My Upbringing and Evolving

How has your upbringing/schooling shaped how you “read the world?” What biases and lenses do you bring to the classroom? How might we unlearn / work against these biases?

Which “single stories” were present in your own schooling? Whose truth mattered?

I think my upbringing and schooling has greatly influenced who I am today. I think prior to moving to the States my knowledge was strictly limited to white, middle to upper class perspectives. Although the States opened my eyes to a lot of things like culture and common-sense beliefs I believe I still missed out on the Treaty Education aspect to schooling and learning. It wasn’t until I started at the University of Regina that I learned what Residential schools and Treaty Education were. I look at myself as a constant evolving individual. I think what I would bring to the classroom today will be different than what I will bring to the classroom when I am done my degree. Although it took me awhile to get where I am now I am beginning to appreciate my thinking being challenged and it is becoming more uncomfortable the further I get into my education journey. 

I don’t blame myself for not knowing about Treaty Education and Residential schools prior to University because I know it wasn’t my fault in what my teachers chose to teach and what not to teach. All I can do from now is make sure I don’t do the same. I am going to ensure I integrate Treaty Education into any lesson I possibly can and it will always be a high priority in my future classroom. Inclusion is everything and that will not be established unless all viewpoints are taught and spoken openly about.

Advertisements

Math

Think back on your experiences of the teaching and learning of mathematics – were there aspects of it that were oppressive and/or discriminating for you or other students?

After reading Poirier’s article: Teaching mathematics and the Inuit Community, identify at least three ways in which Inuit mathematics challenge Eurocentric ideas about the purposes mathematics and the way we learn it.

Thinking back to my math memories is something I would prefer not to do. I was never a strong math student but did what I had to do to pass and get the “right” math done. When I was in high school I did Grade 9 math and then Grade 10 had Foundations and Pre-Calculus combined. Once I got to Grade 11 I had to choose what “math route” to take. I knew University was always going to be something I wanted to do so that already cancelled out the Workplace math route. Workplace and Apprenticeship math had a bad stereotype around it and if you took that you were basically labelled as a “dumb” kid. Knowing I wanted to go to University that left me with the Foundations or Pre-Calculus and Calculus route. Knowing I wasn’t the strongest in math I chose to take the Foundations route which was still very difficult for me. I honestly don’t remember a single thing I learned in Foundations 20 or 30 so I don’t have much to say about it. I remember it being hard and going to a tutor. I absolutely did not realize there was any oppressive and/ or discrimination for myself or other students but after reading these two articles I am now realizing math isn’t as universal as I thought it was. 

Although I don’t know much about the math curriculum I do believe it is completely based off of Eurocentric views. Math is not universal like everyone thinks it is. Inuit mathematics includes a base-20 numeral system and they do not view math as something that can solve everyday problems like Eurocentric views do. I found the most interesting part of this article was how traditional Inuit teaching doesn’t use the typical pencil and paper way of teaching. Inuit teaching involves observing an elder or listening to enigmas. The example used in the reading of the Inuit child understanding the game over the traditionally educated child really shows how the problem solving technique used in Inuit teaching worked. 

Citizenship

What examples of citizenship education do you remember from your K-12 schooling?

What types of citizenship (e.g. which of the three types mentioned in the article) were the focus?

Explore what this approach to the curriculum made (im)possible in regards to citizenship.

Thinking back to my education I do not recall learning anything specific to citizenship. I feel like knowing what a good citizenship was left for “commonsense” to take care of which worries me because I can now see the misconceptions “commonsene” leads to. Growing up the “commonsense” version of a “good citizen” was someone who obeyed the law, paid their taxes and followed all rules. This falls under the category of a “personally responsible citizen”. 

I find the “personally responsible citizen” goes with curriculum as product because the goal of this is to produce good, law abiding citizens. I can see this being both good and bad. I see this as being good because it produces “good” citizens that are always helping out (working in soup kitchens, donating clothing and volunteer). The bad part about this is it allows for unconscious ignorance. An individual can fit the criteria of being this idea of a “good citizen” but still be racist or oppressive. 

Treaty Education

During fall semester 2 years ago, I (Mike) received an email from an intern asking for help. Here’s part of it:

As part of my classes for my three week block I have picked up a Social Studies 30 course. This past week we have been discussing the concept of standard of living and looking at the different standards across Canada . I tried to introduce this concept from the perspective of the First Nations people of Canada and my class was very confused about the topic and in many cases made some racist remarks. I have tried to reintroduce the concept but they continue to treat it as a joke.

The teachers at this school are very lax on the topic of Treaty Education as well as First Nations ways of knowing. I have asked my Coop for advice on Treaty Education and she told me that she does not see the purpose of teaching it at this school because there are no First Nations students. I was wondering if you would have any ideas of how to approach this topic with my class or if you would have any resources to recommend.

This is a real issue in schools. As you listen to Dwayne’s invitation/challenge, as you listen to Claire’s lecture and as you read Cynthia’s narrative – use these resources and your blog to craft a response to this student’s email. Consider the following questions:

What is the purpose of teaching Treaty Ed (specifically) or First Nations, Metis, and Inuit (FNMI) Content and Perspectives (generally) where there are few or no First Nations, Metis, Inuit peoples?

What does it mean for your understanding of curriculum that “We are all treaty people”?

I want to begin this blog post by saying I am not surprised by the email Mike received which is so sad to even admit. When I look back to my K-12 schooling I received little to no education on Indigenous peoples history, culture or anything. I honestly didn’t even know what Residential schools were or that they existed. I then did three years of University in the United States and I still had yet to learn anything about Indigenous peoples. It wasn’t until I came to the University of Regina that I had a wakeup call. 

