Native Underachievement in Canadian Schools Essay

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Native Underachievement in Canadian Schools A comparison of native students and their non-native peers quickly brings one to the realization that native students are not experiencing a comparable degree of education success in Canadian schools. It is vital that native Canadians address this issue thoroughly, to insure that the nation is no longer faced with a semi-literate, unemployable population, requiring financial support. In order to fully address native educational underachievement it is important to examine the historical causes of the problem, the issues we are faced with today, as well as, identifying possible viable solutions. Early European settlers in Canada unfoundedly conceived the white culture to be superior to…show more content…
Thus, this is the reason many natives stood in strong opposition to early residential schools. Susan Awashish of the council of the Atikamkw of Manawan Nation states, "If one...society imposes its [institutions] on the other, the latter will react with hostility, adopting an adversarial attitude, because it feels restricted where its most fundamental rights are concerned...We believe that a dominant society has the responsibility to protect its minorities from eventual assimilation" (Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples,1993). This is also the reason many natives today view the education required in white schools to be irrelevant with regards to the traditional native lifestyle. It is apparent that to many degrees, cultural assimilation through education did not work for a variety of reasons. Although early native students were culturally displaced in white schools, they continued to take tremendous pride in their heritage. It was impossible for the early aboriginal student to apply anything learned in these early schools to anything he had previously experienced. Subjects taught in residential schools did not generally interest the native student. Native indifference to early formal education can be found. One student enrolled in the early schools recounts his experience, " I do not remember any book
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