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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.


Book Chapter 

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.


News Articles


University and College Responses and Reactions


BCcampus: Free Resources for Educators

The following resources have been created for BC educators. They come from this list of open Indigenous resources and textbooks created by BC educators for BC post-secondary students and faculty. Two are textbooks for science and two are guides for educators on how to make their way into integrating perspectives into their classrooms and curricula.

  • BCcampus OPEN SCIENCE TEXTBOOK – 1 Knowing Home: Braiding Indigenous Science with Western Science, Book 1 Link
    This book takes a step forward toward preserving and actively using the knowledge, stories, and lessons for today and future generations, and with it a worldview that informs everyday attitudes toward the earth. Knowing Home: Braiding Indigenous Science with Western Science is far more than a set of research papers or curriculum studies. The project outputs include both, but they are incorporated into a theoretical structure that can provide the methodological basis for future efforts that attempt to develop culturally responsive Indigenous Science curricula in home places. It is not just one or two angels to organize, but multiple interwoven approaches and cases that give this project its exceptional importance.


  • BCcampus OPEN SCIENCE TEXTBOOK 2 Knowing Home: Braiding Indigenous Science with Western Science, Book 2 Link
    This book provides a window into the vast storehouse of innovations and technologies of the Indigenous peoples who live in Northwestern North America. It is our hope that the Indigenous Science examples, research, and curriculum models will inspire deep reflection regarding the under-representation of Aboriginal students in the sciences. It is intended that the rich examples and cases, combined with the resources listed in the appendices, will enable teachers and students to explore Indigenous Science examples in the classroom, and in addition, support the development of curriculum projects in home places.


  • BCcampus Pulling Together Foundations Guide Link
    The Foundations Guide is part of an open professional learning series developed for staff across post-secondary institutions in British Columbia. These guides are the result of the Indigenization Project, a collaboration between BCcampus and the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. The project was supported by a steering committee of Indigenous education leaders from BC universities, colleges, and institutes, the First Nations Education Steering Committee, the Indigenous Adult and Higher Learning Association, and Métis Nation BC. The Foundations Guide explores Indigenous-Canadian relationships from contact to the present. This guide looks at the diversity of Indigenous Peoples and the historical and contemporary realities since contact. You can use the guide to: increase your awareness of Indigenous People, our histories, decolonization, and reconciliation, enhance your knowledge of how Indigenous history and realities in Canada affect relationships and how this may influence how you work with Indigenous people and colleagues in post-secondary education.


  • BCcampus Pulling Together: A Guide for Teachers and Instructors  Link
    The Guide for Teachers and Instructors explores how to Indigenize one’s practice by building new relationships with Indigenous pedagogy and knowledge. Essentially, this guide mirrors the structure of curriculum design and pedagogical processes to support learning by focusing on three processes – content, context, and application.  Content acts as prior knowledge bridges and explores how we got here today. Context grounds you to recognize, respect and honour Indigenous worldviews and suggests ways to invite into your classroom and practice. Application encourages movement forward by providing tangible ideas and next steps for Indigenization.  This guide can be used as part of a learning community or in a group learning experience, adapting and augmenting it to include Indigenization pathways at your institution for Indigenous students and communities.
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