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The struggles and identities of educators are rich resources for transforming colonial and post-colonial educational systems. The teachers in this book resourcefully built their own identities from Indigenous ideologies and practices, as well as the world of mainstream schools. Their stories also emphasize that struggles to construct identity, far from being individual efforts, connect us to others. These struggles and connections fuel the transformation of colonial educational systems into spaces that support and encourage Indigenous learners.

The teachers were classmates during the five-year First Nations teacher education program at Prince Rupert/Simon Fraser University. The experiences of the teachers are connected to both the broad history of Aboriginal education in Canada, as well as to the specific history of north coastal British Columbia (pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial). In struggles with the legacy of this history, First Nations teachers have initiated the process of educational transformation.

Table of Contents

1. Perspectives on change
2. Identity at the centre: Linking the past and the future
3. Looking to the past: Sources of Indigenous educational discourses
4. Resisting colonial discourses of the federal government and churches
5. On the threshold of change: Struggles between discourses of Indigenous educational reform and mainstream discourses
6. The world of employment: Finding a job
7. Communities and parents
8. Schools and classrooms, colleagues and kids
9. Articulating new approaches for schools
10. Looking to the future
Appendix 1: Teacher biographies
Appendix 2: Research methodology: The need for collaborative co-construction of this book
Appendix 3: Outline of federal legislation regarding provision of education
Appendix 4: Summary of school board meetings and DIA correspondence
Appendix 5: Curriculum resources available from First Nations Education Services School District #52

June Beynon

June Beynon, PhD, worked at Simon Fraser University for 34 years developing programs, teaching, researching, and publishing in the areas of First Nations, anti-racist, and multicultural teacher education. She initiated and developed courses in these areas in the teacher education program as well as in undergraduate and graduate programs.