CTE's Support for Indigenous Knowledges and Anti-Racist Pedagogies

Friday, February 24, 2023

CTE's Support for Indigenous Knowledges and Anti-Racist Pedagogies

The School of Pharmacy initiated a pilot project with CTE to Indigenize their full four-year curriculum. Working with leadership, staff, and faculty within the School over the last year, we have co-designed a new course for Pharmacy in Culturally Safe Patient Care that addresses cultural safety from both Indigenous and Anti-Racist positions to prepare students for the diverse work placements, co-ops and career opportunities within the healthcare sector. CTE’s new Educational Developer in Indigenous Anti-Racism came on board in September, and through her experience in curriculum in UBC’s Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health, Nahannee Schuitemaker is now leading a year-long project to co-create the course materials in a flipped design. CTE’s educational developers are working both with the Centre for Extended Learning for the online module design and within the Pharmacy classrooms to support faculty in piloting the material.

Faculty of Science: Madison Hill, as an Educational Developer, Indigenous Knowledges approaches the work from her own position as a graduate from the Faculty of Environment (York University) and work within regional conservation. Within her first three months Madison designed the content for the first proto-type module on Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) as a foundational teaching in the Faculty of Science. Working with Savannah Sloat, Science’s Indigenous Initiatives manger, Savannah offered a land-based pedagogy teaching through the Program Area Leads program run through the EDI-R office. The aims for the online and inperson components are to expand educational experiences and teachings around land-based approaches to learning within the Science and Environment Faculties. Madison, Savannah and Jessica have joined a large federally funded proposal where Indigenous faculty members, Knowledge Keepers and allies are building out a space on campus for land-based experiences throughout 2023 and 2024.

Faculties of Environment and Engineering are leading a STEM community of practice in building faculty members’ capacity through the creation of a resource hub with the support of Jessica Rumboldt, also an Educational Developer, Indigenous Knowledges hired in late September. These two Developers immediately joined the existing STEM Community of Practice (CoP) on Indigenization. The CoP had secured a seed grant for Indigenous resource development in 2019, and as Jessica and Madison arrived, they began helping to strategize and define the first steps for gathering resources to support teaching and learning efforts of these fields. A full environmental scan of existing resources is underway as the faculty create the online infrastructure for this hub, including where best to locate it for the various disciplines accessing its content. The hub’s launch is set for 2024. Jessica has also been busy creating a series of facilitated teachings co-designed with Engineering’s Elder-in-Residence, William Woodsworth. The design of the workshops prepares any interested staff, students and/or faculty attending circle with their elder with specific protocols and principles of learning found within the Haudenosaunee cultures.

Faculty of Mathematics: Jessica has also begun developing a set of Indigenous practice principles in Mathematics for faculty to begin considering how learning outcomes and Indigenous principles of learning are aligned. Like the project with Elder Bill in Engineering, the Mathematics project engages instructors in discussions around the relational aspects of Indigenous Knowledge and provides opportunities to experience Indigenous teaching in circles which can be used to set environments for learning within classrooms. These decolonizing efforts within Mathematics and Engineering work differently than resource hubs by helping to establish relational understanding and showcases the depth and scope of the work possible beyond curricular content.

All of the foregoing projects also funnel into the larger strategic plan to build content across disciplines to complement a foundational course for all students in Indigenous History, Culture, and Worldview.