10 Ideas for First Steps

  1. "tobacco bundles on a white table"Do the work yourself. Addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action is the responsibility of every resident of Canada, and addressing the Queen’s University Truth and Reconciliation Task Force’s Recommendations is the responsibility of every person at Queen’s. Decolonization cannot be delegated to a single person in an office or left to a few departments on campus.
  2. Speak a land acknowledgment at the start of each course, department meeting, or event. Learn how to pronounce the names appropriately, and how to speak it meaningfully and not tokenistically. Without making it all about you, explain how you are implicated and affected by what you’re saying.
  3. Learn more about the history and reality of Indigenous peoples in the land currently known as Canada and the land upon which Queen’s University sits.
  4. Hire Indigenous faculty and staff and be prepared to listen and adapt your practices rather than expecting them to adapt to yours.
  5. Take anti-racist, intercultural competency, and/or inclusivity and diversity training from the Human Rights and Equity Office and the Queen’s University International Centre.
  6. Talk about your specific situation one-to-one with CTL staff and with the growing number of Indigenous elders, knowledge keepers and educational support professionals around campus.
  7. Find opportunities on Queen’s campus and in the Kingston area for cultural dialogue and exchange. This might include Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre; fine art programming at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, artistic programming at the Isabel; language programming with the Indigenous Languages Nest supported by the Faculty of Education, AKA Autonomous Social Centre, and numerous arts organizations, festivals, lectures, and other activities.
  8. Re-examine your course syllabus with an eye to uncovering Eurocentricism and fostering inclusivity, diversity, and Indigeneity.
  9. Commit to a lifelong journey rather than expecting a simple quick fix. Decolonization is a process, not a product or a box to be checked.
  10. Ask for help, and share your successes and failures with others. This is not a journey that you need to take alone.

Indigenization in STEM

In the first video (Indigenization in the University: Terms and Definitions) we went over some terminology then talked about 3 ways in which Indigenization appears in the university setting: Indigenous Inclusion, Reconciliation Indigenization, and Decolonial Indigenization. In this video we continue with this framework to explore how we can Indigenize teaching and learning in STEM.

“The information in this video is my current (March 2023) interpretation of peer reviewed scholarly articles, my lived experience, and various conversations I have observed and participated in over the years. The context of these conversations includes around kitchen table discussions, sharing circles and ceremonies, administrative committee meetings, activist gatherings, and academic discussions. Contributors to these conversations include elders, youth, and otherwise knowledgeable members from Indigenous communities from across Canada and the world. Contributors also include non-Indigenous individuals ranging from ally and non-ally settlers to international friends who, although familiar with oppression forms in their homelands, are only just learning of Canada’s colonial context. The personal interpretations presented have been reviewed and guided by mentor Lindsay Brant, a Mohawk woman from Kenhtè:ke, Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, Ontario, an Educational Developer with the Center for Teaching and Learning and an Adjunct Professor with the Smith School of Business. This video represents my current (March 2023) interpretation of the above-mentioned information gathered over the years and as such any potential errors in interpretation are mine alone.”

Cited materials:

Gaudry, A. and Lorenz, D., 2018. Indigenization as inclusion, reconciliation, and decolonization: Navigating the different visions for indigenizing the Canadian Academy. AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, 14 (3), pp.218-227.Hatcher, A., Bartlett, C., Marshall, A. and Marshall, M., 2009. Two-eyed seeing in the classroom environment: Concepts, approaches, and challenges. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 9, pp.141-153.Levac, L., McMurtry, L., Stienstra, D., Baikie, G., Hanson, C. and Mucina, D., 2018. Learning across Indigenous and Western knowledge systems and intersectionality: Reconciling social science research approaches. University of Guelph: Guelph, ON, Canada.