The Future is Now-Indian Control of Colonial Education!

Chris Scribe, Director of the Indian Teacher Education Program (ITEP), U of S, inspired everyone in a powerful presentation on Indigenous Control of Colonial Education.

Chris defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Chief Billy Morin has also said this, pointing out if we want to create success and positive change we need to stop doing the things that have been less than effective and worse.

Chris really made us think when he said,

“Most of us are not insane, we are however continually contributing, reforming and re-vamping the very system that was put in place for the cultural genocide and assimilation of Indigenous People.” This being the school and our Education system.

Indian Control of Colonial Education puts our precious Maskēkosihk students at the heart of a system we have the power to develop and transform; placing them at the centre, rather than preserving a sick system that fails many students and discourages staff and community. Doing the same thing over and over when it doesn’t work is an insane waste of lives, time and resources. Chris provided the following quote:
“I still see quite clearly today, as to the reason for establishing and setting forth our position on this issue – and why we did – last fall – for our children – to clearly understand their Cree Language, to learn to love an education that integrates and accommodates their identities, and secondly to combat and capture the drop-out rate of our youth before any more are dismayed and discouraged from continuing. They should be made so that they are happy that they are there; in this way they will learn in their most formative years to love learning, knowing about things, knowledge , knowledge that they should keep and remember. If we can accomplish this, what will happen is this; when they enter schools of higher levels, they won’t quit.” John B Tootoosis (June 1976)

Knowledge is Power

Chris asserted if we are interested in creating a culturally responsive, Indigenously infused school environment that promotes the revitalization of the past for success in the future, then we just need to follow these simple steps:

  1. Keep it local
  2. Know your elders & knowledge keepers in your community
  3. Make believers, out of Non-Believers
  4. Ask the right questions
  5. Put on your Indigenous lens
  6. Never become complacent
  7. Stop working on an island, team is everything
  8. Don’t be afraid to fail.

You can see more of Chris’ presentations on Prezi, just Google his name. Other resources are: