CTLT Indigenous Initiatives October Newsletter
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Photo By: Martin Dee / UBC Brand & Marketing

In this newsletter:

1. Classroom Climate Fall Offerings
     a. When Will We Be Ready Part 2? Sharing responsibility for Indigenous engagement in teaching and  
         learning - Wed Nov 6, 2019 from 10am-1pm
     b. Understanding and Supporting Indigenous Students - Thurs Nov 28, 2019 from 10-11:30am 
2. IN/Relation Project Updates 
3. What I Learned in Class Today Reboot: Welcoming Keirra Webb and Year 2 Update 
4. Across our desks: news, articles, and resources related to Indigenous engagement in teaching and learning




1. Classroom Climate Fall Offerings

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What is the context for “mandatory curricula” related to Indigenous content in your department or Faculty? What impacts does this have on you and colleagues whose focus includes Indigenous studies? These questions and many more will be discussed at the “When Will We Be Ready?” session co-sponsored by CTLT Indigenous Initiatives, the UBC Learning Circle, and the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies.

The event will feature perspectives of faculty who currently teach Indigenous-focused courses at UBC discussing the needs to share responsibility for Indigenous engagement in teaching and learning. The panel will also explore the roles and responsibilities of non-expert faculty engaging with Indigenous content and topics in their courses and the significance of integrating Indigenous content and reconciliation.

Following the presentations, the audience will be invited to participate in small group discussions.

Faculty Panelists:

Gordon Christie, Allard School of Law
Candace Galla, Faculty of Education and Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies
Elder Larry Grant, First Nations House of Learning
Daniel Heath Justice, Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies
Coll Thrush, Department of History
Leah Walker, Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health

b. Understanding and Supporting Indigenous Students: Thursday Nov 28 @ 10-11:30am, Irving K. Barber Learning Center, Seminar Room 2.22 

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

2. IN/Relation Project Updates

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Cerys Hexagon Blanket” by suziesparkle is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
The IN/Relation project is entering its third year of development. 

Over the summer, two of our graduate student staff concluded their contracts. A huge thank you to Liz Otero and Sophie Duncan for your tremendous contributions to the project, and best of luck on your current endeavours!
Julia Poissant will continue in her role as a Work Learn Project Assistant for the project during the 2019-2020 academic year. Some of Julia’s recent work is featured on the IN/Relations blog:

Now that I know, what do I do? (July 2019)
Participating in the KAIROS blanket exercise: Our reflections (August 2019)
- To Stand in Front of a Room: My Jumpstart into Facilitating (October 2019) 

You can read more about what we accomplished in the past year in our annual project report. If you are interested in learning more about this resource and/or bringing some of these materials into your course or learning context, please contact us at ii.spa@ubc.ca

3. What I Learned in Class Today Reboot: Welcoming Keirra Webb and Year 2 Update

CTLT Indigenous Initiatives extends a warm welcome to Keirra Webb who will be joining the team as a Student Project Assistant for the second year of the What I Learned in Class Today Reboot. 

The reboot of the educational resource What I Learned in Class Today explores difficult conversations on Indigenous engagement that takes place in classrooms at UBC, while documenting students’ experiences as a way to think about more productive approaches in creating supportive classroom and campus climate. 

To hear more about where the project is headed in year two and a few words from Keirra, check out the read more button. 

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

a. Using maps as a weapon to resist extractive industries on Indigenous territories 

MappingBack, a project created by a collective of Indigenous and non-Indigenous activists, researchers, communities and cartographers is an online space where Indigenous communities and allies can share their experiences and expertise related to mapping and resource conflicts. It is used to show Indigenous perspectives and relationships with the land. 

Read the full article

b. Royal Portrait Exhibition at the Bill Reid Gallery 

Royal Portrait exhibition is happening from October 2, 2019 - January 19, 2020 at the Bill Reid Gallery. The exhibition is featuring a collection of carvings, jewelry, and portraits by Morgan Asoyuf honouring the Indigenous matriarchs in her life. 

"Royal Portraits highlights the true meaning of royalty for Indigenous peoples which is linked to how well we take care of others and the environment." -- Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art

For further details and to buy tickets. 

c. Revisiting Indigenous Articulations: a film screening and discussion with Anita Chang - Nov 22, 2019 6:30-8:30PM at SFU Habour Centre 

"What is at stake in generating and representing Indigenous articulations in Asia and the Pacific? ... This film represents in at-times unexpected ways efforts at Indigenous language revitalization, responses to settler colonial education policies, and the impact of extreme climate variability on Indigenous communities." 

Join filmmaker, educator, and writer Anita Chang for a screening and discussion on Tongues of Heaven, a collaboratively directed experimental documentary film that brings together the work of four Indigenous female filmmakers: An-Chi Chen and Shin-Lan You from Taiwan and Leivallyn Kainoa Kaupu and Monica Hau'oli Waiau from Hawai'i. 

Register here

d. Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education MOOC from Oct 15 - Nov 19 

Reconciliation through Indigenous Education MOOC is a 6-week non-credit online course that helps envision how Indigenous histories, perspectives, worldviews, and approaches to learning can be made part of the classroom, organizations, communities, and everyday experiences that are thoughtful and respectful. In this course, reconciliation emphasizes changing institutional structures, practices, and policies, as well as personal and professional ideologies to create environments that are committed to strengthening our relationships with Indigenous peoples.

Register here. 




Best wishes, 
CTLT Indigenous Initiatives