Indigenous education in Canada comprises education for Indigenous learners at all ages and levels and learning about the Indigenous cultures or knowledge, language, and history for all learners in educational systems. The journey of Indigenous people towards self-determination for Indigenous education in Canada remains a primary challenge for the policymakers, Indigenous organizations, and the government. Self-determination strategies are not new; they originated in traditional education forms made for and by indigenous peoples. Colonial educational policies implemented by the federal government and church that separated Indigenous children from their communities and families disrupted these authentic Indigenous approaches through boarding and Indian residential schools for over a century. These colonial educational policies and legislation negatively influenced generations of Indigenous people, which led to lower levels of education among Indigenous people than among the non-indigenous people in Canada. That is why the organizational change in education is required.
A dominant discourse in Canadian society generally and Canadian education entails reconciliation explicitly. Reconciliation cannot happen for Indigenous peoples until education systems ensure that Indigenous people play a crucial role in programmatic decisions and making policy. Indigenous knowledge systems are responsibly and respectfully placed in education at all levels. Indigenizing education or the academy is another common discourse that cannot occur without the direct involvement of Indigenous people in important decision-making approaches (White & Cooper, 2017). In Canada, the Indigenous education landscape shows signs of steady yet slow growth through Indigenous knowledge strategies to research, learning and teaching, and Indigenous self-determination.
Successful change may be hindered by how these factors are managed. To obtain the support of the organization members, the active ways include communication, involvement, education, and participation (Beycioglu & Kondakci, 2020). Passive ways to eliminate resistance from members include negotiation control, assistance, and coercion. Before adapting to the need for organizational change, it is best to understand the process to ensure that change is adopted correctly.
Need for Indigenous Education Leadership Change in Canada
Ongoing trends of low academic achievement and associated measures of economic, social, and physical well-being for Indigenous students’ post-graduation fueled the need for Indigenous leadership. The education attainment of Indigenous students remains behind that of non-indigenous peers despite attempts to increase the number of Indigenous school leaders and gain control of Canadian education from the hands of non-indigenous actors (Coates et al., 2020). This is evidenced by low graduation rates, high drop-out rates, and unequal referrals to special services and programs. For these indicators to improve, the commitment to the preparation, retention, and recruitment of school leaders who are culturally capable and who mirror the beliefs and values of indigenous peoples and communities across the nation must be reinforced. It is essential for practitioners and academics to reflect upon how leadership is practiced in schools across the country if it is to be used to transform schools into empowerment sites for indigenous students (Coates et al., 2020). Leadership is multilayered and primarily shaped by the contexts in which it occurs. Effective leadership should be in the hands of those who are often viewed as being led instead of leading rather than in the hands of a singular authoritative figure.
The diversity and geographic location dispersion of Indigenous students and the schools they attend complicates the ability to lead effectively in schools that serve Indigenous students. Educational leadership has been acknowledged as a significant factor in raising achievement, particularly among Indigenous students. The cultural and ethnic backgrounds of leaders have mostly been given less consideration (David, 2018). However, a strong focus has been on identifying generic leadership characteristics and practices that positively impact students with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. However, a focus on leading education and schooling requires an accompanying focus on indigenous ways of enacting educational leadership to ensure better results for indigenous students.
Reason for the Creation of Indigenous Leadership Program in Canada
It is crucial to uphold and honor a given system’s values. Society normally teaches native people to throw away their cultural identity to be successful. However, from the historical perspective, cultural identity loss is disadvantageous to people and their existence. It is evident that individuals who have lost their cultural identity suffer enormous losses, such as unemployment (Povey et al., 2021). Therefore, it is necessary to develop programs that can preserve the values, traditions, culture, and history to enable these groups of people to have opportunities and success. There are numerous reasons to support the creation of indigenous education leadership programs. One of the main reasons is that creating new leaders requires that the existing leaders take control and mentor the upcoming indigenous leaders in education (David, 2018). Currently, it is very challenging for Aboriginal leaders to be trained because of the Western culture assimilation. The rules, policies, and laws favor Western society’s needs, making it difficult for indigenous education leadership.
The Processes of Organizational Change in Canada
Several teachers, academics, and other leaders in the Indigenous education field have to concentrate on more than just jurisdictional concerns for exploring Indigenous peoples and their issues. The pedagogies and content used to provide learning opportunities for secondary and primary students have to utilize the Canadian Indigenous aspects of experience in many communities and provincial contexts that directly relate to mathematics, language, and other curricular areas. Constitutional rights, legislative issues, and treaty relationships should be part of these educational discourses (Archibald – Q’um Xiiem, 2020). However, they must not be explored in such a way that leads to the growth of a perception governed by jurisdictional matters only.
