Knowing the Past, Facing the Future: Behind the ScenesPosted: Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Written by Sheila Carr-Stewart
Knowing the Past, Facing the Future Indigenous Education in Canada was an excellent way for me to coordinate Indigenous and non-Indigenous authors to give focus to historical and present day Indigenous education in Canada. The pleasure of two First Nations students on the cover of the book was the commitment of their families to have their photograph on the book cover.
Coordinating an edited book is tasking! Way more than I thought when I first started out on the idea - try coordinating writers on twelve chapters! But the end result was excellent. The chapters in the book have been appreciated and stimulated discussions in university classes in the Winter 2020 term. Students have highlighted the breadth of the book from stipulating the treaty right to education to racism, trauma, and survivance, to the truth and reconciliation, and decolonization. The book covers Indigenous peoples with particular emphasis on First Nations and Metis peoples.
My chapter "One School for Every Reserve": Chief Thunderchild's Defence of Treaty Rights and Resistance to Separate Schools, 1880-1925" was a topic I noticed when doing research on a different topic - but I got engrossed in the letters from the Prime Minister, religious leaders, Indian Affairs staff, and Chief of Thunderchild First Nation. One hundred years later community schools are important to Indigenous peoples and to Canadians across the country. History can help us understand the past and where we are today in relation to education.
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