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A thousand steps from one: Towards decolonizing and Indigenizing pedagogy in higher education

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) Ph.D.
Date created
In the Canadian educational context, higher education is committed to decolonization, reconciliation, and support of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action. This doctoral thesis documents and interprets my personal journey as a settler academic in an effort to contribute to a future that centres decolonization, interculturality, and Indigenous ways of learning, being, and knowing. As part of my learning journey of exploration, commitment, and action, I synthesize the knowledge I have gathered over the years, both in my ballet dance training and in my Indigenous studies, considering my past in conjunction with the present and future. Key research questions that guide my research are: how can we successfully integrate Indigenous ways of learning, being, and knowing into higher education when academia's foundations are Eurocentric and colonial? This thesis contemplates how my journey in decolonization of curriculum and towards Indigenizing pedagogy serves my students, my institutions, and my community. In particular, this thesis considers how my commitment, as a settler academic, to reconciliation, decolonization, and Indigenization is incorporated into how I take action to deconstruct the Eurocentric norms during my service work at my institution. The structure of this thesis follows the nine Haida principles of learning. In doing so, a path is created for self-exploration through storytelling method of learning and writing. These stories draw out my burning questions about academia and Indigenization, demonstrating parallels observed between my personal experiences and the academy's journey towards decolonizing and Indigenizing higher education. Through this effort, I theorize about potential ways to better my own engagement in reconciliation. Also, as a work in Appreciative Inquiry, this thesis shows how Indigenous ways of being guide my decision making, pedagogical approaches, assessment practices, and general approach to life on the land upon which I am situated.
135 pages.
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Copyright is held by the author(s).
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Bai, Heesoon
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