What is the Deepening Knowledge Project?

The Deepening Knowledge Project began approximately in 2008 and was born out of cross- departmental collaborations between Kathy Broad, then OISE’s Academic Director of Initial Teacher Education, and Dr. Jean-Paul Restoule, then with the Department of Leadership, Adult and Higher Education at OISE (now at University of Victoria).

The project is a part of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, which is located on the territories of Anishinaabe and Onkwehonwe peoples.

Led by a group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous faculty, students and staff, DKP provides information about the history and perspectives of First Nations, Métis and Inuit and Native American cultures; information related to the issues of pressing concern to Indigenous peoples and their communities today; as well as curricula for teachers to incorporate this into teaching practice.

Origin Story of the Deepening Knowledge Project Logo

The Deepening Knowledge Project has commissioned Anishinaabe-Kwe artist Sofi Rostampour to design the artwork for our logo. Sofi’s artist statement is as follows, “These vamps serve as a representation of the knowledge gained experientially – through our journey and the way we walk, typical of how Indigenous Knowledge is gained. The picture depicted honors niibi (water), and its ability to hold memory and thus knowledge. The star nation is depicted above, knowledge of where we come from as Anishinaabe – “lowered from the sky.”

The grandfathers (the island) in the water are old beings bearing witness to creation having been around since time immemorial. The turtle for us, represents truth, a microcosm depicted on this one’s back of the moon’s cycle. Grandmother moon watching over. Interconnection and interdependence being the basis of our ways of knowing and thus walking in a good way.”

DKP seeks to build relationships by:

Integrating Indigenous peoples’ perspectives, histories, knowledges and pedagogies into all levels of education in Canada.

Providing a forum where Indigenous and settler people can come into relationship with one another.

Opening up spaces where settler Canadians can come to know their own storied connections to place and tangled relationships to Canada’s colonial history.

Calling teachers to their responsibilities in taking up Indigenous knowledges (not culture) into their classrooms and teaching practices.

Activating understandings of what it means to be in good relationships with Land that has and continues to exist first and foremost in relationship to Indigenous peoples.