Month: November 2015

YNTEP Visits the Faculty of Education and SUNTEP

From November 24 to 26, Yukon Native Teacher Education Program (YNTEP) representatives visited the University of Regina campus to discuss plans for renewed education programming and a new community-based Elementary Education After Degree Program offered in partnership with the University of Regina.

Tina Jules (Coordinator/Faculty Advisor) and Mark Connell (YNTEP Faculty Advisor) met with Dr. Val Mulholland (Associate Dean, Student Services and Undergraduate Programs, Faculty of Education) and Student Program Centre (SPC) staff, Nicole Glas (SPC Manager), Carol Shi (Assistant to the Associate Dean) and Wendy Campbell (Program Assistant – TEP Programs / Timetable); Dean Jennifer Tupper; Dr. Shauneen Pete (Executive Lead, Indigenization); and Dr. Xia Ji (Director of Field Experiences and Professional Development) as well as Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP) Janice Thompson (Coordinator), to iron out details for the new and renewed programs.

With a full schedule, Tina and Mark also met with Dr. Angelina Weenie (First Nations University), Dr. Michael Cappello (ECS Courses), and attended JFEC. (Joint Field Experience Committee – comprised of the stakeholders, including southern SK school divisions, Ministry, SUNTEP, STF, Saskatchewan Professional Teachers Regulatory Board, Faculty of Education. JFEC meets semi-annually to review and to consult on policy governing field experiences in teacher education.)

They took in the sites at Lebret, SK with SUNTEP Faculty, and enjoyed the screening of the film, The Pass System, at the University of Regina, which YNTEP hopes to bring to the Yukon in February.

Though much was accomplished in terms of programming through the visit, in her farewell speech, Tina Jules spoke of the value of the relationships that have been formed as a result of the collaboration.

Photo Above (L-R): Back row: Xia Ji (Fac of Ed), Shauneen Pete (Fac of Ed/Indigenization), Tina Jules (YNTEP), Janice Thompson (SUNTEP), Kristina Lee (Fac of Ed), Wendy Campbell (Fac of Ed), Russell Fayant (SUNTEP), Mark Connell (YNTEP); Front row: Carol Shi (Fac of Ed), Nicole Glas (Fac of Ed), January Hutchison (Fac of Ed), Rechel Leonard (Fac of Ed), Dean Jennifer Tupper (Fac of Ed), Tamela Friesen (Fac of Ed), and Val Mulholland (Fac of Ed).


#TreatyEdCamp Recognized at Legislative Assembly

MLA and NDP Deputy Leader Trent Wotherspoon recognized the Faculty of Education’s #TreatyEdCamp in the legislature on November 19, 2015 (transcript below or see page 7723 of the online copy ).

“Mr. Wotherspoon: — On November 4th, the U of R [University of Regina] hosted a progressive and impressive learning opportunity for teachers here in Saskatchewan. The Treaty Edcamp was a professional development event organized by the U of R chapter of the Student Teachers Anti-Racist/Anti-Oppressive Society with the support of the Faculty of Education and Dean, Dr. Jennifer Tupper. We know how important treaty education is for our province. Every acre is covered by treaty and every resident is party to the treaty.

There were more than 30 presenters leading the discussions about how to incorporate treaty education into classrooms, creating a rich learning opportunity. Also impressive were the 250 teachers and students from across Saskatchewan that came to Regina to attend the camp on their own time on a Saturday. Some sessions focused on how to incorporate the treaties into math and science; others focused on strategies for talking about dark parts of our history with young students — all important topics for reconciliation in our province.

And so I ask all members to join me in thanking Meagan Dobson, Katia Hildebrandt, Raquel Bellefleur for their work in organizing this conference and in recognizing the important work being done by students, teachers, elders, professors, educators, and administrators across our province to ensure that every student in Saskatchewan learns how important treaties have been in shaping Saskatchewan’s past and the fundamental role they must play in our province’s future if Saskatchewan is going to reach its full potential. We are, after all, all treaty people. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.” (Debates and Proceedings)

Doctoral Dissertation Award

Dr. Sean Lessard
Dr. Sean Lessard

Congratulations to Dr. Sean Lessard, whose dissertation has been selected for the 2015 Outstanding Teacher Education Doctoral Dissertation Award at the University of Alberta.

