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Reclaiming Disability through Pimatisiwin: Indigenous Ethics, Spatial Justice, and Gentle Teaching

Ethics, Equity, and Inclusive Education

ISBN: 978-1-78714-153-7, eISBN: 978-1-78714-152-0

Publication date: 9 May 2017


The situating of pimatisiwin as a framework for spatial justice and self-determination aids educators in strengthening their understandings of Indigenous knowledges to support an authentic inclusion of Indigenous students with disabilities. Through the sharing of Canada’s colonial history, and by critically examining the principles of care within special education, the author exposes its relationship with ableism, normalcy, eugenics, and white privilege to show how Indigenous peoples continue to be marginalized in the twenty-first century. This justice work asks educators to shift their perspectives of inclusion and wellness through the insertion of an Indigenous lens, one to help them see and hear the faces and voices of disabled Aboriginal children and their kinships. The chapter discusses the social model of disability, the psychology of Gentle Teaching, Indigenous ethics, and principles of natural laws through the voices of Nehiyawak and other knowledge keepers, in order to suggest an agenda for educators to come to an understanding of an emancipatory and gentle education. Spatial justice and Indigenous epistemologies merge as synergistic, inclusive, and holistic entities, to support Aboriginal children and youth as both they and those who teach learn to celebrate disabled ontologies. The chapter concludes by presenting how Gentle Teaching and Indigenous ways of knowing should be honored in this quest of creating an equitable, caring, and inclusive society for all disabled Indigenous children and youth.



Kress, M.M. (2017), "Reclaiming Disability through Pimatisiwin: Indigenous Ethics, Spatial Justice, and Gentle Teaching", Ethics, Equity, and Inclusive Education (International Perspectives on Inclusive Education, Vol. 9), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 23-57.



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