View to the fu­ture

Role of hu­man­i­ties through Mi’kmaw lens ex­plored in new book

Cape Breton Post - - Arts/Entertainment - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF

A new book of Mi’kmaw schol­ar­ship will be launched Tues­day, May 16, at the Unama’ki Col­lege (L-151) at Cape Bre­ton Univer­sity.

Writ­ten by Pot­lotek na­tive and pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of Saskatchewan Dr. Marie Bat­tiste, “Vi­sion­ing a Mi’kmaw Hu­man­i­ties: Indi­g­e­niz­ing the Academy” in­cludes con­tri­bu­tions from 11 ed­u­ca­tors who show how gen­er­a­tions of in­dige­nous peo­ples have en­dured the Eu­ro­cen­tric ed­u­ca­tion forced upon them. The Eu­ro­cen­tric ap­proach has led to the loss of many in­dige­nous lan­guages, spir­i­tual iden­ti­ties and tra­di­tions linked to their ways of know­ing, dis­con­nec­tions from el­ders, lands and liveli­hood and much more.

Ac­cord­ing to Bat­tiste, the cur­rent vi­sion of hu­man­i­ties ed­u­ca­tion is a kind of “cog­ni­tive im­pe­ri­al­ism” that is its own author­ity to de­fine what is con­sid­ered nor­mal and de­sir­able.

“All other ways of think­ing, learn­ing and un­der­stand­ing the world are viewed as de­fi­cient,” she writes. “It’s the cog­ni­tive equiv­a­lent of racism.”

The book urges restora­tion with a vi­sion of society and of ed­u­ca­tion where knowl­edge sys­tems and lan­guages are re­in­forced, not di­luted, where they can re­spect­fully gather to­gether with­out re­sem­bling each other, and where peo­ples can par­tic­i­pate in the cultural life of a society, ed­u­ca­tion and their com­mu­nity with dignity.

Vi­sion­ing a Mi’kmaw Hu­man­i­ties is al­ready in book­stores and on-line stores, in­clud­ing as an e-book. Ev­ery­one is in­vited to the May 16 launch.

SUB­MIT­TED IMAGE

The cover a new book on Mi’kmaw schol­ar­ship, Vi­sion­ing a Mi’kmaw Hu­man­i­ties, writ­ten by Dr. Marie Bat­tiste.

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