Decolonizing Together Symposium
Decolonizing Together entailed two day-long online symposia that brought together faculty, faculty associates and staff at two post-secondary institutions in B.C., as well as school associates and educators from various school districts in Lower Mainland. These symposia aimed to cultivate a diverse community that creates and sustains equitable and inclusive campuses by ensuring the inclusion of the perspectives and experiences of racialized and marginalized people previously absent in teacher education programming. By providing two sessions (one for teacher candidates on October 22, 2021, and the other for teacher educators and staff on January 28, 2022), we aimed to connect practitioners at various points in their careers with a diverse range of renowned and experienced professionals whose careful and critical work in the areas of antiracism, Indigeneity and social justice can help others develop holistic and inclusive practices in their classrooms.
The recordings of the speaker presentations are available below.
October 22nd, 2021: Teacher Candidate Session
Mr. Brad Baker – Indigenous Education – Truth Before Reconciliation
- Mr. Baker will explore the idea of Indigenous education not only as a project aimed at improving educational outcomes for Indigenous students, but also as a matter of introducing some deep truths about colonisation and colonialism to non-Indigenous Canadians, and how this force has shaped our nation and our lives. As a k-12 educator and district principal, Mr. Baker brings a very valuable perspective to bear in this work and can link theory to practice in a way that will be most instructive for students enrolled in teacher education. His practical experiences in grappling with anti-Indigenous racism on systemic, cultural and personal contexts will also be of great value fo non-Indigenous teacher educators as well.
- Brad Baker is a member of the Squamish Nation and the District Principal of Indigenous Education for the North Vancouver School District. When he was hired in 1995, Mr. Baker was the first Indigenous educator hired by the North Vancouver School District. Several years later, in recognition of his service, he was awarded an Indspire award for Indigenous educational leadership in 2014, an outstanding accomplishment after less than a decade of teaching. He is currently completing an Educational Doctorate at UBC which focuses on decolonizing and Indigenizing schools, and improving educational outcomes for Indigenous students within the k-12 school system.
Dr. Michelle Stack – Ableism as an equity issue
- Professor Stack will invite the audience to think about the impacts of how people and the natural world are ranked into categories of productive/unproductive and worthy/unworthy. She will provide examples of how eugenics thinking is rooted in the connected structures of ableism and racism and continue to permeate education and healthcare. She will also discuss why a focus on people first language (e.g. a person with disabilities) is often challenged by disability rights scholars and activists who embrace their identity and use identity first language (e.g. a disabled person). The talk will focus on who and what we deem a problem and why. For example, are disabled and racialized children who are pushed out of school the problem or is the school the problem? Who frames and problem and how they frame it can determine if a child is expelled, criminalized or streamed in ways that can impact them through their lives. Dr. Stack will present alternative ways to think about what a good education is and could be through thinking about solidarities in a time of global crises.
- Dr. Michelle Stack is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia whose work is rooted in educational equity and disability studies. She is the co-editor of a book with Dr. André Mazawi, Course Syllabi in Faculties of Education Bodies of Knowledge and their Discontents, International and Comparative Perspectives, editor of Global University Rankings and the Politics of Knowledge and the inaugural winner of the UBC Public Humanities Award.
January 28th, 2022 Teacher Educator and Staff Session
(published in Jan 2022)