Primary Research Report
“A Road Not Yet Taken”
In this Primary Research Report, one of the Elders responded to the question “What does Aboriginal literacy mean to you?” with an answer as provocative as it was enigmatic: literacy is “the beginning of a road not yet taken.” As a symbolic figure of speech, “a road not yet taken” conjures up the possibility of an unknown journey filled with wondrous possibilities. It is a positive image full of hope and optimism in what has yet to be tried. Recalling the American Poet Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken,” the phrase suggests that this road of literacy may lead to exciting new developments in the robust communities of Aboriginal people. In order to embark on the journey down this road, we need to develop new strategies for teaching literacy that will accommodate the multiple educational and social needs of Aboriginal adult learners and communities. To determine what these needs are, we need to listen to the voices of the Elders, adult learners, and literacy practitioners contained in this document. We also need to listen to the voices to highlight those current educational barriers that are curtailing the academic success of Aboriginal students. If we are attentive to the voices and understand their wisdom, concerns, and proposals, we will begin to travel along that road not taken to develop indigenization strategies for literacy that will enable learners and communities to meet their goals and aspirations.