Indigenous Day of Learning

Week 28 – September 25, 2020 – SD57 Lhulh’uts’ut’en

What an incredible day of learning. I am so grateful that SD57 Indigenous Education Department invited the UNBC Teacher Candidates and Instructors from the School of Education B.Ed. to participate in this day of professional learning. It’s an opportunity for our teacher candidates to learn from Indigenous Canadian Scholars, Dr. Dustin Louie and Dr. Niigaanwewidam Sinclair, but also learn with currently practicing teachers and from community members from the north and central interior of BC. This gesture of generosity and grace from the SD57 Director of Indigenous Education Pam Spooner strengthens the relationship between the school district and School of Education. I am so honoured and humbled to be part of this Indigenous Day of Learning as an instructor, educator, and learning.

The pandemic lent to a unique opportunity for myself, our teacher candidates, and BC educators to access professional learning via online. I was learning from home. I loved both of the keynote speakers, but I also appreciated the break out sessions I attended to deepen my understanding of Indigenizing, Decolonizing, and local and national lived experiences with respect to Truth and Reconciliation. What resonated with me the most was MAKING SPACE. I’ve been thinking about this as an educator but also as educational leader in higher education. How do I make space for Indigenous Voices? How do I become an activist as an educator? What does it mean to Indigenize and Decolonize my teaching practice? How can I contribute to Truth and Reconciliation in Canada? How will I deepen my understanding on Indigenous Education and deepen relationships in community?

I love how a professional learning opportunity leaves me thinking and left with questions to ponder, address, and hopefully answer. The goal and hope of professional learning days like this one is to KEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING. Professional learning days serve as a catalyst, but now the work is in our hands. What are you going to do about it? It’s so easy to move forward and forget about some of the lessons learned on these incredible and inspirational days of learning. I was so provoked on this day of learning and I took many photos of powerpoint slides for me to return to and consider. I also tweet during these days with some of the big ideas I walk away with. For the remainder of my blog post, I will share the tweets I made on this day. This is a great way to collate and re-share what I have learned that day. Thank you again to SD57 Indigenous Education Department and to all the speakers, staff, and participants who made this incredible event possible. All my relations.