The Centre for Research for Teacher Education and Development committee in the Faculty of Education, University of Alberta unanimously agreed that “there are many outstanding aspects of your dissertation, each of which opens enormous possibility for teacher education and for teacher education research. We also saw ways in which your research is significant for professions beyond education and in the lives of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth and families across Canada.”

Dr. Sean Lessard successfully defended his dissertation entitled, “Red Worn Runners: A Narrative Inquiry into the Stories of Aboriginal Youth and Families in Urban Settings”  in 2014.



SUNTEP Students Present on TRC Recommendations

As part of their course work for ECCU 300 – Cross Cultural Teaching Strategies, with instructor Brenna Pacholko, SUNTEP students Rebecca Wiens and Lesley Hanson presented “TRC Recommendations: Indigenization Within Education” today in the Aboriginal Student Centre at the University of Regina.

Wiens grew up in a predominantly White town, where she did not learn about her Métis heritage and Hanson is from Sakimay First Nations, but was born and raised in Moose Jaw, and is closely acquainted with Indian Residential School (IRS) impacts, with a mother, grandmother, and great grandmother all having spent time in residential school. “If I was born fifty years earlier, it could have been me,” she says.

The two presenters outlined the work that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is doing, what the focus will be (truth AND reconciliation), and why it is important to Canadians, receiving feedback from the group about why it is important “to me.”  Hanson shared that even though she didn’t attend a residential school, she still feels the impacts of the IRS:  “The impact of residential school whether alcoholism, depression, or mental illness…hits home with me and my family.” Impacts are intergenerational, as survivors attempt to cope with their residential school experiences. A participant pointed out that so often people think that the impacts are only felt by Aboriginal people, but non-Aboriginal people are also impacted, whether they know it or not.

Hanson and Wiens then showed an excerpt from the TED talk given by Starleigh Grass:

Starleigh encourages listeners to follow two hashtags on Twitter: #myreconciliation and #readthetrc

From the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action for Education and Reconciliation, Hanson and Wiens read Recommendations 62, 63, 64, and 65:

62. We call upon the federal, provincial, and territorial governments, in consultation and collaboration with Survivors, Aboriginal peoples, and educators, to:

i. Make age-appropriate curriculum on residential schools, Treaties, and Aboriginal peoples’ historical and contemporary contributions to Canada a mandatory education requirement for Kindergarten to Grade Twelve students.

ii. Provide the necessary funding to post-secondary institutions to educate teachers on how to integrate Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods into classrooms.

iii. Provide the necessary funding to Aboriginal schools to utilize Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods in classrooms.

iv. Establish senior-level positions in government at the
assistant deputy minister level or higher dedicated to

63. Aboriginal content in education.63. We call upon the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada to maintain an annual commitment to Aboriginal education issues, including:

i. Developing and implementing Kindergarten to Grade Twelve curriculum and learning resources on Aboriginal peoples in Canadian history, and the history and legacy of residential schools.

ii. Sharing information and best practices on teaching curriculum related to residential schools and Aboriginal history.

iii. Building student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect.

iv. Identifying teacher-training needs relating to the above.

64. We call upon all levels of government that provide public funds to denominational schools to require such schools to provide an education on comparative religious studies, which must include a segment on Aboriginal spiritual beliefs and practices developed in collaboration with Aboriginal Elders.

65. We call upon the federal government, through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, post-secondary institutions, and educators, and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and its partner institutions, to establish a national research program with multi-year funding to advance understanding of reconciliation.

Dr. Michael Cappello offers a White settler perspective on the TRC Recommendations
Dr. Michael Cappello offers a White settler perspective on the TRC Recommendations

Then, Dr. Michael Cappello, guest speaker, offered a White settler perspective on the importance of the TRC Recommendations.  Cappello says, “There are lots of ways our histories interweave: Stories are far beyond ‘us and them,’ and there are lots of reasons to take the TRC recommendations seriously.”

