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PREVENTING ABORIGINAL SUICIDE DOES A SHIFT IN THE DOMINANT SCHOOLING PARADIGM HOLD SOME PROMISE by R Lloyd Ryan PhD R Lloyd Ryan PhD P O Box 1072 Lewisporte NF Phone 709 535 8464 email lloydryannfsympaticocaIt is with growing alarm concern and compassion that we witness the continuing and growing high rate of suicide in Canadas Aboriginal community This phenomenon has numerous far-reaching and negative implications and up to the present few satisfactory explanations and fewer proposed solutions It is thus imperative that aspects of contemporary Aboriginal personal and community living that have not yet come under sufficient scrutiny be examined and analyzed not for anthropological or abstract sociological purposes but for intensely personal and life purposes It must be realized that sometimes it is that which is most ubiquitous and familiar which may be most ignored the assumption being that what is common is not significant An example is parasites borne by the river that has fed us for generations or heavy metals in our staple food both contributing to chronic health problems and both ignored because we expect severe dysfunction to have exotic and unfamiliar dress It is thus proposed that the existing predominant model of schooling in this case schooling of Aboriginal children come under careful scrutiny Aboriginals like most other Canadians have accepted now almost without question the principle that education is the key to a secure and happy future This principle may be as fraught with problems as the one-time equally-accepted principle that the earth was the centre of the universe and that the sun was just one of earths satellites Just as it was heresy to question the geo-centric universe it is now similar heresy to question the principle the dogma of the value of education It is now being questioned This may not be merely a questioning of the value of education whatever it is we mean
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