Taking Control: Power and Contradiction in First Nations Adult Education


288 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-7748-0493-9
DDC 371.97'97091133





Reviewed by George G. Ambury

George G. Ambury is an associate professor of adult education at
Queen’s University.


In this book, Haig-Brown uses the 1972 document Indian Control of Indian
Education, by the National Indian Brotherhood (one of the forerunners of
the Assembly of First Nations), as the basis of her investigation of
Vancouver’s Native Education Centre. Michel Foucault’s work on
contradiction and power provides the frame for her analysis of interview
data from students and staff/board members.

Taking Control is significant for three reasons. First, it provides a
useful model of the effective application of ethnography to aboriginal
education issues. Second, it illuminates the ongoing issues surrounding
power and control as they apply to aboriginal education. Third, and most
important, it features the voices not just of the external experts but
of the participants themselves. In doing so, it refuses to gloss over
the continuing difficulties faced by First Nations people as they
struggle to gain control of their own education.


Haig-Brown, Celia., “Taking Control: Power and Contradiction in First Nations Adult Education,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed December 4, 2023, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/29409.