Honestly, I do not think there was ever an aspect of mathematics that were oppressive to me. Some notions were harder to grasp than some others but in general I wouldn’t call it oppressive. Maybe the only discriminative thing I saw was the fact that every formula, every mathematical discoveries were of the “Europeans”. Whether it be Thales or Pythagorus…it was always an European. But we all know that Egyptians were good in Maths, invented lots, and many Greeks mathematicians actually studied there. But never were we introduced to any Egyptian mathematician. I also heard that many of the ancient Greek formulas were actually originally from Egypt. In one word the Greeks got all the credit and the Europeans were also the ones that sort of wrote history, so….
I taught maths a lot too in elementary, and some kids liked it while some others did not. For those who seemed not to like it too much, I noticed that it was mainly a matter of language (language barrier); indeed, it was the Immersion Program and I was teaching in French. I noticed that as soon as I switched into English (to those students), they would grasp the thing right away. But I tried not to do it too much because they were in Immersion to improve their French.
Concerning ways in which Inuit mathematics challenge Eurocentric ideas about the purposes mathematics:
–Inuit children develop spatial representations differently than the ones in Southern Canada. Differently yes, but also more advanced. The only problem is that their strengths are not integrated into the curriculum.
-Furthermore, their mathematical ways goes by learning at the feet of an elder. The elder would give enigmas and that’s how the kids would get clues for mathematical problem solving.
-Lastly, I would be talking about the way they measure. Till today, Inuit people use part of their bodies to measure (completely different than the European system).