Integrating Indigenous knowledges in teaching: When will we be ready?

The following is an excerpt from, “Integrating Indigenous knowledges in teaching: When will we be ready?” by Emi Sasagawa that first appeared on The Centre for Teaching Learning and Technology on May 30th, 2017. Read the full article here.

On May 2 the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology held a panel discussion on integrating Indigenous content and perspectives in the classroom. The event brought together five settler scholars from departments across the university to share their experiences and to discuss, “When will we be ready?”

“My number one anxiety is taking space,” said Moss Norman, Assistant Professor in the School of Kinesiology. “I wonder if by teaching this course I’m taking more space and not making enough space because there are people who are significantly better qualified to teach this course than myself, and I recognize that.”

Norman teaches the only Indigenous focused course currently offered in Kinesiology, which he wanted to use to explore Indigenous movement. Movement is essential to colonization, he says, the restriction of movement, the displacement and dispossession of Indigenous territories, right down to the most personal level, but movement has also been critical to Indigenous continuance, regeneration and resurgence. He employed talking circles to help students learn from their peers and bring in other dimensions of learning to the classroom.

“My class was only 13 students, but the students really appreciate it when you make yourself vulnerable. I would share with students what I had learned and I would always be careful in telling them where those teachings came from.”