CTLT Indigenous Initiatives September Newsletter
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Photo by Veri Ivanova on Unsplash

In this newsletter:

1. Message from CTLT Indigenous Initiatives
2. CTLT Online Teaching Program (OTP): Resources from Indigenous Initiatives
3. CTLT Indigenous Initiatives Fall 20' Programming 
4. CTLT Indigenous Initiatives Staff Updates: Welcome Bronte Burnette
5. What I Learned in Class Today Reboot: The “I” in Relation by Keirra Webb
6. Across Our Desks: news and articles related to Indigenous engagement in teaching and learning




1. Message from CTLT Indigenous Initiatives

Greetings everyone, 

We hope you and your loved ones are staying well and safe as we continue to live in these unprecedented and challenging times.

Though this academic year was not a situation we expected, we are nonetheless looking forward to starting off a new academic year remotely. Since we moved to remote work, we created a few resources to support you and hope that it will provide some good grounding to the start of a new term. In this newsletter, you will also find what we have planned for the term, staff updates, and news related to classroom climate and Indigenous engagement in teaching and learning.

a. Acknowledging Territory in an Online Space

CTLT Indigenous Initiatives has developed video resources to aid educators and facilitators in the process of acknowledging Indigenous territory in an online space.

b. Supporting Student Bandwidth in Online Learning Environments

What can we do to support students and instructors as they learn online? When we consider student learning in online environments, it is not enough to be learner-centred. In this recorded session we explored how instructors can create space for themselves and their students to lead less stressful lives, while acknowledging that learning and living at this time are very closely intertwined. Click the "learn more" button to view the session recording. 

c. Centring Indigenous Perspectives in Online Spaces

In this session the UBC teaching and learning community learned how to host conversations around decolonizing and Indigenous-centred practices in the online environment. CTLT Indigenous Initiatives resources were shared and a discussion on how to use these resources in the classroom. Click the "learn more" button to view the session recording. 

3. CTLT Indigenous Initiatives Fall 20' Programming 

a. II Virtual Coffee Drop-ins: A Snapshot & Upcoming Sessions 

Our Indigenous Initiatives Virtual Coffee Drop-ins will be continuing into the fall semester, and we’d love you to join us for an upcoming session. They tend to be small gatherings, usually around 4-6 attendees and 2 facilitators, so everyone gets a chance to bring their question or discussion topic to the group. 

We’ve had staff and faculty attend from across all UBC campuses, including faculty, staff and administration from multiple libraries, the First Nations House of Learning, Human Resources, Enrolment Services, CTLT, and faculties such as, Applied Sciences and Arts. 

We regularly discuss topics around Indigenizing and decolonizing course content and department processes; how to engage respectfully with Indigenous staff, students, faculty, and community members; offering meaningful land acknowledgements; and exploring useful resources for course work and professional development.

Resources shared from the II virtual coffee drop-ins range from academic articles on topics related to decolonizing practices, Indigenous pedagogy, to best practices on offering land acknowledgements, and online educational resources that include stories and teachings from local elders and Indigenous community leaders.

Please register for any of the drop-ins below. Looking forward to seeing you! 

a. Tuesday, September 22nd from 11am-12pm - REGISTER 
b. Wednesday, October 7th from 10-11am - REGISTER 
c. Thursday, October 22nd from 11am-12pm - REGISTER 
d. Thursday, November 5th from 10-11am - REGISTER 
e. Wednesday, November 25th from 10-11am - REGISTER 
f. Thursday, December 10th from 11am-12pm - REGISTER 

b. Anti-Racist Teaching Series 

CTLT Indigenous Initiatives will be offering sessions for the Anti-Racist Teaching Series in partnership with the Equity Inclusion Office (EIO). The workshop series are for the UBC teaching and learning community who wish to cultivate a teaching or facilitation practice that serves as a form of solidarity, and is based upon research and popular education pedagogy in the areas of anti-racism, equity, and inclusion. 

CTLT Indigenous Initiatives is excited to welcome Bronte Burnette. Bronte will be taking on the role of the Educational Resource Developer, supporting the development of online educational resources using digital, new media tools and learning technologies, related to classroom climate and Indigenous engagement in teaching and learning across the university.

We asked Bronte to share a few fun facts about herself. 

