Indigenizing and opening academia

Are you interested in building, driving, and supporting indigenization and open pedagogy? During our two-day conference, professionals from across Canada will come together to tackle two of the most important paradigm shifts in Canadian higher education—indigenizing and opening academia.

Please note: Registration is now closed.

Session Materials Now Available

We have made available a number of slides and other materials from the sessions offered at TLT 2018. Please click below to view or download them.

Session Materials Now Available

Becoming an Ally: Moving Beyond Bias and Privilege

Presented by: Kory Wilson, Executive Director - Indigenous Initiatives and Partnerships, British Columbia Institute of Technology

Indigenizing and opening the academy requires the ‘actioning’ of Reconciliation.  Everyone has a role and it requires authentic, innovative thinking.  This keynote will address how to become an ally.

The Relationship Between Decolonization and Indigenization

Presented by: Larry Chartrand (University of Saskatchewan)

To what extent are universities undertaking Indigenization from a decolonization perspective?  It is one thing to hire Indigenous staff and academics or to include Indigenous knowledges and perspectives in the curriculum and academy, it is another thing to actually address colonial power imbalances.  Legal and administrative authorities must address the inequities of Indigenous authority including treaty and governance authority over education and educational institutions.

Personal, Local and Small: A Principled Approach to Indigenous Education

Presented by: Laurie Meijer Drees and Melody Martin (Vancouver Island University)

Since the publication of "Indian Control of Indian Education" in 1972 by the National Indian Brotherhood, discussion about Indigenous Education has proliferated. Few easy solutions to attaining Indigenous control over education exist. This paper suggests three principles to guide new post-secondary efforts to "Indigenize". The principles of  "personal, local and small" derive from Coast Salish Indigenous pedagogies and suggest fundamental requirements for inter/cross cultural learning.

Incorporating Indigenous Knowledge and Open Pedagogy into a New Chemistry of Food and Cooking Course for Non-Science Majors

Presented by: Stephen Cheng (University of Regina) and Vincent Ziffle (First Nations University)

A Chemistry of Food and Cooking course is being developed for Fall 2018. The course applies basic mathematics, fundamental chemistry, and comprehension of biochemistry to food and cooking. Students will perform experiments to understand chemistry using food and cooking followed by making real food using proven recipes. The course will explore food preparation by Indigenous people allowing students to expand the scope of chemistry and food. Open pedagogy will also be used to engage students to collaboratively create new free-access recipes.

Invisible Paywalls: Recognizing Information Privilege in Academia

Presented by: Diane (DeDe) Dawson (University of Saskatchewan)

Academic libraries work hard to make access to online journals as seamless as possible for their campus communities. So much so that students (and some faculty) are typically unaware that paywalls to this content exist for those outside of academia – and those at less wealthy institutions. Open Access to the scholarly literature has the potential to democratize access to information, and include marginalized groups in the conversation. But first we need to recognize our information privilege.

Strategic Directions For Post-secondary Indigenization Initiatives

Presented by: Anna-Leah King (University of Regina)

I will share and discuss the University of Regina's Strategic Plans and Initiatives. Drawing on my work as a faculty lead on multiple initiatives, I will share the efforts made by various faculty members over the past few years and how they continue to develop. My roles at the University of Regina positions me uniquely to discuss getting started and moving forward in Indigenizing initiatives.

Building STEM Pathways in the Aboriginal Student Achievement Program... Everybody in!

Presented by: Sandy Bonny (University of Saskatchewan)

ASAP STEM Pathways links access, transition and enrichment programming to support Indigenous student participation in STEM programs. Responsibility for student success is distributed between program staff, course instructors, student advisors, and students; requiring effective dialogue and co-learning to identify practical program elements that move beyond providing access to courses, and toward making the STEM disciplines accessible and welcoming to Indigenous students and their communities.

Truth and Reconceptualization: Indigenous Pedagogies in the Post-Secondary Classroom

Presented by: Ashleigh Androsoff  (University of Saskatchewan)

This presentation will explain how interweaving Indigenous and Western pedagogical approaches can enrich the post-secondary learning experience and drastically improve learning outcomes for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. It will offer strategies for reconceptualising course design to better include and reflect Indigenous ways of knowing, by presenting practical examples of instructional activities, assignments, and evaluation formats that incorporate Indigenous pedagogical approaches.

Teaching Indigenization Through Online Platforms

Presented by: Emily Grafton and Alec Couros (University of Regina)

Introducing Indigenous ways of knowing into any western-framed institution can be a complex and controversial process. Many creative ways of authentically Indigenizing western-based curriculum, teaching, and learning spaces have arisen, while other attempts result in symbolic or tokenistic gestures. This workshop will explore educational technologies, especially those that support online learning, which present a range of new Indigenization possibilities as well as new pedagogical tensions.