District and school leaders responsible for empowering and governing educators to account for the developing educational imperatives associated with existing Indigenous education should respond to the view that Indigenous content may be celebrated, shared and inform the growth of a balanced perception of the Canadian Indigenous experience that is approving (Gilmer, 2019). Canadian education leaders have a public responsibility to facilitate the provision of balanced, respectful, and appropriate opportunities for learning that will enhance citizenship and character growth, which is essential to the Canadian context (Wimmer, 2016). Supporting and recognizing that the Indigenous experience in Canada symbolizes spiritual, traditional, cultural, language-based, and expressive dimensions may be a vital step for classroom and school leaders in providing such opportunities for learning
The Importance of Organizational Change in Educational Organizations
In a changing environment, organizational change is essential to ensuring that a public organization remains important. An organization will maintain its relevance and productivity over time if it is able to convey change well and will become irrelevant, increasingly dysfunctional, and unproductive if it is not able to change. An organization will endure higher costs in finances, productivity, reputation, and opportunity than required when attempting to change if the change is not well managed (Beycioglu & Kondakci, 2020). The reasons why change within organizations like schools is needed include the following;
It is important to have an organizational change in organizations like schools due to the presence of performance gaps. A performance gap only means that the objectives and the goals of an organization are not being satisfied or others’ needs are not being met (Beycioglu & Kondakci, 2020). For instance, achieving high academic excellence in schools is one of the goals that cut across school institutions. Therefore, to close these gaps, it is necessary to enact change.
A crisis is another factor that brings the need for organizational change. When an organization finds itself in a crisis, change becomes necessary. It aids in correcting some of its activities or processes that may have become unproductive or ineffective. To discard these processes, instigating change helps the organization endure challenging times (Fan & Liu, 2020). When crises occur abruptly, they are considered negative changes in management, administration, security, societal, environmental, or political affairs.
Reaction to Internal and External Pressure
In addressing internal and external pressure, organizational change is significant. Employees and management, particularly the ones in organized unions, mostly apply pressure for change. Competition, customers, shareholders, financial markets, and changing government regulations are external pressure sources. We have the worker’s union in broad and teacher’s union in specific in the education setting. We have the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA) in Tanzania, for instance, which is responsible for advocating workers’ rights in general, and the Tanzania High Learning Institutes Trade Union (THTU) and the Tanzania Teachers Union (TTU) specifically for the teachers’ rights. The way schools operate their daily activities can be influenced by these two bodies, which is called external pressure (Fan & Liu, 2020). In meeting these pressures, organizational change becomes essential.
New Technology and Technological Advancement
Organizations need to keep up the pace to maintain changing technology since technology is changing at a very high speed. Organizational change can be initiated by finding new technology and more economical and effective methods to execute work. It becomes very wise for an institution to adopt efficient and economical methods as they come along. Improved technologies that can maximize the results may also come along (Beycioglu & Kondakci, 2020). Organizational change becomes significant here, where it changes according to the new technologies available, making change essential in dealing with emerging technological advancements within society. A school is helped to edge its competitors when its ways of performing work are transformed in line with the new technologies.
An Urge to Increase Work Performance
Increasing work performance is one of the importance of organizational change. Performance gaps might not be necessary, but there might be just the need to improve work performance (Beycioglu & Kondakci, 2020). This might be because an organization may not want other institutions to catch up with them. For example, to prevent other schools from catching up, a school performing well in a certain region may decide to make changes. It continues its dominance in the region by increasing work performance.
The Structures of the Proposed Change
Indigenous communities face unemployment, food security, colonialism, poor health, social exclusion, poverty, racism, and limited access to housing, among many other issues daily. Indigenous students face these issues as well to varying degrees. These are the results of people, programs, policies as well as politics that failed to acknowledge the skills and values of the indigenous nations in Canada. Schools that lack the capacity to change face a challenge of student achievement for communities of difference, such as Metis, First Nations, and Inuit (Fan & Liu, 2020).
Schools that lack the tools and resources to tackle these differences are disadvantaged. The Indigenous students’ results will continue to increase at an unacceptable and unfair pace. It is crucial to find change that is more likely to bring positive results to curb this problem. It is, therefore, necessary that diversity, holism, and engagement are employed or enacted in an organization (Beycioglu & Kondakci, 2020). Change can take on different structures depending on how effective the results will be. For this change to be effective, it has to start in the classroom, the school, the community, and finally, the globe.
A classroom is where knowledge exchange occurs and can happen either inside a building or outside the classroom. It contains teachers and students involved in different relationships of learning. It is also a place where students can be empowered or disempowered by pedagogy (Fan & Liu, 2020). Furthermore, it is a miniature society that contains either negative or positive outcomes for several people. The proposed change has to start in the classroom, increasing the likelihood of success.
There are critical factors that are necessary for indigenous inclusive spaces. The first is that students’ expectations are flexible, realistic, and supported by peers, critical friends, and teachers. Secondly, the activities within the classroom are socially relevant and differentiated and foster imagination, creative action, and exploration (Beycioglu & Kondakci, 2020). Thirdly, learning in students is expressed in different forms that challenge students to attempt a variety of methods and honor diversity. The students’ experiences are acknowledged as fundamental to creating operational knowledge and a welcoming classroom.
