Aboriginal Inquiry: Lifting All Learners

An Impact Assessment of the Aboriginal Enhancement Schools Network (AESN)

8.8 An emergent impact on recognizing and disrupting colonial mindsets and actions

The AESN has had some very significant transformational impacts on schools, teachers, and districts around the province, the methods by which non-Aboriginal teachers are ‘taking up’ the challenge of deconstructing their existing colonial mindsets is in very early stages and so we characterize it as an “emergent impact”. Certainly some of the narratives we’ve included in this report point to the deep reflexive work of some non-Aboriginal teachers: the impact for these individuals is profound and important to their emerging identities as anti-oppressive educators. Yet this is not something promoted with regularity in the Network; nor is it regularly modeled by its participants in formal settings. Anti-oppressive educators and Aboriginal scholars make the point that the work of deconstructing one’s own privilege is an ongoing and necessary part of how one ‘becomes’ an Aboriginal ally. We would like the Network to find ways of more frequently highlighting the nature of continually engaging in this deep, deconstructive work as a hallmark of inquiry.