Reclaiming selves, re-centring relationships – Sean Brookfield Meades
Canada’s Indian Residential Schools, active throughout the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, enacted a policy of cultural genocide aiming to strip indigenous children of their languages, cultures, and traditional knowledge (Miller 1996). In the wake of the damage perpetuated by the schools upon indigenous civilizations, many communities and nations are mobilizing to take control of their own education. In that tradition, Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig (SKG) is an Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) controlled post-secondary institutions tasked with recovering that which was lost throughout the residential school era. With a focus on decolonized, Anishinaabe-centred approaches to curriculum, pedagogy, and leadership development, SKG is still remarkable for the multicultural makeup of its classrooms. Without falling back on either appeasement or guilt, instructors emphasize the place of belonging offered every person within Anishinaabe philosophical frameworks. Through its contributions to advancing epistemic and ontological pluralism, SKG leads students to reconceptualise approaches to identity embedded within the western academic tradition, and fundamentally calls into question assumptions about our relationship to the state, and to each other.
Miller, J.R. (1996). Shingwauk’s vision: A history of native residential schools. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.