Oct 222010

Publications iconKnowledge Building in an Aboriginal Context
Alexander McAuley

Abstract: The report on the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1996), the Kelowna Accord announced in 2005 (five-billion dollars) followed by its demise in 2006, and the settlement in 2006 for Aboriginal survivors of residential schools (1.9 billion dollars), are but some of the recent high-profile indicators of the challenges to Canada in dealing with the 500-year history of European contact with North America’s original inhabitants. While not without its challenges, the creation of Nunavut in 1999 stands apart from this history as a landmark for Inuit self-determination in Canada and a beacon of hope for other Aboriginal peoples. Building on the idea that educational change takes place within the intersecting socio-cultural contexts of the school and the larger world around it, and drawing on data from an eight-year series of design experiments in classrooms in the Baffin (now Qikiqtani) region of Nunavut, this paper explores the potential of knowledge building and knowledge-building technologies to support powerful bilingual (Inuktitut/English) and bicultural learning experiences for Aboriginal students.

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