A friend sent me a link to this New York Times article, published on Monday, that is headlined “A College Built for Canadian Settlers Envisions an Indigenous Future.” It reads like a parody, but I have verified that the Times actually did publish it. It is about how universities across Canada are “indigenizing.” I will turn the floor over to my friend; the comments on the Times piece are his.
The college was built in the last century, modeled on the great American and British universities. It was imagined as a grand preserve of Western thought for the children of Canadian settlers, then flooding into the country’s youngest province in the prairies. …
Now, all that has changed. Universities across Canada are “indigenizing” — a new, elastic term that means everything from drawing more aboriginal students and faculty members onto campuses built largely for white settlers, to infusing those stodgy Western institutions with aboriginal belief systems and traditional knowledge.
Two smaller Canadian institutions introduced indigenous learning requirements for all undergraduates this past school year.
Hilarious! Yes, those “stodgy Western institutions” like Oxford, Cambridge, Paris, Bologna, Harvard and Yale. Sure…let’s “infuse[e]” them with “aboriginal belief systems and traditional knowledge” whatever that is…..
Of course, this is a problem:
Aboriginal scholars say that colonial education philosophies and aboriginal theories of knowledge are incompatible.
Just laughable! I can’t wait to compare and contrast “aboriginal theories of knowledge” with Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Hume, Kant and Wittgenstein…for starters…and I can’t wait to see, to paraphrase a snide remark made in a not dissimilar context, who is the Dostoyevsky of the aboriginals? (Answer: Dostoyevsky is the Dostoyevsky of the aboriginals — a universal, non-tribal greatness accessible even to aboriginals, raising them up as he raised up his own cultural confreres. That is the greatness of those “stodgy” universities.)
I’m also looking forward to all aboriginal “theories of knowledge” concerning physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, mathematics, architecture…who is the aboriginal Euclid, Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, Gauss, etc. ad infinitum.
This, however, has to be among the most fatuous, risible and utterly clueless remarks uttered by a university factotum, and there is plenty of recent competition:
Even Peter Stoicheff, the university’s president, recognizes the challenges.
“Universities are so inherently white and Western, when you start to push against it, you realized how intractable a lot of that is,” Mr. Stoicheff said.
“Everything is based on reading stuff,” he explained. “Everything is laid out in a hierarchical and linear fashion. Look at the aboriginal ways, from visual expression to the wampum belt, dances and oral storytelling. It’s not linear. Everything is based on the circle.”
“Universities are so inherently white and Western.” Well, duh! One of the great glories of our civilization, and one which the benighted of any tribe are invited to partake of!
This, however, IS right out of The Onion: “Everything is based on reading stuff.” Beyond belief.
Note, too, the New York Times using, intentionally and deliberately, left-wing terms of political correctness: “white settlers,” “colonial educational philosophies” and, of course “indigenous” and “aboriginal”. As the “woke” multi-cultural left well knows, “settler” is an especially loaded term. The anti-Israeli left uses it to describes Jews, and the ANC in South Africa to describe Dutch origin Afrikaners —- with the shared slogan, “one settler, one bullet”.
But you’ll never see the “woke” multicultural New York Times and its rabid left wing allies use the term to describe “refugees,” “migrants” or “undocumented workers” (“immigrants”), will you? So, the Canadians are “white settlers” but the waves of Asian and Muslims arriving are “immigrants.” OK. I wonder what they think of “aboriginal theories of knowledge.”
That was all from my friend. The Times article also says this:
Last year, the academic governing body agreed that all of the 17 colleges and schools, from dentistry to engineering, should include indigenous knowledge.
I am not sure what the Stone Age engineering of Native Americans can teach modern engineering students, but I know this for sure: when it comes to “indigenous” dentistry, count me out!