In December, our Faculty received news that six of our graduate students have been chosen for the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships/Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS) Competition. Our spotlight today is shining on PhD student Tammy Ratt, one of the six competitors.
Tammy is currently a lecturer with the language department at First Nations University of Canada.
Since she was young, Tammy wanted to get her PhD. “I wanted to write self-help books…I don’t know why.” In pursuit of her dream, Tammy completed her B.Ed. degree (with a major in Indigenous Studies and minor in Cree) at First Nations University of Canada in 2007. She completed her first master’s in education (curriculum and instruction) from the University of Regina in 2016 but did the course-work route. She then registered in a Master’s in Indigenous Language Education (MILED, thesis-route) in 2020 at the First Nations University of Canada. “But then,” Tammy says, “I was so inspired by the MILED, I applied for a Phd in Education at the University of Regina.” Tammy will finish her course work this term and will start her comprehensive exams in the spring. Tammy jokes saying, “This University can’t get rid of me.”
Tammy’s doctoral research, supervised by Dr. Andrea Sterzuk, examines Indigenous language education using art as a method of transmission. Tammy says, “I chose my research topic because learning my language has been an uplifting journey. All these years and I am still finding myself. Learning my language makes me feel better about myself.” Tammy hopes that Indigenous youth will also have the opportunity to feel this way. She hopes to create language learning opportunities through the use of Indigenous art. “I love Indigenous art. It is soothing and healing. I think this research is the perfect way to do something challenging: learning language through art,” says Tammy.
Tammy’s published articles include the following:
Ratt, T., Daniels, B., Stevenson, R., & Sterzuk, A. (in press). “When I Chose to Become a Teacher, I was Agreeing to Perpetuating Colonialism”: Experiences of Colonialism in Saskatchewan Educational Systems. In N. Limerick, J. Schissel, M. López Gopar, & V. Huerta (Eds.), Colonialism, Language, and Education Across the Americas . Teachers College Press.
Ratt, T. (2022). Miskasowin asîhk (Finding Oneself on the Land). in education, 27(2b), 37-51.
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