Section 2: Meaningful Integration of Indigenous Epistemologies and Pedagogies


This section provided a brief discussion of Indigenous epistemologies and pedagogies. As Indigenous epistemologies are firmly rooted in relationality and in the interconnectedness of sacred and secular, we must engage the social, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of knowledge when moving toward Indigenization of curriculum. Elders play a key role in the sharing and passing on of ancestral knowledge, and therefore, are integral to efforts to Indigenize curriculum. This section’s brief summary of Indigenous epistemologies and pedagogies is a good place to start, but in reality these concepts cannot be deeply understood through reading; to be fully known they must be experienced through collaborative work with Indigenous people and communities, which we explore in Section 3.

Key learnings from this section

  • There is great diversity in Indigenous approaches and epistemologies, but they generally share a holistic approach, which recognizes interconnected dimensions of learning: emotional, spiritual, cognitive, and physical.
  • The delivery of Indigenous pedagogies is most powerful when it includes collaboration with Elders.
  • Indigenous and non-Indigenous students benefit from holistic learning.