Emphasis in Indigenous Education and Decolonization

The Indigenous Emphasis not only examines the complex and tangled histories of those on whose traditional lands OISE/University of Toronto is situated - the Ouendat (Wyandot-Huron), Onondowahgah (Seneca-) and the Misi-zaagiing (Mississaugas-Anishinaabek) nation but also extends to lands across Turtle Island and Abya-Yala. Tkaronto, as a starting place to understand Indigenous Education and Decolonization more globally, is subject to the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Hodenosaunee and the Anishinaabe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes regions. This emphasis will provide an entry point into the knowledge systems that emerge from this particular land, with an emphasis on land itself as a teacher and a source of knowledge. The emphasis will be grounded on a decolonial pedagogy, with a commitment to anti-colonization and decolonization practices. Recognizing that these lands have existed, and still do exist, first and foremost in relationship to Indigenous people requires a critical consciousness and acknowledgement of whose traditional lands we are now on as well as the historical and contemporary realities of those relationships. It is this understanding that forms the philosophical foundation upon which all of our courses position themselves within the emphasis. 

How to Participate in the Indigenous Education and Decolonization Emphasis

It is not necessary to formally enrol in the Emphasis, nor do you need to declare in advance your intention to pursue the Emphasis. If you are a student in the Curriculum & Pedagogy (C&P) program in CTL you are eligible to have an Emphasis by simply completing three or more courses from the Emphasis course list. Once you successfully pass these courses, contact your program administrator in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning and request credit for satisfying the Emphasis requirements. This request must be made prior to graduation. Please note that not all courses are offered each year and that a course can only be used to satisfy the requirements of a single Emphasis.

Students in the Indigenous Education and Decolonization Emphasis are expected to take three or more courses.


Core Faculty

  • Dr. Rubén Gaztambide-Fernández
  • Dr. Sandra Styres
  • Dr. Heather Sykes
  • Dr. Jennifer Brant
  • Dr. Fikile Nxumalo
  • Dr. Arlo Kempf

Affiliated Faculty

  • Dr. Jack Miller

Indigenous Education and Decolonization Courses

Course Name Course Code
Pedagogies of Solidarity CTL1063H
The Holistic Curriculum CTL1110H
Introduction to Aboriginal Land-centered Education: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives CTL1320H
Aboriginal Civilization: Language, Culture and Identity CTL1321H
Literacies of Land: Narrative, Storying and Literature CTL1322H
Land‐centred Approaches to Research and Community Engagement: Bringing a ‘Good’ Mind to Indigenous Education Research CTL1331H
Introduction to Decolonization in Education CTL1332H
Indigenous Maternal Pedagogies: Teaching for Reconciliation CTL5039H
Structural and Colonial Violence: Educational Reponse(abilities) and Complicities CTL5049H
Decolonial and Anti-Racist Environmental Education CTL5050H
Architectures of Race, Whiteness and Settlerhood in Education CTL5053H
Indigenous Literatures CTL5054H
Weaving together Mind, Body and Spirit: Envisioning Pathways to Trauma-informed Classrooms from Indigenous Perspectives CTL5056H