CTLT Indigenous Initiatives January Newsletter
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Happy new year!

In this newsletter:

1. Classroom Climate Winter 2020 Offerings 
 a) Understanding and Supporting Indigenous Students: January 27, 2020 from 9-10:30am at IKBLC Dodson
     Room 302 ** Sold out - registration for waitlist now available **
 b) Learning in Place: January 22, 2020 from 10am-12pm at IKBLC Seminar Room 2.22 
 c) What If We Were to Talk About It? Engaging Controversial Topics in the Classroom: February 6, 2020 from 1-
     3pm at IKBLC Seminar Room 2.22 
 d) Beyond Inclusion: Redistributing Responsibility for Institutional Change: March 31, 2020 from 1-3pm at IKBLC
     Seminar Room 2.22 
2. Indigenous Initiatives Welcomes New Staff, Daniel Perez Gamez 
3. January is Sexual Assault Awareness Month at UBC: From Awareness to Action
a. Why sexual assault awareness month should matter to us all? Q&A with Sasha Wiley-Shaw, Educator, Sexual
    Violence Prevention and Response Office 
4. Across our desks: news, articles, and resources related to Indigenous engagement in teaching and learning




1. Classroom Climate Winter 2020 Offerings 

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What would support for Indigenous students look like in departments, faculty and by staff? What are some of the ways in which Indigenous students approach and experience their education processes differently from other student groups?

This session invites you to approach these questions with the concept of “bandwidth,” which helps us consider underlying factors of Indigenous students‘ learning experiences and outcomes. Bandwidth refers to cognitive and mental resources that are available to one to learn and perform. The literature shows that bandwidth is important for how effectively students can accomplish various tasks including learning, keeping track of information, and planning. It is important to consider factors that support or deplete students‘ bandwidth. In particular, students from marginalized backgrounds tend to face numerous factors (e.g., racism, belonging uncertainty, family obligations) that deplete their mental bandwidth, hindering their ability to fully engage with learning and perform to their potential.

After providing a brief literature review of bandwidth, including undermining factors and strategies to mitigate them, we showcase an undergraduate research project that the Department of Psychology has launched to better understand and support Indigenous students in the department – in terms of experiences within the department that support/deplete bandwidth, and how the department and faculty can take responsibility of being a part of reconciliation by creating a supportive environment, instead of relying others, such as on-campus Indigenous community members and units, to do the work.

We then invite participants to discuss what they or their departments are doing (or can start doing) to address Indigenous students‘ bandwidth and create supportive environment for Indigenous students.


Benjamin Y. Cheung, Lecturer, Indigenous Initiatives Coordinator, Department of Psychology
Tara Morgan, Senior Indigenous Collegium Advisor, Indigenous Collegia
Hanae Tsukada, Educational Strategist, the Equity & Inclusion Office, the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology

b) Learning in Place: January 22, 2020 from 10am-12pm at IKBLC Seminar Room 2.22 

Exploring resources to support learning about Musqueam‘s history, governance, laws and ongoing leadership on campus. During this session we will share resources that have been created in collaboration with Musqueam as a way to bring these important discussions into the classroom.

Art and culture can provide pathways for faculty and students to consider our location here on Musqueam territory in compelling and profound ways. This session will look at experiments in publishing, siting artworks in shared spaces, and other forms of engagement that are part of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery‘s curatorial program. Associate Director/Curator Lorna Brown will share experiences in curating contemporary Indigenous art and discuss the resources that the gallery can provide the campus community.

Facilitator: Lorna Brown 

c) What if We Were to Talk About it? Engaging Controversial Topics in the Classroom: February 6, 2020 from 1-3pm at IKBLC Seminar Room 2.22 

As a partnership between UBC Equity and Inclusion Office and CTLT Indigenous Initiatives, this experiential workshop introduces participants to a tool for engaging controversial topics, should they choose to do so. The presentation will be followed by a conversation about if, how, and when we might use such a tool.

Facilitator: Aftab Erfan

d) Beyond Inclusion: Redistributing Responsibility for Institutional Change: March 31, 2020 from 1-3pm at IKBLC Seminar Room 2.22 

This workshop invites non-Indigenous faculty to face their complicity in the reproduction of systemic colonial patterns, and take responsibility for doing more of the intellectual, affective, and relational work that is required for institutional change beyond conditional forms of inclusion.

