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Indigenous Learning

This curated collection of resources may assist instructors incorporating Indigenous perspectives, ways of knowing or knowledge into courses.

Image by ArtTower from Pixabay


VIDEO: (18 minutes) The Danger of a Single Story (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) – TED Talk

  • Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice – and warns that if few hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.
  • Chimamanda isn’t North American Indigenous but she tells a wonderful 18 minute story of growing up in Africa and how she dealt with students’ perceptions and misunderstandings about her when she came to school in the US. It is about Indigenous learners and making them feel welcomed and part of a community that is beyond our borders here.


VIDEO (16 minutes) Indigenizing Post-Secondary Education

  • Video of post-secondary students at Conestoga College (Ontario) sharing their stories about how to understand and incorporate Indigenous content into classroom learning.


VIDEO: (20 minutes) What I Learned in Class Today: Aboriginal Issues in the Classroom

  • What I Learned in Class Today: Aboriginal Issues in the Classroom is a research project that explores difficult discussions of Aboriginal issues that take place in classrooms at the University of British Columbia. Students frequently report troubling and sometimes traumatic discussions of cultural issues in class. The video records of their experiences provides a way to think about developing more functional approaches and environments for discussion about issues for Indigenous students and for all classrooms.


Radio Episode

AUDIO: (46 minutes) Decolonizing the Classroom: Is there space for Indigenous knowledge in academia? CBC Radio (Feb 2018)

“Education is what got us into this mess … but education is the key to reconciliation,” said Senator Murray Sinclair, who led the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This week on Unreserved, three years after the release of the TRC’s final report, is there space for Indigenous knowledge in academia?

  • Student Danielle Bourque on why she doesn’t like being singled out for being First Nation in her graduate courses.
  • Professor Sheila Cote-Meeks wrote the book, Colonized Classrooms: Racism, Trauma and Resistance in Post-secondary Education, which looks at the experiences of Indigenous students and academics in post-secondary education.
  • Professor Eve Tuck weighs in on the challenges that face the academy as it strives to Indigenize.
  • Hayden King on the challenge facing Indigenous academics and faculty members as universities and colleges across the country look to hire more Indigenous faculty.
  • Mark Solomon makes the case for university faculties becoming more involved with surrounding Indigenous communities.
  • And Dr. Kyle Powys Whyte and Dr. Sarah Hunt discuss what it’s like for Indigenous academics to go through the peer review process.


Published Articles

The Five R’s for Indigenizing Online Learning: A Case Study of the First Nations Schools’ Principals Course | Article from ResearchGate

Gaudry, A. & Lorenz, D. (2018). Indigenization as inclusion: reconciliation, and decolonization: navigating the different visions for indigenizing the Canadian Academy. In AlterNative Vol. 14(3) 218-227 DOI:

  • this article highlights what is going on across Canada in terms of post-secondary institutions with Indigenous learnings Link

Hogue, M. M. (2012). Interconnecting Aboriginal and Western Paradigms in Post-secondary Science Education: An Action Research Approach. Journal of Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, 10 (1), pp. 77 – 108.

  • this research article describing a study done at University of Lethbridge that looked at how both Aboriginal and Western ways of learning can be woven together in a science course. PDF

Rodrigues, A. A. & Raby, P. (2019). Lessons Learned from Indigenizing a Media Program at an Ontario Community College. College Quarterly Vol. 22 (1)

  • this is a short story of how two college instructors created their courses with more Indigenous perspectives and ways of knowing. Link



Indspire (Sept 2018). Post-Secondary Experience of Indigenous Students Following the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Link

  • In July and August of 2018, Indspire sent a survey to 2000 First Nation, Inuit and Métis students enrolled in post-secondary programs across Canada. We wanted their insight and perspective on how the Calls to Action (Calls) released by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in 2015 had affected their educational experience. All of the survey recipients had received scholarships and bursaries from Indspire between 2015 and 2018. Indspire received responses from 290 of the students canvassed, a statistically valid response rate of 15%.
  • Indspire is a national Indigenous registered charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit and Metis people.


Books and Chapters 

King. A-L, Brass, D. & Lewis, P. Indigenizing the Academy: Listen to the Stories in Wilson, S. Breen, A.V., & DePre, L. (2019). Research and Reconciliation: Unsettling Ways of Knowing through Indigenous Relationships

  • This is a chapter is three stories told by three different people. It is the spirit of the story that moves through the world of being and the world of story. Anna-Leah King, Dustin Brass and Patrick Lewis are the story tellers.

Towards Braiding is a book that came out of a project that, “tested different framings for the distinct sensibilities involved in the highly charged context of settler–Indigenous relations,” through conversations with Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, scholars, and communities.


News Articles


University and College Responses and Reactions



For those interested in developing their indigenous cultural fluency, there is a free course available through the University of Alberta – Course – Indigenous Canada 

Indigenous Canada is a 12-lesson Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the Faculty of Native Studies that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada. From an Indigenous perspective, this course explores key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations. Topics for the 12 lessons include the fur trade and other exchange relationships, land claims and environmental impacts, legal systems and rights, political conflicts and alliances, Indigenous political activism, and contemporary Indigenous life, art and its expressions.



Sometimes the vocabulary we use around Indigenization changes and it’s important that we stay current in the language we use. Here’s a useful link to understanding the differences in terminology and what is / is no longer considered appropriate:


Approaches to Teaching

For learning about Aboriginal approaches to teaching, check out these resources: There are different resources for different levels and coming from a variety of Indigenous perspectives. Although the Teacher Resource Kit is aimed at grades 1-12, it’s worth taking a look in terms of ideas / approaches that could be adapted for higher levels of learning.