8 Summary

In this section, you have looked at how the history of colonization and its continued effects today affect our professional practice. The final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report speaks to the gaps in our collective knowledge as Canadians of how we treated and harmed significant portions of the population. It takes time to decolonize our attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge to a place where we can accept other knowledges as valid, authentic, and meaningful. Accept this as a learning journey and be humble as you acquire this knowledge, as it will strengthen your teaching practice.


Activity 1: Discussing Indigenous-Canadian relationships

Time: 1-4 hours

Type: Group

Explore the CBC 8th Fire series[1] and hold discussion groups.

Activity 2: Working through the “perfect stranger” feelings of guilt

Time: 30 minutes

Type: Individual

Watch Susan Dion’s seven-minute video The perfect stranger: Considering the role of emotions in disrupting the “perfect stranger” position in teacher education programs.[2]

  • What resonates for you in this video?
  • What is your self-care strategy when working through the emotions of colonization?

Activity 3: Reframing the effects of colonization

Time: 30 minutes

Type: Individual

Watch the four-minute interview with Leanne Simpson[3] on how colonization contributes to violence against Indigenous women and recognition of traditional territories.

  • What are some ways in which traditional territories strengthen Indigenous identity?
  • How does this view affect your approach to traditional territorial acknowledgements?

Activity 4: Locating yourself within the settler story

Time: 1-2 hours

Type: Individual

Recount and reflect on your family’s experiences in Canada:

  • Recount your family history in relation to when and how your ancestors came to Canada; if you are Indigenous, describe your Indigenous lineage and traditional place.
  • What struggles and opportunities did your family experience?
  • What privileges and disadvantages did your family experience?
  • How has your lived experience been informed by your family identity?

Activity 5: Exploring Indian residential school history in person

Time: 2-4 hours

Type: Group

Visit UBC’s Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre (in person or online[4]). As you go through the exhibits and experience the interactive displays, consider and discuss:

  • Were you aware of this history? To what extent?
  • Reflect on your relationship(s) with Indigenous peoples. Do you talk about Canada’s colonial history? What did you hear that changed your attitude and belief?

  1. CBC 8th Fire Series: http://www.cbc.ca/8thfire/index.html
  2. The perfect stranger: Considering the role of emotions in disrupting the "perfect stranger" position in teacher education programs video: https://vimeo.com/59543959
  3. Interview with Leanne Simpson: https://youtu.be/IiFIgF_OHlM
  4. UBC Indian Residential School Centre: http://aboriginal.ubc.ca/indian-residential-school-centre/


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Pulling Together: A Guide for Teachers and Instructors Copyright © 2018 by Bruce Allan; Amy Perreault; John Chenoweth; Dianne Biin; Sharon Hobenshield; Todd Ormiston; Shirley Anne Hardman; Louise Lacerte; Lucas Wright; and Justin Wilson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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