Cappello points out that the role of non-Aboriginal people is at the very least the role of witness: to attend, to serve, to witness, and to be present. Further, it is important that non-Aboriginal people educate themselves. “Everything that I know about racism comes from marginalized groups,” says Cappello.  He does not think the burden of educating White settlers should be placed on Aboriginal peoples. At most, the White settler’s role is as a junior partner: “Our job is to listen and to respond, ‘Ok, here is Recommendation # 62; how should we do that?…’ White settler’s are not the leaders in this TRC project. I know my role, to legitimize, and I should be committed to doing,” he says.

“It is my place to honor Indigenous cultures, but not my place to teach Indigenous culture,” Cappello says. “Learning is not something that is completed by taking a course; it is a life’s work.” Cappello mentions Dr. Shauneen Pete’s 100 Ways to Indigenize and Decolonize Academic Programs and Courses as a resource. What Cappello focuses on in his teaching is confronting racism. “This is also a life long work, unlearning the racism that I grew up with,” he says. Cappello handed out a copy of what the Faculty of Education, University of Regina is doing to respond to the TRC recommendations.

Cappello emphasized the need to read the TRC. “If you are bored of reading on white paper, then listen to the TRC, which has been recorded on Youtube with Indigenous people reading the TRC in 8-minute segments.” (The first one is embedded below.)

In the final part of the presentation, Hanson and Wiens discuss the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP) and mission, and how their classroom is indigenized, set up in a circle around the medicine wheel, along with Métis symbols in the classroom such as the Métis flag, Louis Riel, the Red River Cart, the Métis sash, and Michif language. Their program includes building relationships with each other, faculty, staff and elders; Indigenous perspectives; opportunities for learning Michif; and jigging. Though not directly stated, it is clear that the SUNTEP program is uniquely positioned in that it is already modeling the TRC Recommendations.

The presenters ended the presentation with a final question about the value of SUNTEP. Russell Fayant, a SUNTEP instructor, noted that along with the other suggestions (good foundation for teachers, educating next generation about their culture, and a way to decolonize), “SUNTEP has helped to produce a Métis middle class and activism is a privilege of the middle class.”


Education Professor to Engage with Thousands of Students in Online Youth Forum

By Costa Maragos, Posted to U of R Feature Stories November 16

University of Regina professor Dr. Alec Couros is about to address an unusually huge class.

More than 8,800 elementary and high school students from across Saskatchewan will connect with Couros on Tuesday, November 17 in a live, interactive broadcast.

The presentation is part of the “2015 Student First Anti-Bullying Forum,” held in conjunction with Bullying Awareness Week in Canada.

Couros is regularly asked to speak to students about these topics, usually in classrooms, school gyms, or auditoriums. The format for this anti-bullying forum offers an opportunity to reach out to far more students at once.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of the forum, and this format provides a unique opportunity for conversation and interaction with students from across the province,” says Couros, who is an Associate Professor of Educational Technology & Media in the Faculty of Education.

“An event of this size and format would certainly be more difficult in a face-to-face context. Digital technologies and access to robust information networks are critical in allowing us to hear from all students, regardless of location.”

Couros will talk to students about both the difficulties and opportunities offered by our increasingly digital world, as well as how young people can develop a positive digital identity and contribute to society in constructive and transformative ways.

“Our students are constantly participating and interacting in online spaces, and this can lead to complexities around issues of digital citizenship and digital identity, including cyberbullying.

Katia Hildebrandt is a PhD candidate and sessional instructor.
Katia Hildebrandt is a Ph.D. candidate and sessional instructor.

“The Internet has become an integral part of our world. Due to the ubiquitous nature of technology in our lives, it is no longer possible to be completely ‘offline.’ Thus, we need to give youth the skills to participate in positive ways and to become upstanders instead of bystanders.”

