Aboriginal Education in Canada
A Plea for IntegrationBook - 2002
Before the concept of educational integration is relegated to the back burner, however, it deserves to be re-examined. The term itself suggests a mixing of ideas, a coming together of minds with appreciation for alternative ways of thinking. It is now becoming clear that Canada's cultural make-up can be greatly enriched through an injection of Aboriginal philosophy and spirituality. The time is right; non-Native people now appear willing to listen and learn.
This book is an appeal to First Nations leaders in Canada to promote integration. Non-Aboriginals need to be educated about Native ways because the ancient sacred ways have much to offer. The traditional Indigenous reverence for the Earth and natural phenomena promoted harmony among all living things and assured a perpetual availability of natural resources. This form of integrated education can only be undertaken by Indigenous people because they alone possess traditional knowledge.
The integration of Indigenous knowledge necessitates a unanimous stance in the First Nations community and requires the shifting of Aboriginal energies from political fronts towards a more fraternal sharing of ideas. The benefits of such an undertaking cannot easily be overemphasized since the very existence of our planet may be at stake.