Indigenous Students and White Teachers: A Hard but Essential Talk (Session 1A)
Main Topic: Indigenous Knowledge, Perspectives, and Approaches
Session Type: Talk Story
The majority of indigenous students in the United States are taught by white teachers and attend schools led by white principals. Until the time that indigenous adults make up more of the teaching force in the US, teachers and administrators must actively explore the role of historic and present day racism and reflect on how white privilege may be affecting classroom and school practices. These issues can be hard to talk about, but reflection and discussion are the first steps to creating change. Please join me, a white educator with many years experience working in Alaska Native communities, for this safe, timely, and long overdue Talk Story. I will provide a safe setting to discuss this challenging topic. Our conversation will focus on the following questions:
- Why is this such a hard topic for so many people to discuss?
- In what ways does systemic racism continue to affect the educational lives of indigenous students?
- How can white and other non-indigenous teachers provide the most equitable and effective learning environments for their indigenous students?
- Potential attendees will have an opportunity to discuss the continuing role of racism in the education of indigenous students.
- Potential attendees will have an opportunity to discuss how the concept of white privilege continues to impact the education of indigenous students.
- Potential attendees will have an opportunity to reflect on their own beliefs and practices.
Keyword: indigenous students
Dr. Patricia McDaidEducational Consultant
Dr. Patricia McDaid has supported students with disabilities, their families, and their teachers for over 25 years and spent much of that time consulting to schools in Alaska Native villages. Her work has come to focus on the overrepresentation of indigenous students in special education and the disproportionate number of discipline referrals experienced by indigenous students. Coaching white and other non-indigenous teachers to create effective and equitable learning spaces often brings issues of white privilege and systemic and historical racism to the table. By providing historical information, prompting reflection, and providing a safe setting, Dr. McDaid believes change can happen.