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Strategies for Decolonizing Curriculum and Pedagogy

Here are a few strategies to consider as you begin to decolonize and indigenize your course or program.

  • Acknowledge and give recognition to cultural protocols of place - meaning the traditional Indigenous lands the university is build on. Include it in your course syllabus and speak about what it means as a (Canadian) settler and as an instructor.
  • De-center Eurocentric canons of thought by interrogating and reconceptualizing your curriculum in ways that restore and renew and re-center Indigenous histories, epistemologies, knowledge systems in respectful and meaningful ways.
  • Be accountable and responsible by grounding yourself in the local histories and lived experiences of Indigenous Peoples and communities.
  • Avoid tokenizing Indigenous students in the classroom by placing the burden on them to educate you and the students on Indigenous issues.
  • Design curriculum to reflect multiple worldviews. Ask yourself: 
    • Whose voice/perspective is missing in your course design? 
    • How do I authentically, ethically and respectfully design my course syllabus in ways that reflect the voices and lived experiences of Indigenous peoples from multiple lenses?
  • Integrate research and curriculum resources authored by Indigenous scholars across the curriculum and instead of placed as an add-on topic dedicated to one week lecture.
  • Co-construct experiential or land-based learning experiences with local Indigenous community Elders and cultural knowledge keepers. When cultivating ethical and respectful engagement with Elders and Community, ask yourself: 
    • What can I give back to the local Elders and community for sharing their Indigenous knowledge systems and expertise with me and/or the class? 

Decolonizing and Indigenizing Engineering

The following resources can serve as tools for Concordia faculty wanting to decolonize and re-design their course syllabi in order to reflect Indigenous perspectives in engineering. Developed by Indigenous faculty Randy Herrmann and non-Indigenous faculty Jillian Seniuk Cicek. Permission granted by the authors for use on the CTL website.

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