November 26, 2015 0

Educational Governance, Reform and Diversity for a Culturally Inclusive Place Based Doctoral Cohort: A video project


Proposal presented by Michelle Nilson with Ron Johnston, Faculty of Education




The Culturally Inclusive Place-Based (CIPB) Education cohort was developed at SFU to advance community-based and place-based research in education with a direct bearing on institutional structures, policies and practices. This cohort is comprised of  educators in senior roles within schools, colleges, universities, health and community services, Band administrations, and other similar educational settings.

There is a growing interest in First Nations Governance, both generally and more specifically in education (K-12 and higher). Evidence of this can be seen in the increasing number of books, articles, and scholars in this area. Internationally, this increasing attention has manifest in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and within Canada, the Canadian Deans of Education developed and adopted an Accord on Indigenous Education. More recently, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report articulates several ways in which governance simultaneously plays a role in perpetuating and re-imagining the future through curriculum and self governance (see recommendations 10, 46). Since the release of the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in June 2014, members of the educational community have been exploring ways to incorporate the recommendations.

In this project, we propose to address the recommendations of indigenizing the curriculum (TRC recommendation 10iii) and  by developing a set of video resources that will explore the question of how Indigenous educational governance can work with Canadian governance systems in sustainable ways (TRC recommendation 46ii). Specifically, this project explores Indigenous educational leadership through a series of interviews and lessons provided by First Nations leaders. This resource will most immediately be used by and benefit the cohort, but will also be publicly available as a resource to the larger community.


Recording of the interviews and lessons will primarily be conducted at the Teaching and Learning Centre at Simon Fraser University. However, when the participants are unable to attend SFU, then the recording will be conducted off site in a location that is convenient to the presenter. Travel costs, accommodations, and per diem for the filming crew will be required in order to retain the distant presenters. Additionally, some speakers may require a fee and/or payment in the form of a culturally appropriate gift. A budget that outlines these costs was developed and is included in the presentation of this package.


Many elders and First Nations leaders in education have not written down their stories, or recorded accounts of their leadership from the perspective of seeking to understand the frameworks for their decision making, the tensions they experienced, and how to sustainably reconcile the two worlds they often have to negotiate. This project offers a unique opportunity to explore these topics in a manner that is both culturally appropriate and best suited to gaining a deeper understanding of the context and the content of Aboriginal educational governance and reform.


November 2015 to April 2016: Record interviews

Summer 2016: Edit interviews for release as community resource

Fall 2016: Honouring feast and celebration



The Four Rs- Respect, Relevance, Reciprocity, and Responsibility:

Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education, UBC EdX Mooc:

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