In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action, many language teachers recognized the importance of decolonizing and Indigenizing their classrooms. In 2022, CASLT secured funding from the Government of Canada to develop community-building events and a series of professional learning courses for the CASLT CoLab. The courses will explore strategies for decolonizing and Indigenizing second and additional language pedagogy and highlight the transformative journey of unlearning (decolonization), learning (Indigenization), and relearning (reconciliation). They are in development and will be released throughout late 2023 and early 2024.

Understanding Decolonization and Indigenization

Course Developers: Shirley Cardinal and Gemma Porter

Decolonization is the complex process of disrupting colonial systems. It involves undoing and unlearning deeply ingrained systems of power and authority. To do this work, teachers must be equipped with the tools to step outside of the cognitive imperialism that is part of our everyday experiences. This course guides teachers on their personal learning journey to understanding decolonization and Indigenization. Participants engage in individual and group learning to explore actionable practices that disrupt inequities and support decolonization and Indigenization in additional learning (L+) contexts. The course includes self-reflection and critical analysis of current systems and practices within additional learning contexts and public education.

Diversity of Indigenous Languages

Course Developers: Shirley Cardinal and Gemma Porter

Understanding and learning about the diversity of Indigenous languages is a way of acknowledging and distinguishing Indigenous peoples and histories in what is now Canada. Language is more than a way to communicate — it is deeply intertwined with culture, identity, and our ways of knowing and being in the world. Despite the harm caused by colonial policies and practices, individuals and communities remain resolute in their commitments to language preservation and revitalization. This course explores the diversity of Indigenous languages through storytelling and relationships with place. The course content and activities foster an awareness and respect for the diversity of Indigenous languages.

Understanding Wisdom and Worldviews of Indigenous Peoples

Course Developer: Diana Steinhauer

This course offers a brief introduction to the wisdom and worldviews of Indigenous peoples. Participants are invited to reach an understanding of the relationality of language, lands, and Indigenous peoples as a holistic, circular web of knowing and being. The course provides an opportunity to acquire foundational knowledge through videos and historical and sociological texts. It highlights the transformative journey of unlearning (decolonization), learning (Indigenization), and relearning (reconciliation). Acquiring insight into Indigenous worldview and history is the foundation needed to create positive and productive relationships with Elders and Indigenous communities.

Infusing Worldviews of Indigenous Peoples in L+ Pedagogies

Course Developers: Anja Dressler Araujo and Jadyn Fischer-McNab

Infusing Indigenous pedagogies into your language classroom involves two key steps. The first is learning about shared Indigenous cultures. The second involves reflecting on your own being and practice. Many Indigenous communities in Canada share similar beliefs and customs that can enrich the language classroom. This course offers background knowledge on Indigenous worldviews and provides sample lessons you can use to apply this newfound knowledge. The lessons in this course cover learning from the land, the importance of storytelling, the teachings of the Medicine Wheel, and learning from Elders.

Meet the Course Developers

In early 2023, CASLT issued a request for proposals, seeking course developers with a proven track record in decolonization and infusing Indigenous worldviews and learning principles into language teaching. After careful evaluation, a team of course developers was selected based on their exceptional commitment and diverse backgrounds and experiences.

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