Curriculum Integration and the Forgotten Indigenous Students: Reflecting on Métis Teachers’ Experience

Abstract

Curriculum integration, or in other words, changing what students are taught within racially desegregated Canadian schools, has served as a primary but incomplete pathway to racial justice. In this paper, I present evidence from a qualitative critical race theory (CRT) methodological study with 13 Métis teachers to demonstrate how curricular integration has been framed as a key solution to inequitable outcomes concerning Indigenous students. This strategy has been instilled within the Saskatchewan K–12 education system by a wide spectrum of authorities over several decades. Although absolutely essential for multiple reasons, I argue that teaching students about Indigenous knowledge systems and experiences, as well as anti-racist content, cannot resolve the systemic racial injustices encountered by Indigenous students who attend provincial schools. In particular, three CRT analytical tools—structural determinism, anti-essentialism, and interest convergence—are utilized to examine the limitations of curricular integration as a strategy of racial justice.

Keywords: Métis teachers; Indigenous education; critical race theory; integrated schools

Author Biography

Carmen Leigh Gillies, University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Carmen Gillies is faculty with the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program and an adjunct professor with Educational Foundations at the University of Saskatchewan.  

 

Published
2021-06-03
Section
Articles