I always think about what my grandmother said to me – “You’re being made ready for your real work.”
– Edna Manitowabi (Ojibway) (Anderson & Lawrence, 2003, p. 121)
Purpose of this section
Make connections between yourself and Indigenous Peoples and communities.
On completing this section you will be able to:
- identify current practices that demonstrate respect for place, language, protocols, and ceremony.
- apply an Indigenous perspective to your institution’s policies and practices.
Estimated time to complete this section is four hours. The activities can be done either individually or as a group.
The raven, kahkah, and its behaviour are important for Indigenous Peoples on Turtle Island. There are many stories about the kahkah. For example, in Nuu-chah-nulth oral history, kahkah is closely linked to creation and the light of day (Atleo, 2004, p. 6). Kahkah is highly revered for its intellect and determination and for bringing the light of the day, which also brings hope and illuminates the way forward.
In this section, you will see how Indigenization can be supported and shaped through storytelling, as stories help to bridge concepts and build common understanding. The use of stories also helps shape behaviour as you learn how to communicate with learners, partners, and colleagues across the institution and Indigenous communities. Kahkah learns by mimicking, watching, and including others, and through trial and error. The stories shared in this section highlight how you can shape behaviours and processes to support and build promising practices for your institution.
As you have already begun to explore, build, and maintain relationships with Indigenous Peoples and communities, you are now ready to paddle together to a place where you will discover new learning(s). As you paddle toward your destination, stories are shared, bringing everyone together to a place where they will begin to discover the courage it takes to Indigenize. Along the way, the complexities of Indigenization arise and will be challenging to tackle, but they are part of the journey of a lifetime (the doing) – an educational journey that you take both on your own and with others and your mentors, learning to open yourself up to love, courage, and humility.