By Skylee-Storm Hogan and Krista McCracken, with Andrea Eidinger
In recent years, particularly since the publication of the TRC Calls to Action, there has been an increasing push to integrate Indigenous content into elementary and secondary classrooms across the country. While we believe that this work is essential, recent news reports have given us cause for concern. From the ongoing debates about Quebec’s latest high school history textbooks to the Ford government’s cancelling of the TRC curriculum writing session, there has been a significant pushback against the inclusion of Indigenous content.
Further, while provinces like BC and Alberta are working to integrate Indigenous content into their curriculums, they often fail to properly prepare educators. Several studies have shown that while many settler educators want to include more content about Indigenous history and culture, they often lack the confidence and training to do so. Some well-intentioned teachers either decline to include Indigenous content out of fear of offending anyone or misappropriate Indigenous stories, traditions, and even ceremonies. And in some cases, the results have been extremely problematic or even disastrous (content warning: racist language), and Indigenous educators are often faced with taking up the burden.
With this in mind, we are launching a new Beyond the Lecture mini-series, specifically dedicated to the issue of teaching Indigenous history and the inclusion of Indigenous content in the classroom. Our goal is to provide resources for educators at all levels to help navigate the often fraught terrain of teaching Indigenous content.
For the first post in this mini-series, we decided to tackle the issue of inviting Indigenous speakers into classrooms. To that end, Andrea compiled a list of commonly-asked questions about how and when to invite Indigenous speakers, and Skylee-Storm and Krista have written detailed responses. Continue reading