Indigenization and decolonization of the classroom

Faith on river rock

YukonU instructor Faith Whiting is looking at ways Yukon University instructors are implementing the concepts of Indigenization and decolonization in their classrooms for her graduate-level research in education.

Faith was motivated to explore these concepts through questions emerging from her own practice as a non-Indigenous instructor in the Yukon Native Teacher Education Program. Her study highlights the foundational importance of instructors understanding the complexities of their own identity and how these might impact where they stand in relation to this work. A number of Indigenized and decolonized pedagogies are articulated through the study, along with approaches to curriculum and assessment. The study acknowledges that there is significant work to do at the level of self, community, and institutionally in moving these concepts forward. It advocates for increased Indigenous representation in the instructor community at Yukon University and proposes a series of considerations for non-Indigenous instructors to engage with in their practice.

“With the recognition that reconciliation in education requires the participation of all educators, I set out to better understand my role as a non-Indigenous teacher through this study,” Faith says. “I now have a better grasp of my place in this work, and I look forward to growing in my practice, and to the continued learning journey ahead.”

A YukonU Scholarly Activity Grant allowed Faith a course release to conduct her master's thesis.  

Written by student communications assistant Naomi Dedon.