Friday, December 11, 2009

KISS - Keep it Simple, Stupid

Here's the basic idea.

After numerous failed attempts to reduce crime among their youth, native leaders and communities in Manitoba and Saskatchewan are proposing aboriginal school boards, a controversial idea even among first nations.

Some argue that this will get native kids up and moving and away from street crime.

Others suggest this will be a return to the nightmares of residential schools.

This polarization is not helping.

The truth and part of the solution to an ongoing tragedy in our midst lies, as it often does, somewhere in the middle.

Here and there, a few individual projects have been showing some glimmers of hope.

Winnipeg's Children of the Earth is a high school that seems to be helping aboriginal young people do better work.


If it's working support it. Fund it.

But do not leap to the conclusion that we now need a network or consortium or government institution of encrusted aboriginal separate schools.

The last thing that will possibly help alleviate what is and should be seen as a national disgrace (Have you visited Manitoba or Saskatchewan lately?) is a new bureacracy of any kind, let alone native education.

Look not for silver bullets and big sweeping changes, but for many modest LOCAL solutions.

Where aboriginal students are succeeding integrated into public schools, great.

Where they are not and someone is prepared to put together an alternative that may do a better job, fine.

But please do not go off madly re-inventing the wheel.

1 comment:

Jeff Taylor said...

David, perfectly said. I personally don't support segregated schools for any segment of society, BUT small success stories are always welcome. And, as you say in so many words, keep it simple, keep the Govt mostly out of it, and keep it local.