Grade 12 Canadian history : a postcolonial analysis
Farmer, Thomas Scott
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The History 30: Canadian Studies Curriculum Guide and the History 30: Canadian Studies A Teacher's Activity Guide provide teachers of grade twelve Canadian history direction and instruction. This thesis analysis how these guides function as sources of historical information to maintain and create an Euro-Canadian national identity which normalises and naturalises the dominant position of Euro-Canadians within the historical narrative of Canada's development from a colony to a modern nation. The purpose of this thesis is to identify how this teaching of history alienates Aboriginal students whose culture, values, and history are not validated by this historical narrative, but instead are marginalized. Saskatchewan Learning, the government department responsible for education in Saskatchewan has attempted to avoid this marginalizing by including Aboriginal content and perspective into the content and teaching strategies of the guides. However, by using a postcolonial analysis this thesis demonstrates that the inclusion of Aboriginal content and perspective does not change the narrative structure of Euro-Canadian history and as a result the efforts of Saskatchewan Learning are not successful. This analysis exposes how the language, structure and logic found in the guides maintain a colonised dichotomy between Aboriginal peoples and Euro-Canadians. Nevertheless, the goal of this research is not to attack or blame, but to add to the discussion amongst educators about how to improve the educational experiences of Aboriginal youth.