Undergraduate Courses Taught

EDUC 4000 Indigenizing Perspectives and Practices in Education

The Indigenizing Perspectives & Practices in Education (IPPE) course provides teacher candidates with opportunities to explore how curriculum and teaching approaches need to be examined (decolonized) in order to respectfully and meaningfully integrate Indigenous history, content, knowledge and worldviews (indigenized) into teaching. The premise that guides this course is that Indigenous education is connected to a set of political, economic, and cultural issues—Land and identity, power (-lessness) and resilience, de/colonization and revitalization, race and poverty, language and culture—that are critical because they illuminate how Indigenous—non-Indigenous Canadian relations can be transformed in classrooms and schools. As educators, we need to develop knowledge of these relevant issues to support Indigenous and non-Indigenous learners. This course provides teacher candidates with opportunities to prepare not only for the classroom, but to also develop respectful relationships with Indigenous families and communities. We will take the approach that Indigenizing perspectives and practices in education can help us improve the success rate of Indigenous students (in urban and rural/remote Indigenous communities) and help improve the state of Indigenous—non-Indigenous relations for ALL peoples in Ontario and Canada.

 As we learn, teach and spend time together, we will work to break down stereotypes, open dialogue, and build respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples living in this place (Thunder Bay) and on this Land (the traditional territory of the Fort William First Nation, Robinson-Superior Treaty of 1850). We are here as allies, working together as teachers and learners to improve Indigenous education in all schools, grade levels and teachable subjects.


EDUC 4215  Social Studies & History, Intermediate 


Graduate Courses Taught

EDUC 5438 C & I in Social Studies/History (Decolonizing and Indigenizing Approaches)


EDUC 5011 Qualitative Research


EDUC 5414 Special Topic: Decolonizing and Indigenizing Environmental Education


EDUC 6020 Doctoral Seminar (Core) 1


Dual Credit Course in Partnership with the Lakehead Public School Board

Through the Faculty of Education and the support of Dean John O'Meara, I worked on an innovative new endeavor to offer a dual-credit course that enabled Lakehead District School Board Grade 12 First Nations students to acquire a Lakehead University credit at the same time as an LPSB high school credit.

The first iteration of this course was offered during the winter and spring of 2012. Eight Grade 12 Westgate High School students successfully completed the course. Both the Board and the Faculty of Education were very pleased with the outcome of this initial offering, so I/we committed to offering the course again in 2013. There were 19 students who took the course this past spring (February--June) and nine Aboriginal students were successful in receiving the dual credit. 

The Dual Credit initiative is well integrated into the LU President's five priorities, the Academic Plan, and the current and draft Strategic Plans. It is an integral component of the Faculty of Education’s engagement with Aboriginal students and communities. The Faculty of Education viewed this initiatives as essential to achieving the University's goals for Aboriginal students and communities, in particular the way that it would support pathways for First Nations students who are considering attending university.


Course Description  

Playing double-ball at Old Fort William

Playing double-ball at Old Fort William

This 1.0 University credit course is in partnership with the Lakehead Public School Board.  This dual credit reflects two sets of expectations: 1) those of the Ontario Ministry of Education secondary course NDW4M:  Grade 12 Issues of Indigenous People in a Global Context offered by the Lakehead Public School Board at Westgate Collegiate and Vocational Institute; and 2) those of a Lakehead University first year elective course.  Upon successful completion of this course, students will be given a university credit.  This section of the course provides students with an opportunity to closely examine and discuss the issues and challenges that confront Indigenous peoples in Northern Ontario—Thunder Bay and how these issues connect with Indigenous peoples nationally and globally. Students will develop an understanding of the concerns and aspirations of Indigenous peoples locally from this territory, connect, plan and conduct research on issues that have an impact on Indigenous peoples nationally or from North America (Turtle Island), and use information technology to consult materials related to the views of Indigenous peoples throughout the world.  

The purpose of this course is to engage students in Aboriginal voice/perspectives on issues and bridge this experience to Aboriginal education pathways at Lakehead University.  


  • Engage in the critical examination of the psychosocial, historical, and sociopolitical relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians,
  • Examine your own socio-political goals and identities –as cultural beings, as young adults, as post secondary students,
  • Develop a critical consciousness of colonialism/colonization in education and engage in ‘pro-active’ discussion to combat it and improve the Aboriginal—non-Aboriginal relationship
  • Develop an awareness or identity where you can become an effective pro-active part of the solution for improving the Aboriginal—non-Aboriginal relationship and help Aboriginal communities and the urban Aboriginal experience.



Attendance at all classes is required. The instructors request a prior notification (and subsequent reason) for any absence. Since classes and content (activities/projects) are experientially based in the social context of the course, faithful attendance is important. 


  • Strength and Struggle: Perspectives from First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Peoples in Canada (Eds. Mishenene & Toulouse, McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 2011) 


Scheduling: The Issues of Indigenous Peoples course will run in conjunction with the NDW4M at Westgate Collegiate and Vocational Institute.  The term of this class will be one class per week from February 15th to June 2nd, 2013.  

Class Week Topics (in no set order) 

  1. Indigenous Peoples Globally—history, language, culture, lands
  1. Traditions of Indigenous Peoples
  1. Lands and Resources Issues:  Traditional Uses of Land, KI vs Platinex, Ring of Fire
  1. Rural-Urban Migration
  1. Housing, Water, Environmental/Global Warming, Climate Change
  1. Health/Well-being: Food Security, Addictions, Diabetes
  1. Family:  What is family/kinship, demographics, community, territory
  1. Residential Schools
  1. Education:  graduation rates, welcoming environments, inclusive schools, responsive and relevant curriculum
  1. Treaties, Deals, Government policies, UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights
  1. Identity:  Indigenous Identity, Culture, Language

Readings & Resources Schedule

--to be posted on class D2L site and/or a class blog


The assignments for the course fall into two categories: 

  1. 50 % for the weekly reflections/activities that we do together in class 
  2. 50 % for the multi-media project that is an in-depth exploration of an issue that impacts Indigenous peoples locally/provincially and internationally. 


1. Weekly Reflections, activities, exercises, experiences

In each class, we will discuss issues and realities that are both foundational and common to Global Indigenous Peoples. In the weekly university class, we will examine a Global Indigenous issue and put it into a personal perspective through activities or mini-assignments. Some possible activities could include:

  • Letter to myself (sealed for last class)
  • Personal cultural awareness: Where are you from Poem; Family cube and artifact
  • Touchstone narrative of “otherness” experiences 
  • Mis/representations folder –collecting examples of the “Indian you have in mind” from mass media (mis)representations that have impacted you
  • Place-based connection (annotated photo, Slowmation, i-movie slideshow)
  • How I have become aware of Canada as a country of Aboriginal-non-Aboriginal relations (a metissage consciousness)

Assignment 1 Criteria: 

  • Evidence of having completed the readings and activities
  • Degree and depth of reflections/reflexivity on the activities or course experiences
  • Arts-based or enhanced (value added) entries (representations, links, photos, resources, Web 2.0 representations)
  • Clarity of writing (spelling, grammar –“please, don’t make me spell check and grammar check your work”)
  • Evidence of critical thinking (critical depth and substance in the content of your writing)
  • Connections and applications to your own life, identity, and place/location

2. Multi-Media Project

The purpose of the Multi-Media Presentation assignment is to provide you with multiple and varied opportunities to express your thoughts, opinions, and first-person accounts on the Issues that Indigenous peoples face locally, provincially, nationally and internationally.  There are three components or themes to this project; first, your personal statement of where you ‘fit’ into the Indigenous community here in Thunder Bay and Northern Ontario, second, is a thoughtful and conscientious awareness of the Issues which Indigenous communities (provincially, nationally, and internationally) have to face through research, and thirdly, your plans, intentions, or interpretations on how to address the issues. 


In creating your multimedia presentation, consider the following questions to guide you in your research and the type of multimedia format you would like to present in: What issues effect Indigenous communities and peoples in Northern Ontario? What are suggestions or possible solutions to the Issues of Indigenous peoples?  How do you ‘fit’ into the solution(s)? What will you do or what would you recommend as actions to address this issue in the Indigenous community and provincially, nationally and internationally by all peoples (Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal)? You need to collect resources (=research), interpret what this set of resources tells you about the issue, interpret the issue locally, provincially, and nationally, and demonstrate artistically/visually in the multimedia, your (new) deep knowledge about a common Issue of Indigenous Peoples world-wide.

You will need to collect sources of information, multimedia examples, and interweave a story or narrative about the problem/issue. I’d recommend that the multimedia project have a type of introduction and conclusion as well as research into the topic and connections between each slide, activity or page of the multimedia product. We want your voice and perspective to shine through as well as create a presentation that is visual/artistic and presents a whole and cohesive experience for the reader/viewer. We would recommend an outline as part of the Introduction so that the reader is prepared for the organization of the project and the experience that awaits them. When you include quotes or hyperlinks (research), you will need to interpret or annotate that information or quotes as well as reference the sources. Remember, the more you annotate, interpret, connect and illustrate the parts of the project (without repeating yourself), the better. Formats or media for the multimedia project could include slideshows (photos), animation, i-movies, YouTube clips, podcasts, blogs, etc.