History Slam 214: Indigenous Voices, Resources, & Learning in Canadian Classrooms

By Sean Graham

In its final report, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission included several Calls to Action regarding education. One of these was to develop and implement learning resources for all students in Canada so that more Indigenous voices, perspectives, and approaches were included in provincial and territorial curricula. As we’ve seen, however, some efforts to do this have not gone well. Fortunately, with better resources being made available to teachers, so many of whom are exhausted from over two years of pandemic teaching, the situation is slowly improving.

One such resource for teachers is Resurgence, a new volume edited by Christine M’Lot and Katya Adamov Ferguson. Organized using the 4-Rs – Resistance, Resilience, Restoring, and Reconnecting – it includes poetry, art, and narratives from a diverse group of Indigenous artists and writers. The book also includes resources for teachers that range from discussion questions to strategies for introducing Indigenous learning into classrooms. With material that can be used across provincial and territorial curricula and implemented in classrooms from elementary through high school, Resurgence is a terrific addition to the available educational material. Even if you’re not in an educational environment, though, you’re very likely to find plenty in the book to not only keep you interested, but to also learn/discover something new.

In this episode of the History Slam, I talk with Christine M’Lot about the book. We discuss her education background and how that influenced the project (3:45), the 4-R framework and how the book is organized (8:15), and its ability to be used across educational systems (14:14). We also chat about the editors’ learning process (22:31), how audiences can approach the material and Indigenous learning (29:03), and the benefits of meaningfully incorporating Indigenous voices into classrooms (34:42).

Sean Graham is a historian of Canadian broadcasting, an Adjunct Professor at Carleton University, and a contributing editor with Activehistory.ca



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