What I remember the most from my experience of Mathematics classes in Mexico during elementary school is the fear we all had when the time to solve Math problems in front of the class arrived. I am not completely sure if there were deliberate oppressive and/or discriminatory conducts towards me or other students. However, if I relate my experience with the one of the Inuit Community, I could associate it with the fact that many of the knowledge of the Mesoamerican cultures that were in Mexico before we were colonized was lost. Except from one small topic of the Maya numbers that teachers need to teach us during primary school, everything else in that regard was erased.
After reading Poirier’s article Teaching Mathematics and the Inuit Community, I found very interesting the fact that Inuit Community is still able to teach and learn their perspective of mathematics and its different aspects in their own perspective. The first aspect in which I consider Inuit Community challenges the Eurocentric vision of Mathematics is the fact that children in the Inui Community can still be taught Mathematics from their perspective in, at least, the first four grades of their school journey. Alongside this aspect relies the second challenging idea. Inuit children are not only taught Mathematics, but also are acquiring their mother tongue. They learn to count in their own native language, even when other people see it as a difficult thing for kids to do. Last but not least, the third way in which I believe Inuit Community challenges Eurocentric ideas regarding Math is the way in which they continue to use their body as a measurement system for their everyday activities.
Portier, L. (2007). Teaching Mathematics and the Inuit Community. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 7(1), 53-67. DOI: 10.1080/14926150709556720