The eagle flies the highest in the sky, and in a coast salish story people would seek guidance from the eagle to gain knowledge of faraway places. This representational eagle wing relief was created to bring the knowledge to students as they seek guidance in their studies. -- Marissa Nahanee

 

Do you work in a faculty and/or department assisting with Indigenizing initiatives? Our Indigenizing program development guide provides some resources to start with.

Eurocentric monologue and the need for Indigenous curriculum

During the open forums held by the Aboriginal Reconciliation Council (ARC) members “heard that many faculty members wish to Indigenize their courses, but do not know how to do this or what resources are available to help them” (Walk This Path With Us, p. 33). Additionally, the Council heard multiple times that “non-Aboriginals know very little about Aboriginal history, languages, and cultures” (p. 16).

These two statements illustrate the same concern, that historically Indigenous knowledge and topics has been left out of the curriculum. As Marie Battiste (Mi’kmaw) writes, “Canada’s educational institutions have largely ignored, and continue to ignore, Indigenous knowledge and pedagogy” (p. 87). This has created a “Eurocentric monologue” (p. 87) in Canadian education institutions, and resulted in a knowledge imbalance since “the group that controls the meanings and diffusion of knowledge exercises power and privilege over other groups” (p. 96). In other words, “the authority structures of the university remain White, and the values of Whiteness continue to be naturalized” (Henry et al, 2016, p. 35). 

These values are often found in curriculum. As stated in the ARC report, “Racist attitudes are inherent in course design and materials” (p. 16). How can they not be, when universities and curriculum have foundations in Western-European knowledge and values? Indigenizing curriculum is about transforming curriculum and teaching practices to include Indigenous knowledges. It goes beyond adding Indigenous scholars to the syllabus (though that’s encouraged!) by “weaving or braiding together two distinct knowledge systems so that learners can come to understand and appreciate both” (Antoine et al, 2018, Section 1). 

Sources for general guidance and information

These resources here are recommended for general guidance and information.

For subject specific resources, contact your liaison librarian.

For curriculum support, contact the Centre for Educational Excellence (CEE).

Books

Articles

Case studies

Applying Indigenizing Principles of Decolonizing Methodologies in University Classrooms, Dustin William Louie, Yvonne Poitras-Pratt, Aubrey Jean Hanson, Jacqueline Ottmann, Ashley Pullman, Michelle Pidgeon, Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 2017, 47(3).

The Five R’s for Indigenizing Online Learning: A Case Study of the First Nations Schools’ Principals Course; Danielle Tessaro, Jean-Paul Restoule, Patricia Gaviria, Joseph Flessa, Carlana Lindeman, Carlana, and Coleen Scully-Stewart, 2018. 

Toward Being Inclusive: Intentionally Weaving Online Learning, Reconciliation, and Intercultural Development; Heather Williams, New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 2019 (157). 

Community of practice

Two-Eyed Seeing and other lessons learned within a co-learning journey of bringing together indigenous and mainstream knowledges and ways of knowing; Cheryl Bartlett, Murdena Marshall, and Albert Marshall, Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 2012, 2(4). 

Unsettling Faculty Minds: A Faculty Learning Community on Indigenization; Michelle Yeo, Liam Haggarty, Wathu Wida (Thomas Snow), Kent Ayoungman, Chatherine M.L. Pearl, Tanya Stogre, and Angela Waldie, New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 2019, 157.

Indigenizing pedagogy

An English Language Teacher's Pedagogical Response to Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission; Jennifer Walsh Marr, New directions for teaching and learning, 2019, 157.

As If Indigenous Knowledge and Communities Mattered: Transformative Education in First Nations Communities in Canada; Jessica Ball, American Indian Quarterly, 2004, 28(3/4). 

Changing the subject in teacher education: Centering Indigenous, diasporic, and settler colonial relations, Martin John Cannon, Cultural and Pedagogical Inquiry, 2013, 4(2).

Culturally Responsive Pedagogy: Indigenizing Curriculum; Karen Ragoonaden and Lyle Mueller, The Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 2017, 47(2).