Earlier this month, we said goodbye to our colleague Chloe Erlendson. During her time as Educational Consultant for Indigenous Initiatives, Chloe supported the IN/relation project, workshops for the Remote Teaching Institute, OTP, and Indigenous-focused TA Training. A notable project that Chloe took the lead on completing was: 
Open case study on navigating complex classroom dynamics and the use of guidelines that will also be featured in the IN/relation facilitator guide

Thank you, Chloe! We wish you well and look forward to future opportunities to collaborate.

5. What I Learned in Class Today Reboot: The "I" in Relation 

The Indigenous Initiatives team is proud to present the first of a six-part article series that uses interviews from the What I Learned in Class Today reboot project to expand upon topics of Indigenous engagement and classroom climate at the University of British Columbia. We believe that the stories shared with us from participating students, staff, and faculty will continue to inform and motivate the University in implementing the recently released 2020 Indigenous Strategic Plan. The articles dive into key themes from our faculty cut film that will be screened to the UBC community throughout the fall term. We welcome you to begin with our introductory article, “The “I” in Relation: Positionality Work in Educational Environments,” and to stay tuned for a new release each month. Lastly, to hear more about the article series lead and our Work/Learn student, Keirra Webb. 

6. Across Our Desks: news and articles related to Indigenous engagement in teaching and learning

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a. Open Dialogues: Dr. Daniel Heath Justice on Decolonizing Open Education 

Learn about Indigenous knowledges in open education in this thought-provoking interview with Dr. Daniel Heath Justice, a professor in the Department of First Nations and Indigenous Studies and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Literature and Expressive Culture, where he speaks about technology, appropriation, representation and more.

b . ”The Orange Shirt Story” with Phyllis Webstad

September 22 | 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. (PDT) | Zoom

The First Nations House of Learning and UBC Learning Circle are honoured and pleased to present Phyllis Webstad, who will share her personal story that inspired the creation of Orange Shirt Day, held every September 30th.


c. "Our Existences Are Political": Identity and History as Pathways for Transformation

September 23 | 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (PDT) |  Zoom

Presented in partnership with the Indigenous Research Support Initiative and alumni UBC. In 2019, James Makokis and Anthony Johnson became the first two-spirit Indigenous couple to win The Amazing Race Canada. In this talk, Makokis and Johnson will share their personal transformations, from their early years facing adversity around two-spirit and Indigenous identities to a lifetime of education, transforming them into leaders, activists and role models. They will explore what it means to fully connect with our histories and embody the values of our ancestors. In these seemingly chaotic times, marked by a pandemic and a movement toward racial justice, this talk will challenge viewers to turn hopelessness on its head. It will empower them to harness their own histories and identities toward positive transformation.


d. BC Campus Fall Indigenous Series – Pulling Together

October 1, 2020 @ 11:00 am – November 5, 2020 @ 12:30 pm

This 6-part series will assist you in understanding, from a traditional Indigenous perspective, that every season has work to be done. It will also encourage you to consider how we fit our post-secondary education, policies and protocols into the seasons to best reflect Indigenous ways of knowing and doing. This goes beyond mere territory acknowledgements; it‘s about creating space to collaborate on actionable ideas. Reconciliation is about Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples coming together with reciprocal respect and travelling a journey together. These sessions are open to all employees in post-secondary. We will be utilizing the Leaders and Administrators Guide of the Pulling Together handbook as our reference materials.


e. BC Campus FLO MicroCourse – Acknowledging Traditional Indigenous Lands

December 7, 2020 – December 13, 2020

Facilitating Learning Online (FLO) MicroCourses are short, single-topic, hands-on, practical, and free. In this course, we explore the purpose, intent, and ways of acknowledging traditional Indigenous lands. A meaningful acknowledgment involves locating the self in who we are as human beings, i.e. our ethics, values, and beliefs about how we are connected with one another, and the places where we live and work. 


f. The need for humility in the fight against the climate crisis

In this article, UBC iSchool faculty member, Lisa Nathan, discusses using information to address long-term societal challenges, including climate change.

View Resource.
Stay well and safe, 
CTLT Indigenous Initiatives 
Indigenous Initiatives at Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology
The University of British Columbia, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Traditional Territory
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre 217 – 1961 East Mall, Vancouver, CA V6T1Z1
Visit our website at http://indigenousinitiatives.ctlt.ubc.ca/