Section 3: Integrate – Ethical Approach and Relational Protocols


In this section, you have explored the four R’s – Respect, Relevance, Reciprocity, and Responsibility – in relation to creating space for Indigenous knowledge systems and perspectives in your classroom and informing and guiding your practice of Indigenization, decolonization, and reconciliation.


Activity 1: Do you practice reciprocity?

Time: 20 minutes

Type: Individual

“Reciprocity is achieved when the faculty member makes an effort to understand and build upon the cultural background of the students, and the students are able to gain access to the inner-workings of the culture (and the institution) to which they are being introduced” (Kirkness & Barnhardt, 2001).

Reflect on the following questions:

  • What role does reciprocity currently have in your assignments, teaching, and relationships with students?
  • How might you make teaching and learning more of a two-way process?

Activity 2: Territorial acknowledgement protocols

Time: 1 hour

Type: Individual

Reflect on the following questions:

  • Why are territorial acknowledgements important?
  • In what ways are territorial acknowledgements a political act?
  • Why is there more to making a territorial acknowledgement than just getting the wording right?

Research the protocols for territorial acknowledgement at your institution, organization, or anywhere else where you will be presenting.

Activity 3: Who should teach Indigenous perspectives?

Time: 30 minutes-1 hour

Type: Individual

Read Erica Violet Lee’s blog post: “Indigenizing the academy” without Indigenous people: Who can teach our stories?[1]

Reflect on the following questions:

  • What unsettles you about this experience?
  • What are some ways in which you can recognize this pattern of colonization, and what would you do to disrupt it?
  • How do you bring authentic Indigenous voice and perspectives into your classroom? Is there just one way in which you do this, or do you include multiple methods and materials? How do you transfer this learning to your students?

  1. Erica Violet Lee’s blog post: “Indigenizing the academy” without Indigenous people: Who can teach our stories?: