Fulfilling the PromiseBook - 2000
Education is at the heart of the struggle of Aboriginal peoples toregain control over their lives as communities and nations. The promiseof education is that it will instruct the people in ways to live longand well, respecting the wisdom of their ancestors and fulfilling theirresponsibilities in the circle of life. Aboriginal Educationdocuments the significant gains in recent years in fulfilling thispromise. It also analyzes the institutional inertia and governmentpolicies that continue to get in the way.
The contributors to this book emphasize Aboriginal philosophies andpriorities in teaching methods, program design, and institutionaldevelopment. An introductory chapter on policy discourse since 1966provides a context for considering important achievements andconstraints in transforming Aboriginal education into an instrument ofself-determination. A number of the chapters are drawn from reports andpapers prepared for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples asbackground to its 1996 report. They cover a broad range of subjects:educational practice from elementary to post-secondary levels;initiatives in language conservation and communications media; thedevelopment of Aboriginal institutions; and policy discourse amongAboriginal, federal, provincial, and territorial bodies.
As the authors make clear, Aboriginal education continues to bepractised on an intensely political terrain. While governments fundparticular Aboriginal initiatives, the homogenizing pressures of aglobalizing society are relentless. Political gains in negotiatingself-government thus establish the context in which the distinctivenessof Aboriginal education and cultures is sustained.
This book is a valuable resource for administrators, educators andstudents with an interest in Aboriginal issues and educationalreform.