Core Program

In the pilot, the Indigenous Voices core program consisted of thirteen gatherings. Introductory topics were located from the centre, radiating outward, and participants were encouraged to begin their learning journey wherever they felt was appropriate. We wanted to acknowledge and honour the prior knowledge and experience each participant brought to the program.

The Indigenous Voices core program now 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.

Please note prerequisite knowledge and understandings connected to each gathering in the  events registration information. These prerequisites do not fully entail everything that will be experienced in the inner rings, and participants may choose to attend the inner rings despite meeting the basic requirements.

Shared Ground

This gathering introduces participants to the diverse Aboriginal peoples of Saskatchewan and Canada. Participants will be engaged in learning activities addressing terminology used to describe and identify Aboriginal peoples (e.g., Nehiyaw, Métis, Inuit, etc.), historical and contemporary socio-economic contexts, and common myths and misconceptions about Aboriginal peoples.

 Resources

Aboriginal Education

Participants in this gathering will be engaged in activities that demonstrate the philosophical premises of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit approaches to education. It invites participants to reflect on the history of formal education in Canada and its influence on the experience of Aboriginal teachers, learners, and communities. The gathering will close with a discussion of success stories and ways forward.

We honour the prior knowledge and experience participants bring to our program. Participants are asked to self-assess whether or not they feel they have the following knowledge and perspectives. If these are strongly in place, participants may choose to move on to the next gathering (Indigenizing Education).

 By the end of this gathering, you should have a(n):

  • introductory understanding of Aboriginal approaches to education, pre-contact, and to present day
  • sound knowledge of the purpose of residential schools, their implementation, what occurred in those schools, and the multi-generational impact
  • observation that Eurocentric teaching practices are often antithetical to Aboriginal approaches to education.
  • personal critique of the strengths and challenges that current Aboriginal students face.
 Resources

Indigenizing Education

In this gathering participants will be guided through a collective articulation and representation of their vision for decolonizing and Indigenizing formal education. They will also co-create pedagogical strategies reflecting Aboriginal worldviews, knowledges, and ways of knowing. Participants will depart this gathering with concrete ideas and tools that can be used to work toward their vision.

We honour the prior knowledge and experience participants bring to our program. Participants are asked to self-assess whether or not they feel they have the following knowledge and perspectives. If you feel you do not meet each of these prerequisites, you are strongly encouraged to attend this preceding gathering, Aboriginal Education.

By the end of this gathering you should have a(n):

  • Introductory understanding of Aboriginal approaches to education, pre-contact, and to present day
  • sound knowledge of the purpose of residential schools, their implementation, what occurred in those schools, and the multi-generational impact
  • observation that Eurocentric teaching practices are often antithetical to Aboriginal approaches to education.
  • personal critique of the strengths and challenges that current Aboriginal students face.

Culture and Place

Beginning with the premise that all humans are cultural beings, this gathering provides an opportunity for participants to learn with Knowledge keepers from diverse Aboriginal cultural groups, who will discuss the importance of place and protocols for ceremony and working with Elders. Participants will be invited to reflect on their own culture, on their own relation to place, and on the inherent value of diverse Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures.

Because of the nature of this gathering, all participants are asked to join the Culture and Place gathering prior to registering in the Ceremony and Story gathering.

 Resources

Ceremony and Story

This gathering provides an opportunity for participants to receive cultural teachings related to ceremony and story from an Elder or Knowledge keeper. Protocols around the telling and sharing of stories will also be shared. Participants will depart this gathering with the tools to continue developing relationships and learning with Elders and Knowledge keepers.

Because of the nature of this gathering, all participants are asked to join the Culture and Place gathering prior to registering in this one.

Go to Events Calendar 

Whiteness and Privilege

Learning about theories of Whiteness and anti-oppressive education is challenging but rewarding work, as it entirely alters one’s perspective of one’s self, one’s students, and the classroom. This gathering aims to bring about a self-awareness, through the exploration of these theories, that will set the groundwork for “Anti-oppressive Practice,” and will begin to prepare participants for an open-mindedness in their personal and professional lives.

We honour the prior knowledge and experience participants bring to our program. Participants are asked to self-assess whether or not they feel they have the following knowledge and perspectives. If these are strongly in place, participants may choose to move on to the next gathering (Anti-Oppressive Practice).

By the end of this gathering, you should have a(n):

  • comprehension of basic theories of whiteness
  • ability to conceive of whiteness as a social construction, and ability to critically reflect on one’s own “race” as a social construction
  • perceive the differences on power and privilege in general Canadian society conferred upon those who are whites (or “pass” as white).
  • analyze how their own subject position has an impact on others in their professional (and personal) lives.
 Resources

Anti-Oppressive Practice

Inspired by the theories of Whiteness and anti-oppressive education, participants will find themselves motivated to move from theory to practice. In this gathering, participants will explore how to apply anti-oppressive theory to their lesson plans and activities and how to manage the “dangerous” instances when racism, whiteness, ethnocentrism, and privilege, manifest in the classroom. 

We honour the prior knowledge and experience participants bring to our program. Participants are asked to self-assess whether or not they feel they have the following knowledge and perspectives. If you feel you do not meet each of these prerequisites, you are strongly encouraged to attend this preceding gathering, Whiteness and Privilege.

