Presentation Title

Indigenizing Curriculums of Higher Education – A Case Study at Thompson Rivers University

Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented the Friday of the conference

Presenter Information

Janna WaleFollow

Abstract

Much like the work of MacMath and Hall, this work is in response to more than 160 years of forcefully relocating Canadian Indigenous children to residential schools, the birthplace of the dominant eurocentric education system in Canada (2018). To date, little research has been done on whether teachings of culture and Indigenous knowledges in higher education would positively shift people’s perceptions on Indigenous people. Generally speaking, the Canadian perception of Indigenous people is colored by years of intergenerational trauma and ignorance, perpetuated by what is taught in Western education systems. This was confirmed through personal experience working with the general public this summer via a baseline study with BC Ferries and Parks Canada. This study uses a combination of qualitative and Indigenous research methodologies to assess whether the exposure to Indigenous history, knowledges, and content ultimately affects students’ perceptions surrounding Indigenous people. The results of the surveys indicate that exposure to Indigenous content and knowledges shift perceptions within a higher education setting. The presentation of material and transmission of knowledge through multiple perspectives ultimately showed differences across three survey collection points. More research is needed into finding effective strategies to increase Indigenous student success in higher education environments, as well as to facilitate a deeper understanding of alternative ways of knowing within non-Indigenous individuals entering the workforce. Furthermore, there is a need for more research into the Indigenous student experience in Canada, and the role that institutions play in student outcomes.

Department

Natural Resource Science

Faculty Advisor

John Karakatsoulis, Sereana Patterson, Jacque Sorensen and Andrea Barnett

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Indigenizing Curriculums of Higher Education – A Case Study at Thompson Rivers University

Much like the work of MacMath and Hall, this work is in response to more than 160 years of forcefully relocating Canadian Indigenous children to residential schools, the birthplace of the dominant eurocentric education system in Canada (2018). To date, little research has been done on whether teachings of culture and Indigenous knowledges in higher education would positively shift people’s perceptions on Indigenous people. Generally speaking, the Canadian perception of Indigenous people is colored by years of intergenerational trauma and ignorance, perpetuated by what is taught in Western education systems. This was confirmed through personal experience working with the general public this summer via a baseline study with BC Ferries and Parks Canada. This study uses a combination of qualitative and Indigenous research methodologies to assess whether the exposure to Indigenous history, knowledges, and content ultimately affects students’ perceptions surrounding Indigenous people. The results of the surveys indicate that exposure to Indigenous content and knowledges shift perceptions within a higher education setting. The presentation of material and transmission of knowledge through multiple perspectives ultimately showed differences across three survey collection points. More research is needed into finding effective strategies to increase Indigenous student success in higher education environments, as well as to facilitate a deeper understanding of alternative ways of knowing within non-Indigenous individuals entering the workforce. Furthermore, there is a need for more research into the Indigenous student experience in Canada, and the role that institutions play in student outcomes.