The culturally responsive education of Aboriginal peoples in all its diverse conceptions is a key component to the ongoing project of Aboriginal healing and self-determination. Culturally responsive research has the potential to gather reliable evidence that both informs and shapes those efforts.
There is an old story that relates that when the Creator created the four colours of humanity he gave each a primary gift that would become the foundation of their nations. The yellow skinned peoples received the gift of relationships, the red skinned peoples received the gift of holism, the dark skinned peoples received the gift of knowledge, and the white skinned peoples received the gift of movement. The four nations were close to the Creator, those gifts complimented the existence of each and there was no discord between them.
After a time, one by one, each nation moved away from the Creator and the gifts became the centre of disharmony and discord between the four. The story ends with this promise. The Creator will only let the four colours of humanity move away from him for so long, before he gathers us back to him and once again we will know unity and peace.
The beaded logo of the Maamaawisiiwin Education Research Centre is a visual reminder of that story and that promise.
We can all come together and work to a common end – unity and peace – while maintaining our epistemic heritage that is a gift from the Creator. The Anishinabe word Maamaawisiiwin, literally means “moving together as one.”