Decolonizing and Indigenizing
Welcome to the Decolonizing and Indigenizing Resource Page!
The Indigenizing and Decolonizing resource page aims to foster an interdisciplinary cross-pollination of approaches to Indigenizing and decolonizing initiatives at Dawson College. Content on this page includes: Information about how to join an exchange forum for faculty and staff where we can share pedagogical resources and other information, an evolving list of related projects and organisations, and several Dawson contacts. These resources and links are offered as points of departure to reinforce our collective knowledge of Indigenous epistemologies and pedagogy and to support best practices for integrating Indigenous content in the classroom, engaging and encouraging students, and collaborating with colleagues to address the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action.
By learning together, we can contribute to the growing community across Turtle island committed to the process of decolonizing education.
The contents of this page will be revised frequently. Please check back often!
Join the Dawson Discussion!
- The Decolonizing and Indigenizing Community Exchange – an MS Teams site that acts as a forum for discussion, resource sharing, support and inspiration. Examples of topics include:
- Community Collaborations
- Envisioning and Aspirations
- Pedagogical Resources
- Land-based Pedagogy
- Research Projects and Initiatives
- Seeking Dialogue or Specific Resources
- Supporting Indigenous Students
The forum is open to all employees of Dawson (Sign in to MS365 required). Please join in!
Perspectives on Decolonizing and Indigenizing
Decolonization is the process of deconstructing colonial ideologies of the superiority and privilege of Western thought and approaches. On the one hand, decolonization involves dismantling structures that perpetuate the status quo and addressing unbalanced power dynamics. On the other hand, decolonization involves valuing and revitalizing Indigenous knowledge and approaches and weeding out settler biases or assumptions that have impacted Indigenous ways of being. For non-Indigenous people, decolonization is the process of examining your beliefs about Indigenous Peoples and culture by learning about yourself in relationship to the communities where you live and the people with whom you interact.
We work in systems that perpetuate colonial ideals and privilege Western ways of doing. For example, many student services use forms and procedures instead of first initiating relationships with students. This is a colonial process that excludes rather than includes. Also, how libraries catalogue knowledge is Western and colonial.
Decolonization is an ongoing process that requires all of us to be collectively involved and responsible. Decolonizing our institutions means we create spaces that are inclusive, respectful, and honour Indigenous Peoples.
Decolonization is not “integration” or the token inclusion of Indigenous ceremony. Rather, it involves a paradigm shift from a culture of denial to the making of space for Indigenous political philosophies and knowledge systems as they resurge, thereby shifting cultural perceptions and power relations in real ways.
> help learners come to recognize and know the structures of colonization and their implications;
> while engaging in activities that disrupt those structures on an individual and collective level;
> result in the re-centring of Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing;
> facilitate engagement with possibilities for making change in the world;
> particularly in the interests of supporting Indigenous self-determination.
- The Certificate of Decolonization and Indigenization Studies – Offers students the possibility of exploring Canada’s settler-colonial relationship to the diverse Indigenous peoples who have been here for millennia. They will also learn about the many ways that Indigenous peoples have continued to strengthen their cultures amidst the challenges of settlercolonialism.
- Journeys: A First Peoples’ College Transition Program – An introduction to CEGEP designed for First Nations, Inuit and Métis students. This one-year transition program enables Indigenous students to earn prerequisites, obtain college credits, explore options and settle in to the city to pursue higher education.
- First Peoples’ Centre – Provides comprehensive services, including academic, para-academic and cultural support, for Indigenous (First Nations, Metis, and Inuit) students. In addition, the First Peoples’ Centre provides access to Indigenous resources, college-wide. The Centre offers a peaceful, culturally sensitive environment where students can learn, study, socialize, and find community.
- First Peoples’ Initiative SharePoint Site (Resources)
- First Peoples’ Postsecondary Storytelling Exchange – Shares stories from Indigenous students with the goal of improving the postsecondary experience for future generations.
- Intercollegiate Decolonization Network (IDN) – This network of curated boards contains online materials created by Indigenous individuals or organizations, or by organizations that work closely with and that centre Indigenous perspectives.
- The Dawson College Peace Centre – Hosts Indigenous speakers for faculty and students.
- The Faculty Hub – Provides academic-related news and information for Dawson faculty.
- They Came for Our Children – Canada, Aboriginal Peoples and Residential Schools – From the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
- Their publication: Indigenous Ally Toolkit
Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Dr. Marie Wilson, Commissioner for Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission spoke at Dawson College in 2015. The event was hosted by Inspire Solutions and Dawson’s First Peoples Initiative. Click on the video to view this powerful presentation by Dr. Wilson.
Information about Land Acknowledgements
- About Land Acknowledgement
- Concordia Territorial Acknowledgment
- Canadian Association of University Teachers
- McGill Land Acknowledgement
- The Centre for Community Organizations (COCo)
Dawson Contacts for Decolonization and Indigenization
- Mark Beauchamp – Faculty History
- Tiawenti:non Canadian – Coordinator First Peoples’ Centre
- Cindy Cantin-Starzenski – Faculty Physical Education
- Pohanna Pyne Feinberg – Lead of Indigenous Pedagogies Community of Practice, Faculty Fine Arts
- Elliot Kerr – Faculty Sociology
- Julia Lijerón – Faculty Hub Coordination, Pedagogical Counsellor
- Brian Mader – Faculty Biology
- Pauline Morel – Co-coordinator of Journeys, Faculty English
- Billi-Jo Poirier – Recreational Activities Technician, Campus Life & Leadership (Student Services)
- Diana Rice – Peace Centre Coordination, Pedagogical Counsellor
- Francesca Roy – Co-coordinator of Journeys, Faculty French
- Laura Shea – Faculty Sociology
- Jennifer Smith – Coordinator Decolonization and Indigenization Studies Certificate, Faculty Anthropology
- Natalie Turner – Faculty, Nursing
Please contact Julia Lijerón with comments, suggestions or additional resources that could be added to this page.