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ERIC Number: ED499047
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1968-Jan
Our Indian Children: What Is Their Future?
Online Submission, Monday Morning Jan 1968
The article was written to direct attention to the deplorable conditions still being suffered on many Indian Reserves across Canada; and, further, to show how these conditions reflect themselves in the schools, and in the children. These conditions, it was maintained, consisted of all the usual results of abject poverty and systematic neglect and exploitation of the First Nations people--degradation, humiliation, substandard living conditions, low self-esteem, heavy drinking, sickness, and apathy. Since these conditions reflect themselves on the children, it was maintained, then what is the impact on the children, and what role does the teacher (overwhelmingly white) serve on the reserve and in the classroom? The author then sketched an outline depicting a fairly typical situation the first year on a reserve by a fairly typical teacher in charges of a fairly typical class of students. The picture painted was bleak in the extreme; especially since the Dickensian depictions were happening in one of the richest countries on earth. And they were almost all based on personal experience. The article concludes with a message to incoming teachers for the following year. The message was a simple appeal--if you wish to succeed, you must (a) leave your middle-class values at home, (b) climb off the backs of the kids, and let them be what they are, (c) be unfailingly there for them and their parents and (d) institute the democratic process in the classroom; one vote per person including yourself.
Descriptors: American Indian Education, Drinking, Foreign Countries, Canada Natives, American Indian Reservations, Reservation American Indians, Alcohol Abuse, Self Esteem, Physical Health, Mental Health, Teacher Influence, Whites, Cultural Pluralism, Culturally Relevant Education, Teacher Student Relationship, Democracy
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada