Conestoga news

November 16, 2021 11:58 AM

New micro-credential connects learning to Indigenous values, identity and spirit

A new micro-credential at Conestoga invites learners to draw connections between teaching practices and Indigenous knowledge. 

Offered through Continuing Education, the Awareness of Indigenous Values, Identity and Spirit program was developed in collaboration by the college’s Teaching & Learning department and Indigenous knowledge keepers. Courses are designed to help learners consider the pedagogical impact and relevance of key topics, including Wampum Belt teachings, creation beliefs, traditional medicines, Confederation and the Indian Act, residential schools, and contemporary Indigenous life.

“We have worked with the college’s Indigenous Services for many years to bring learning opportunities to faculty, but recently realized we needed a comprehensive program to better put action into practice to make change,” said Kathryn Brillinger, director, Teaching & Learning. “This program invites learners to explore the Indigenous experience and focuses on ways of passing information and knowledge from one keeper to another.”

The micro-credential offers six courses led by Indigenous knowledge keepers that include community members and leaders from diverse backgrounds. Teaching & Learning supported program development but content and delivery style of each course is designed by those leading it in an effort to authentically indigenize the experience and learning outcomes.

Currently offered online, each course includes six hours of synchronous and asynchronous learning over two weeks. Plans to expand offerings to include in-person and land-based opportunities are in development.

The program is faculty-focused but open to anyone wishing to enhance their understanding of traditional knowledge and values. Courses are offered to Conestoga employees free of charge.

For more information, visit the Awareness of Indigenous Values, Identity and Spirit program page.