Whether there is Indigenous students present in your classroom or not it is imperative we still educate our classrooms on Treaty Education. Now what exactly is Treaty Education and what does it mean to me as a future educator? Treaty education is a crucial part of our curriculum and under any circumstances should never be missed. Treaty education can be incorporated into every single subject. Since the beginning of Canadian history, we have always had a relationship with Indigenous peoples whether it was good or bad, that relationship has always been there. You cannot possibly teach Canadian history without Indigenous content. 

Reconciliation is a big thing that has been talked about a lot in the past ten years. I believe we aren’t even close to being able to reconcile. I do believe that by decolonizing and indigenizing our classrooms is a step in the right direction. This all starts with education so I feel like educators all have to be on the same page for this to happen successfully. If we as educators ignore Indigenous content within our classrooms we are just going backwards rather than forward with reconciliation. Treaty Education will hopefully help eliminate racism and injustice that our Indigenous peoples face on a daily basis. 

Learning From Place

List some of the ways that you see reinhabitation and decolonization happening throughout the narrative.

How might you adapt these ideas towards considering place in your own subject areas and teaching?

Paquataskamik is the key word I found throughout this paper. Paquataskamik means traditional territory in the Cree language. Honestly, out of all the readings I have done throughout University I found this one to be the most eye opening one for myself. I found this paper and study to be genuine and got crucial points across in such understandable ways. I found myself understanding and empathizing more throughout this reading than any other reading. 

I find this 10-day river trip to be so educational and beautiful. I love the way Indigenous culture values their elders and the Earth in general. This trip allowed elders to “re-remember” their past and allowed the youth to be “re-introduced” which I believe was a decolonizing experience for both the elders and the youth. Throughout the Indigenous populations more and more youth are lacking knowledge about their traditions and POSITIVE history which is absolutely directly affected by the Residential school system that occurred throughout North America. Residential schools have created intergenerational trauma for the Indigenous peoples of Canada. This has resulted in extensive language loss and culture loss. Throughout this reading I noticed how much the elders love to pass down their language and stories. I always knew this was an important part of Indigenous culture but I never realized how personal and meaningful it truly is. 

Rehabilitation and decolonization heavily rely on each other and go hand in hand. When they were going up the river it was almost every turns and tribune had a specific meaning. I also found it interesting how they state there are a lot more Cree names for things than what is shown on a map in English. This just shows how stripped our Indigenous peoples were of their livelihood and culture. 

Instead of using the word “Paquataskamik” the youth used the word “Noscheemik”. This directly points out how drastic the language loss truly was throughout the Indigenous culture. 

Frogs singing means that the water is safe for consumption. This is a story/ tradition that was told on the river from an elder to the youth. I found this to be so interesting and something that should be utilized throughout our education system. Allowing this information to be passed down re-establishes Indigenous culture and perspectives that I think should be a part of more than just the Indigenous culture. Indigenizing our classrooms does not only benefit the Indigenous people of Canada but it also benefits everyone else. 

I found one of the most significant pieces of this study was when the elders spoke about the burial sites along the river. Communities along the river with pathways for runners to deliver news to everyone is also interesting. The moral of the story here is that the river bonded people together. 


About Me

My name is Hanna Hovland and I am a fourth year University student. I am from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I played 2 years of college volleyball at Dakota College and then moved onto play another year at Dakota State University. I got my Associates Degree in Liberal Arts from Dakota College and did a semester of Education at Dakota State University. I then moved to Regina and started at the University of Regina in January of 2018. I got accepted into Education for Fall 2018 which is how I got here!

My biggest accomplishment is being able to play volleyball down south. During my time down there I was awarded onto my conferences “All Academic Team” which is awarded to student athletes who get over a 3.5 GPA. I received this award each year I played. Being a student athlete has improved my time management skills as well as my perspectives on everything.

Sports is obviously a big part of my life which has provided me ample opportunities to work and volunteer in the communities I’ve lived in. During my time in the States I went into schools and read with students as well as many other things. My team would help out for move in days every year which assisted the Freshman students get used to campus and get all moved in. My mom was the Director of The Children’s Wish Foundation for about 8 years which also allowed me to volunteer throughout Saskatchewan. I can’t even count how many events I volunteered at with The Children’s Wish Foundation however I can shed some light on my favourite events to work. “Wish Nights” at every Saskatchewan WHL cities was the best. Every year each Saskatchewan WHL team hosts a “Wish Night” with all the proceeds going to the foundation. I loved volunteering at these nights because you got to see the entire community come together and it was truly beautiful!

Alexei and Mom at my Senior Night – 2017

Educational Philosophies

I Believe…

-Every student is capable to learn

-Always be ready to learn. Committing to being open minded will not only help you as a teacher but it will show your students how important it is to remain open minded. Being open minded allows you to be more empathetic and compassionate.

-Always be inclusive.

-Work together, be a team with other teachers and use the resources around you.

-Respect and value each and every relationship you have with your students. This not only shows you care but it promotes stability which is important with school aged children.

-Inspire your students.

-Classrooms should at all times be a comfortable space where every student feels safe.

-Use different types of learning styles throughout lesson plans so every student can feel accommodated.

-Allow students to have freedom within their school work, this promotes engagement which is important at all grade levels.

-Maintain environments that encourage learning and growth.

-Model the appropriate behavior of a teacher at all times. We aren’t only teacher during the school day.