Reconsidering Canadian Curriculum Studies: Provoking by Nicholas Ng-A-Fook, Jennifer Rottmann, J. Rottman

By Nicholas Ng-A-Fook, Jennifer Rottmann, J. Rottman

Made out of chapters written via proven Canadian curriculum students in addition to junior students and graduate scholars, this number of essays galvanize readers to visualize the various ways that academic researchers can interact the narrative inquiry in the broader box of curriculum experiences.

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A devout atheist, a one-time communist, longtime welder, and a believer in women’s rights, she walked away from her middleclass home in Kitsalino, Vancouver; she abandoned her teenaged children to the streets of Vancouver, and with her new lover, a handsome rogue, better known for congeniality than industriousness, she headed to the Yukon. My grandmother walked away from the South. She left a life of curling tongs, permanent hair waves, and white gloves for a life in the North, where she could carry a rifle and wear red lipstick, where she could swing a prospector’s axe and chain-smoke Rothman’s cigarettes, where she could begin or end the day with rye and ginger neat, if she fancied, and she often did.

However, as an indigenous person, I am also acutely aware that the Cree and Blackfoot Elders who have taught me are also curriculum forebears that deeply influence the spirit and intent of my work. The challenge is to figure out how to bring these two seemingly disparate influences together in meaningful ways. The particular challenge facing the field of curriculum studies in Canada is to come to terms with the history of Aboriginal-Canadian relations and try to reimagine the terms by which these influences can come together.

For the northern Dene, like southern First Nations such as the Blackfoot, the treaties were conversation starters, rather than conversation stoppers. 3 In the old stories of the Dene and the Blackfoot, human beings are the “newcomers,” and the animals are the “old-timers,” who receive the newcomers with compassion. In the old stories, the animals and humans understood and spoke each other’s language. That was the time, the Inuit say, when the animals “took their hoods off” to speak to human beings (Chambers 2010, 13).

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