Module 3

“Just shut up and listen: Learning about the ongoing legacies of residential schools”

This module prepares learners to engage with the history and ongoing legacies of residential schools in Canada by reflecting on their own educational experiences and attitudes about education. The topics covered in this module include:

  • Exploring personal and cultural values about education
  • Identifying what you have previously learned about residential schools in Canada and where this learning came from
  • Recognizing your role in contributing to the long-term project of reconciliation through the TRC Calls to Action
  • Preparing and caring for yourself and others in your community for the challenges that may come from learning about residential schools


“[T]he feeling part is valuable in that it is transformative. If we start to know more than we knew before, then we can start to shift our attitudes about things that we thought we knew before but in fact may have been misinformed, and then we can start to shift then our actions that can flow from those attitudes.” Dr. Wilson breaks this process down for us as a holistic process of learning both intellectually as well as emotionally that initiates shifts in attitude and the crucial role that attitudes play in informing transformative action. So coming to this module, it seeks to connect -- starting from yourself -- your own understandings of motivation for engaging with the broader context of our work, our teams, and our unit within the university. We carry the stories of how we came to learn things into the way we learn about other things.

Guiding Questions

  • “I used to think this was something between Indigenous people and the government”
  • What are our experiences and ideas about education, and how does learning about residential schools disrupt those ideas?
  • How do we relate our feelings to action?
  • What is the meaning and importance of unlearning?
  • “You make the path by walking it”
  • How does emotional engagement with survivor testimonies help our learning about the ongoing legacies of residential schools?


Diving In

Pre-Assessment Question:

How would you define the word “un-learning,” and what might this have to do with learning about residential schools in Canada?

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We will be expanding our knowledge from the Indigenous Foundations article to the output reports from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Take some time to browse a few different sections in each document by following your own academic and personal interests.

Dr. Hanae Tsukada holds a PhD in Educational Studies from UBC, and her research was on international education. She currently holds the role of Educational Strategist with the Equity and Inclusion office and Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology. Hanae‘s personal story will be the starting point for discussing challenges in our learning journeys in the Learning Together activity Their History/Our History.

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The title of this module is from the video “The Art of Listening” and the quote in the invitation comes from “How Should People Feel”. Both videos demonstrate core themes that re-emerge throughout this module. Watch the two videos and keep their narratives in mind as you move forward.

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After reading the TRC Calls to Action, you may be wondering what progress has been made. The CBC researched and compiled measures of the progress on the Calls to Action ranging from “Not started”, "In Progress — Projects proposed", "In Progress — Projects underway", to "Complete".

  • Take a look at the CBC Beyond 94 webpage. In particular review the Calls to Actions related to Education. What stands out to you?

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Take 10-15 mins to reflect on and write down answers to the following questions:

  • What (cultural) values do you have about education and where do these come from?
  • What stands out in your own personal/family/collective history around education?
  • What was your own experience learning about Indigenous education and residential schools?
  • SELF CARE. What is your definition of self care? Considering that this may be emotionally difficult material, what are 4 specific things you can do for yourself to heal, comfort, and care for yourself as you engage in the learning?

Diving Deeper

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source: Deeper