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ERIC Number: EJ868722
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1253
Nourishing the Learning Spirit: Living Our Way to New Thinking
Battiste, Marie
Education Canada, v50 n1 p14-18 Win 2009-2010
Learning, as Aboriginal people have come to know it, is holistic, lifelong, purposeful, experiential, communal, spiritual, and learned within a language and a culture. What guides their learning (beyond family, community, and Elders) is spirit, their own learning spirits who travel with them and guide them along their earth walk, offering them guidance, inspiration, and quiet unrealized potential to be who they are. In Aboriginal thought, the Spirit enters this earth walk with a purpose for being here and with specific gifts for fulfilling that purpose. In effect, the learning Spirit has a Learning Spirit. It has a hunger and a thirst for learning, and along that path it leads them to discern what is useful for them to know and what is not. However, Aboriginal peoples in Canada have been relegated to systemic poverty. They are the most economically disadvantaged Canadians by all standard measures. They suffer from isolation, unemployment, powerlessness, cultural imperialism, and racism (both individual and systemic), as evidenced by run-down schools, inequities in funding of those schools, assimilation to English language and Eurocentrism that is now normalized in all schools, lack of consideration of the cultures or spiritual growth of the students, lack of funding and research on methods for dealing with special needs, and more. In the educational environment, including but not limited to residential schools, Aboriginal people's experiences are relayed in spoken and unspoken messages, complete with statistics telling them that it is not okay to be who they are. Today, the global community is becoming increasingly aware of the limitations of modernity and technological knowledge, of the possibilities and potential of Indigenous knowledge, of the nature of their loss, and of the desperate need to repair their own systems. At present, the greatest needs are to continue to address racism and Eurocentrism in society and to offer what Elder Albert Marshall called Two Eyed Seeing: that is to normalize Indigenous knowledge in the curriculum so that both Indigenous and conventional perspectives and knowledges will be available--not just for Aboriginal peoples, who would be enriched by that effort, but for all peoples. (Contains 15 notes.)
Canadian Education Association. 119 Spadina Avenue Suite 705, Toronto, ON M5V 1P9, Canada. Tel: 416-591-6300; Fax: 416-591-5345; e-mail: publications@cea-ace-ca; Web site: http://www.cea-ace.ca/education-canada
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada