Feb. 10, 2022
New UCalgary Teaching Award recognizes excellence in Indigenous ways of knowing
Since the launch of the University of Calgary’s Indigenous Strategy, ii’ taa’poh’to’p, in 2017, the University of Calgary has been working toward the goal of fully realizing Indigenization and inclusion in teaching, learning, research, student support and community engagement.
In working toward this goal, members of the university community have engaged in community-based research, curricular reviews and revisions, and the Indigenization of pedagogical practices.
Walking on parallel paths
One such project took place in fall 2019. Hal Eagletail, Sandra Abegglen, Dr. Graham Livesey, PhD, and Dr. Fabian Neuhaus, PhD, from the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape co-taught the Urban Design Studio Interchange: Cross Culture Approaches to Design.
Students and the instructional team were guided by Tsuut’ina Nation Elders and Hal Eagletail, who is also a traditional knowledge keeper. The students worked in interdisciplinary teams to create design proposals for the Taza development site while learning from Tsuut’ina Nation Elders about values, cultural practices and belief systems.
When asked how integrating Indigenous knowledge and perspectives into teaching can impact students, Neuhaus notes, “Hopefully it provides perspective, allows a glimpse of a different worldview and enables critical thinking and reflection as a transferable skill students can apply to other projects or situations further along in their career to make a difference.”
The studio enabled students to develop their own design interpretations for the site that incorporated Tsuut’ina traditional knowledge and Western approaches. The team received the University of Calgary Teaching Award for Team Teaching in 2020, for modelling ways to change and develop programs and exemplifying how teaching and learning practices can rest on foundational concepts such as ethical space, transformation and walking on a parallel path.
University of Calgary Teaching Award for Indigenous Ways of Knowing
Building on the foundations of ii' taa'poh'to'p, the University of Calgary Teaching Award for Indigenous Ways of Knowing recognizes that transformation is a progressive, evolutionary, and lifelong journey for all educators and learners.
Each year, this award will recognize any individual or group who has advanced Indigenous ways of knowing and supported reconciliation, decolonization, Indigenous engagement and transformation in an academic course or program. Individuals and groups who may be nominated for this award include full- or part-time academic staff, adjunct/clinical appointees, professional practitioners, students, Indigenous Elders, Knowledge Keepers, and/or community partners who have had a sustained impact on student learning.
“This work can be challenging and require us to think in very different ways,” says Dr. Michael Hart, vice-provost, Indigenous engagement. “A UCalgary Teaching Award category that focuses on recognizing and celebrating the essential work of our scholars across campus addressing Indigenous ways of knowing in their courses is an important step in our commitment to work together with Indigenous communities in a good way.”
How to apply
All nomination packages for the UCalgary Teaching Awards must be received by March 3. Nominations for the Award for Indigenous Ways of Knowing may be written or recorded via audio or video that recognize oral traditions.
More information on the nomination process, including support resources, can be found on the Taylor Institute website. Register for the next drop-in consultation for nominees and nominators, taking place on Feb. 22.
Volunteer as an adjudicator
The adjudication process is strengthened by diverse perspectives from across the university community and is open to faculty, MaPS, AUPE staff, postdoctoral scholars and highly engaged undergraduate and graduate students with a strong commitment to creating a robust teaching and learning culture at the University of Calgary.
Volunteers can anticipate dedicating 10 to 15 hours of time and will be provided with orientation and implicit bias training. Adjudication week will run May 11 to 18. Learn more and apply here.