How to Use and Adapt This Guide

This guide was developed as part of a Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training initiative to create open educational resources to support Indigenization at post-secondary institutions in British Columbia. To learn more about Indigenous-Canadian relationships since contact, please see the Foundations Guide.[1]

The Curriculum Developers Guide is not a definitive resource, since First Nation and Métis perspectives and approaches are diverse across the province. We invite you to augment it with your own stories and examples, and, where possible, include Indigenous voice and perspectives from your area in the materials.

As the Curriculum Developers Guide is an open resource, you may access, share, or adapt the materials as needed. Below are suggested methods, styles, or approaches to use this resource.

Self-guided activities

Read through the materials and complete many of the activities on your own, according to your own pace. If you are working through the guide alone, we encourage you to take advantage of the many options included for working with colleagues or sharing with your professional community.

Facilitated or co-learning approach

If possible, the learning will be more powerful if conducted in a group or with a partner. While much of the content can be read individually, the activities can be practiced and shared within groups. It would be easier, although not necessary, for these activities to be facilitated by a group leader or coordinator. No specialized knowledge or skills are required to lead the process. Any interested member of your group could do it. Not only will this deepen your learning and create a sense of accountability, but it can also provide a safe space to talk about the emotions that arise through this process.

Complementary learning process

There is only so much you can learn by reading a guide. This is even more important in the context of Indigenous pedagogy, which emphasizes learning from experience and relationships. The best approach to learning deeply about this topic is to use this guide in conjunction with hands-on learning activities, especially those that involve engagement with Indigenous communities and culture. Some of these activities may already be occurring at your institution. Check with Indigenous services at your institution to find out. You can also read about other learning opportunities in this Environmental Scan [PDF].[2]

Non-linear approach

With the exception of Section 1, which should be completed first, the other sections can be completed in any order. You can use this guide in a non-linear fashion, or as a resource to support learning as you need it.

Sections

This guide is comprised of the following six sections which are intended, when taken all together, to help in the process of integrating, honouring, and respecting Indigenous culture, history, and knowledge in curriculum.

  • Section 1: Describes the need to Indigenize and decolonize as ways to work toward reconciliation. It presents various activities and reading materials to help us better understand what each of these processes entails and how we can incorporate them into our practice.
  • Section 2: Introduces Indigenous epistemologies and pedagogies, both of which are necessary foundations to approach learning and teaching from an Indigenous perspective. It also invites us to revise our own practice in critical ways by reviewing examples of courses that integrate Indigenous perspectives and by adapting our own curriculum.
  • Section 3: Is about learning how to build long-lasting relationships and connections with Indigenous people and communities by understanding protocols, intentionality, and purpose.
  • Section 4: Invites us to consider the diverse sources of Indigenous knowledge available to curriculum developers and explores ways in which we can learn about and include local contexts. This section also addresses cultural appropriation and identification of authentic resources.
  • Section 5: Provides us with opportunities to reflect on awareness about the role we each play in the above processes and how to understand our role in systems of oppression, which can be conscious and unconscious. Becoming aware of this will also help us identify how we can become allies and lifelong learners.
  • Section 6: Proposes ways in which we can establish communities of practice in our institutions to contribute to and advocate for Indigenization at a systemic level, including institutional policies, principles, and strategies.

Activities

There are a variety of activities in each section. These include:

‏‍‍‏‍‍‍‍‍‍‏‍‍‏Individual Activities: Can be completed alone, or as part of a group. These may include reading or viewing videos, reflective activities such as journaling, or curriculum development work.

Group Activities: Require the involvement of at least one other person. These may involve discussion, seeking feedback, or making community connections.

Self-Reflections: These are opportunities for you to reflect on your own learning on the subjects covered in the section.

Timing

It should take between 20 and 25 hours to complete the readings, videos, curriculum work, and reflections included in this guide. We encourage you to allow as much additional time as you need for building relationships and connections within your institution and community. Relationship building is a critical component of the work involved in Indigenizing curriculum and the time required for this work cannot be predetermined.