Conditions of coloniality apolitically frame how education is enacted, as well as the assumed normalization of power structures that exist in our societies (Reyes, 2019). The beneficiaries of coloniality (most often Eurocentric and privileged backgrounds) tend to act in a defensive, aggressive and avoidant manner when we begin to question these conditions (Reyes, 2019). We recognize that this can be difficult and make you feel uncomfortable, but we encourage you to encounter this feeling head on. It's totally normal and often times necessary, it means you're growing as an educator!
Feeling uncomfortable (hint: it's normal!)
What is solidarity?
It is important to understand how you can show solidarity when looking to decolonize your mind and your classroom. It is important to be critical of the ways in which you show solidarity. Sometimes showing 'solidarity' can actually manifest itself in a lack of tangible change. Especially for those who look to it as a step towards decolonization. It is important to recognize and understand how settler coloniality (the European imperial expansion) has impacted the spaces you work and live in. It is easy to think that we do not experience racism as deeply because of Canada’s identity as a ‘multicultural’ country (Rosa, 2019).
However, Canada's multicultural identity acts to blur reality, creating an illusion of a superficial integration of many ethnicities in society (Rosa, 2019). With this in mind, we challenge you to look at solidarity for decoloniality as a way to refute the social arrangements that perpetuate colonialism and are predicated on capitalism (Gaztambide-Fernández, 2012).
Note on using stories and appropriation
Some of the stories you will encounter on our website are only meant to be told at certain times of the year, and under specific circumstances. Where relevant, we have noted this, however, further research is always encouraged prior to directing your students to any of the resources we list, and prior to using them yourself!
It is NEVER okay to sing, dance, chant, or recreate any of the ceremonies being told in stories or displayed in video material. This is blatant appropriation and is never acceptable.
Should you contact elders in your area?
It is NEVER okay to reach out to an elder asking for them to read a story to your class, or asking them for their knowledges, without compensation.
For some tips on addressing elders and elder protocol, you can refer to the following link that provides a great overview into some things to think about prior to contacting an elder: