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Colonized Classrooms: Racism, Trauma and Resistance in Post-Secondary Education

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In Colonized Classrooms, Sheila Cote-Meek discusses how Aboriginal students confront narratives of colonial violence in the postsecondary classroom, while they are, at the same time, living and experiencing colonial violence on a daily basis. Basing her analysis on interviews with Aboriginal students, teachers and Elders, Cote-Meek deftly illustrates how colonization and i In Colonized Classrooms, Sheila Cote-Meek discusses how Aboriginal students confront narratives of colonial violence in the postsecondary classroom, while they are, at the same time, living and experiencing colonial violence on a daily basis. Basing her analysis on interviews with Aboriginal students, teachers and Elders, Cote-Meek deftly illustrates how colonization and its violence are not a distant experience, but one that is being negotiated every day in universities and colleges across Canada.


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In Colonized Classrooms, Sheila Cote-Meek discusses how Aboriginal students confront narratives of colonial violence in the postsecondary classroom, while they are, at the same time, living and experiencing colonial violence on a daily basis. Basing her analysis on interviews with Aboriginal students, teachers and Elders, Cote-Meek deftly illustrates how colonization and i In Colonized Classrooms, Sheila Cote-Meek discusses how Aboriginal students confront narratives of colonial violence in the postsecondary classroom, while they are, at the same time, living and experiencing colonial violence on a daily basis. Basing her analysis on interviews with Aboriginal students, teachers and Elders, Cote-Meek deftly illustrates how colonization and its violence are not a distant experience, but one that is being negotiated every day in universities and colleges across Canada.

50 review for Colonized Classrooms: Racism, Trauma and Resistance in Post-Secondary Education

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lesliemae

    From the last chapter: "Closing the Circle: The Possibilities for Tranformational Pedagogy" p. 147: "One of the ways, probably right at the beginning, probably doing a lot of social sharing, social gatherings. Maybe introducing circles and maybe doing fun stuff to actually build them up. So they know that a lot of these topics, the sound horrible, but as a people, we have survived over 500 years. We have a high tolerance...I think even just with acknowledging that we're not here by ourselves. And From the last chapter: "Closing the Circle: The Possibilities for Tranformational Pedagogy" p. 147: "One of the ways, probably right at the beginning, probably doing a lot of social sharing, social gatherings. Maybe introducing circles and maybe doing fun stuff to actually build them up. So they know that a lot of these topics, the sound horrible, but as a people, we have survived over 500 years. We have a high tolerance...I think even just with acknowledging that we're not here by ourselves. And looking at identity." Healing cirles, sharing personal experience, providing spaces to debreif and receive support. "We have a strong link to the land and to people. We have that strong link. Because we've heard people say, "Without the land we are nothing. Without a language we are nothing. Without a language we are nothing...what makes us really strong to make sure we don't lose those, our spirituality." Culture has become the mainstay for dealing with the retention of Aboriginal students. (but taking up culture is tricky and problematic because you essentialize the learning). The goal of culturally appropriate, congruent, responsive and/or compatible education strategies has been to fit students constructed as Others into a heirarchical structure that is defined as a meritocracy. (But the goals of meritocracy are also problematic as they simply reproduce current inequity and culture can come into to "connote accommodation of student culture into the larger mainstream meritocracy). Still.." Landson-Billings maintains that a culturally relevant pedagogy must provide a way for students to maintain their cultural integrity while succeeding academically." p. 148: "...three criteria of a culturally relevant pedagogy: an ability to develop students academically willingness to nuture and support cultural competence, and the development of a sociopoltical or critical consciousness." Education is, we know, the socio-political insitution of knowledge production and transmission...and education in Canada has historically been designed to assimilate and "civilize" through de-culturing a people as a project to colonize Native minds as a means of gain access to their labour, land, and resources, acknolwedging how it continues to be a socio-political endeavour should be like an "education acknolwegement" right up front. It must be recognized that the post-secondary classroom remains a significant site for the reproduction of racism and colonialism. Anti-racism: p.154: "In conceptualizing a definition of anti-racism Derman-Sparks and Phillips draw on the work of Fanon and his notion of radicalization, "in which the individual rejects the opporessor's ideology and engages in attempts to develop alternatives to awaken the consciousness of his or her people and to participate in the struggle to transform society." How: increasing ones awareness of the forms of ongoing racism and colonialism (ie: 1 hour from here there is an area that does not have clean water. Normalizing unclean water for people is a colonial self-harm.), assist individuals with understanding oppression and work towards bringing about societal change (ie: time-based disorders based on efficiency rather than relationship-buidling is another form of colonial self-harm), explore how certain ways of being are privledged in society while others are marginalized (ie: we recycle so we have a positive relationshp with the earth - how does one develop a relationship with anyone? Through impersonal action or direct connection?), students need to learn that what is being learned can never tell the whole story, there is always more to be sought out, there is always diversity in any group; one story, lesson or voice cannot represent all (ie: search out ways to engage in one cultural event or activity that is not related to your comfort zone). p. 156: "Attention should be paid to examining how unexplored theories and philosophies, including Indigenous philosophies, might provide insight on assisting us to "think differently about what it means to teach, learn, and to engage in anti-oppressive education." p. 157: Holistic pedagogy - incoroporate strengths-based approach to the whole person into the learning. p. 158: "The predominantly white, middle-class advocates of critical theory will need to examine how their language and epistemic frames acts as omogenizing agents when interfaced with the conceptual and analytical categories persistant with American Indian education theogy and praxis. They will especially need to examine the degree towhich critical pedagogies retain the deep structures of Western thought - that is, the belief in progress as change, in the universe as impersonal, in reason as the preferred model of inquiry, and in human beings as separate from and superior to teh rest of nature." p. 159: "Red pedagogy (Grande): that which maintains: (1) the quest for sovereignty and the dismantling of global capitalism as its political focus; (2) Indigenous knowledge as its epistemological foundation; (3) the Earth as its spiritual centre; and (4) tribal and traditional ways of life as its sociocultural frame of reference. (2000: 355)." What about adjacent inditatives by groups aligned like BLM or the larger BIPOC community or the LGBTQ2S groups in their liberation from oppressive colonial practices? p.159: "It is crticial that American Indians work to amintain their distinctiveness as tribal peoples of sovereign nations while at the same time move toward building inter- and intra- tribal solidarity and political coalition. Such a Red pedagogy would transform the struggle over identity to evolve, not apart from, but in relationship with, struggles over land, resources, treaty rights, and intellectual property. A Red pedagogy also aims to construct a self-determined space for American Indian intellecualism, recognizing that survival depends on the ability not only to navigate the terrain of Western knowledge but also to theorize and negotiate a racist, sexist marketplace that aims to exploit the labour of signified "others" for capital gain." Grande's focus on the quest for sovereignty is consistent with peoples in Canada, and their assertion for the broad goals of education. This is distinct split from other equity seeking groups as the issue at its center remains oppressive practice around land, resournces, and treaty. It is not an anti-racist method to address privlege or whiteness as much as it is a space of engagement where "indigenous and nonindigenous scholars encounter one another, working to remember, redefine, and reverst the devastation of the original colonial encounter." "Red pedagogy is a project that interrogates both democracy and indigenous sovereignty."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Interecophil

