For too long, Canadian society has been rooted in colonial approaches and Euro-centrism, creating negative impacts on Indigenous Peoples and all Canadians – and the post-secondary education system is by no means an exception. Indigenization aims to address this legacy through the integration of Indigenous perspectives in curriculum and other educational contexts.
Indigenization is a process in which all members of educational institutions, regardless of their personal or professional background or subject-matter area, should be engaged. As a curriculum developer, you have an important role to play in the process of Indigenization. As you design, develop, review, and adapt curriculum, you will have opportunities to weave in Indigenous content, perspectives, and educational approaches. This is a critical responsibility, which this guide is intended to help prepare you for.
The journey to Indigenize curriculum fosters self-development. Whether you are an Indigenous or non-Indigenous person, through this journey you will gain insight into your own culture and background, privileges, or oppressions that have affected your life, and you will identify biases or gaps in your knowledge. You will question the pervasive dominance of Western epistemologies, pedagogies, and resources within curriculum, and make space for including Indigenous ways of being that can benefit all learners. You will engage in the emotional work of confronting the trauma of colonization and building stronger relationships with Indigenous people and communities, and actively participate in the hands-on work of revising your curriculum and pedagogical approaches. And finally, you will reflect upon your own agency in regards to Indigenization, and take action toward systemic change in your institution.
- Throughout this guide, the term “Indigenous” is being used as the preferred collective noun for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. “Indigenous” comes from the Latin word indigena, which means “sprung from the land; native.” And “Indigenous Peoples” recognizes that, rather than a single group of people there are many – separate and unique Nations. ↵