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Inkameep Art Education Unit

A unit of instruction prepared by Dr. Robert Dalton and Dr. Bill Zuk
University of Victoria

Background Information: In the words of Mr. Walsh
Lesson 1: Petroglyphs and Pictographs
Lesson 2: Horses and the Economy
Lesson 3: From child to professional artist
Lesson 4: Integrated Arts
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This unit of instruction is intended for use in classrooms everywhere. The concepts and activities can be easily adapted to senior secondary students as well as to primary students. The four lessons comprising the unit draw upon the work of Anthony Walsh, a teacher at the Inkameep reserve school in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. Anthony Walsh taught there from 1932 to 1942; in many ways he was an educator ahead of his time. Inkameep Chief Clarence Louie acknowledges that Anthony Walsh and the day school model was one that worked very effectively in keeping young people on the reservation with their families, their language and culture intact. This was in marked contrast with the residential schools of the day where children were often separated by great distances from families, forbidden to speak their language and practice their traditional ways ­ a policy of assimilation sanctioned by the Government of Canada.

Though progressive in his ideas for the time, some readers may object to the language Anthony Walsh used or find some of his ideas paternalistic or influenced too strongly by religion. Our position is that we can learn from both his strengths and shortcomings. As a teacher, many of his lessons and teaching methods could be described as educationally sound and relevant today because he accommodated the language and cultural heritage of the Okanagan aboriginal people into the school program. The development of lesson themes in this unit grows out of Walshıs own writing during a ten-year period. Abridged statements are provided as part of this unit to gain a more intimate sense of Walshıs beliefs and values, and how teaching and learning experiences were developed.


We gratefully acknowledge the research assistance of Sarah Cook at the University of Victoria in preparing this unit of instruction.


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