1/ My own introduction to the issue of residential schools and other cruel acts by Settlers against First Nations People --
My Grade 9 Humanities teacher, Mr.Dan Lundine, had been an RCMP officer on the Prairies and he told us frankly about his own prejudices and his awakening through his relationships with First Nations people there. He was straight-faced fierce in his determination that we were going to leave that class with a healthy respect for all First Nations people and a humble understanding of what Settlers have put them through over the course of the past four hundred years.
2/ Personal reflections on being a parent trying to prepare my children for an unknown future --
I send my children to school because I want them to learn to navigate the systems that I believe they will have to face as adults, as wage-earners or professionals or business owners. These systems don't represent my world-view, and I wish they were different, but they are like the tide: a powerful force that is. My own little daughter's spirit was crushed by a bad experience in Kindergarten and we had the luxury of moving her to a different school, a more gentle environment, but I'm still sending her to school, to learn to read and write and socialize in a group, to insure her against that tide.
What was it like to be a First Nations parent, to have lost so many family members to epidemics, to be grieving for a vibrant community and feeling that the Old Ways were so threatened; then to have these Agents come and take my children from me? Did the Agents tell me that sending my children away so that they could learn the New Ways was the only way they were going to be able to navigate their future? What a nightmarish, powerless, vulnerable place.
3/ Leadership in acknowledgement and adaptation ---
Shingwauk was an Ojibway Chief who envisioned a place where his people could learn the new ways in a context of respect for the old ways, and preserve their language and culture. A university in Ontario is fulfilling that vision: Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig
Just a few of the many teaching resources that caught my eye...
Project of Heart
Sixth Sun Ridaz -- wow I really like the Zapatista page about leadership and organizational structure.
A Journey into Time Immemorial