Assessing Awareness of Indigenous Realities

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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.