Monday, May 31, 2021
Higher education has traditionally been seen as slow to adapt or even resistant to change. The dominant model of the higher education institution that can be found all over Canada has clear roots in the Anglo-European models that date back hundreds of years. As universities spread, so too did colonial ideas of how education should be organized and shared. The wealth of knowledge from Indigenous cultures and traditions that already existed on and about this land was excluded from the establishment of the Canadian higher education system.
In today’s system, higher education institutions, operating as colonial institutions, still stand, stretching from Whitehorse to St John’s. And yet, while they might look the same from the outside, Indigenous wisdom and knowledge is beginning to transform higher education from within.
This CSSHE flagship session will bring together Indigenous senior administrators and researchers, providing space for these leaders to share their stories and experiences and for participants to learn from them. The session aims to move beyond a deficit discourse that tends to package Indigenization and decolonization as buzzwords or merely jobs to be done towards focusing on the strengths of Indigenous research, knowledge, and worldviews, and how these strengths can rejuvenate Canadian higher education. The session will also provide a space to reflect on the paradoxes and difficulties of doing this within the existing structure of higher education, a key tension in the resurgence of Indigenous knowledges.
Frank Deer, Canada Research Chair & Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba
Florence Glanfield, Vice-Provost (Indigenous Programming & Research), University of Alberta (she/her)
Tosh Southwick, Independent Consultant and former Associate Vice-President of Indigenous Engagement and Reconciliation, Yukon University (she/her)
Deborah Saucier, President and Vice-Chancellor of Vancouver Island University
- Frank Deer, Canada Research Chair & Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba
- Florence Glanfield, Vice-Provost (Indigenous Programming & Research), University of Alberta