Our Goals

The goal our proposed Social Justice @UBC Thematic Research Network is to establish a  coalition of social justice researchers/educators who are committed to creating space for  Indigenous pedagogies within the academy. We recognize that the dynamics of identity and social  difference mediate how Indigenous knowledges and pedagogies are both taught and learned  in classroom spaces. Our emphasis on Indigenous pedagogies assumes particular challenges  associated with utilizing land/place-based, intergenerational, narrative or experiential learning  processes within contained spaces of the academy and where more traditional pedagogies are the  norm. Their implementation is further complicated by the need to pay attention to local protocols  for knowledge. For example, Dei (2011) suggests that key elements of Indigenous spirituality  can provide for a powerful base of knowledge, yet its inclusion in the classroom meets with  resistance. Therefore, educators and researchers “must find ways to address the resistance to  such knowledges and employ our respective discursive agencies through classroom pedagogies,  instruction, texts, and other communicative practices…” (p. 332). To this end, the goals of the  social justice coalition are to 1) establish an interdisciplinary dialogue that considers the link between theory, research, and practice regarding alternative orientations to curriculum and  pedagogy in institutional spaces; 2) facilitate a set of public learning opportunities (e.g. speaker  presentation, art exhibit, student/faculty workshop) that critically examine how identity and power  relationships shape how Indigenous pedagogies are enacted and taken up in the wide range of  learning spaces of the academy ; and 3) create research and teaching agendas that examine the  possibilities and challenges of integrating Indigenous pedagogies in the academy.

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