The Calgary Journal
The Calgary Journal

Treaty 7

 The first day of college or university can be nerve-racking for a lot of students. Adjusting to new surroundings and trying to navigate your way through crowded halls are just some of the pitfalls at a city campus.

In an effort to lift Indigenous curriculum off the page and uphold the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, some professors are turning to Indigenous students in the classroom to speak to the content.

Educators need to update their teaching manuals says some Indigenous students and educators.

Many people want to be an ally to the Indigenous community but often don’t know where to start. They may not know what the correct terminology is or what sorts of questions should be asked and avoided.

The SAGE Encyclopedia of Action Research describes non-Indigenous allies as people who, “Recognize the unearned privilege they receive from society’s patterns of injustice and take responsibility for changing these patterns.”

Whenever one culture imposes its definition of family on another, nothing good follows, says Peter Choate, a social work professor at Mount Royal University.

“I don't think we have a single example anywhere in the world where one culture-defining family for another culture has worked,” says Choate.

Take the Blackfoot language, for example, where there is no literal translation for certain family members that exist in western cultures.