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Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education
Jennifer Wemigwans

Jennifer Wemigwans
Assistant Professor

email: jennifer.wemigwans@utoronto.ca  

Department: Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

Research Overview

My work is grounded in Indigenous studies, through creating dynamic online Indigenous knowledge projects that foster dialogue, inspire learning, and respect Indigenous diversity. My research interests are particularly aligned with promoting Indigenous pedagogy and valuing Indigenous research methodologies which are core to notions of Indigenous Resurgence.

My research work embraces diverse Indigenous communities nationally and internationally, is fully committed to Indigenous protocols for knowledge acquisition and dissemination, and ultimately addresses a core emphasis of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Recommendations: education about Indigenous knowledge. As a cultural educator, I enjoy working collaboratively with Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers, and understand that my role is to help facilitate the ethical representation of Indigenous knowledge in various platforms. I believe that community engagement is defined as collaboration and knowledge mobilization for the benefit of all stakeholders, and not just for those in the academy. This type of approach aligns with Indigenous methods and pedagogies that I have utilized in my work as a producer, creating online projects like FourDirectionsTeachings.com, Wampum Interactive, the Indigenous Timekeepers project, and diverse other sites and applications supporting Indigenous languages and cultures.

Academic History

For the past twenty years I have immersed myself in two fields of study, education and media arts. This work aligns with my PhD at OISE, in the Social Justice Education Department at University of Toronto, where I studied the convergence of digital technologies, education and Indigenous knowledge. In the nineties I worked as a frontline adult literacy instructor for lndigenous community centres and not for profit organizations like the Meeting Place. During this time, I was also pursuing my MFA in the Graduate Film & Video Programme at York University. In addition to the study of film and video production, I was also studying identity politics and cross-cultural exchange in theory and witnessing them first hand in my community work. This early experience shaped my practice and led me to create Invert Media, a production company that I have operated since 2002, where I can continue to work with diverse Indigenous communities to design and build language apps, education tools and develop thoughtful community-based knowledge projects.

In my research and work as an independent Indigenous Trans Media producer, artistic director and writer, I take great pride in inverting the conventional use of media by revealing the potential for Indigenous cultural expression through new technologies. I am excited by the prospects of community empowerment from an Indigenous perspective and committed to exploring the convergence between education, Indigenous knowledge and new media technologies in my research work.

Teaching Overview

To date I continue to explore how Indigenous Studies and knowledge contribute to research ethics and to relationship building by challenging us to think about how meaning is derived. As a media producer and educator, these questions and issues are central to my work and explored in my courses on Indigenous Knowledge and Indigenous Worldviews: Implications for Education.

My teaching contribution will be given through the perspective of a writer, media producer and education scholar committed to the study of ethics, representation, Indigenous research methodologies, and relationship building across diverse communities.

Representative Publications

To be released Fall 2018

A Digital Bundle: Protecting and Promoting Indigenous Knowledge Online. University of Regina Press 

Indigenous Worldviews and Cultural Expression on the World Wide Web. Canadian Women Studies -- Indigenous Women in Canada: The Voice of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Women. Winter/ Spring 2008 Volume 26, Numbers 3,4