In “Unsettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada,” Paulette Regan writes about An Unsettling Pedagogy of History and Hope to which I have chosen to respond critically. I have selected Regan’s work because she presents a multitude of ideas from various educators, scholars and activists about decolonization, but also this intriguing issue of finding critical hope. I was engaged with the reading as I jotted down annotations while beginning to form more of an understanding for what started out in this course as not much more than something represented by the keyword “assimilation.” For the purposes of this paper I will summarize and address what I feel is important from the reading to my own learning of indigenous-settler relations. In responding to An Unsettling Pedagogy of History and Hope, I question the reliability in the paradox of unsettling in order to settle, the problem of an often “invisible whiteness” and the way in which this perpetuates colonial roles.
Bitter and weakened relationships between settlers and indigenous peoples have been worn, broken and repaired only for the cycle to repeat. Regan refers to decolonization as being a necessity for authentic reconciliation (Regan 20). In order to do this, we must engage in meaningful dialogue with each other so that both historical facts and life stories can be unpacked together. It is a collective struggle with what remedy in sight? It is crucial to not only acquire knowledge but to critically think about it in order to take social action. This is highlighted much throughout Regan’s article. According to transformative educator Daniel Schugurensky, individual critical reflection may not lead to transformative social action but may cause a state of paralysis – a feeling of helplessness. It is suggested that transformative learning can only happen when “critical reflection and social action are part of the same process (Regan 22). I agree...
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