MOOC's

So I started doing some free online courses through coursera.org.

These are classified as MOOC’s – Massive Open Online Class/Course.

Right now I’m taking a course through the University of Toronto called: Aboriginal Worldviews and Education.

The reason I wanted to take this course, nay, take a course on this topic for a very long time is because I am absolutely ignorant. It’s not something I’m proud of, especially because I am older now and I have gone to University. But I don’t know anything about Aboriginal People and I live in Canada where there is a large population of Aboriginals.

I started getting more and more interested in that particular part of my country’s history with my current job. I came in more contact with Aboriginal people than I ever have and sometimes, when they were trying to make me understand where they were coming from and why they saw things the way they did, I couldn’t really understand. Hell, my goddamn school has a whole ROOM for Aboriginal students. We also have a Prayer Room, but I digress.

I was able to go into the room earlier this month and it’s beautiful. Growing up my mother would sometimes be mistaken for Aboriginal when she is actually from India. With her dark hair and her complexion, she could pass for one and she used that to her full advantage, I am ashamed to say.

When I was in public school, we were not taught about Aboriginal history. Not really. I vaguely remember touching BRIEFLY on the subject in high school, but that is all. In the county where I grew up there was a high school that was on the edge of the local reserve so both Aboriginal student’s and ‘white’ students attended. It was notorious for having fights and stabbings. I don’t know how much of that was true or not as I didn’t attend there and I don’t know anyone who personally went there. This was also in the early to mid nineties in the middle of rural Ontario where tolerance and acceptance was maybe not high on the list of values taught to children.

So when I heard about this course I really wanted to take it so that I could finally learn about the cultures that make up my country. I find it slightly depressing that I know more about other cultures outside my country, like various Asian and Middle-Eastern cultures, but nothing of the wonderful cultures that have been in my country before Europe came.

I’m looking forward to all the things that I will learn!

Posted by Sarah Jayne

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