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How Canadian Public Schools Undermine Indigenous Humanity: Educational Administration and Ongoing Colonialism



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This thesis is a non-empirical, anticolonial, historical, and political analysis of policy and public education in Canada. I examine the socio-cultural and ideological foundations of Western education and the ongoing colonialism within the public education system in Canada. Central to my theoretical framework is understanding how the white settler state is created and maintained in Canada. My focus on white settler colonialism is important as it will highlight how the whiteness of public schools and their administration maintains erasure and genocide through policy. After decades of blaming and fixating on the Indigenous youth viewed as incapable of succeeding in the Canadian public education system, it is time to shift the gaze back to the system itself. What is this system that claims to support the integration of Indigenous youth into its masses while simultaneously further oppressing them via discipline and surveillance efforts? In order to understand the problem of the Canadian public school system undermining Indigenous humanity, we need to understand the system itself and how, and by whom, it is maintained. How does this system remain intact? We have been working towards the inclusion of Indigenous youth into the public education system for decades with little to no improvement. What keeps this system of harm alive? How does it reproduce itself? In order to understand the problem of Indigenous youth being failed by the public education system in Canada, a critical history of the policies and ideologies that inform education, specifically public education, is needed. As a white settler and educator working within the system I am critiquing, I hope to highlight the challenges in supporting Indigenous peoples’ sovereignty. This thesis is part of my own journey in understanding the forces that shape us and the systems we simultaneously uphold and are troubled by.



Public Education, Colonialism, Educational Administration



Master of Education (M.Ed.)


Educational Foundations


Educational Foundations


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