Best Practices in Licensing and Attributing Open Works

Presented by: Karla Panchuk and Joyce McBeth (University of Saskatchewan)

Best practices in licensing works for open use should consider both practical and ethical issues. Practically, Creative Commons licenses (e.g. CC-BY) are unambiguous, but other considerations are flexibility of use and whether the license on derivative works is consistent with restrictions on the use of component materials.  Ethical considerations should include the impact of license permissions on people or groups who share personally or culturally sensitive materials or a body of work.

Workshop: A Strategy for Indigenizing Postsecondary Institutions

Presented by: Stryker Calvez (University of Saskatchewan)

Indigenization in postsecondary institutions is meant to be a transformative process using a concerted response to undo fears, complacency, and current/past injustices in order to build an environment that respects, supports, and includes Indigenous peoples and worldviews. Committing to indigenization should mean participating meaningfully in reconciliation using strong leadership, accommodations, professional development, allyship, community support, knowledge stewardship, and policy changes and new. This workshop will help participants think about and develop ideas for a holistic and pragmatic indigenization strategy.

A networking break to meet new people and share ideas.

Indigenization in the House: Aotearoa New Zealand Experiences of Indigenizing and Opening the Academy

Presented by: Simon Lambert (University of Saskatchewan)

Recent strategies to ‘indigenize’ and open the university sector in Canada echo similar attempts in Aotearoa New Zealand. With significant common ground as colonial settler states that are proud members of the British Commonwealth, with relatively impeccable liberal reputations, a larger and often bullying neighbor, and significant Indigenous populations, it is perhaps timely for a snapshot of Antipodean experiences.

Equity More Than Just Equality: Promoting Indigenous Student Success

Presented by: Heather Nelson, Beverlee Ziefflie, and Twana White (Saskatchewan Polytechnic)

We performed a study with the aim of identifying barriers and successful strategies for Indigenous students. We used a multi-method approach, which included a literature review, survey, focus group, interviews and Testing of Workplace Essential Skills (TOWES). Our results revealed four relevant themes: cultural identity, supports, academic preparedness and intrinsic barriers. From our findings we implemented strategies, which resulted in positive student experiences which we will share.

B Witness: The Blanket, the Processes and the Real Work

Presented by: Shirley Swelchalot Shxwha:yathel Hardman, Carol Dickson, and Peter Geller (University of Fraser Valley)

In 2017 UFV hosted the Witness Blanket in s’olh temexw, the territory of the Stó:lō. The art installation proved pivotal in the university’s decade long initiative: Indigenizing Our Academy. Hardman, Dickson & Geller, as a team, navigated nearly every department and service area in the university. This engaging conversation treats the audience to nuances of Indigenizing that often become stumbling blocks and outright barriers. In their telling the team make it clear that it is all in a day’s work.

Building a Collective to Create Open Educational Resources in Indigenous Studies

Presented by: Hugh McGuire (Rebus Foundation)

The Rebus Community is building a collaborative approach to publishing open textbooks. What would a cross-Canada initiative to create open resources in Indigenous Studies look like?  This session, presented by Rebus co-founder Hugh McGuire, will give an overview of how the Rebus Community has approached open textbook creation to date, and solicit input and feedback from the audience on ideas for approaching creation of open textbooks on Indigenous Studies. 

Ceremony, Cultural Knowledge, and the Classroom: How to Indigenize Without Further Colonizing

Presented by: Brenda Macdougall (University of Ottawa) and Maria Campbell (University of Saskatchewan)

In the rush to Indigenize, not enough time is being spent on determining how to actually develop pedagogical practices that promote intellectual engagement with Indigenous knowledge systems. There are real opportunities to create community-university partnerships and develop courses focused on the way that knowledge is created and transmitted through discussion, debate, and experiential learning. If we don't do this, universities will risk recolonizing Indigenous societies.

Our Story of Developing a Kinesiology Course on Indigenous Wellness

Presented by: Leah Ferguson, Cindy Deschenes, and Susan Bens (University of Saskatchewan)

Given the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action and the University of Saskatchewan's efforts to share in the responsibility of reconciliation, a newly piloted course on Indigenous wellness becomes a requirement for B.Sc.(Kin) students. Following recommendations within the TRC, this course engages students in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of Indigenous health, physical activity, and wellbeing as they examine colonialism and contemporary wellness.

Teacher Education Without Textbooks

Presented by: Jay Wilson (University of Saskatchewan)

The session will benefit instructors in post-secondary who are looking for ways to not only replace or update existing resources but to engage their learners in the creation of material to further their learning. This session discusses efforts made in a number of teacher education courses to use online course tools to replace traditional textbooks. The work addresses the implementation of a mix of current resources, student questions, and a range of delivery tools such as blogs and wikis.

