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Exciting News!!



As the winter break is setting in and I am now finding time to read and unwind, I have picked up the book “The Power of Story” by Harold R Johnson. I couldn’t put it down and I read it in one sitting. He talks us through an evening by the fire and the importance of story. Stories are what we are all made of and continue to tell about the world around us, they help us make sense of our world. There were so many stop moments within the book that helped me connect to what I am currently working on, my first book, Re-Storying Education: Decolonizing practice with a critical lens.  One of the key points that stood out to me in Johnson’s writing was when he talks about the story of a “singular truth”.  The singular truth is when there is only one story, one way, and one viewpoint. This story of truth about Canada and how it came to be is what has dominated the stories within our classrooms. The story of this place has been told by the dominant culture and held up as the singular truth of this land. The story then has been repeated and continually told within classrooms across Canada since the inception of the Canadian education system. This story that there is one singular truth, one story of this place, is a false narrative. There are so many stories that have not been told within the education system that need to be told, so that we can see the whole story of this place known as Canada today.

 




This land known as Canada today has so many stories, stories that were written 10’s of thousands of years before this story of today. These stories were written from the land, in the land and lived through the peoples’ of this land. These stories have been at time stolen from the original care takers, through the loss of language and culture from the places they called schools, the residential school system.  They have also been lost because of disease and death brought by settlers to this land, or muted because the story was meant to stay silent and not told to the next generations. These stories of the land have not been included in the story of the educational system here in Canada. Because of this, we have students leaving the education system with little to no knowledge of this place, this land, and the peoples’ of this land known as Canada today. If we are going to Re-Story education, it begins with including all stories of this land. Including all the stories from historically silenced people within the educational system. There are so many stories being told at one time, that in order to fully understand what it means to live in a multicultural society, it is critically necessary to include all the layers, all the stories, and all the voices that make up this place.

 

The story from this place is in constant motion, a state of flux, it is shape shifting on a daily basis. As Indigenous peoples’ who have lived with and on this land, we have known since time out of mind that the constant is change.  Indigenous people have had to allow the space for adaptations to happen because we know there is not a singular way to look at things, to do things, or to be, therefore we are constantly evolving and changing. With that knowledge, we as educators need to be growing, learning, and unlearning so that we can support the learners in our classrooms, see the learners, and honour them and their stories.

 

The Canadian education system has been telling one story, one history, and one view of the world, it has purposefully left out many other stories of this place. When everyone around you starts to tell the same stories, over and over, we start to collectively believe this one-sided story. This includes the stories we tell in our classrooms, the stories we pass on to the next generation about this place and the world around us. The dominant western story of this land, the dominant world view of what is important and whose voice is important. This by nature leaves out so many other stories within the classroom.

 

Re-Storying Education: Decolonizing practice with a critical lens shows us how we can include the stories that have not had space in the educational system we are in today. We have the power to change the stories we tell in our classrooms. We have the power to change the single sided story of this land known as Canada that has been the only voice in the classrooms since its inception. The story that has been told is that Indigenous people were here once, they taught the settlers how to live on this land, there was some fighting with Louis Riel and now they are gone. This dominant story that is told through our educational system is a single-sided story of this place. There are so many other stories that have not had a voice in the education system that need to be included.  The inclusion of multiple stories, multiple viewpoints and perspectives is what will allow for all students to feel included, seen, and heard within classrooms today.

 

The power of Re-Storying Education: Decolonizing practice with a critical lens, will change how we think about education, how we teach in educational spaces and how we show up as humans together in the classroom. I cannot wait for this work to come together and be shared with educators all over this place known as Canada today. I believe it will be a game changer for those who struggle with how to include Indigenous education into their practice and build a critical lens for educators who want to be the change in the education system! We are in the depths of editing the book in this moment and it will hit bookstores and online platforms Fall 2024!!! Keep a look out for it on your local book store shelves.

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