Fulfilling the PromiseBook - 2000
Education is at the heart of the struggle of Aboriginal peoples to regain control over their lives as communities and nations. The promise of education is that it will instruct the people in ways to live long and well, respecting the wisdom of their ancestors and fulfilling their responsibilities in the circle of life. Aboriginal Education documents the significant gains in recent years in fulfilling this promise. It also analyzes the institutional inertia and government policies that continue to get in the way.
The contributors to this book emphasize Aboriginal philosophies and priorities in teaching methods, program design, and institutional development. An introductory chapter on policy discourse since 1966 provides a context for considering important achievements and constraints in transforming Aboriginal education into an instrument of self-determination. A number of the chapters are drawn from reports and papers prepared for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples as background 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; the development of Aboriginal institutions; and policy discourse among Aboriginal, federal, provincial, and territorial bodies.
As the authors make clear, Aboriginal education continues to be practised on an intensely political terrain. While governments fund particular Aboriginal initiatives, the homogenizing pressures of a globalizing society are relentless. Political gains in negotiating self-government thus establish the context in which the distinctiveness of Aboriginal education and cultures is sustained.
This book is a valuable resource for administrators, educators and students with an interest in Aboriginal issues and educational reform.