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Alumna Susan Dion delivers lecture on decolonizing and indigenizing teacher education

By Steven Vanloffeld

October 26, 2011


OISE alumna Susan Dion gives IEN fall 2011 lectureOn October 25, 2011 the Indigenous Education Network (IEN) held its first Fall 2011 Guest Lecture. Close to 50 faculty, staff and teacher candidates attended "But we don’t have any Aboriginal students in our school! Investigating the Complexities of Decolonizing and Indigenizing Teacher Education" with Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) alumna Dr. Susan D. Dion (left).

Dion is an Aboriginal scholar (Potawatami /Lenape) who has been working in the field of education for over twenty-five years. She is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at York University in Toronto and her research interests include the social and political contexts of education; disrupting memories of post-invasion First Nations-Canadian Relations; resistance strategies of Aboriginal adolescent girls; and urban Aboriginal experience.

Drawing on her recent research and teaching experiences, Susan explored the complexities that teachers and teacher educators encounter when questions of decolonizing and indigenizing are taken up in elementary, secondary or university classrooms. In her research Dr. Dion found that although teachers are committed to issues of equity and social justice, decolonizing and indigenizing teacher education presents particular challenges. One of the biggest challenges is encouraging teachers to take it upon themselves to seek out Indigenous knowledge, educate themselves, and incorporate it in to their classrooms.

Dr. Dion’s talk garnered significant discussion and feedback from those in attendance, many of whom are teachers or teacher candidates, and were seeking ways to bring more Indigenous Knowledge in to their classrooms and curriculum.

For more information about the IEN and its events, or to sign up for its newsletter please visit the Indigenous Education Network website.