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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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