Coalescing in Cohorts: Building Coalitions in First Nations Education

By van der Wey, Dolores | Canadian Journal of Education, December 2007 | Go to article overview

Coalescing in Cohorts: Building Coalitions in First Nations Education


van der Wey, Dolores, Canadian Journal of Education


Cohorts are commonly formed in Indigenous undergraduate and graduate education programs. In this article, I have examined the notion of coalition building in the context of First Nations graduate cohorts. I interviewed women from a range of cohort experiences, asking--Is intra-group and inter-group coalition building a priority within cohorts? From these interviews, I conclude that cohorts ought to be sites for intra-group coalition work among First Nations students, and that the cohort experience should prepare students for inter-group encounters as well.

Key words: intra-group dynamics, inter-group dynamics, cross-cultural communication

La formation de cohortes est une chose courante dans les programmes d'education de premier et de deuxieme cycles s'adressant aux autochtones. Dans cet article, l'auteure examine la notion de coalition dans le contexte des cohortes de diplomes autochtones. Des entrevues effectuees aupres de femmes de diverses cohortes au sujet de leurs experiences au sein de cohortes et dans des contextes interculturels ont fait emerger une nouvelle question : la mise sur pied de coalitions intragroupe ou intergroupes estelle une priorite au sein des cohortes? L'auteure conclut que les cohortes devraient etre des lieux favorisant le travail de coalition intragroupe chez les etudiants autochtones et que l'experience de la cohorte devrait aussi preparer les etudiants a des rencontres avec d'autres groupes.

Mots cles: dynamique intragroupe, dynamique intergroupes, communication interculturelle

**********

In his essay, "What Is It About Us That You Don't Like?" Thomas King (2003) begins a story about Coyote and the Ducks with Coyote noticing a group of ducks swimming in a river. It was his daily ritual to come down to the bank to admire his beautiful fur coat, which was reflected in the river. He observed the ducks' lovely, long, well-tended, glowing feathers. Coyote noted how they sang and danced, and swam around in circles. The Ducks explained to Coyote that they danced to achieve peace and harmony and their singing was to keep all in balance. Swimming in circles, they explained, served to remind everyone of their relationship to the earth. It quickly became apparent that Coyote's objective, when he asked for one feather and then returned for more, was to meet his own selfish needs and desires without concern for how he was bilking the ducks in the process.

King uses this story as a springboard to provide readers with his overview of how federal policies in the United States and Canada have served and continue to serve both to relieve Native people from land and to legalize Native people out of existence. It is a convincing story. He takes up the issue of Indian identity, noting how, in Canada, the Indian Act (1) has paternalistically defined who is an Indian and who is not, suggesting that amendments within the act have the power to "make Indians disappear in a twinkle" (p. 132). As King points out, the outcome of identity legislation has not solely been to remove all traces of Indians from the North American landscape; it has been to pit Native against Native. The creation of legal categories has, he argues, speaking from the perspective of a Native person, made us our own enemy. The messiness of issues of Indian identity is pervasive in King's essays, the source of which may be tied to identity legislation where questions such as "Who is an Indian?" have become "Whom will we allow to be an Indian?" King's views on this topic, I suggest, serve as well to illuminate solipsistic stances about what indigenous knowledge is, what constitutes an Indigenous ontology, and accordingly, what it is to be an Indian. I support King's argument that there are many ways to be Indigenous and suggest that to be Indigenous may be partially underpinned with the messages relayed by the ducks in King's story.

King alludes as well to what he terms "the uninformed public" who resent what they consider to be gifts paid to Native people. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Coalescing in Cohorts: Building Coalitions in First Nations Education
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.