curriculum, transgender, health and physical education, educating teachers, Indigenous teachings, racism
Tara: What about the school curriculum? Do you see much evidence of non-normative families there? No. So growing up they didn’t have access to stories about queer families, children’s books in school?
Nicole: No, they did have some friends in school that identified as being trans. Like when they were quite young, actually.
Mita: So they were learning this socially but not in the curriculum.
Mita: The curriculum was not helpful at all actually and in their health classes and their sex ed. and stuff, the teacher would often look at Nikka or Thara and say, “Okay, do you want to explain this part?”
Tara: Oh my goodness.
Nicole: I would explain it because I used to be an AIDS educator. So the–I taught them a lot of stuff.
Mita: She was our person when the girls –it was like, it’s time to have the talk, it’s like okay, Nicole, this one’s yours.
Nicole: Let’s get Nicole to do this.
Tara: It’s different when it’s your own, right?
Nicole: Yah, yah.
Tara: So how did the girls feel about that? Being asked to be the experts, right? They were asked to be the experts on, on queer sex, I guess, is that it?
Nicole: And STIs, and… Actually Nikka was apparently the head of her class and would correct the teacher, and say “Well, you’re wrong on that”.
Mita: “Technically that’s now how that’s transmitted…” “And there are alternative birth control methods, and dental dams, and…”
Nicole: “And if you don’t have one you can use a condom.”
Tara: Cut it open… Wow. And were you ever invited to come participate in um the classrooms of the school. Sometimes parents are invited to talk about the things that they can talk about, right? And in your case there would be a lot you could talk about, you could probably be a super guest speaker to do the sex ed. Were you ever invited?
Mita: No, no. They did want some Native teachings at one point and said, “Could you come in and teach the class?” because they were doing that wrong too.
Nicole: Fifty dollars an hour.
Nicole: I didn’t hear back from them.
Mita: “No, we can’t do that”. Um, ‘cause they went off on a curriculum that was kind of skewed and wrong and we said to them, “Well actually that—that’s very racist the way that you’re teaching it, you might want to change that.”
Nicole: Or ask them “have you ever met a Native person before?”
Tara: Right. No. Were they open to hearing the critiques about racism?
Tara: Do you think they were equipped to kind of begin to revision the work that they were doing? They probably needed a whole lot of training.
Mita: They need a lot more training in it.