Facilitator: Sharon Stein 


2. Indigenous Initiatives Welcomes New Staff, Daniel Perez Gamez

We are happy to announce that Daniel Perez Gamez, a PhD student in UBC's department of Geography, has been hired as a Graduate Academic Assistant working on the IN/Relation and Our Calls to Action TLEF projects. Daniel will be working on research and curriculum development relating to these projects. We asked Daniel to share a few fun facts about himself. 

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January is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) at UBC, and we're asking students, faculty, and staff to move beyond just awareness of sexual violence. Even seemingly small actions can have a big impact on creating a culture of accountability, and halting behaviours that contribute to sexual violence. Check out events taking place throughout this month and learn how you can move from awareness to action. 

Attend an event. Visit the full SAAM calendar to find out what's happening. 
Ask for consent, first and every time. 
Take action against norms and behaviours that normalize and contribute to sexual violence. 
Support survivor self-determination 

Find out more about SAAM events and get involved: 
Vancouver: svpro.ubc.ca/saam
Okanagan: svpro.ok.ubc.ca/saam  

To learn more about how you can support survivors or get help visit SVPRO
As UBC approaches the tenth year of SAAM, it’s important to reflect on the efforts to date and how the university can further support this impactful initiative. We reached out to Sasha Wiley-Shaw, an educator at the SVPRO, to learn more about the role of staff, faculty and students at UBC regarding sexual assault.

Below is an excerpt from the interview. Click the "Read More" button to hear more. 

"Sexualized violence is a pervasive social problem that impacts us all. [The types] of risk factors we may face can shift over time and in different contexts as our relative power shifts. Awareness reduces all of those risks."

5. Across our desks: news, articles, and resources related to Indigenous engagement in teaching and learning 

a. A collaborative sharing of stories on a journey towards reconciliation: "Belonging to this place and time" 

"As we came together over the past few months to talk about how our individual stories could be told as a collective experience, it became clear that the process of examining and sharing our own pathways, significant events, experiences, and learning from and with Indigenous people and place possesses an inherent richness of its own. It is a story to be shared in the right time and place" (Keliipio, Perry, & Elderton, 2019). 

Keliipio, K., Perry, K., & Elderton, C. (2019). A COLLABORATIVE SHARING OF STORIES ON A JOURNEY TOWARD RECONCILIATION: “BELONGING TO THIS PLACE AND TIME”. McGill Journal of Education / Revue des sciences de l'éducation de McGill, 53(2). Retrieved from https://mje.mcgill.ca/article/view/9494/7361

b. Learning the Land: Walking the talk of Indigenous Land acknowledgements 

“What do groups mean when they say they recognize Indigenous presence, resilience and Land?” asks Matthew Robert Anderson. According to the author, settlers need to do more than “talk the talk” of Land acknowledgements by offering “walking acknowledgements,” which offer a way for non-Indigenous persons to demonstrate their verbal acknowledgement about unceded and traditional territories. -- The Conversation (National) 

Read the full article. 

c. 'Truth before reconciliation': the difficulties of transforming higher education in settler colonial contexts 

"In response to the contemporary context of reconciliation in Canada, colleges and universities have made efforts to ’Indigenise‘ their campuses, extending earlier, Indigenous-led efforts to create more space for Indigenous peoples and knowledges. While many welcome these efforts, others express concern that they fail to go beyond conditional inclusion to fundamentally shift relationships between settlers and Indigenous peoples. In this article, I examine these developments and suggest that most institutions and individuals have yet to face the full extent of their complicity in colonisation. I argue that perhaps it is only by doing so, and thus, arriving at the impossibility of reconciliation, that a transformation of settler–Indigenous relationships might be possible" (Stein, 2020).

Sharon Stein (2020) ’Truth before reconciliation‘: the difficulties of transforming higher education in settler colonial contexts, Higher Education Research & Development, 39:1, 156-170, DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2019.1666255




Best wishes, 
CTLT Indigenous Initiatives 
Indigenous Initiatives at Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology
The University of British Columbia, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Traditional Territory
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre 217 – 1961 East Mall, Vancouver, CA V6T1Z1
Visit our website at http://indigenousinitiatives.ctlt.ubc.ca/