First Nations Educator Maurice Nahanee on Shannen's Dream

I work as a First Nations Support Worker in North Vancouver BC. My duties include providing cultural and academic support to aboriginal learners k -12. In part this is accomplished by providing by hands on learning experiences such cutural art lessons, sharing of aboriginal world views by sharing songs and legends. I also work at providing academic support to non-aboriginal learners. by working with them one on one in the classroom.
Aboriginal education programs are severely underfunded. We try to provide meaningful experiences with very limited resources. It is like pushing boulder up a hill and the rest of the world is driving a truck loaded with rocks and just about everything else. One of the large obstacles of learning is a lack of early childhood testing of students capabilities. Psychological and physical testing would help us to design intervention programs, modify learning experiences and breakdown the stereotyping of aboriginal learners. Just because we are native does not always imply that we are limited in our learning ability. Acknowledging that our children arey beautiful, wonderful, excellent people goes a long way to developing their self esteem. Thank-you for shedding light on a plague in our communities and our need for help to build strong children and healthy communities.