First Nations Teachers
Identity and Community, Struggle and ChangeBook - 2008
The struggles and identities of educators are rich resources for transforming colonial and post-colonial educational systems. The teachers in this book resourcefully built their own identities from Indigenous ideologies and practices, as well as the world of mainstream schools. Their stories also emphasize that struggles to construct identity, far from being individual efforts, connect us to others. These struggles and connections fuel the transformation of colonial educational systems into spaces that support and encourage Indigenous learners.
The teachers were classmates during the five-year First Nations teacher education program at Prince Rupert/Simon Fraser University. The experiences of the teachers are connected to both the broad history of Aboriginal education in Canada, as well as to the specific history of north coastal British Columbia (pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial). In struggles with the legacy of this history, First Nations teachers have initiated the process of educational transformation.
In 1972, the Canadian government passed legislation which recognized the important role First Nations teachers should play in reforming education to create learning environments that would suit the habits and interests of First Nations children. Teacher education institutions across Canada developed a variety of approaches to prepare teachers who would be centrally positioned to work toward established control of education for their own children. Beynon (education, Simon Fraser U.) documents one such program, the five-year, full-time Prince Rupert/Simon Fraser U. First Nations Language and Culture Teacher Education Program, begun in 1990, and the experiences of ten graduates over the past ten years, based on interviews she conducted with the graduates. The text offers insights into how the struggles and identities of educators are rich resources for transforming colonial and postcolonial educational systems into spaces that support and encourage Indigenous learners. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)