First Nations Education in Canada: The Circle Unfolds


355 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-7748-0517-X
DDC 371.97'97071





Edited by Marie Battiste and Jean Barman
Reviewed by Jean Manore

Jean Manore is a policy assistant at the Department of Native Affairs in


This excellent collection of articles is structured along the lines of
the Sacred Circle. The articles are divided into four sections, each of
which represents one of the four directions and seasons: the eastern
door is spring, representing a time of new light and new beginnings; the
southern door is summer, when continuity of relations through language
and custom is most apparent; the western door of autumn brings with it
incoherence and harsher realities; the northern door of winter
represents a time of endurance and continuing struggles.

The opening article, by Eber Hampton, is a stimulating exploration of
what education means to Native people. The articles that follow cover a
broad range of issues, including effective approaches to teaching, the
difficulties aboriginal people face in becoming teachers, Native vs.
non-Native conceptions of learning and appropriate curriculum,
aboriginal dropout rates, non-Native teachers in Native schools, and
legal issues surrounding government obligations toward Native education.
Accompanying the articles are brief author biographies and an extensive

This book is a must-read for teachers, academics, curriculum
developers, and government officials with an interest in aboriginal


“First Nations Education in Canada: The Circle Unfolds,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 23, 2024,