Overcoming Barriers to the Growth of Innovative Teaching Practices

Presented by: Heather M. Ross (University of Saskatchewan)

The use of open educational resources (OER) and the integration of open pedagogy have grown considerably at the University of Saskatchewan since 2014.There is strong interest among instructors to engage in open practices, but barriers are hindering a “tipping point”. This session will explore those barriers as well as how higher education might address them to not only support the growth of OER and open pedagogy, but also the integration of other innovative practices in teaching and learning.

Presented by:
Patricia McDougall, vice-provost teaching, learning and student experience 
Jacqueline Ottmann, vice-provost of Indigenous engagement

Agenda: May 2

Facilitated by: 
Stryker Calvez (University of Saskatchewan)

In this fishbowl conversation, Maria Campbell, Jacqueline Ottmann, and Kory Wilson will be joined by Mary Burgess, David Porter, and  Heather M. Ross to discuss how those involved in Indigenization initiatives and those involved open pedagogy initiatives can work together, learn from each other, and bring positive change to higher education throughout Canada. Stryker Calvez will be facilitating this conversation and will be taking questions and comments from the audience.

Facilitated by: 
Stryker Calvez (University of Saskatchewan)

In this fishbowl conversation, Maria Campbell, Jacqueline Ottmann, and Kory Wilson will be joined by Mary Burgess, David Porter, and  Heather M. Ross to discuss how those involved in Indigenization initiatives and those involved open pedagogy initiatives can work together, learn from each other, and bring positive change to higher education throughout Canada. Stryker Calvez will be facilitating this conversation and will be taking questions and comments from the audience.

Participants will choose one of three working groups (no pre-registration required). Facilitators will encourage participants to take some of what they’ve learned earlier in the conference and discuss how they can apply that knowledge to their own work. The sessions offered are as follows:

Naturalising and Animating Pedagogies of Miyo-Pimatisiwin (The Good Life) In a Mental Health and Wellness Program

Facilitated By:
Ryan Jimmy - Instructor, Mental Health & Wellness Program, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT)
Janice Linklater - Instructor, Mental Health & Wellness Program, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT)

Recognition of Indigenous knowledge has increased and continues to be a significant piece that strengthens the potential of Indigenous learners who are pursuing post-secondary education. The Mental health & wellness program is one of many efforts to sustain and imagine future indigenizing pedagogies at S.I.I.T and is committed to responding meaningfully to the Truth and reconciliation 94 calls to action. The Program is grounded within notions of Miyo-pimatisiwin – which means the good-life, or life to the healthiest, fullest sense. It is the ever present goal of growth and healing, and includes efforts by individuals, families, communities, and all life entities (Hart, 2008).

The Mental health & wellness program at S.I.I.T is a response to the need for quality post-secondary education for First Nations people in an environment that promotes indigenous ways and fosters student success. The workshop will highlight Indigenous pedagogical practices that are integrated into the program that animate Miyo-Pimatiswin – the good life for their learners.  The workshop will be helpful for anyone who is interested in indigenous pedagogy in places of higher learning, indigenous adult learning, indigenization, and social justice.  The workshop is guided with the following questions: 1. What does Miyo-pimatisiwin look like in a mental health & wellness classroom? How can instructors understand the student life cycle from an wholistic framework and learn to walk with them on their learning journeys? Participants will leave with tools and strategies that promote indigenous pedagogy in higher learning, and an understanding that indigenous adult learning is about helping all people live a good life.

Institutions Undertaking Indigenization Differently

Facilitated By:
Lori Campbell - Director of Indigenous Initiatives, University of Waterloo
Jaime Cidro - Acting Indigenous Academic Lead, Office of Indigenous Affairs, University of Winnipeg

Lori and Jaime come from very different institutions with very different student and faculty demographics. Their respective institutions are at very different places in relation to their Indigenous Strategic Plans. The University of Winnipeg has a long history of Indigenous academic programming but was the first institution to enact the Indigenous course requirement (ICR) in 2016 whereas the University of Waterloo has just received approval to offer an Indigenous studies minor in Fall 2018. Lori and Jaime will share some of their experiences to date and will facilitate session attendees to work through some real life “problem scenarios”. The results of which will be potential solutions that may be impactful to many post-secondary institutions moving forward.

