. This allows them to continue their studies anywhere in Quebec, for example if their parents leave.

Indigenous communities, however, embrace the freedom to adapt specific programs to their context. For example, they did not set up a 4-year-old kindergarten, which, in their opinion, places too much emphasis on learning and not enough on children’s enjoyment. Instead, First Nations has trained parents to help their 4-year-olds learn about numbers and letters through play.

FNEC also builds school materials to suit local realities: children learn math by counting leaves or bastard flight.

Language learning also requires costly adaptations, explains Dennis Gross-Louis. In Kahnawake, for example, the Mohawk language is taught by elders. They need the support of young teachers who have mastered pedagogy. There are two people in the class who double the cost of education.

Bridge between cultures

Young Indigenous people need to feel valued in school – a place that has long been hostile to them – underlined by Marie-Marthe Malec, education adviser at Cégep de Sept-Iles. This Inu from Natashkuan has been teaching for 35 years. He knows Giles Vigniult well. Marie-Marthe Malek sees herself as a “bridge between cultures.”

“When I became a teacher, I was worried. I had to follow Quebec education activities. Five or six years later, I said to myself: “Wow! I’m going to start integrating my culture with my education,” he said this week during a symposium on the nationalization of education at Ahantsik College in North Montreal.

Beware of the label of “behavioral disorder” or learning disorder associated with these pioneer Indigenous students. With hindsight, he considers that these children may simply have difficulty with the method of education that adapts badly to their reality.

“Education for indigenous peoples is ‘seeing and doing’. Don’t give hourly speeches, you lose them. We don’t listen! We need to test. Don’t teach a recipe for 100 ml and 200 ml of it, but make a recipe with young people, they will understand, “he says.

The language of instruction can create an additional barrier to the success of Indigenous students, Dennis Gross-Louis noted. French or English is often the second or third language of these children. Innu and Atikameku, for example, speak the language of their ancestors first and foremost. They then learn French. For mohakas, who are mostly anglophones, French is the problem.

Mr Gross-Louis has condemned the fact that Bill 96, recently adopted, marginalizes indigenous languages, which, in his view, threatens the success of First Nations students.

Julie Gauthier, anthropology teacher at Ahantsik College, who hosted this week’s symposium on the nationalization of education, praised the federal government’s willingness to help First Nations. But we have to go further, he says.

“Indigenous people are moving forward. We can’t stop them. If we do not give them control over their education, they will take it, ”he said.

He noted that time did not have the same concept as the majority of the first nations. The educational path of the indigenous people may extend for a different period of time from the time given in the present basic school system. Students, for example, can go into the woods during the hunting season and then return to school benches – without punishment. Ways of assessing learning are also likely to be adapted. Julie Gauthier emphasizes that it is up to indigenous peoples to determine their needs.

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