SUNTEP Students Indigenizing Curriculum: Moving Beyond Beads, Bannock, and Buckskin

The Saskatchewan Curriculum is packed with many opportunities to authentically integrate purposeful First Nations, Métis, and Inuit content and perspectives. On February 19 and 20, three 2nd-year students and one faculty from Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP–Regina) had the opportunity to attend and present at the 2015 WestCAST conference in Saskatoon.

Often as teachers, we are uncomfortable or unaware of how to integrate First Nations, Métis, and Inuit content beyond the stereotypical and historical topics. As much as the intentions are good, sometimes we further build stereotypes unknowingly.

Throughout the workshop, we provided hands-on opportunity for participants to work with their outcomes, and in small, common-graded groups to indigenize each subject.

As preservice teachers, each facilitator had examined the Kindergarten to Grade 8 cross curricular outcomes. We indigenized outcomes by going beyond the stereotypical beads, bannock, and buckskin.

The workshop was done collaboratively with the participants as we guided and helped provide the tools to reduce racism and bring awareness to others in the education field. Each participant walked away with indigenized cross curricular outcomes and the ability to introduce indigenization as a professional development opportunity for their workplaces.

The WestCAST theme was “Engage. Empower. Inspire.” Accordingly, during this time, we worked together to build a strong, purposeful, indigenized curriculum.

By Jennifer Reid-Vandevord, SUNTEP Faculty

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