Indigenous Education initiatives at OISE involve all departments and draws upon the diversity of Indigenous peoples. We seek to examine a range of issues, perspectives, and models of Indigenous Education from local, to national and international connections. Students focusing on Indigenous Education will have a greater understanding of the needs, aspirations and knowledges of Indigenous Peoples in Canada (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) and Indigenous Peoples around the world.
Important components of learning and work in this research area include:
- Developing understanding of the diversity of Indigenous peoples locally, nationally, and globally. This includes diverse cultural, spiritual, and political structures, and place based relationships that shape approaches to knowledge production and education.
- Increasing understanding of the history of colonization projects in Canada and around the world and their impacts on Indigenous peoples. This includes the significant role that education has played as a tool for control and assimilation.
- Examining ongoing realities of colonization including the ways in which educational institutions, policies and practices continue to produce and maintain conditions of constraint, dominance and control; racist representations of Indigeneity; social and class differences; and social inequities in regards to Indigenous peoples.
- Advocating for changes in educational policy and practice in Canada by examining issues related to self-determination in public education systems and current literature and research.
- Centering Indigenous epistemologies, ontologies and methodologies in Indigenous education and research. This includes respecting the roles that Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers play in Indigenous communities and holistic understandings of learning and wellness.
Courses are offered at the MT, MEd, MA, EdD, and PhD levels. Faculty members supervise masters research projects, qualifying research papers, and both masters and doctoral theses. Courses with an Indigenous education focus or content are listed in associated departments; see their websites for details.
Faculty actively working in Indigenous and anti-colonial research are in the departments of Applied Psychology and Human Development (APHD); Curriculum, Teaching and Learning (CTL); Leadership, Higher and Adult Education (LHAE); and Social Justice Education (SJE). This includes J. Ansloos (APHD); J. Brant, S. Styres, F. Nxumalo, R. Gaztambide-Fernandez, A. Kempf (CTL); S. Waterman and J. Wemigwans (LHAE); E. Tuck, M. Cannon, R. Hampton, G. Dei (SJE). Their research and teaching focuses on a range of topics in Indigenous education including (but not limited to):
- Indigenous students’ access and experiences in post-secondary education
- Social movements and approaches to decolonization
- Sociopolitical dimensions of Indigenous mental health
- Racism and colonial politics of state recognition
- Land-centered approaches to language, literacy, and curriculum
- Ethical representation of Indigenous knowledge in digital spaces
- Indigenous maternal pedagogies and identity formation
- Racialized social relations and anti-colonialism in higher education
- Disruption of anti-Black and settler colonial education through place-based and environmental learning.
Indigenous Education Network
The Indigenous Education Network (IEN) is a group of students, faculty, staff and community members who share a common commitment to and passion for convening anti-colonial education, elevating radical ways of knowing, organizing action and change, and deepening relations between Indigenous, Black, and Black-Indigenous peoples. For over 30 years, the IEN has been crafting meaningful opportunities for mutual aid, collaboration, and deepening relations within and between communities. As part of this work, the IEN supports students through co-curricular programming, resources and mentoring. To learn more about our offerings students are encouraged to get in touch with IEN staff and/or visit the IEN space located on the South end of the 5th floor at OISE. The space is open for Indigenous students, faculty and staff to use for meetings, work and social gathering.
Deepening Knowledge Project
The Deepening Knowledge Project (DKP) seeks to infuse Indigenous peoples' histories, knowledges and pedagogies into all levels of education in Canada. The DKP website offers curricula and other teacher education resources related to Indigenous education.
First Nations House
First Nations House (FNH) serves Indigenous students across the University of Toronto offering culturally relevant services to support academic success, personal growth and leadership development.
Traditional Teachers & Supports
OISE’s Indigenous Education Network (IEN) and the University of Toronto’s First Nations House (FNH) has relationships with a number of Elders and Knowledge Keepers. Please contact the IEN and/or FNH for more information about drop in hours and other programming offering traditional teaching and support.
For further information about Indigenous Education initiatives at OISE, contact the OISE Indigenous Education Liaison: