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Abstract Detail


Are We Having A Broader Impact?

Becker, Jean [1].

Indigenous Education: How It Can Empower our Nations.

Aboriginal people in Canada are no longer a "vanishing race". Aboriginal populations Aboriginal people remain a small proportion of the overall population in Canada (4%)and in the US (1-2%). Often invisible in society in general and in post secondary institutions in particular, significant demographic change and a growing educated population are changing the dynamics of the relationship between aboriginal people and the larger society that surrounds them. Between 1996 and2006 an increase in Canada's aboriginal population occurred of 45% versus 8% in the overall population (a smaller but significant gap in growth occurred in the American Indian and Alaska Native population, 26.7 percent compared with 9.7 %). The urbanization of aboriginal people (over 50% of Canada's population is now living in urban areas) is another factor forcing new approaches to dealing with this growing population.This presentation will look at how the post secondary sector is adjusting to this new demographic using Canada, particularly Ontario, examples to explore the topic of aboriginal education in colleges and universities. There is an increasing demand by aboriginal people for culturally relevant and respectful education within mainstream institutions. Indigenous scholars assert that indigenous knowledge,epistemology, theory and methodology provide alternative models to conventional western education which have much to contribute to post secondary institutions.The president of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, Wayne Peters,recently said, "It is time to shift our thinking from merely focusing on how post secondary education is important for the advancement of Indigenous people to how necessary Indigenous people are to the advancement of the academy and society.The post secondary sector could play a crucial role in redressing the Indigenous/Euro-American relationship and creating a new one that empowers Indigenous cultures and people to the benefit of society as a whole. The field of botany would seem to be fertile ground to generate and grow Indigenous scholarship and relationships with Indigenous communities. Ontario's Walpole Island First Nation is an example of an Indigenous community that has a proven record of contribution to the field of ecology. New relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in the Americas could provide a model for the rest of the world and change the way many countries currently disadvantage Indigenous populations.

Broader Impacts:


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1 - Wilfrid Laurier University, Aboriginal Initiatives, 4 Ferman Dr., Guelph, ON, N1H 7E1, Canada

Keywords:
Aboriginal.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY02
Location: Delaware B/Hyatt
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2012
Time: 11:15 AM
Number: SY02007
Abstract ID:1066


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