Indigenization, Decolonization, Reconciliation

  • Indigenization, Decolonization, Reconciliation

    Listening Woman

    Listening Woman The fifth clan mother teaching is centered around stillness, silence and listening. This clan teaching, as described in, The Original 13 Clan Mothers, by Jamie Sams, emphasizes the art of being in a state of complete awareness. Sams writes, “we will never learn or expand if we do not listen to what is being said” (Sams, 1993). Listening Woman challenges us to be observant listeners, inviting us to pause and truly listen to everything around us. Listening is not limited to verbal communication but includes the act of listening to the movements of what is also happening within us. Our ears allow us to capture sounds for interpretation,…

  • Indigenization, Decolonization, Reconciliation,  Uncategorized

    Looks Far Woman

    Looks Far Woman Looks Far Woman is the guardian of the fourth moon cycle. Among other things, Looks Far Woman is also a visionary. She teaches humanity the ability to see the truth from multi-dimensions. She warns us of the power of fear, and the potential it has on limiting the possibilities of growth. Removing fear allows for us to see beyond its barriers, and it is within these peripheries that we might see the potential for growth. (Sams, 1993) The University of Saskatchewan has received the gift of potential growth from Indigenous perspectives and worldviews. The ohpahotân | oohpaahotaan – let’s fly up together – Indigenous Strategy for the…

  • Indigenization, Decolonization, Reconciliation

    Weighs the Truth

    Weighs the Truth The third moon teaching, from the book, The 13 Original Clan Mothers, by Jamie Sams, acknowledges taking responsibility for the truth. Sams explains that this moon is the Guardian of Justice; the teacher of principles that emphasizes the ability to see all sides of a situation, rather than seeking punishment. The wisdom in this teaching focuses on doing the right thing and allow oneself to make decisions that are not based on, “class distinction, hierarchy, wealth, supposed power and popularity” (Sams, 1993). Weighing the truth is having the ability to look within oneself and to acknowledge a truth regardless of how painful it may be. Racism is one…

  • Indigenization, Decolonization, Reconciliation

    Wisdom Keeper

    Jamie Sams, author of, The Original 13 Clan Mothers, offers a template for personal and professional consideration. Through the wisdom passed down to her from the medicine lodges, Sams’s knowledge can be a tool for bridging meaningful relationships in educational systems that were historically were not inviting spaces for Indigenous people. Last month, we invited some thought into the first moon teaching, Talks with Relations. In this teaching, Sams shares the appreciation of the unspoken language to communicate with, not just one another, but to be mindful of what the animals, plants, and sky can teach us.  This understanding creates a space of understanding diversity that allows insight into the…

  • Indigenization, Decolonization, Reconciliation

    Talks With Relations

    Jamie Sams, author of, The 13 Original Clan Mothers, leaves with us a wealth of knowledge that was passed down to her by her grandmothers, Cisi Laughing Crow, and Berta Broken Arrow. Sams was of mixed descent, her heritage included French, Cherokee, Seneca, Choctaw, and Mohawk (Brussat & Brussat, 2006). While the teachings are centered around women, the lessons and values are both universal and versatile. Sams explains that the clan mothers’ teachings, passed down through medicine lodges, are acknowledged with gratitude to grandmothers, Cisi Laughing Crow, and Berta Broken Arrow. However, she continues to remind us that these teaching also belong to, “all of the Children of Earth” (Sams,…

  • Indigenization, Decolonization, Reconciliation

    Sing Me Your Song

    I recently attended a KISS concert where the familiar tunes triggered a nostalgic trip to my teenage years.  I realized that I had grown older with two of the performers, and that very moment of realization had impacted me more than I had bargained for. As the music played, I found myself captivated by the diverse crowd that had also aged alongside the band and many had brought younger versions of themselves to indulge in the shared nostalgia. My party, spanning three generations from my late grandmother’s brother to my eldest daughter, shared in this representation. The two hours of non-stop music reconnected me to stories of a younger me;…

  • Indigenization, Decolonization, Reconciliation

    Relationship: A Key Component of Indigenous Student Success

    The current reality faced by Indigenous students is the focus of discussion from pre-kindergarten to post-secondary. Across the country, education for First Nation, Inuit, and Métis people is a different experience. Numerous factors contribute to this reality, many of which are within the control of education authorities and classroom personnel. The call to address systemic inequities has been the focus of education since the early 2000s. While systemic change can often take additional time, personal adaptations can begin when you are ready. Growing authentic, trusting relationships between educator and learner will improve student experience.  Educators can use the Reciprocity of the Relationship model to support the Indigenous student experience. The…

  • Assessment and Evaluation,  Indigenization, Decolonization, Reconciliation

    Indigenization and Assessment – Rethinking Traditional Practice

    “Education got us into this mess, education will get us out of it.” – Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, December 2015 Higher education is embarking on a journey of Indigenization, decolonization and reconciliation (IDR). Location will impact understanding of how to accomplish IDR and who will be involved in actualizing the initiative. One thing will be consistent, how we define assessment. Merriam-Webster’s definition is “the action or an instance of making a judgment about something.” This definition highlights the challenge when educators work to Indigenize assessment actions that may be subjective. In a world where people of First Nation, Inuit, and Métis identities face bias…

  • Educational Technology,  Indigenization, Decolonization, Reconciliation,  Internationalization

    USask spaces that flex with the type of learning

    Many USask classrooms have been designed with one thing in mind – successful transmission of information from the faculty member to the students.  Even as technologies changed over time, that model did not – we just added screens, data projectors for our slideshows, and cameras and microphones to capture a lecture. Current theories of learning tell us that people learn some things well by hearing about them, but they need to pair that with talking to others about it, practicing and getting feedback, and actively doing for most types of learning.  We are now designing flexible classrooms that can do each of these types of learning in a sequence, all…

  • Indigenization, Decolonization, Reconciliation,  Sustainability

    SDG 15 Life On Land – Embedding the Sustainable Development Goals in Learning

    This blog post is part of a series around the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each post will dive into one of the goals and how we as educators can strive to embed these into our own courses. It is in the author’s opinion that any course or class can connect with one of the 17 goals or 169 sub-targets. By providing this blog post series, we hope to elicit some ideas of how you might also integrate a global goal into your teaching. Please refer to the USask SDG Teaching & Learning Workbook, review the USask Sustainability in the Curricula website, or scroll down for more information about the…