Reclaiming warrior spirit : foundations for a holistic First Nations education program




Zamluk, Corrine Michelle

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More than 70% of First Nations youth feel pushed out of the mainstream public school system because their ways of being. knowing, and doing are not reflected in the curricula. This issue is compounded by the disconnect known as deculturation that exists between Indigenous culture and Indigenous peoples. This thesis addresses two questions in an effort to find an alternative curriculum that works for First Nations youth. The questions include: 1.What are traditional knowledge and teaching methods that can serve as the basis for the expression of an Indigenous philosophy and environmental ethic within an urban environmental education program? 2. What themes can be identified that could aid in the creation of a framework for an environmental education program based on traditional ways of teaching and learning? This study used a hermeneutic phenomenology and Indigenous research methodology. Six First Nations educators were interviewed and four major themes were synthesized during the analysis of the textual data: the importance in Aboriginal education of discovering one's identity; placing the human being at the centre of education: relationship (including spirituality): and community involvement. The resulting curriculum is not designed to meet provincially prescribed learning outcomes, but outlines a way to deliver an Indigenous education that is rooted in Indigenous epistemologies, ontologies, and methodologies.



holistic education, First Nations, British Columbia