Why give 2-4 hours a week for 6 weeks to a free course called Reconciation through Indigenous Education? Because I want to clarify my thinking about the relationship between Indigenous people and myself. In doing so, I may also get a better notion of my own relationship with the society I live in and so often feel alienated from.
The course Overview speaks of “moving beyond conversations about empathy and understanding concerned with Indigenous-settler histories to consider structural, ideological, institutional, and pedagogical change in the places where we live, learn, and work.”
If that means getting beyond hearts-and-flowers do-gooderism, I’m in.
Here’s a 5 minute video taste of one of the course’s video segments.
The video link above is more entertaining and polished than much of the course content, which can be dry and, because it’s aimed at educators, pedantic. Some of the verbiage I’ve listened to so far is vague and unclear. Overlays of sentimental music do not make up for the lack of clarity, but the educators are themselves groping for answers to questions that have not yet been fully formulated.
No quick fixes are on offer, either. Reconciliation is presented as a slow, 7-generation process, if it occurs at all. Obviously, there are questions about whether or not there is a public will to attempt the work, not to mention the question of who will still be around in 7 generations.
As the video says, “But in the end, the land won’t care, which one was rabbit, which one bear.”
I hope the course will shape itself around concrete issues, after its initial attempts to explain unrecognized biases and the need to “think different”.