Couros has built a strong reputation, both in the classroom and on social media. He has more than 95,000 followers on Twitter, and he’s considered one of the pioneers of ‘massive open online courses’ or MOOCS, which can make education more accessible and allow for the global exchange of ideas.“We are no longer learning in isolation. The classroom walls have come down, and we need to give students the tools to take advantage of the incredible opportunities available to them in our connected world,” says Couros, whose presentation at the forum will include plenty of opportunities for students to interact and discuss ways to shape their world.The forum will be moderated by Katia Hildebrandt, a Ph.D. candidate and sessional instructor in the Faculty of Education. She played a vital role in the previous two events, which were held face-to-face.“There was certainly something powerful about bringing students together and giving them the space to connect and collaborate with each other in that setting,” says Hildebrandt, who helped write the teacher facilitation guide for the sessions this week.“But the online format allows for dramatically increased access and provides authentic opportunities for students to engage with these important issues using tools and modalities that are the same or similar to those they already use in their daily lives.”The forum is hosted by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education in partnership with ‘I am Stronger,’ an initiative from SaskTel to combat bullying in schools.Additional support was provided by the Canadian Red Cross and KidSport.

The Faculty of Education at the University of Regina has a fine reputation for strong undergraduate teacher education programs, graduate programs, and adult education.

digcitguide Couros and Hildebrandt recently co-authored the Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools: A Policy Planning Guide for School Divisions and Schools to Implement Digital Citizenship Education From Kindergarten to Grade 12 for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education. Retrieve from here.

First #TreatyEdCamp: A Success

The first #TreatyEdCamp was held this morning, Saturday, November 7, at the Faculty of Education, University of Regina. #TreatyEdCamp is free professional development by teachers for teachers focused on Treaty Education. Over 200 teachers and preservice teachers participated in four concurrent sessions. The day began with a welcome and acknowledgement of Treaty 4 land by S.T.A.R.S. Regina organizers: Katia Hildebrandt, Meagan Dobson, Raquel Bellefleur, and Michael Cappello. After receiving a gift of tobacco, Elder Noel Starblanket offered the opening prayer and Michael Desjarlais offered song and drum. Dean Jennifer Tupper also welcomed the group, taking a group photo to Tweet out using the hashtag #treatyedcamp, where participants were posting responsively throughout the camp. Then the group split into five groups: A female pipe ceremony was held in the Teaching Preparation Centre, and four concurrent Blanket Exercises were offered to participants not attending the pipe ceremony. The Blanket Exercise is a powerful demonstration of the effects of historical Canadian events/policies on Aboriginal peoples (for instance, the Treaties, the Indian Act, Aboriginal Residential Schools and the Sixties Scoop). You can learn more about this exercise at

Following the pipe ceremony and Blanket Exercises, participants attend their choice of presentations in four concurrent sessions. A list of presenters and resources can be found online at:



Video Responses to #TreatyEdCamp
What did you learn today? How will you respond to what you learned today?

Responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action: Faculty of Education

Two young students learning about residential school students at the 100 Years of Loss Exhibit. Photo credit: Shuana Niessen
Project of Heart tiles Photo credit: Christina Johns
Project of Heart tiles Photo credit: Christina Johns

In its deep commitments to anti-oppressive education and teaching for a better world, the Faculty of Education, situated on Treaty 4 land at the University of Regina, takes seriously the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) calls to action, particularly those specific to education. We recognize the many ways that education has been used as a tool for assimilation of Aboriginal peoples in Canada, and indeed as a vehicle for cultural genocide. Residential schools are not only demonstrative of the failures to honour the spirit and intent of treaties and the treaty relationship; they are also demonstrative of the power of colonialism and racism to shape national narratives and understanding. As such, the history and ongoing legacies of the Residential School experience for Aboriginal peoples in Canada must not be ignored; the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina acknowledges our shared constitutional, historical, and ethical responsibility in this respect.

The Witness Blanket Exhibit Photo credit: Shuana Niessen
Regina School Students visit the 100 Years of Loss Exhibit to learn about the history of residential schools in Canada. Photo credit: Shuana Niessen

As an important part of the formal structure of the Faculty of Education, the Indigenous Advisory Circle will provide recommendations and leadership regarding the TRC Calls to Action. They have already supported the work of the Faculty in teaching Residential Schools. For example, since 2014, the Faculty of Education has been the regional facilitator of Project of Heart, an inquiry into residential schools ( This commitment continues as the Faculty actively seeks to expand this important initiative. Further, the Faculty has facilitated the 100 Years of Loss (2013) and the Witness Blanket Exhibits (2014-2015) at the University of Regina, which more than 800 school children visited; these children interacted with and learned from the Residential school experience. Many faculty and sessional instructors have integrated these exhibits into their undergraduate and graduate teaching, and will persist in finding more ways to teach meaningfully and intentionally about residential schools in Canada. Residential schools are also central to the research activities of several faculty members in Education.

