We Are All Related: Course Design for Reconciliation – Indigenous Nehiyaw (Cree) Teachings and Critical Thinking


The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada (established in 2008), worked for six years to show the ongoing legacy and 'complex truth' of 'church run residential schools'. (p. 23). The final report in 2015 led to many initiatives to begin to acknowledge both truth and healing.In 2016-17 a course was designed by a member of the Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta, Canada, who is a Nehiyaw Iskwew (Cree woman), Indigenous Scholar and Activist, in partnership with an Indigenous knowledge keeper. Incorporating traditional teachings, ceremony and song, and academic writings from the Academy, the course introduced Indigenous worldview and understanding of critical thinking from the perspective of Nehiyaw (Cree) teaching and learning. Using concepts such as blood memory, collective narrative memory and its relationship to the land/place, the instructors worked to connect western views of critical thinking to the Nehiyaw (Cree) worldview. This workshop will model/explore the creation of this course - the experiences of the course instructors to ‘translate’ and negotiate Nehiyaw (Cree) knowledge to western constructs; the need for a Faculty and its members to support such undertakings; and the ways that instructional design can be used to assist in the recovery and rebuilding of an Indigenous knowledge base, while tying these worldviews to western theory and articulate ancient Indigenous philosophy, through theory, in a way that the western academy understands. This workshop has lessons for all educators struggling with this construct.

Author Information
Janice Makokis, University of Alberta, Canada
Kathryn Campbell, University of Alberta, Canada
Diana Steinhauer, University of Alberta, Canada
Diane P. Janes, University of Alberta, Canada

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2017
Stream: Education and post-colonialism

This paper is part of the ECE2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon