The GMCTE is actively involved in supporting a variety of faculty and curriculum development initiatives related to Indigenous education.
We have partnered with the College of Education on a PCIP funded project to initiate an intensive, experiential faculty and staff development program. This program aims to raise awareness of Aboriginal history, culture and contemporary issues. The program also explores issues related to Aboriginal learners and learning, and ways to Indigenize curricula through the inclusion of Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing. The pilot of this initiative was completed in May 2013, and is now expanding to include other Colleges across the campus.
The Indigenous Voices core program consists of 14 gatherings. Introductory topics can be found in the centre of the circle and provide the foundation for each successive gathering. Each general topic is divided into two concentric circles, which build on one another, and are interconnected. Because the gatherings build on one another, knowledge from the first circle is necessary in order to engage in the second circle. Participants will have differing levels of knowledge, skills, and experiences, and are encouraged to self-assess, and determine whether they need the first ring, or are prepared to enter in to the second ring. A solid understanding in each of the topics is required in order to effectively engage in the four outermost rings, which are designed specifically for educators.
Under the Indigenous Voices program, the Building Our Fire conversation circles based on the CBC’s 8th Fire series. Participants will gather over lunch to informally examine the broad themes of the four- part series in a “come as you are” conversation. These circles create a space where asking honest questions is more important than having all the answers, where listening is as important as talking, and where sharing our experiences builds a narrative wisdom where we remember to connect within the human experience.
Under the Indigenous Voices program, the GMCTE is working with the Colleges of Education, Nursing and Medicine on a professional development series on topics related to Indigenous education that is open to faculty and staff from all departments and units at the University of Saskatchewan. The series is entitled wāskamisiwin, which is Plains Cree for "the act of becoming more aware."