It’sNotAcademic – The podcast: Episode eight with Brenda Small

Welcome to the latest episode of It’sNotAcademic the podcast. Two years ago, Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission issued 94 calls to action, or recommendations, urging all levels of government to implement policies to acknowledge and redress the harm caused by residential schools to Indigenous people. Several of the recommendations urged governments, schools and postsecondary institutions to incorporate Indigenous knowledge into the classroom and to make instruction of residential schools, treaties and Indigenous people’s contributions to Canada a mandatory part of the curriculum. Several institutions have heeded the call.

But Confederation College, which is based in Thunder Bay, was way ahead. Together with the Negahneewin Council, it has been working since 2007 to embed Indigenous content into its programs through what it calls Indigenous Learning Outcomes. The Indigenous Learning Outcomes were created to help students foster an understanding of Indigenous culture and worldview. About 95 percent of Confederation’s programs include two or more Indigenous Learning Outcomes and the college’s goal is to have all programs do so. A project to create a critical-thinking assessment tool based on the Indigenous Learning Outcomes and Indigenous understandings of critical thinking is part of HEQCO’s Learning Outcomes Assessment Consortium.

This episode of the podcast features Brenda Small, vice president of Confederation’s Centre for Policy and Research in Indigenous Learning, to discuss Indigenous Learning Outcomes, how they are being implemented at Confederation and their role in the process of reconciliation.

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