  • TRC Call to Action 62 urges governments to create “age-appropriate curriculum on residential schools, treaties, and aboriginal peoples’ historical and contemporary contributions to Canada a mandatory education requirement for kindergarten to Grade 12 students.” The Faculty of Education supports this call to action through its ongoing work in preparing preservice teachers for treaty education and the integration of Aboriginal content, perspectives, and teachings. Included in the Provincial mandate for treaty education is an assessment of the impact residential schools have on First Nations communities. The Faculty of Education is committed to ensuring our students are prepared to meet this outcome in their classrooms.
  • TRC Call to Action 10 calls for the development of culturally appropriate curricula and for respecting and honouring the treaty relationship. The Faculty of Education is committed to building on our work in the development of culturally appropriate curriculum not only in K-12 schools but also in teacher education. As noted, our commitment to Treaty Education and our pedagogical and scholarly leadership in this respect are intended to actively respect and honour the treaty relationship, in the past, present, and future.
  • TRC Call to Action 63 advocates building capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect. The Faculty of Education has invited a part-time emerging elder in residence to support faculty, staff, and students in their learning and their understanding of our shared histories with Aboriginal peoples.
Joseph Naytowhow, Emerging Elder-in-Residence
  • TRC Call to Action 63 also calls for identifying teacher-training (sic) needs related to Aboriginal education issues. The Faculty continues to work collaboratively with First Nations University of Canada and in partnership with the Yukon Native Teacher Education Program, the Nunavut Teacher Education Program, the Northern Teacher Education Program, and the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program. These collaborations / partnerships are critical in addressing Aboriginal education issues. So too are current and future efforts in undergraduate teacher education within the Faculty of Education some of which involve Education Core Studies content and objectives.

In addition to the specific TRC Calls for Action, the Faculty of Education remains committed to indigenizing curriculum, pedagogy, and spaces in teacher education and in adult education, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. It is the hope of the Faculty that through these continued commitments reconciliation becomes possible.

Dean Jennifer Tupper

Le Talk Bac 5(3) November 2015

Talk Bac v5 n3 - 2 novembre 2015The First year BAC Field Experience–Another Successful Year at St. Mary School

Those who have read our publication for several years now might be thinking you have already read a similar text, as this is another yet year to thank our colleagues at St. Mary School. However, nothing should be taken for granted; we recognize the efforts of the Director, Maurice St. Amand, and all faculty members and staff of St. Mary school, who welcomed our ECSF 100 students, accompanied by their supervisor, Professor Jean Dufresne, to offer them the opportunity to have a first experience in schools from the perspective of preservice teachers. For six afternoons in October, the Bac students visited classrooms, worked with students and had the opportunity to teach a lesson. This experience in an immersion school allows students – who are only beginning their career in the field of education – to observe and work in a stimulating school environment with curious and committed young students. This experience has enriched all those who benefited. A big thank you to the team at St. Mary School!

A New Strategic Plan for the Faculty of Education

Last spring, the Bac team welcomed our Dean, Dr. Jennifer Tupper, to discuss the first draft of the new strategic plan of the Faculty. Since that meeting, Dr. Fadila Boutouchent, assistant professor tenure-track, has been sitting on the Faculty’s Strategic Plan Working Committee. The second draft has now been completed and following a meeting with the Vice-Deans and Directors, to which the Director of Bac, Dr. Marie Lace Brogden attended last October, all faculty members will have the opportunity to contribute feedback again on the third draft of the plan. Following this internal consultation stage, we expect to send the new draft to our partners who serve on our Bac Advisory Committee to the Dean. This collaborative process is intended to inform the Faculty in establishing the principles that will guide our work over the next five years.

News : Research – Create – Community

Last October 16, Dr. Marie Lace Brogden conducted a service to the university community as a speaker during the Convocation Ceremony.

Xia , J., & Brogden , L.M. (2015 , October). Autoethnography : Side by side by side… Theory and Methods Seminar. Faculty of Education , University of Regina.