 Anti-oppressive Practice will require you to have a(n):

  • comprehension of basic theories of whiteness
  • ability to conceive of whiteness as a social construction, and ability to critically reflect on one’s own “race” as a social construction
  • perceive the differences on power and privilege in general Canadian society conferred upon those who are whites (or “pass” as white).
  • analyze how their own subject position has an impact on others in their professional (and personal) lives.
 Resources

Land Agreements

Participants will learn about relationships between Indigenous peoples and the land, and how these relationships factor into treaty agreements, land claims and rights with First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples in Canada. An opportunity to learn about Metis scrip, Inuit land agreements and nation-to-nation treaty relationships is vital in understanding how to honour and respect the agreements. In this gathering, these land agreements are explored within the context of the foundations of the rights of Indigenous peoples, internationally, and the implications for the Indigenous peoples of Canada.

This gathering consists of a "flipped classroom" format with an online module and a follow-up 3 hour face-to-face gathering. The self-directed online module consists of: videos, self assessment quiz, rich textual summary including links to numerous resources that provide additional definitions and readings to deepen the learning experience and ends with an opportunity for written self-reflection.

We honour the prior knowledge and experience participants bring to our program. Participants are asked to self-assess whether or not they feel they have the following knowledge and perspectives. If these are strongly in place, participants may choose to move on to the next gathering (Honouring Agreements).

By the end of this gathering, you should have a(n):

  • solid understanding of treaties in Saskatchewan, as oral, written, historical, and contemporary covenants
  • understanding of the purpose for, and implementation of, Metis scrip
  • ability to articulate the general process by which Nunavat was founded, and the benefits to the Inuit peoples.
  • ability to see land from two (or more) world views, as a means of better understanding the spirit and intent of land agreements, on behalf of Canadian Aboriginal peoples.
Resources

Honouring Agreements

Treaty promises, land claims and rights have been in dispute between Aboriginal peoples and the government since soon after the newcomers arrived. In this gathering, participants will learn the degree to which agreements have been enforced and explore, specifically, how broken promises have affected our students and communities.

Participants will examine more indepth all of the agreements, or understandings-oral, historical, current (economic, social, judicial, governmental, etc.)-that exist (or are supposed to exist) between Aboriginal peoples and newcomers. This discussion moves far beyond the written interpretation of particular land agreements, to a reflection, and hopefully, re-envisioning of the relationships between Aboriginal peoples and newcomers.

This gathering consists of a "flipped classroom" format with an online module and a follow-up 3 hour face-to-face gathering. The self-directed online module consists of: videos, self assessment quiz, rich textual summary including links to numerous resources that provide additional definitions and readings to deepen the learning experience and ends with an opportunity for written self-reflection.

We honour the prior knowledge and experience participants bring to our program. Participants are asked to self-assess whether or not they feel they have the following knowledge and perspectives. If you feel you do not meet each of these prerequisites, you are strongly encouraged to attend this preceding gathering, Land Agreements.

 Honouring Agreements requires you to have a(n):

  • solid understanding of treaties in Saskatchewan, as oral, written, historical, and contemporary covenants
  • understanding of the purpose for, and implementation of, Metis scrip
  • ability to articulate the general process by which Nunavat was founded, and the benefits to the Inuit peoples.
  • ability to see land from two (or more) world views, as a means of better understanding the spirit and intent of land agreements, on behalf of Canadian Aboriginal peoples.
Resources

Foundations of Transformative Pedagogies

In this gathering, participants will be engaged in learning activities focused on the assumptions and qualities of transformative pedagogies for teaching, learning and living. In particular, this session will focus on decolonizing and Indigenous pedagogies that honor and engage multiple ways of knowing. Participants will depart this gathering having identified potential sites for transformative practice and with an understanding of the skills and attributes to effectively engage in transformative pedagogies (e.g., curriculum integration, relationship-building, risk-taking, etc.).

 

Classroom-based Pedagogies

This gathering will be focused on effective anti-oppressive and culturally responsive curriculum development, teaching, and assessment practices. Participants will co-create a relevant learning activity for use in their teaching. This gathering is being hosted in collaboration with Saskatoon community educators who are focusing on learning and teaching with Indigenous epistemologies.

 

Rural, Northern Aboriginal, and First Nation Community Based Pedagogy

Rural, northern Aboriginal and First Nation communities in Saskatchewan have diverse social, geographic and economic characteristics where communities are tied to the land by historical and cultural traditions. Disparity exists between urban and rural areas in basic infrastructure (physical, human, organization and administrative structures), communication networks and available community capacity. Navigating and building respectful relationships within this context requires knowledge and understanding of the holistic and cultural diversity that exists within these communities. Urban oriented engagement strategies tend not to easily transfer to address specific community based needs in rural, northern Aboriginal and First Nation communities. In this gathering participants will come to understand effective practices to engage in local protocols, negotiating research agreements, and establishing mutually beneficial relationships.

 

Urban Community-based Pedagogies

In this gathering participants will come to understand the strengths and limitations of community-based teaching and learning, through personal experience. This gathering is being hosted in collaboration with the University of Saskatchewan’s Outreach and Engagement Office, and will take place in the classroom space at Station 20 West.

 

Land-based Pedagogies

In this gathering participants will come to understand the strengths and limitations of land-based teaching and learning, through personal experience. This gathering is being hosted in collaboration with the Saskatoon Public School Division, and will take place at the Brightwater Outdoor Education Centre.

 

Shared GroundTreaties, Land Claims and RightsWhiteness and PrivilegeAboriginal EducationCulture and PlaceAnti-Oppressive PracticeHonouring AgreementsCeremony and StoryIndigenizing EducationFoundations of Transformative PedagogiesAboriginal Community-based PedagogiesLand-based PedagogiesClassroom-based PedagogiesUbran Community-based Pedagogies

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