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Indigenous Education Network

Dr. Jennifer Brant, PhD


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Jennifer Brant belongs to the Kanien’kehá: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. Jennifer is the 2018 recipient of the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education “George L. Geis Dissertation Award.” Her dissertation was also supported by a SSHRC doctoral award and Jennifer received the Jack M. Miller Excellence in Research Award in 2017.

Her work positions Indigenous literatures as educational tools to inspire empathy, compassion, healing, and wellness. 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 Calls to Action.


CTL5049H Structural and Colonial Violence: Educational Response(abilities) and Complicities

This course draws from the field of critical and Indigenous pedagogies to draw attention to the ways in which structural and colonial violence against Indigenous peoples, worldviews, customs and beliefs is manifested schools. This course will be taught through a pedagogical framework that encourages anti-racist and ethical dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous learners. Students will also be encouraged to become agents of social change through different modes of activism that raises awareness about social justice for Indigenous peoples. Through scholarly material, Indigenous narratives and storywork, as well as recent media, topics will include: colonial histories, ongoing structural violence, analysis of educational policies and practice, decolonial thought, Indigenization, cognitive imperialism and eurocentrism.

CTL7073 Indigenous Perspectives of Racism and Settler Colonialism: An Introduction

With a focus on teacher preparation, this course seeks to understand the experiences of Indigenous people in Canada with regard to racism and settler colonialism, focusing on implications for classroom-based, programmatic, and pedagogical practice and reform.  Because schooling has a historical and contemporary role in facilitating racism and settler colonialism, especially through the creation of residential schools, this course encourages teachers to become familiar with the consequences of this ongoing history, and to learn strategies to rethink relationships between schools and Indigenous learners and communities.

CTL5039H Indigenous Maternal Pedagogies: Teaching for Reconciliation

This course draws from the field of Maternal Pedagogies, an area of inquiry that examines the relationship between mothering, teaching, and learning, and promotes various forms of agency, advocacy, and activism. Indigenous Maternal Pedagogies include women-centred Indigenous epistemologies that embrace the “whole student” within educational contexts and draw from an Indigenous women-centred worldview to establish a teaching and learning environment that can speak to the hearts and minds of students. This course provides a unique pedagogical framework that encourages anti-racist and ethical dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous learners. Through scholarly material along with Indigenous narratives and storywork, topics will include: colonial histories, moving beyond empathy to teach about residential schools, ongoing structural violence, and the overrepresentation of children in care. Contemporary resistance movements and resilience frameworks will also be discussed along with ongoing conversations of current community experiences. Students will consider this praxis as a starting place for Indigenizing classroom spaces; one that is rooted in localized community knowledges.





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