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ERIC Number: EJ955126
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Pages: 25
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2680
Exploring the Factors Prompting British Columbia's First Integration Initiative: The Case of Port Essington Indian Day School
Raptis, Helen
History of Education Quarterly, v51 n4 p519-543 Nov 2011
Little empirical research has investigated the integration of Canada's Aboriginal children into provincial school systems. Furthermore, the limited existing research has tended to focus on policymakers and government officials at the national level. Thus, the policy shift from segregation to integration has generally been attributed to Canada's 1951 revisions to the "Indian Act" that enabled Native children to be educated "in association with other children." No research to date has probed local integration initiatives in Canada during the years immediately following World War II. This paper explores the factors impacting integration at Port Essington, a small town on the northwest coast of British Columbia, less than 100 miles from Ketchikan Alaska. The author argues that the decision to integrate the children of Port Essington Indian Day School into the public school system had less to do with integration policy at the national level than with a multitude of local and regional factors, including the inability to secure a teacher, power struggles between church and government officials, socioeconomic shifts in the area, demographic changes resulting from the evacuation of Japanese Canadians from the West Coast, and the local trustees' need for financial assistance to maintain the "white" school. Furthermore, this paper illustrates the extent to which government actions in one sphere can inadvertently but seriously impact operations in others. This paper offers a glimpse into the workings of a day school in one of British Columbia's most remote areas in the last decades of the nineteenth century and into the first half of the twentieth. As such, it contributes to a small body of research on Indian day schools, a literature that has been eclipsed by the vast scholarship on residential schooling. It also begins to fill a gap in the literature on post-World War II initiatives for integrating Aboriginal children into the province's public schools. (Contains 107 footnotes and 5 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada