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Curriculum, Teaching  & Learning
Jennifer Brant


Jennifer Brant
Assistant Professor

email: jennifer.brant@utoronto.ca  

Department: Curriculum, Teaching and Learning



Research Overview

Jennifer Brant (She/Her) belongs to the Kanien'keh:ka (Mohawk Nation) with family ties to Six Nations of the Grand River Territory and Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. Jennifer completed her PhD in Education at Brock University, recently taught in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba, and is currently an Assistant Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Jennifer's dissertation entitled "Journeying toward a Praxis of Indigenous Maternal Pedagogy: Lessons from our Sweetgrass Baskets" provides insight into the value of a unique pedagogical approach as it relates to cultural identity development and academic success. Her work positions Indigenous literatures as educational tools to move students beyond passive empathy and compassion, inspire healing and wellness, and foster socio-political action. Jennifer is the co-editor of "Forever Loved: Exposing the Hidden Crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada" and writes to call for an immediate and effective response to racialized and sexualized violence. Through her community work, teaching, research, and writing, Jennifer is dedicated to encouraging teacher candidates to engage in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's 94 Calls to Action and the 231 Calls for Justice released in the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Academic History

PhD (2018) Joint Program in Educational Studies Brock University/University of Windsor/Lakehead University

MEd (2011) Brock University Education

BA Honours (2006) Brock University Sociology Concentration in Criminology


Teaching Overview

Dr. Brant currently teaches courses in the Curriculum and Pedagogy Program and in the MT Program.

CTL 5049: Structural and Colonial Violence: Educational Response(abilities) and Complicities

CTL 5039: Indigenous Maternal Pedagogies: Teaching for Reconciliation.

CTL 5054: Indigenous Literatures

CTL 7073: Indigenous Experiences of Racism and Settler Colonialism in Canada: An Introduction

Representative Publications

Brant, J. (2019). Indigenous Mothering: Birthing the Nation from Resistance to Revolution. In Lynn O’Brien Hallstein, Andrea O’Reilly and Melinda Vandenbeld Giles (Eds.) Routledge Companion to Motherhood (pp. 111-121). Routledge

This invited chapter discusses the historical, colonial, contemporary, and socio-political realities of Indigenous mothering by drawing attention to the assimilationist policies that have implicated Indigenous families and communities for generations. The chapter also introduces the Indigenous ideologies of motherhood that informed Indigenous worldviews and ancient traditions of physically and spiritually bringing forth new life since time immemorial. This chapter also includes discussion on the acts of ongoing gendered and colonial violence that continue to target Indigenous mothering practices, the continued “policing” of Indigenous motherhood, the imposition of binary understandings of patriarchal models of motherhood, the issues associated with maternal evacuation, and the work that is being done to reclaim Indigenous midwifery.

Lavell Harvard M. D., & Brant, J. (2016). Forever Loved: Exposing the hidden crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada. Toronto, ON: Demeter Press.

This collection brought together Indigenous and non-Indigenous academics, community members, and frontline workers as part of the call for a National Public Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada. This book was presented during invited keynotes at Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario; St. Thomas University Fredericton, New Brunswick and at the Canadian Federation of University Women, The book has also been adopted as a required text for several courses across Canada.

Brant, J. (2014). Rebirth and renewal: Finding empowerment through Indigenous women’s literature. In Memee D. Lavell Harvard and Kim Anderson (Eds.) Mothers of the Nations: Indigenous Mothering as Global Resistance, Reclaiming, and Recovery (pp. 207-228). Toronto, ON: Demeter Press.

This chapter resulted from a pilot study that helped to shape my pedagogical directions for my doctoral research. It also presents Indigenous research methodology and documents the transformative value of Indigenous Maternal Pedagogy.

Forthcoming Publications:

Brant, J. (Forthcoming). Indigenous Women’s Literature as a Counternarrative to Racialized and Sexualized Violence. In A. Brenda Anderson, Wendee Kubik and Mary Rucklos Hampton (Eds.) Torn from our Midst: Voices of Grief, Healing and Action from the Missing Indigenous Women Conference. Regina: SK, University of Regina Press.

Brant, J. (Forthcoming). Recalling the spirit and intent of Indigenous literatures. In Sandra Styres and Arlo Kempf (Eds.) Troubling the Trickster - The Politics of Decolonizing Reconciliation in Education.

Invited Encyclopedia Entries:

Brant, J. (2020, April) Racial Segregation of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Available online: https://thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/racial-segregation-of-indigenous-peoples-in-canada

Brant, J. (2017, September). The Cultural Appropriation of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Available online: https://thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/cultural-appropriation-of-indigenous-peoples-in-canada

Brant, J. (2017, March). Missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada. The Canadian Encyclopedia. Available online: https://thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/missing-and-murdered-indigenous-women-and-girls-in-canada

Research Grants and Contracts

2019-2022 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Development Grant

2019-2021 Connaught New Researcher Award

Both grants support a pilot study entitled "Indigenous Student Experiences Post TRC: Indigenous Requirement Courses in Teacher Education" The research will extend my doctoral work on Indigenous Maternal Pedagogies; an Indigenous centred learning approach that establishes a safe and ethical space for contentious dialogue. This project also serves as one branch of my overall program of research, which involves unpacking the complex relationship between Indigenous pedagogical approaches in teacher education and cultural safety for Indigenous faculty, staff, and students in post TRC Canada.

Dr. Brant is also an Academic Co-Investigator on a CIHR Grant entitled "She Walks With Me: Supporting Urban Indigenous Expectant Mothers through Culturally-Based Doulas"


Honours and Awards

George L. Geis Dissertation Award, The Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education, 2018

Jack M. Miller Excellence in Research Award, Brock University, 2017


Other Information

Keynote Addresses and Invited Presentations

Opening Keynote at the 2019 Student Affairs Assessment Institute: Decolonized Truth About Assessment, July 10, 2019

Closing Keynote at the 2019 Student Affairs Assessment Institute: A Decolonized and Socially Just Future of Assessment Dr. Jennifer Brant, Dr. Stephanie Waterman and Dr. Anne Lundquist, July 12, 2019

Moderator Koffler Centre for the Arts: Book and Ideas Series Francine Cunningham & Helen Knott: In Conversation with Jennifer Brant Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Keynote address at the 2019 Associate Teacher Appreciation Event. "Teaching Post TRC Canada: Roles, Responsibilities, and ReconciliAction" March 26, 2019

Brant, J. (2019) Settler Environmentalism as Violence against Indigenous Women. Presented at the Indigenous Rights Conference, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Saturday November 16th 2019

https://www.oise.utoronto.ca/research/Professor_Jennifer_Brant_Shares_her_Work.html

https://theconversation.com/indigenous-communities-come-together-virtually-during-coronavirus-despite-barriers-and-inequities-138601

https://www.oise.utoronto.ca/oise/News/2020/Defending_the_land_through_culture_and_dance_Indigenous_communities_come_together_as_the_coronavirus_pandemic_hits_Turtle_Island.html