The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action (2015) aim to ensure all sectors of education including medical and nursing students (p. 3, #24), are properly educated and trained about the history and impacts of residential schools. This includes “building student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect (p. 7, #62-63 iii), as well as skills-based training in intercultural competence training, conflict resolution, human rights and anti-racism (p. 3, #24).
This workshop draws upon decolonizing, Indigenous and engaged pedagogies to walk the participants through an experiential learning exercise aimed to enhance intercultural capacity, understanding, empathy and respect for the immediate and inter/trans-generational impacts on Indigenous peoples’ health. The experiential exercise is a 60-minute simulated walk-through of a series of colonial historical events that have impacted Indigenous peoples in Canada. The exercise engages the participants to reflect on their own experience in order to build empathy, understanding, mutual respect and encourages participants towards transformation and social action.
Workshop learning outcomes:
Builds personal intercultural understanding and capacity that can be applied when working with Indigenous populations in Canada or teaching Indigenous curriculum.
Transforms misconceptions/misunderstanding towards empathy and mutual respect, as well as skills in intercultural competence which can be applied to Culturally Awareness and Safety.
A lesson plan will be provided to all participants for those interested to conduct this exercise in their classrooms or institutions when teaching about Indigenous history and the impacts of colonialism and residential schools.
Dr. Jennifer Leason is a Saulteaux-Métis Anishinaabek Kwe and a member of the Pine Creek Indian Band, Manitoba. She is an assistant professor at the University of Calgary, specializing in Indigenous people’s health. She has been a post-secondary instructor for the last 5 years and has worked on various Indigenizing projects, including developing courses using Indigenous and decolonizing pedagogy.