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Paperback 184 pp.
10 figures, 5.5" x 8"



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Imprint: OUP Canada

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The Legacy of School for Aboriginal People

Education, Oppression, and Emancipation

Bernard Schissel and Terry Wotherspoon

Education is expected to assist students in the development of their personal identities and the achievement of social and economic success. Yet the aspirations of Aboriginal students have too often been thwarted by the very structures that are supposed to help them. Combining a research study, an extensive review of literature, and an analysis of current trends, Schissel and Wotherspoon detail the harm done to Aboriginal children and their families--not only in the past, when residential schools explicitly set out to eliminate Aboriginal identities, but also in more recent years, when educational systems designed for the mainstream have relegated First Nations students to the sidelines. The authors find hope for the future in four experimental programs from Saskatchewan, in which severely stressed Aboriginal youth have found self-esteem in educational settings that take into account traditional culture and spiritual teachings, as well as academic achievement. Interviews with Aboriginal students provide an additional depth to the authors' findings.

Readership : Supplementary text for second-and third-year undergraduate university and community college courses on Canadian society, Native studies, and introductory sociology of education courses in sociology, Native studies, history, and education. Also for courses on social inequality in Canada, and race and ethnic relations.

1. Educational Dreams and Disappointments
2. Aboriginal Education in Canada: Issues and Theories
3. The Legacy of Residential Schools
4. The Voices of Students of Aboriginal Ancestry
5. Determinants of Successful Schooling
6. Education, Justice, and Community: A Paradigm for Enfranchising Children and Youth
Appendix A: Protocol and Researcher Experiences and Reflections
Appendix B: Interview Guide
Web Sites

There are no Instructor/Student Resources available at this time.

Bernard Schissel has been a professor at the University of Saskatchewan since 1989. He is the co-author of Social Control in Canada with Linda Mahood (OUP Canada, 1996). He is a contributor to one of the chapters in Youth Crime: Varieties, Theories, and Prevention, edited by Russell Smandych, and another chapter in Youth Justice: History, Legislation, and Reform (both Harcourt, 2001), also edited by Smandych. He has also contributed to books by Sage, Copp-Clarke, and Fernwood.

Terry Wotherspoon has been head and professor of the sociology department at the U of S for many years. Dr. Wotherspoon has much publishing experience. He wrote The Sociology of Education in Canada (OUP Canada, 1998), and co-authored First Nations (Nelson, 1993) with Vic Satzewich. He has contributed to manu books including Bolaria's Social Issues and Contradictions, 3e (Harcourt, 2001).

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Special Features

  • Examines the educational prospects for Aboriginal people in Canada in the contexts of their aspirations and experiences, historical circumstances, and contemporary developments.
  • Recent initiatives to improve the educational attainment and performance of Aboriginal children and youth are understood with respect to their relative ability to foster educational improvement or further restrict educational advancement.
  • The authors show how the residential schooling and other institutionalized practices that have contributed to the devaluation or destruction of Aboriginal societies and cultures has contributed to ongoing problems with education and the opportunities associated with schooling.
  • Draws from a wide variety of historical and statistical sources, and expands on these with accounts about schooling from Aboriginal students themselves.
  • Important terms introduced are highlighted.
  • Contains study questions, recommended readings, an extensive bibliography, annotated web sites, and relevant appendices.