Decolonizing Education in Canadian Universities: An Interdisciplinary, International, Indigenous Research Project; Marie Battiste, Lynne Bell, and L.M. Findlay, Canadian Journal of Native Education, 2002, 26(2). 

Indigenization as inclusion, reconciliation, and decolonization: navigating the different visions for indigenizing the Canadian Academy; Adam Gaudry and Danielle Lorenz, AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, 2018, 14(3). 

Untying a Dreamcatcher: Coming to Understand Possibilities for Teaching Students of Aboriginal Inheritance; Antionette Oberg, David Blades, and Jennifer S. Thom, Educational Studies, 2007, 42(2). 

Web resources 

Aboriginal Worldviews and Education [online course] Jean-Paul Restoule, University of Toronto (Note: This course is "intended for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal learners, this course will explore indigenous ways of knowing and how they can benefit all students.")

Building Relationships in Indigenous Education [video presentation, 1 hr 2 min] Ryan Neepin, Dr. Angela Nardozi (host), April 26, 2019

Decolonizing Pedagogies Teacher Reference Booklet [booklet] Heather E. McGregor, Service Project for Aboriginal Focus School, Vancouver School Board (via EDST 591 “Indigenous Epistemology and Curriculum"), 2012 

Indigenizing Curriculum | The Hub for Teaching and Learning Excellence [video presentation, 1 hr 2 min] Kim Anderson, College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, March 14, 2019

Indigenizing the Academy: Indigenous Perspectives and Eurocentric Challenges [video presentation, 1 hr 18 min] Marie Battisten & Sákéj Henderson, UWinnipeg, April 13, 2016

Indigenous storywork [website] Q’um Q’um Xiiem/Jo-ann Archibald (Note: "The purpose of this website is to help educators learn about Indigenous cultures and ways of knowing, predominantly through Indigenous traditional and life-experience stories.")

Interrupting the Academy: Decolonizing and Indigenizing the Curriculum [video presentation, 1 hr 17 min] Justin Wilson, Shirley Hardman, & Shelly Johnson, Simon Fraser University, November 3, 2020

Pulling Together: A guide for Indigenization of post-secondary school students [Indigenization guides] BCcampus (Note: The guides for Curriculum Developers, and Teachers & Instructors would be particularly helpful in Indigenizing your course, and the Foundations Guide is a great starting point in learning about Indigenous Peoples in Canada; furthermore, BCcampus released a two-part video presentation on an Introduction to the Curriculum Developers Guide for Indigenization in January 2021.)

Selecting Resources with Indigenous Content [video presentation, 1 hr 25 min] John Doran, Dr. Angela Nardozi (host), August 22, 2018

Stop Talking: Indigenous ways of teaching and learning and difficult dialogues in higher education [ebook] Ilarion (Larry) Merculieff and Libby Roderick, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2013 

Two-Eyed Seeing: Elder Albert Marshall’s guiding principle for inter-cultural collaboration [summary] Elder Albert Marshall, Thinkers Lodge, September 28 – October 1, 2017

What do Decolonization and Indigenization look like in the Classroom? [video presentation, 1 hr, 3 min] Shauneen Pete, Dr. Angela Nardozi (host), May 7, 2020

Whose land is it anyway? A manual for decolonization [ebook and audiobook, available in French] Taiaiake Alfred, Glen Coulthard, Russell Diabo, Beverly Jacobs, Melina Laboucan-Massimo, Arthur Manuel, Kanahus Manuel, Jeffrey McNeil-Seymour, Pamela Palmater, Shiri Pasternak, Nicole Schabus, Senator Murray Sinclair, & Sharon Venne, 2018

Curriculum materials

Did you know that SFU Library's Media and Maker Commons has a podcasting studio and a video recording studio? Both provide opportunities to incorporate storytelling and oral traditions (i.e. Indigenous pedagogy practices) into your classroom!

CBC Podcast in the Class: Free education resources for Canadian kids [podcast recommendations] CBC Podcasts, August 30, 2019 (Note: While the course materials are aimed at high school students, the episodes offer an introduction to topics such as the Indian Act, and impacts of colonization in Northern communities. Activities could be adapted as needed for a BC focus (e.g. the canoe mapping activity for the Secret Life of Water). In addition to the episodes with lesson plans, there are many more on Indigenous topics and people.)

