Learning to include Indigenous knowledge in the classroom

Posted on September 29th, 2017

Classroom

As summertime began to wane a few weeks back, I began my usual reflections about prepping for my university teaching responsibilities. Getting back into the classroom with my graduate students always carries a sense of excitement.

Teaching is a deeply personal act for most of us. We bring who we are and what we care about, encountering students who have weighty hopes and dreams. It’s an awesome responsibility.

But this year is different from others. There is a new duty felt by teachers at all levels of our education system to make good on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) calls to action, creating both a critically important opportunity and an unease about our preparedness.

Nation-wide, there are increasing efforts on the part of many universities, collethoges and schools to “Indigenize” our curriculum and to “decolonize how we teach.

Thankfully, many educators now understand our collective Canadian future depends on how effectively we reconcile ourselves to a past marred by the devastating reality of residential schools. A past that still imposes deep unfairness for Indigenous peoples today.

For my part, I have needed to find a way to make the process of understanding these past truths a personal journey.

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