Learning is ceremony and ceremony is learning — it is a core philosophy brought to Laurier’s new Centre for Indigegogy by Associate Professor Kathy Absolon-King. The centre, launched by Laurier’s Indigenous Field of Study program through the Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work, provides educators and practitioners with Indigenous-centred holistic training and development.
The centre’s offerings are part of an ongoing effort by the university to weave Indigenous learning and understanding into the experience of all Laurier students, faculty and staff.
“The centre’s certificates are in alignment with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s calls to action by offering certificates and modules that reflect the truth,” says Absolon-King, inaugural director of the Centre for Indigegogy. “We think we’re heading in the right direction and we’re really proud of it.”
The centre currently offers two certificates taught by allies, elders, faculty and practitioners in the Indigenous Field of Study program. The first certificate — the Indigenous Educators’ Certificate in Indigegogy — offers Indigenous educators an experiential and skill-based learning opportunity intended to build knowledge, confidence and capacity to teach from their Indigenous selves. The second certificate — the Decolonizing Education Certificate — provides all educators, including non-Indigenous faculty and educators, an understanding of Indigenous perspectives in the history of colonization. Modules explore topics including land, policy, governance, social control policy, solidarity, resistance movements and healing movements.
Laurier also recently hired an Indigenous curriculum specialist, who will work with faculty members wanting to teach or research culturally relevant Indigenous curricula and topics. Erin Hodson came to Laurier from the Tecumseh Centre for Aboriginal Research and Education at Brock University. She holds a master’s degree in the social and cultural contexts of education.