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Nourishing the Learning Spirit: Findings from a National Project on Knowledge Exchange in Aboriginal Learning. ABLKC Leadership and Governance Co-Managed: Aboriginal Education Research Centre (AERC), College of Education, University of Saskatchewan

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Nourishing the learning spirit findings from a national project on

Nourishing the Learning Spirit:

Findings from a National Project on

Knowledge Exchange in Aboriginal Learning


Nourishing the learning spirit findings from a national project on

ABLKC Leadership and Governance

Co-Managed:

  • Aboriginal Education Research Centre (AERC), College of Education, University of Saskatchewan

  • First Nations Adult and Higher Education Consortium (FNAHEC) and

    Governed

  • Steering Committee, from Consortium of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis scholars, leaders, educators

  • National Advisory Committee of informed researchers and policy makers (both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal).


Knowledge exchange and information sharing bundle approach and priorities

Knowledge Exchange and Information SharingBundle Approach and Priorities

Review what we know (literature reviews/scans/surveys/

inventories of programs/report syntheses/meet with informed people…)

Ask and listen to what people say (dialogues, roundtables, workshops, conferences, schools, workplaces, forums,…)

Share with others what we heard (webpage, news bulletins, media, conferences, speakers, community talks, reports, papers, journals, On-line Resource Centre…)

Identify success (es) and find ways to report progress and celebrate these with each other and to the Canadian public (Composite Learning Index, State of Learning Report, National Recognition Program, national and regional conferences…)

Partnerwith learning organizations to make Aboriginal learning more visible, to identify good community work and publicize promising practices in learning.


Six animation theme bundles intersecting and interdependent

Six Animation Theme BundlesIntersecting and Interdependent


Nourishing the learning spirit findings from a national project on

Nourishing the Learning SpiritExplores the capacity and potential we have as human beings for learning and the impact of culture and how our ‘location’ (cultural, social, economic, political forces) in life affects the capacity to learn as individuals and groups.

Dr. Marie Battiste, Lead – Aboriginal Education Research Centre

College of Education, University of Sask


Aboriginal perspectives on learning

Aboriginal Perspectives on Learning

  • The Aboriginal worldview is holistic – we are Spirit, Heart, Mind and Body.

  • We are a part of Creation; we are not separate from it.

  • We all have a purpose for being here, and we have Gifts from the Creator that are to be used for fulfilling that purpose.

  • Everything is/has Spirit/Energy. We need to be mindful of our feelings, thoughts, words and actions. What we put out there affects everybody and everything else.


Elders perspectives of learning

Elders Perspectives of Learning

“Knowledge is held by the spirits, shared by the spirits and comes from the spirits…Our body then can be seen as carrier of the learning spirit.”

(Elder Danny Musqua, in D. Knight,1998)

“Learning and spirit are foundational to the ethos of Aboriginal culture and pedagogy.” (Ermine, 1998, 26)


Nourishing the learning spirit findings from a national project on

What did We Learn?

  • Diverse First Nations, Métis, Inuit Peoples, languages, cultures, traditions, and beliefs

  • Common strands of shared understanding

  • Place informs knowledge, knowing, and learning

  • We can all learn from each other regardless of diverse origins


Nourishing the learning spirit findings from a national project on

What is the Learning Spirit?

  • Personal and collective energy that influences our being, acting, living together

  • Present from conception through life

  • Characterized by combination of learning strengths, gifts, capacities, choices.and life consequences

  • Supported through interrelationships with relations, culture, language, tradition, community, natural world


Learning is in relation

Learning is In Relation

  • Experiential, holistic, life-long, spiritual

  • With Mother Earth

  • With Ourselves: Care for Self:

    mind, body, spirit

  • With Collective Community


Lifelong learning opportunities

Lifelong Learning Opportunities

  • Choices (will/desire)

    Positive energy activates more positive energy

    Negative energy draws more negative energy

  • Conditions that create consequences (natural-floods/drought)+

  • (Social Cultural Economic Political Strategic-poverty/colonization/racism/politics)


Learning spirit reveals

Learning Spirit Reveals…

  • Before birth (Mother/father/Elders dreams)

  • Birth/Naming ceremony

  • Dreaming/visioning/in-spiration

  • Talents and Gifts emerge

  • Self-inner Talk

  • Finding Purpose in Convictions

  • Propensities to service, teaching, occupations, etc.

  • Life path and choices


Identified learning blocks

Identified Learning Blocks

  • Loss of spiritual connection

  • Disconnections with others/natural world

  • Forced assimilation (residential/public schools)

  • Trauma

  • Anger

  • Negative energy in others (low expectations, prejudices, pathologizing, some pedagogy etc.)


Processes for reconnecting

Processes for reconnecting

  • Nourishing spirit, mind, body to reveal gifts

  • Visiting Elders and the Land (Protocols for seeking/committing to learning Tobacco, cloth, gifts, etc)

  • Attentive listening/uninterrupted spaces

  • Inviting spirit (back) into lives

  • Reconnecting to the collective (language, ceremony and traditions, history)

  • Caring for others

  • Sharing learning and learning lessons


Nourishing the learning spirit findings from a national project on

Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre

Directors: Dr. Vivian Ayoungman (FNAHEC) and Dr. Marie Battiste (AERC)

  • Rita Bouvier, ABLKC Coordinator

    AERC, College of Education,

    University of Saskatchewan

    Room 1212, 28 Campus Drive

    Saskatoon, SK S7N 0X1

    Ph: 306-966-1362 Fax: 306-966-1363

  • Genevieve Fox, ABLKC Coordinator

    First Nations Adult Higher Education Consortium (FNAHEC)

    #132 - 16 Avenue NE Calgary, AB T2E 1J7

    Ph: 403-230-0072 Fax: 403-212-1401

  • Maria Wilson, Coordinator

    c/o   Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) 170 Laurier Ave. W, Suite 510

    Ottawa, ON  K1P 5V5 Ph: (613) 238-8181 ext. 267 Fax: (613) 234-1991

    Canadian Council on Learning Website: www.ccl-cca.ca


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