‘Education or Indoctrination?’

It’s wrong to force students to take classes focused on one minority’s history — especially when that minority’s history is already widely-covered in Canadian K-12 curricula.”

All students getting ready to hit the books next week at the ‘University of Winnipeg’ will have one course in common — a mandatory ‘indigenous’ class {that they have to pay for}

“[The] initiative was born out of the {segregated} aboriginal student council because of negative things that were happening on campus — racist texts on bathroom stalls, overall racism and negative experiences in classrooms,”

said Kevin Settee, the first ‘indigenous’ President of the ‘U of W Students Association’ {So, an ‘indigenous’ head of the overall student council, AND a segregated aboriginal student council? And only aboriginals get to run — and vote — in both? Seriously??}.

It’s one of two universities in Canada introducing a mandatory ‘indigenous’ course requirement this school year.

Settee has been instrumental in making the mandatory course requirement a reality.

As of this school year, the university will require every student starting this year to choose one ‘indigenous’ course from a range of subjects, including history, political science, linguistics and religion.

Kevin Lamoureux, the university’s new associate vice president of ‘indigenous’ affairs {Yes, that’s right, there is a special  ‘associate vice president’ for aboriginals}, said the institution has 24 approved courses and hopes to add 60 more in the near future.

As of Aug. 25, more than 80% of the 1,900 seats in the approved courses had been filled {Well, they are MANDATORY, after all! This reads like an article from an official party paper in a Communist country…}.

“When people … become aware of some {unchallenged} ‘truths’ that they haven’t been exposed to, by and large, Canadians want to be a part of the solution,” said Lamoureux. “We generate more and more people that will stand in solidarity with us {‘allies’}, I think that that’s what is going to happen moving forward.”

According to a 2011 ‘Statistics Canada’ report, nearly 17% of Manitoba’s population identified as aboriginal — four times the Canadian average.

“No matter what field, department or faculty, these students are in, they’re going to be working with ‘indigenous people’”, said Settee.

“If you’re a health care provider, if you’re a teacher, if you’re going to become a lawyer, whatever job you’re going to do, you’re going to interact and be working with ‘indigenous’ people, and most importantly, you’re going to be working on treaty land {That ‘treaty land’ is ceded, surrendered, bought-and-paid-for land that was mostly unoccupied — and you can be damn sure THAT isn’t going to be taught in these ‘classes’}.”

–‘High hopes for mandatory Indigenous courses set to start at U of W’, Lenard Monkman, CBC News, Sept. 01, 2016


Lakehead U. - Chancellor Paterson Library
Lakehead U. – Chancellor Paterson Library

Lakehead University is moving to make it mandatory for all undergraduate students to take ‘indigenous’ education.

Starting in 2016, studies about ‘indigenous’ people and issues will be incorporated into courses in every faculty on campus {!?!}

Beyond raising understanding of ‘indigenous’ people {You make it sound like they’re from another planet…}, Wanakamik said the intent of making these kind of studies mandatory is to talk openly about the issue of {only ‘white’, never aboriginal} racism.

“There will be {one-way}conversations’ in the classroom. Most people {The instructors} will be talking about stereotypes people have about ‘indigenous’ people in northwestern Ontario — in fact, across Canada,” she said..”

–‘Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont., to mandate indigenous learning’,  CBC News, Feb. 20, 2015



From 2012:
‘Why ‘Indigenous’ Studies shouldn’t be mandatory’

“A third-year student from ‘First Nations’ University wants to force all students at the nearby University of Regina—and eventually everywhere—to take mandatory ‘Indigenous’ Studies courses

“Kyle Smyth, of the ‘Regina Engineering Students’ Society’, isn’t willing to take it. He won’t give up English (his single humanities course) for ‘Indigenous’ Studies, he doesn’t want a 46th class, and he objects to being forced to spend $650 and countless hours on a subject he’s not interested in.

“I’m with him. ‘Indigenous’ Studies is fine as an elective but for many, it would be a waste of time and money. Above all, it’s wrong to force students to take classes focused on one minority’s history — especially when that minority’s history is already widely-covered in Canadian K-12 curricula.

“Before you dismiss my ideas as evidence of ‘White’ Privilege, or start telling me that all courses are currently viewed through a ‘European lens’ — as Beaudin-Herney informs me — hear me out…

“I learned enough about — indeed from, aboriginal Canadians — to take part in this national conversation without having been forced to take a mandatory course in university.