    Excellent book. Should be read by anyone interested in liberatory pedagogy, cultural competency training, diversity initiatives in institutional settings, and anyone interested in learning more about the history and ongoing colonization of Indigenous peoples in Canada

  3. 5 out of 5

    Emily Eaton

    This book helped me see some things more clearly. I found its focus on regaining control and jurisdiction over education helpful - this is by no means a new effort my Indigenous Nations, but it must be at the centre of decolonization. Decolonization of education can't just be indigenization and it can't just focus on cultural content. The focus on trauma is also useful - trauma can be a double edged sword, it's necessary to recognize, but on the other hand it re-pathologizes those who have gone This book helped me see some things more clearly. I found its focus on regaining control and jurisdiction over education helpful - this is by no means a new effort my Indigenous Nations, but it must be at the centre of decolonization. Decolonization of education can't just be indigenization and it can't just focus on cultural content. The focus on trauma is also useful - trauma can be a double edged sword, it's necessary to recognize, but on the other hand it re-pathologizes those who have gone through it. The interviews with Indigenous students and professors were also very useful, where school often erodes identity and self-worth. It's important to acknowledge the emotional impacts of parts of the curriculum including adequate time for debriefing and preparing. Making sure Indigenous students are safe in the classroom when they are the minority is paramount - Cote-Meek provides some ideas on how to begin to do that. She ends with Sandy Grande's Red pedagogy as a liberatory project where racism is confronted and sovereignty is centred.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Ross

    Fantastic read for post secondary educators.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Katie

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    Jill Barlow

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    Ciskoski

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    Cathy

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    Rylee Godin

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    Rachel

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    Alexandra Hodson-Hanson

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    Mark Solomon

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    Dy-an

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    Gladys Rowe

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    Britney

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    Harmanjyot Cheema

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    Shade Edwards

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    Lane Bourbonnière

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    Paul Edward

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    Charlotte Nesbitt

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    Dtrmn8r

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    Josh Pattison

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    WPIRG

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    Mary Shelton

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    AV

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    Mallory Foutch

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    HeBookReadGood

  47. 5 out of 5

    Nicky

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    Nigel Orr

  49. 4 out of 5

    Phạm N.

  50. 5 out of 5

    Zack

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