Education has long been used as a form of colonization, specifically in the process of assimilation and the European desire to gain control over Indigenous populations.   Since the introduction of settlers to North America, there has been a continual value placed on only one way of knowing, the European way.  As a result, the value of learning from elders and the hands on learning associated with this as a natural progression has gone to the wayside. The use of Residential Schools is an example of the extreme lengths gone to in order to colonize North America.  The whole process of Indigenous education was forgotten as generations of children were taught English, math, science, etc., while sitting in classrooms, reading from books, and being told how to think, rather than exploring subjects and ideas as they naturally arise.  The subjects and style of learning emphasized the lifestyle of the colonizers, and it was up to those colonized to fit in or face the consequences of not immersing themselves into the settler mentality.  It was also an obvious and harmful attempt at extinguishing the Indigenous lifestyle through intense assimilation practices, again showing that the Europeans viewed their worldview as the only one of value.


With Residential Schools being active in Canada until 1995, it is clear that the process of using education as a form of colonization has remained firmly in place throughout history.  Even today, most classrooms utilize the European style of education and teaching with students receiving grades on their and take tests on a schedule, rather than a more organic way of learning.  Interestingly, many historical events are taught from a European viewpoint and there are no compulsory courses solely focused on First Nations knowledge and history.  In fact, in Saskatchewan high schools, Native Studies is an elective course that is not even offered in all schools.  Although this style of education is a long way from the overt assimilation practices used in Residential Schools, it still subconsciously continues the prevalence of European dominance, which in turn promotes the harmful effects colonization.