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RESOLVE to become aware of Indigenous perspectives and people

October 18, 2011 — 

Dr. Marlene Atleo

Dr. Marlene Atleo addresses teacher education programming’s integration of Aboriginal Education coursework and cultural identity.

On Monday October 17th, faculty of education professor, Dr. Marlene Atleo, presented at the RESOLVE Research Day 2011 event at the University of Manitoba. RESOLVE is a research network that coordinates and supports research and education for solutions to violence and abuse. This year RESOLVE has selected to focus on the Native Residential Schools and overcoming the trauma and generational impact of those institutions. The keynote speaker, Tomson Highway spoke about his Days at a Residential School.

Dr. Atleo presentation was titled “Repositories of Trauma: Indigenous Peoples in Settler Societies.” She discussed the concept of “group apraxia” (Neal), which is the conceptualization of a state in which public policy states one thing and social intentionality through public process produces another. She explains that, “The gap between policy and process is pertinent to teacher education programming since one of the requirements for teacher credentialing is a course in Aboriginal Education.”

As part of the discussion Dr. Atleo asked the question, How could public policy be subverted through public processes then achieve the opposite? She explains that for teacher education programs, “public policy is about integrating Aboriginal perspectives in schooling in which the nature of that integration may further civilize or assimilate. The discussion that took place in this session encouraged the participants to attempt to understand such social processes through the Jung (the Shadow) and transference in the process of creating stigmatized Aboriginal stereotypical identities. In the context of Indian Residential Schools, the process of counter traumatization could be understood as sublimated trauma of settler histories prior to immigrating to Canada which are transformed into intergenerational denial of abuse, violence and trauma in the context of Indian Residential School truth and reconciliation processes.”

Dr. Atleo stressed that the question for teacher education is, what are the ways and means to de-stigmatize and re-claim identities, roles, positions, cultures and peoples. She provided time during her presentation to discuss the issues with participants and the need to both decolonize and raise awareness of Indigenous perspectives and people.

For more information visit the RESOLVE website at

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