I learned enough because ‘indigenous’ history is already a priority in Canadian elementary and secondary schools and already permeates humanities and social sciences classes in universities.

Saskatchewan has integrated ‘indigenous’ studies into K-12 classes since 1986. It’s the same in Ontario. As a 26-year-old, I can assure you that ‘indigenous’ issues were the primary focus of my social science and history classes from kindergarten to graduate school at UBC.

“In Grade Four, I filled in a map of Canada showing the different aboriginal linguistic groups. In Grade Five, I made bannock with Algonquin grandmothers. In Grade Six, I listened carefully to a Cree woman about how she was flown from Hudson Bay each fall to residential schools in Timmins.

“In Grade 10, after skimming over the defining moments of Canada’s history like the ‘War of 1812’ and the ‘Conquest of 1759’, my teacher spent the rest of the semester lionizing a Metis — Louis Riel.

“In first and second-year at the University of Guelph, my Canadian History courses were filled, once again, with explorations of the relationship between Canada’s aboriginals and ‘non’-aboriginals.

It wasn’t until year two of university that I was allowed to even consider anyone else’s history. I took Mexican history, Indian history, rural history, African history, anthropology and medieval British history…

“I could have taken ‘Indigenous’ Studies as an elective — but I didn’t. I’d learned enough already.

“Students who come after me should be able to decide when they too have learned enough…”

–‘Why ‘Indigenous’ Studies shouldn’t be mandatory’,
Josh Dehaas, Maclean’s, February 23, 2012


'First Nations' Pedagogy

From last year:
‘University of Winnipeg approves mandatory ‘indigenous’ course requirement’:

“Students will be required to take at least 1 indigenous studies course moving forward in order to graduate.

“The U of W senate approved, in principle, a motion on Thursday that will require all students take a course focused on the ‘rights’, traditions, history, governance or other facets of ‘indigenous culture’.

“…Annette Trimbee, president and vice-chancellor of U of W, said in a release:

We have taken an important step on the path to a better, more understanding, and inclusive society. The University of Winnipeg is proud to be a catalyst for ‘positive’ {backwards} change.”

“Wab Kinew, {aboriginal radical, ‘rapper’ appropriating ‘black’ culture, and ‘Idle No More’ mouthpiece} associate vice-president of ‘Indigenous Affairs’ at the U. of W., echoed Trimbee.

Today is a good day for The University of Winnipeg – as well as for the broader community: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada,” Kinew said in a release.

The University of Winnipeg is a leader in ‘indigenous inclusion’ and we are excited about the positive impact today’s development will have on the upcoming generation of leaders and citizens.” {Yeah, I’ll bet you are…}

–‘University of Winnipeg approves mandatory ‘indigenous’ course requirement’, CBC News, Mar 26, 2015



“Whether majoring in business, political science, psychology or chemistry, students would be required to complete at least one course focused on ‘indigenous issues’.

“More than 100 courses from across 17 departments have been identified as meeting the criteria for the requirement, including ‘indigenous literatures’ {they couldn’t read or write} and cultures, management and financial administration in aboriginal communities and organizations {because ‘finances’ are different for ‘aboriginals’?}, ‘indigenous knowledge’ and biodiversity, and indigenous women and resilience {stemming from aboriginal male abuse}

“While the university’s senate has passed the proposal in principle after hearing widespread support from students, faculty and administration, a small faction has argued strongly against it and many online commentators have been less than supportive, to put it mildly. A repeated argument is that mandating an ‘indigenous’ course requirement impinges upon student choice{It’s also racist…}

“But as educators…exposing students to the often lesser-known but ‘vital contributions’ of ‘indigenous thinkers’ {They may be ‘thinkers’ but they have no intellectual tradition to draw upon… just children’s stories and fables…} to their respective fields is a way of both adding value to their education and recognizing the unique geographical context of our campus in the heart of Winnipeg, a city with the largest urban indigenous population in Canada.

