Category: BOOKS

Flight and Freedom

Flight and Freedom

Stories of Escape to Canada

Ratna Omidvar , Dana Wagner

The global number of people currently displaced from their home country—more than 50 million—is higher than at any time since World War II. Yet in recent years Canada has deported, denied, and diverted countless refugees. Is Canada a safe haven for refugees or a closed door?

In Flight and Freedom, Ratna Omidvar and Dana Wagner present a collection of thirty astonishing interviews with refugees, their descendants, or their loved ones to document their extraordinary, and sometimes harrowing, journeys of flight. The stories span two centuries of refugee experiences in Canada: from the War of 1812—where an escaped slave and her infant daughter flee the United States to start a new life in Halifax—to the War in Afghanistan—where asylum seekers collide with state scrutiny and face the challenges of resettlement.

Contents

Preface

Ratna Omidvar

Acknowledgements

Abbreviations

Introduction–Alan Broadbent

Who Is a Refugee?

1 Adeline Oliver, United States

2 Mampre Shirinian, Ottoman Empire (Turkey)

3 Loly Rico, El Salvador

4 Ken (Khanh) Do, Vietnam

5 Hodan Ali, Somalia

6 Claudio Duran, Chile

7 Rabbi Erwin Schild, Germany

8 Randy Singh, Guyana

9 Marguerite Nyandwi, Burundi

10 Andrew Hidi, Hungary

11 Sorpong Peou, Cambodia

12 Tarun, Sri Lanka

13 Yodit Negusse, Ethiopia

14 Bottles of Bouphaphanh, Laos

15 Zafar Iravan, Iran

16 Samnang It Cambodia

17 Marko, Bosnia and Herzegovina

18 Iren Hessami Koltermann, Iran

19 Anwar Arkani, Myanmar

20 Elvis, Namibia

21 Humaira, Afghanistan

22 Joseph, Sierra Leone

23 Christine, Rwanda

24 Mie Tha Lah, Myanmar

25 Max Farber, Poland

26 Shabnam, Afghanistan

27 Robi Botos, Hungary

28 Karim Teja, Uganda

29 Avtar Sandhu, India

30 Sabreen, Israel

Then and Now: Would They Get In Today?–Peter Showler

About the Authors

Ratna Omidvar was born in India. She moved to Iran in 1975 to start life there with her Iranian partner. In 1981 she and her family (including an infant daughter) fled Iran and found a new home in Canada. Her own experience of flight to freedom have been the foundation of her work. She has focused on articulating pathways to inclusion for immigrants and visible minorities in host societies, both in Canada and globally. Ratna is both a Member of the Order of Canada and Order of Ontario.

Dana Wagner is Senior Research Associate at the Global Diversity Exchange leading the Hire Immigrants and Flight and Freedom programs. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, the Globe and Mail, and The National Post. She blogs for The Huffington Post.

Decolonizing Education: Nourishing the Learning Spirit

Decolonizing Education: Nourishing the Learning Spirit

Drawing on treaties, international law, the work of other Indigenous scholars, and especially personal experiences, Marie Battiste documents the nature of Eurocentric models of education, and their devastating impacts on Indigenous knowledge. Chronicling the negative consequences of forced assimilation and the failure of current educational policies to bolster the social and economic conditions of Aboriginal populations, Battiste proposes a new model of education. She argues that the preservation of Aboriginal knowledge is an Aboriginal right and a right preserved by the many treaties with First Nations. Current educational policies must undergo substantive reform. Central to this process is the rejection of the racism inherent to colonial systems of education, and the repositioning of Indigenous humanities, sciences, and languages as vital fields of knowledge. Battiste suggests the urgency for this reform lies in the social, technological, and economic challenges facing society today, and the need for a revitalized knowledge system which incorporates both Indigenous and Eurocentric thinking. The new model she advocates is based on her experiences growing up in a Mi’kmaw community, and the decades she has spent as a teacher, activist, and university scholar.

Contents

Foreword by Rita Bouvier

Chapter 1
Introduction

Chapter 2
The Legacy of Forced Assimilative Education for Indigenous Peoples

Chapter 3
Mi’kmaw Education: Roots and Routes
Blending Mi’kmaw knowledge with Catholic knowledge
Nova Scotia’s Intervention in Mi’kmaw Education
Canada’s Intervention
1. Planting Out
2. Indian Residential Schools
3. Centralization Policy
4. Fiscal Transfers from Canada to Provinces
5. White Paper Policy on Equality
6. Indian Control of Indian Education Policy
7. Canada’s Apology

Chapter 4
Creating the Indigenous Renaissance
Collaborative Conscientization
Indigenous Methodologies
Constitutional Reconciliation
Establishing Transformative Principles in UN Law
1. International Labour Organization Convention 169, Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries (1989)
2. UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007)
Mi’kmaw Reform of Education
1. Mi’kmawey School: Bilingual Education
2. Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey
3. Mi’kmaw Immersion
The Blessed New Stories

Chapter 5
Animating Ethical Trans-Systemic Education Systems
Generating an Ethical Space for Decolonization
Decolonizing the Humanities
Decolonizing Science
Conclusion

Chapter 6
Confronting and Eliminating Racism
The Confrontation with Racism
Cognitive Construction of Racism
Manifestation of Hate Ideologies

Chapter 7
Respecting Aboriginal Languages in Education Systems
Aboriginal Language Learners
The Language Crisis and

Planning for Change
Stabilizing Aboriginal Languages: The Challenge
Complexity and Complementarity in Finding Solutions
Conclusion
1. Measuring outcomes
2. Success of Immersion
3. ALP planning
4. Ongoing systematic evaluation

Chapter 8
Displacing Cognitive Imperialism

Chapter 9
Recommendations for Constitutional Reconciliation of Education
Recommendations for Constitutional Reconciliation
1. Affirm Canada’s Commitment to Indigenous Knowledge
2. Recognize and Affirm Aboriginal and Treaty Rights as Creating Constitutional Educational Jurisdictions
3. Affirm Aboriginal Lifestyles and Intergenerational Use of Indigenous Knowledge
4. Affirm Aboriginal Teachings of Next Generations within Place
5. Develop and Support Indigenous Knowledge Innovations in Educational Institutions
6. Develop Opportunities to Learn in Order to Teach
7. Create new certification and standard setting for First Nations schools
8. Encourage Research and Innovations in Classroom Work
9. Adopt Principles and Guidelines for Respectful Protocols
10. Implement the UN Human Rights Covenants and the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
11. Implement the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
12. Protect Indigenous Knowledge and Heritage
13. Support First Nations’ Capacity to Oversee Use of Indigenous Knowledge
14. Develop Research and Capacity Building in Indigenous Knowledge and Pedagogy

Chapter 10
Possibilities of Educational Transformations
Recognizing and Affirming the Learning Spirit
Postcolonial Post-Secondary Education
Indigenous Self-Determination

References
Index

About the Author

Dr. Marie Battiste is a Mi’kmaq from Unama’kik (Cape Brenton, Nova Scotia), and a graduate of Harvard and Stanford. She is a professor in the Department of Educational Foundations, and Academic Director or the Aboriginal Education Research Centre, both at the University of Saskatchewan, and a United Nations technical expert on the guidelines for protecting Indigenous heritage. She is the editor of several books including First Nations Education in Canada and Reclaiming Indigenous Voice and Vision.