Cree Syllabics Project [blog post] Kaia MacLeod, University of Alberta Library, June 25, 2020 (Note: The author, who is the Indigenous Intern at the University of Alberta Libraries, shares a project about making Cree syllabics using a 3D printer.)

Critical Understandings of Land & Water: Unsettling Place at SFU [film series] Amy Parent, 2021 (Note:"The film series is guided by Q’um Q’um Xiiem, Dr. Jo-ann Archibald’s Indigenous Storywork methodology (2008) to bring forward an important collection of stories on land based education in collaboration with respected Coast Salish Knowledge Holders and Simon Fraser University faculty.")

Decolonial atlas [map project] (Note: "The Decolonial Atlas is a growing collection of maps which, in some way, help us to challenge our relationships with the land, people, and state. It’s based on the premise that cartography is not as objective as we’re made to believe.")

First Peoples Principles of Learning [educational resources] Jo Chrona, 2014 (Note: "This site is created to help educators in British Columbia understand how they might incorporate the First Peoples Principles of Learning (FPPL) into their classrooms and schools." While aimed at high school educators, the author provides great information on the principles, using authentic Indigenous sources, and a professional development activity for educators. This activity could be adapted for students.)

How do you talk about Indigenous issues in the classroom? [collaborative project] University of British Columbia (Note:
"What I Learned in Class Today: Aboriginal Issues in the Classroom is a research project that explores difficult discussions of Aboriginal issues that take place in classrooms at the University of British Columbia." Available are videos, interviews, and discussion topics with accompanying workshop materials.)

Indigenous Education: The National Centre for Collaboration [website] (Note: The National Centre for Collaboration in Indigenous Education connects communities with each other to share their stories about Indigenous education across Canada and around the world. This website includes interviews, videos, and teaching resources for all age groups, from communities and nations across this place called Canada.)

Indigenous Writing since 1867: Once Neglected Now Celebrated [video series] (Note: The materials on this website were gathered for a course taught by Sophie McCall and Deanna Reder.)

Finding Indigenous Voices [guide] Indigenous Curriculum Resource Centre (ICRC), Simon Fraser University (Note: A guide that provides some tips on how to find Indigenous voices to help diversity your reading.)

Learning towards Reconciliation [guide] Indigenous Curriculum Resource Centre (ICRC), Simon Fraser University (Note: This page provides sources that introduces Indigenous topics, frame history in an Indigenous lens, and dispel commonly help myths about Indigenous Peoples.) 

The People and the Text: Indigenous Writing to 1992 [archival project] (Note: Following Indigenous ethics and protocols, this project website acts as an archive for Indigenous authorship to 1992. It contains interviews, biographical information, and bibliographies of authors.)

Virtual exhibits [museum exhibit] Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Simon Fraser University (Note: The museum's virtual exhibit include topics such as canoes and waterways, bentwood boxes, houses, and northwest coast totem poles. Each exhibit includes information and images on the topic.)

Sample assignments

Native land claims and treaties in BC, SFU Centre for Education, Law, and Society
Positionality statement, ENGL 359
Postionality statement and land acknowledgement workshop, Decolonizing the Library Interest Group
Wikipedia contributions, FNST/HIST 325 

ISTLD grant program database 
Search for the following grant programs:

  • Disrupting Colonialism through Teaching: An Integrated Seminar Series and Grants Program
  • Faculty Inquiry Grants: Decolonizing and Indigenizing Curricula

References

Antoine, A., Mason, R., Mason, R., Palahicky, S. & Rodriguez de France, C. (2018). Pulling Together: A Guide for Curriculum Developers. 

Battiste, M. (2013). Decolonizing education: Nourishing the learning spirit.

Henry, F., Dua, E., James, C.E., Kobayashi, A., Li, P., Ramos, H., & Smith, M.S. (2017). The equity myth: Racialization and Indigeneity at Canadian universities

SFU Aboriginal Reconciliation Council. (2017). Walk this path with us.