In this section, you have explored ways to move from an additive approach to Indigenous knowledge systems and perspectives to a strength-based, transformative learning approach. Unlearning and relearning ways to listen helps build a respectful space to bring Indigenous knowledge systems into your classroom. The nuances of carrying and holding knowledge systems alongside, rather than competing, is also a key component of Indigenization. There are times when you, as the teacher, are not the expert. Learning can be a reciprocal process with Indigenous knowledge keepers.
Activity 1: Incorporating Indigenous worldviews
Form a small peer group of instructors and discuss ways in which you could incorporate Indigenous worldviews in your teaching practice. How are you using relational, experiential, student-centred, narrative, intergenerational, land-based, or other pedagogical constructs from Indigenous worldviews in your classrooms?
Activity 2: Creating space for Indigenous knowledge from Elders and other knowledge keepers/authorities
Time: 25 minutes
Are there processes and protocols in your institution for hiring Indigenous Elders and knowledge keepers to deliver content? What are they?
Activity 3: Creating space for Indigenous knowledge
Discuss processes and protocols used in your institution to support the inclusion of Elders and knowledge keepers to share perspectives. Take this one step further and determine ways in which Indigenous knowledge and perspectives can become part of course assessment.
Activity 4: Listening and hearing
Time: 30 minutes
Reciprocity and multiple ways of “listening” in oral traditions: Elder Terry P’ulsemet Prest at University of the Fraser Valley teaches students that we have to “learn to listen so we can listen to learn.”
Watch Susan Dion’s video, The Listening Stone. Consider the concept of actually listening and hearing. Reflect on a moment in your teaching when you haven’t actually listened and what the impact of this was. Think of an activity or strategy in the classroom that will facilitate not only listening but hearing in both you and your students.
Activity 5: Practising silence
Time: 15 minutes
Listening and silence are often part of oral tradition. Take 10 minutes out of your day and practise silence. What do you observe? What do you notice? What might silence mean for your teaching practice?