Transforming Education

June 30, 2020—Kelowna, BC: A project to bring Truth and Reconciliation into the classroom has received a $1 million grant to establish a 5-year research collaboration that includes IndigenEYEZ.

The project brings together university researchers and local partners to seek respectful ways for educators to align their teaching practices toward reconciliation.

The project is led by Margaret Macintyre Latta, Director of UBC Okanagan’s School of Education. Along with IndigenEYEZ, community partners include the Okanagan Nation Alliance, Central Okanagan Public Schools, Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna Museums Society and the universities of Alberta and Ottawa.

IndigenEYEZ has been involved in helping develop the project proposal over the past few years. University and community partners will work with Elders and local Knowledge Keepers to design and deliver learning opportunities that will help teachers confront the colonizing practices that have influenced education. This will help foster equitable practices for learners to attain a deeper understanding of human rights, responsibilities, and their part in reconciliation. The partnership will further curricular pathways in kindergarten to grade 12 education, productively contributing towards reconciliation across Canada.

“We’ll be building an understanding of how to help educators create safe spaces for challenging discussions across diversity and inequality.”

– Kelly Terbasket, program director and co-founder of IndigenEYEZ.

Kelly continues, “We’ll be in the schools with them as they support students to make meaning out of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission content, see other points of view, and learn from our shared history in order to bring change that makes us all stronger together.” 

University and community partners will design and deliver learning opportunities that will help teachers in confronting and challenging the colonizing practices that have influenced education. These experiences will study the education conditions that challenge participation in reconciling conversations, grapple with personal narratives, and grow understandings of the histories of colonized and colonizers.

Macintyre Latta says the partnership will further curricular pathways in kindergarten to grade 12 education, productively contributing towards reconciliation across Canada.

And Pauline Terbasket, executive director of the Okanagan Nation Alliance, says this is an important step forward:

“This is a project that pursues and is open to new teachings, new practices, new possibilities, new transformed societies that build upon a civil society and builds-up people and how we relate to one another, our environment and our planet.

All critical to all our survival,” says Terbasket. “Indigenous education is about knowing where you are and where you come from—our connection to land and each other.”

For more information on this new program, visit the UBCO website

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