There are about 15,500 schools in Canada, 2000 mixed, 3400 are secondary, and 10,100 are elementary. There are 919 secondary and 3974 elementary schools in Ontario. Each school board in Ontario contains some Indigenous students attending kindergarten to Grade 12. There are conditions that facilitate indigenous inclusion in schools. The first is that a school is an open space of learning in which the community members have diverse expertise and work with staff and students. Secondly, school leadership is shared with the community, students, and teachers, and education promotes collaboration and trusts at the core (Beycioglu & Kondakci, 2020). The third condition is that students are provided with support by school-based structures with various challenges or issues. Lastly, in evidence-based practices focused on equity or access, professional learning for staff and teachers is integrated and appreciated.
A community can be defined s people or individuals living in one particular area due to their common interests, nationality, or social group. A community, according to indigenous definitions, identifies specific participants who are mostly verb-based. These definitions take on a more holistic strategy and include all beings: animals, plants, human beings, the seen and the unseen, and the relationships among them (Fan & Liu, 2020). This description is more appropriate for a multicultural understanding of the community factors impacting expanded views of a student’s achievement.
There are several competencies essential to student and community success. The first is that meaningful school-community agreements and partnerships are based on respect, trust, time, actualized plans, reciprocity, and relevance. Secondly, students commit to volunteering in action-oriented projects that mirror expanded definitions and develop enriched community descriptions. Thirdly, the programs that prevent substance abuse prevent bullying, and de-stigmatize mental illness are employed with socially relevant resources (Beycioglu & Kondakci, 2020). The reviewing and monitoring of domain competencies relating to school properties and student learning involve knowledge keepers, Metis senators, and Elders.
Global education is best described as asking a new and challenging question regarding the negations, erasures, and omissions of schools’ identities, histories, practices, cultures, and representations. This definition supports the aspects of Indigenous global education conceptions. The addition of identifying and living with the earth as our mother, however, will be added here (Beycioglu & Kondakci, 2020). A quality learning environment that honors the universal perspectives has several competencies that are mirrored within (Beycioglu & Kondakci, 2020). Firstly students understand and confront the situations and unequal power associations that have formed unequal privileges and benefits between nations. Secondly, promoting sacred connections and Indigenous earth knowledge of the land is vital to social existence and developing a sense of purpose. Thirdly, the relations with students all over the globe to share experiences and discuss the difficulties that these generations encounter, with an outcome of creative action. Lastly, the idea of pursuing education and schooling as a social resource is anticipated for humanity’s well-being.
After an organizational change is adopted within the organization, potential outcomes can be produced from the induced change. Organizations adapt to change for various reasons, as they expect positive results from embracing certain changes within the organization to boost their performance (Beycioglu & Kondakci, 2020). If an organization embraces inclusion, holism, diversity, and engagement, the following outcomes are to be expected.
Success and Well-Being
Success varies for every person, which can only be made possible by recognizing a sense of self-worth in every individual. Positive self-worth and the belief that your contributions and ideas matter is connected to a strong sense of identity (Fan & Liu, 2020). Inclusion and reflection of the culture of a community in a school promote engagement in learning and the development of a strong sense of identity. Confidence, determination and resilience, and the motivation for learning support success.
The ability to deal with challenges is aided by the ability to self-regulate, which also contributes to success in life and learning. When all learners are offered equal opportunities and conditions, they tend to be more confident in themselves, determined, and motivated since they know that their contributions are appreciated. The chances of success will increase considerably within the school, leading to improved performance (Fan & Liu, 2020). This is due to the fact that some of the most innovative and successful education systems worldwide are founded on equitable educational and social opportunities.
Improved Student Results
Ninety-five percent of Canadian children are born with a solid potential to thrive, learn and grow. This, however, changes as they get older, which confirms the urgent need to input changes in the education system. When Canadian children start school, only 25% are responsible for their development (Fan & Liu, 2020). The measure for basic skills is about the language, social, physical, mental, and emotional growth of a child not being school ready. This implies the need to support children even before they begin schooling (Fan & Liu, 2020). This further requires the collaboration of communities, families, parents, and other government departments. When the children are supported from an early stage as they continue to grow, they are guided towards success, which will improve their results.
Learning is impacted by all types of learning in which children are all born with the desire to build relationships and make meaning. Having a trusting student-teacher relationship is important for a caring and safe school environment, which leads to improving performance within the institution. Having these relationships is only possible when there is inclusion within the organization, which counters the effect of social-economic difficulties in students’ lives. To create a positive space for students to learn, there is a need for strong relationships at school. It is vital to connect schools to the student’s daily lives and the places they live (Fan & Liu, 2020). This is because the school must mirror the community and belong to it. Students must be supported by their teachers in learning about the larger world, their world, and how the two connect. To promote the growth of students’ learning, teachers must also be supported to build relevant and engaging learning experiences.
The primary concern of the paper was to explain the need for organizational change especially indigenous education leadership in Canada. The paper explains the need for indigenous education leadership change, proposed change, and the organizational change’s potential outcomes. As discussed in the paper, it is self-evident that change is suitable for an organization willing to improve its performance. The most accurate way of doing this change is by ensuring that the indigenous leadership is included within the organization, making it comfortable for the students, teachers, and the community to collaborate to improve the results or the performance or produce much better results for the organization. Therefore, it follows that organizational change is a vital component of organizational growth, as those organizations that are always willing to embrace change end up being successful.
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