Monday, 7 October 2019

Ecs210 week 5

This weeks prompt was to: List some of the ways that you see reinhabitation and decolonization happening throughout the narrative. How might you adapt these ideas / consider place in your own subject areas and teaching?

Unfortunately I missed last weeks class due to weather (and my anxiety with ice and no winter tires) so I may not have understood it entirely however this is my personal understanding of it.

In the article we were to read for this week, it discusses a type of retreat for Native people to reconnect with their Native identities and culture. Two examples of "decolonization" I found were a reclaiming of some key cultural sites for Native people by doing a "mapping" of those places. They found "Names for places in the Inninowuk language [and they] were marked as an effort to bring the original names and Cree concepts to more common use among the youth" (76) they also wrote the words "The words paquataskamik and Kistachowan Sipi" (76) on a raft they took down the river which was the original name of the site. This is a very interesting activity that certainly means a lot to these people and seemed to help them reclaim what they had lost through colonization. They also discussed some areas they visited which were never given to settlers, and used this trip as a way to reconnect with their past and find another sense of their identity.

I see this as very interesting personally, however I don't see an issue with colonization as a whole and found it difficult to understand why so many people have a disconnect with themselves and their identity. When it comes to teaching about decolonization, I don't see a reason for it. We shouldn't be striving to decolonize Canada as we should be looking for more ways to all feel comfortable with what we have (as we are officially a "mosaic" of culture.)

When it comes to discussing these topics with students I don't want to use words like "Stolen" or "Decolonizing" or anything like that because it's not factual information. I know I need to discuss how Canada was colonized and the pros and cons of said actions however I want to do it through a factual lense and not use buzz words to make my students feel uncomfortable or shame for something they never did.

Something my class did in the past was go on nature walks and powwows to experience some Native culture and we had speakers come to discuss Colonization's pros and cons as well, and I personally feel as a Metis person this is the best way to go with these subjects. I also want to draw attetion to more "Indigenous ways of learning" and how we could implement those into the classroom. Making medicine wheels just doesn't cut it.

As stated above, I did miss last week so perhaps I didn't understand the prompts entirely but something about this topic and how it was most likely presented doesn't sit well with me. So hopefully my opinion and how I wish to discuss such topics is understandable based on my knowledge of the prompt without the lecture.


  1. Hi Jaden. Interesting post. I would have to say I agree with you to a point. The use of buzz words and like language is slightly disturbing in our society and when it comes to kids, it can most definitely be used to 'brain wash' them in a sense. In addition to your opinion on that, it might be added that teaching and talking about decolonizing can promote the very thing we're trying to blot out. Yet at the same time, it's important to call something out for what it is and, if it's harmful, find ways to reduce its influence.