Non-Indigenous educator and Indigenous student relations: rooting ourselves in their values
Master of Education
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Assimilative and integrative policies remain part of Canada‟s dominant narrative and continue to inform non-Indigenous educators‟ relations with their Indigenous students. Counter narratives of Indigenous student and non-Indigenous educator relations emerge from the literature as oppositional or binary accounts. Following a conceptual framework of narratives in relation rather than as closed and neatly opposing systems, this narrative study interprets the ways in which non-Indigenous educators story their relationships with Indigenous students through conversational interviews. This text explores how non-Indigenous educators navigate the spaces in between the dominant narrative and counter narratives to establish and maintain genuine relationships with their Indigenous students. What emerged in this space of relation were themes of non-interference, family and love. When defined within traditional Indigenous knowledges, the values themselves as well as the ability and responsibility that non-Indigenous educators have to learn about and work from the values of their Indigenous students is presented. The overarching centrality of implicit Indigenous knowledges calls for educational practice and policy to reflect the significance of both explicit Indigenous knowledges, as in curriculum, and implicit Indigenous knowledges, as in values. Non-Indigenous educator narratives detail the ways in which educators can work from the values of their Indigenous students in order to develop relations. Indigenous student and non-Indigenous educator relations have significant influence on student success and open space to foster a renewed relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples of present-day Canada.