Section 1: Understanding Decolonization, Indigenization, and Reconciliation

Decolonizing and Indigenizing as an Unlearning and Relearning Process

Recognizing the historical and contemporary colonial systems and practices within our educational institutions and broader society requires all of us to self-reflect and think about the impact of colonization. It also requires us to help influence change in the broader systems and societies within which we operate. “[I]nstitutional reform must be undertaken on multiple levels, by all peoples in the academic community, and result in a dramatically different structure, relationships, goals, and outcomes” (Pete, 2016, p. 81). We must go beyond having “decolonization as a metaphor” (Tuck & Yang, 2012) but as conscious, living part of our lives.

Working together encourages us to think of decolonization as a reciprocal partnership required for Indigenous people to participate meaningfully in the opportunities offered by our institutions. This means examining how students come in to institutions, how they move throughout the supports, and how to support positive transformation and self-determination.