The Use of Open Licensing For Resources Containing Indigenous Knowledge

Facilitated By:
Mary Burgess - Executive Director, BCcampus
Maria Campbell - Cultural Advisory, University of Saskatchewan
Rose Roberts - Educational Development Specialist (Indigenous Engagement and Education), University of Saskatchewan
Heather M. Ross - Educational Development Specialist (Digital Pedagogies), University of Saskatchewan

This workshop will give participants the opportunity to learn from and add to the discussions  about key considerations for using open licensing when working with indigenous knowledge. Among the questions that will be pondered are:

  • What constitutes general knowledge and what constitutes sacred knowledge?
  • How do you openly license something that belongs to a community?
  • How can open licensing potentially help Indigenous communities regain access and some control over Indigenous knowledge now under copyright by universities.

Participants should leave with some guidelines to take back to their institutions for approaching the use of OER when working with Indigenous knowledge and Indigenization initiatives.

Presented by:
Nancy Turner, Director, Teaching and Learning Enhancement

Artist in Residence

Giulia will be drawing visual notes using pictures and words to capture the sessions at the conference keynotes and sessions. Sometimes described as sketchnoting, you will be able to find her drawings online available for use, re-use, re-mixing under a creative commons licence. Watch the conference hashtag #tlt18 on twitter for these digital visual representations. 

Giulia Forsythe is the Special Projects Facilitator at the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation at Brock University in Niagara, Ontario. She supports open educational resource development and universal design for learning across the curriculum in online, blended, and face to face instruction, working with faculty and teaching assistants. Doodling helps her be a better listener, problem solver, and communicator. You can find her online at or on twitter at @giuliaforsythe

Poet in Residence

Zoey Roy will listen to the dialogue of the breakout sessions and the plenary presentations and make notes along the way. She will listen for topics that reoccur and for ideas or issues that arise. She will take note of all things surprising, troubling, perplexing and forward thinking. Roy will deliver a series of poems that captures the essence of the conference with a performance at the end.

Zoey Roy is a poet, a performing artist, a community-based educator and a graduate student. With inspiration coming from the hip hop culture and through the restoration of her Cree, Dene and Métis ancestral ways of knowing, Roy is motivated to make art with a message. She is passionate about working with children and youth and believes they have a lot to teach us. She holds a Bachelor of Education Degree from SUNTEP (Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program) and is now pursuing a Master’s of Public Policy at Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the U of S. She is interested in finding appropriate ways of approaching youth justice and her thesis is focused on identifying effective reintegration and rehabilitation strategies that enable young people to exit the justice system. Roy has embodied activism by consistently working towards solutions but believes we all have a part to play in establishing equity for historically marginalized and disenfranchised people. She is hopeful, but not naive, so she continues to press on. She encourages us all to do the same during this time of uncomfortability.


The Park Town Hotel is extending preferred room rates to attendees of Teaching and Learning Today 2018.

To book, call the hotel at 306-244-5564 or 1-800-667-3999 and quote group number 255971. Our room block provides a discounted rate of $135 + taxes and fees per night. You will need to provide a credit card to reserve your room. The discounted rate is only available until March 30, 2018; rooms booked after that time will be eligible at the conference rate based on availability and according to the hotels discretion.

Park Town Hotel
924 Spadina Cres. East
Saskatoon, SK

About the University of Saskatchewan

The U of S is a member of the U15, a group of the top Canadian research universities. The U of S is featured in The New York Times showcasing its successes in Indigenous engagement and reconciliation.

Our main campus, located in the heart of Saskatoon, is home to programs ranging from business, law, and arts and science to engineering, medicine and veterinary medicine, along with many others. Study at the U of S is enhanced by our world-class facilities, including the Canadian Light Source synchrotron, VIDO-InterVac, the Global Institute for Food Security, the Global Institute for Water Security and the Sylvia Fedoruk Centre for Nuclear Innovation. 

With the option to study at locations across Saskatchewan, more than 23,000 people from around the world, including more than 2,600 self-declared Aboriginal students, study at the U of S, and our more than 150,000 alumni are spread across the globe. 

U of S services and attractions.

About Saskatoon

The conference takes place at the University of Saskatchewan, located in Saskatoon. The city ranked 18th on the New York Times 52 Places to Visit in 2018 list, and the only Canadian city to make it on the list.   

With a rising population of more than 250,000, Saskatoon offers many of the amenities of a large urban centre along with the friendliness and accessibility of a smaller city. There is plenty to do in Saskatoon every season, with live music events, festivals and cultural experiences offered year round. With its vibrant mix of many cultures, Saskatoon’s blossoming culinary and local shopping scenes also stand out. This is a place of opportunity, diversity and innovation. Explore this exciting destination on the Saskatoon Tourism website

The city’s youthful vitality and cultural richness are evident in every neighbourhood, thanks in part to the University of Saskatchewan

Places to eat and drink

Contact Us

For more information, please contact:

Heather Ross
Educational Developer,
Digital Pedagogies
Stryker Calvez
Indigenous Education Initiatives