Examining differing notions of a ‘real’ education within Aboriginal communities
On a recent visit to an on-reserve school in western Canada several students and teachers told the lead author of this paper, who is Aboriginal, that it was ‘not a real school’. Noting that this is not the first time both authors have heard this sentiment expressed by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginals alike, they unpack this conversational fragment to show how it is implicated in some of the most difficult challenges educators and policy makers face in enhancing the lives of Aboriginal peoples and communities in contemporary times. Guided by a hermeneutic sensibility and Indigenous conceptions of time, the authors present three interpretive possibilities of what it might mean for an on-reserve school to be deemed less than real. As part of this process they trace the historically rooted assumptions and conditions that inform these differing perspectives. The authors then draw on the insights of several indigenous scholars to ‘reread’ key themes that emerged from this analysis with the hope that it might offer more productive and relational possibilities for thinking about and discussing educational futures for Aboriginal communities and peoples.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).