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Moving forward in a good way

To nurture the spirit of learning

Elder Evelyn Good Striker shared:  

In traditional ways of teaching and knowing, every human has a spirit, and every spirit has a purpose in this life. In some teachings, the traditional word to describe a child means creator. No child, no person is an empty vessel, every person comes with a spirit of learning. A teacher must nourish the spirit of their students and recognize that each one comes with pre-existing experiences and knowledge that need to be honoured. Teachers and learners must walk together, on a path, in a good way. 

“In a good way” is a concept used by many Indigenous people to recognize work that is conducted in authentic and meaningful ways. It can also be thought of as an epistemological approach to describing relationship-building within an Indigenous paradigm and is the guiding principle for ii’ taa’poh’to’p, the Indigenous Strategy of the University of Calgary.    

The 2022 University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching invites Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members from UCalgary and beyond to participate. We welcome Elders, traditional knowledge keepers, community members, academic staff, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students, and staff to explore Indigenous ways of knowing in a good way as we continue on our path to reconciliation.

We see this conference as a platform for relationship building, collectivity, reciprocity, truthing and reconciliation; we recognize, acknowledge and validate the children recovered from mass graves, and share in the collective grief that has enveloped our nation. Moving forward in a good way means upholding relational commitments that are embodied through the work of ii’ taa’poh’to’p and the Taylor Institute in advancing Indigenous ways of knowing across the teaching and learning culture of the university.   

Although education has been used as a vehicle for the destruction of Indigenous identity, this is an opportunity to advance educational research and pedagogies as a medium for healing. It is an approach that is consistent with Senator Murray Sinclair’s assertion that “education got us to this point but education can also get us out.” This is possible if teaching and learning methodologies are approached not as forces of oppression, but as creating the potential for transforming relationships, shifting paradigms, and healing from shared colonial traumas that continue to impact Indigenous and non-Indigenous relationships.   

Our focus on relationality offers an opportunity for us to acknowledge the ongoing recovery of Indigenous children who were the victims of Canada's genocidal policies through the Indian Residential Schools. 


Threads

This year’s conference threads are drawn from the cultural model presented in ii’ taa’poh’to’p, the University of Calgary’s Indigenous Strategy. We have provided some guiding statements from the ii’ taa’poh’to’p model that may help participants conceptualize, weave and frame their proposal within the context of the conference theme.  

Ways of Being

Ways of Being (Identity, Inclusivity, Leadership and Engagement)

  • Reflecting on positionality, knowledge and identity to cultivate self-awareness 

  • Exploring the experiences of Indigenous students and educators in our current postsecondary systems  

  • Designing learning and campus spaces to support Indigenous pedagogies and Ways of Knowing 

  • Co-creating welcoming campuses that create a sense of belonging, and increase the visibility of Indigenous people and their cultures  

  • Nurturing shared leadership  

  • Responsibility for building good relations that offer mutual benefit 

Ways of Connecting

Ways of Connecting (Relationships, Partnerships, Connections to Land and Place)

  • Viewing postsecondary education from a collectivist lens 

  • Knowledge sharing in and with community 

  • Recognizing oral traditions and connecting with Traditional Knowledge Keepers, Elders and community members 

  • Working with Indigenous communities, nations, peoples as reciprocal learning partners  

  • Co-creating reciprocal and meaningful opportunities to connect back to, experience, and give back to the land and the spirit of the land  

  • Co-creating shared spaces with Indigenous Traditional Knowledge Keepers, communities, peoples and nations to support curriculum and pedagogy development 

Ways of Knowing

Ways of Knowing (Teaching, Learning and Research)

  • Nourishing students’ and educators’ learning spirits  

  • Bridging Indigenous ways of knowing and Western teaching and learning theories assessments and approaches 

  • Exploring and understanding oral and written systems 

  • Understanding, and teaching about, the truths of a shared colonial history 

  • Embodying the spirit of reconciliation in the classroom with diverse voices  

  • Sharing and building knowledge in a good way 

  • Decolonizing the scholarship and practice of teaching and learning 

Ways of Doing

Ways of Doing (Policies, Procedures and Practices)

  • Transforming, revitalizing and renewing our courses and programs to incorporate Indigenous epistemologies, pedagogies and methodologies 

  • Examining our current our policies, procedures and practices to minimize barriers to Indigenous engagement 

  • Developing parallel processes 

  • Supporting the concepts of shared and ethical space, transformation and renewal within our teaching and learning environments and communities 

  • Including and supporting cultural protocols attached to Indigenous pedagogies and Ways of Knowing 

  • Recognizing community-engagement and research, and encouraging educators to engage with Indigenous communities in respectful, reciprocal learning and knowledge development 


Collaborative intentions

The University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching provides a unique opportunity for educators to explore Indigenous ways of being, knowing, doing and connecting in a postsecondary context as we continue our path to truth and reconciliation. Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, we are offering the conference keynotes and concurrent sessions in a virtual format. We continue to discover new ways of connecting and engaging in these virtual spaces. We see this conference as an opportunity for relationship building, reciprocity, and respect. We encourage all conference participants to approach the conference sessions with understanding, compassion, gratitude and kindness for one another. As with most conferences, things may not always go as planned! Trust that all conference organizers, keynotes, presenters and participants have the best of intentions and are working to create an engaging and meaningful experience for all. In the spirit of growth and learning, we appreciate your patience and will be seeking your feedback throughout the conference. 

Please note that the keynote sessions will be recorded. While the recording will be focused on the keynote speaker, it is possible that attendees’ voices, images or electronically submitted questions may be captured in the recording. The audio and visual recording of these sessions includes documents and materials exchanged or viewed during the live event, such as slides, questions asked and poll answers provided anonymously by participants during the live event, the closed captioning transcript, and the chat function transcript. If you do not want to be captured, please ensure your camera and microphone are turned off.

Individual session presenters may also choose to record their sessions. If presenters choose to record their session, notice must be given at the beginning of the session by the session presenter. These recordings will subsequently remain on the Conference website, with access permitted to registered conference participants only. The audio and visual recording of these sessions includes documents and materials exchanged or viewed during the session, such as slides, questions asked and poll answers provided anonymously by participants during the live event, the closed captioning transcript, and the chat function transcript during the main session. Small break-out sessions are not included in recordings. If you do not want to be captured, please ensure your camera and microphone are turned off.