Assessing Awareness of Indigenous Peoples in Canada

Assessing Awareness of Indigenous Peoples in Canada

Assessing Awareness of Indigenous Peoples in Canada

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  • A Graduation Quilt from the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program at Fort Frances that features a graduating ceremony and a drumming circle.

    Seven Generations Graduation Quilt for the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program graduating class of the 2012, displayed in Fort Frances, Ontario. 

  • The Injunuity sign at an Anishinaabe owned and operated business located at Rainy River First Nations in Northwestern Ontario, Canada.

    The Injunuity sign at an Anishinaabe owned and operated business located at Rainy River First Nations in Northwestern Ontario. 

  • Scenery in Fort Frances, Rainy River District in Northwestern Ontario, Canada.

    The Awareness Project brought members of the research team to Fort Frances, situated in the Rainy River District in Northwestern Ontario. 

  • A creek in Fort Frances, situated in the Rainy River District in Northwestern Ontario, Canada.

    A creek in Fort Frances situated in the Rainy River District in Northwestern Ontario. 

  • A map of territories from Dog Island to Cape Makkovik situated in Northern Newfoundland and Labrador.

    Mapping territories from Dog Island to Cape Makkovik situated in Northern Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • View of St.John's, Newfoundland looking towards Signal Hill.

    View of Signal Hill from the city of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. 

  • An Indigenous performer at the Educational Pow Wow on Queen's campus hosted by Four Directions.

    An Indigenous dancer at the Educational Pow Wow on Queen's campus hosted by Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre. 

  • Researchers Anne Godlewska (far left) and Laura Schaefli (far right) consulting members of the Newfoundland Aboriginal Women's Network in Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador.

    In 2013, two Awareness Project researchers visit members of the Newfoundland Aboriginal Women's Network in Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador. 

  • A view of Conne River on the way to Miawpukek Mi'kamawey Mawi'omi First Nation reserve in Newfoundland and Labrador.

    A view of Conne River on the way to Miawpukek Mi'kamawey Mawi'omi First Nation reserve in Newfoundland and Labrador.

 

Assessing Awareness of Indigenous Realities 

This research seeks to demonstrate that while most educational systems in Canada still cultivate a damaging and impoverishing ignorance of Indigenous people, in Canada there is the will and passion to change.

We assess primary and secondary school curricula. We work with Indigenous educational leaders, community members and specialists to devise a set of questions that measure familiarity with Indigenous existence in Canada including governance issues, current events, culture, geography and what is taught in relevant provincial curricula. We use that questionnaire to analyze student awareness of and attitudes to Indigenous people and seek to determine what students have learned from teachers, the community, media, parents and friends. We explore the processes and decisions followed by school and university officials from the Ministry, consultants, principals, professors and teachers, to investigate the still far too limited efforts to decolonize education.

We join many others in working to make Canada more responsible and aware of its colonial past and present.