Vol 4 No 1 (2013)

Education for Liberation: One Indigenous Classroom at a time?

Bernadette M. Friedmann-Conrad
The First Nations University of Canada; Athabasca University
Zeugen by Morgan Rauscher
Published May 1, 2013


This article describes one adult education class in which First Nations educational philosophies and practices were employed. It is a facilitator's personal account of a 200-level, web-delivered Indigenous Studies course that examined methods and theory in recording Oral Traditions. First Nations worldviews and ways of teaching and learning are fundamentally different from Western education theories and pedagogies. Rather than viewing Aboriginal learners as deficient (as Western educational institutions often do), this course was developed under the premise that all students will learn and grow, given that an open, safe, supportive and challenging learning environment is provided. It is the Atisokanak, the Elders, and the First Nations protocols and ceremonies explored and employed in this class that made it the unique and rewarding experience it was for its facilitators and learners alike.