“All degree programs have mandated credits. At the U of W, there is a long-standing science course requirement for arts students, and a humanities course requirement for science students {Those are essential elements of Western education – something that everyone needs, unlike ‘aboriginal studies’. Stop this racist pandering.}

The science requirement, in particular, is not seen as encroaching upon student choice. What its uncontested status makes clear, then, is that resistance to the implementation of an ‘indigenous’ requirement is actually not about requirements or student choice in general; otherwise, all mandated courses would be up for debate.

{No, it’s about forcing students to take race based courses – and for only ONE race…}.

“Rather, it is a claim to the superiority of western scientific knowledge over and above other knowledge paradigms, including ‘indigenous ways of knowing’

{That should be OBVIOUS to a so-called ‘educated’ person. If not, then you don’t belong at university…

Then, she plays the white guilt’ card that they teach all students now…}

“As we continue to live with the traumatic effects of the Indian residential school system in North America, such a claim should ring alarm bells for us all…

“The University of Winnipeg is built on {SURRENDERED, bought-and-paid-for} ‘Treaty One’ territory, ‘traditional land’ of the Cree, Dakota, Assiniboine, Anishinaabe and Métis ‘peoples’ {most of whom settled there by stealing the previous occupants’ land…}, and yet its academic programs, like most Canadian universities’, are almost exclusively based in ‘Euro-centric’ and ‘non-indigenous’ conventions of thought.

{Because aboriginals are only 4% of the population, you navel-gazing twit! And because Europeans developed and built universities – unlike ‘indigenous’ communities who had thousands of years to do the same…and didn’t. They never even developed reading and writing — never mind universities! Just how delusional are you?}

–‘Mandatory indigenous courses add ‘value’,
Angela Failler and Craig Willis, Winnipeg Free Press, 03/31/2015

(Angela Failler is an associate professor and chair of the ‘women’s and gender studies’ department and the University of Winnipeg chancellor’s research chair. Craig Willis is an associate professor of biology and a former University of Winnipeg chancellor’s research chair.)



COMMENTS: “How about a mandatory course teaching students that ALL Canadians should be treated the same regardless of race, colour, creed or status — including the dismantling of our Canadian Apartheid system?”

“How does a course on aboriginal issues help students “think critically about the substance of what they find interesting and relevant in the first place” when they are taking chemistry? Or any other field where race is not a factor?”

‘More than 100 courses from across 17 departments have been identified as meeting the criteria for the requirement.’

“Wow — with that many available courses, you would think that forcing people to take one would be unnecessary.”

‘it is a claim to the superiority of western scientific knowledge over and above other knowledge paradigms, including indigenous ways of knowing’

“Well… If they mean asking a tree if they can use his skin to make a canoe, I guess silence implies assent & they know the tree is ok with that.

“Or do they mean something else, some kind of “mother earth”-based intuitive knowledge of land & resource management?

“I think I’ll take western scientific knowledge, thanks all the same.”

“I am against it for two reasons.

1) We (the people) have just spent 20 years apologizing for something we didn’t do (forcing aboriginals to learn in English schools). Two wrongs don’t make a right.

2) As a taxpayer, I’m partially funding this program. I can tell you that the students I’ve spoken with don’t like the idea that they will be forced to take another irrelevant course. So, I’m funding a program that students don’t want and isn’t relevant to their chosen education.”

“I just thought it was a nod toward balance to have arts students take a science course & vice versa.

“I see the indigenous studies requirement differently because I think it follows a political agenda that is inappropriately influencing policies at an institution of higher learning.”

“The real agenda, fellow Canadians: Decolonization…

‘…is the intelligent, calculated and active resistance to the forces of colonialism that perpetuate the subjugation and/or exploitation of our minds, bodies and lands, and it is engaged for the ultimate purpose of overturning the colonial structure and realizing indigenous liberation. It is not about tweaking the existing colonial system to make it more indigenous-friendly or little less oppressive.’

“A massive land, resource, and power grab.”

“The more they try to sell this requirement, the more they’re losing me…

“If university administrators followed the specious — if well-intentioned — logic of this article, they’d be squeezing in every latest fad to the curriculum. Of course, that’s what’s happened over the years — except not every fad is mandatory.

“There’s good reason to teach aboriginal history, politics and culture at university (better if integrated into broader topics). But please don’t try to create aboriginal science or math courses, based on a different way of “knowing”.

“What a stupid proposal, a student has enough on their plates instead of wasting money on a useless course. Shame on these ivory tower academics…”

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