Episode Description

This podcast featuring Diane Longboat, Pamala Agawa and Tanya Senk explores how colonization and anti-Indigenous racism operates in schooling. The speakers explore concepts such as decolonizing and Indigenizing educational spaces and the importance of Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination in how we conceptualize the future of education. Listeners are invited to consider their responsibilities as treaty people on this land in interrupting the historical legacy of cultural genocide and its contemporary impacts on Indigenous students, families and communities. Click here for all episodes in the series.

Episode 5 Chapter 1 ft. Diane Longboat
Episode 5 Chapter 2 ft. Pamala Agawa
Episode 5 Chapter 3 ft. Tanya Senk

About The Speakers

Diane Longboat, MEd is a member of the Turtle Clan and Mohawk Nation. She is a ceremonial leader, traditional teacher and healer. She has served as Elder for CAMH since January of 2014 and is currently the Senior Project manager, Guiding Directions Implementation. Diane is founder of Soul of the Mother. She is a professional educator with a Master’s degree in education and has taught at universities nationally and internationally on the topic of traditional Indigenous knowledge systems and spirituality as the fuel for innovation. She possesses an in-depth understanding of Indigenous history, loss and trauma, as well as the resiliency factors that are embedded in culture and knowledge systems. She has published extensively and written numerous reports on Indigenous education and law for the Assembly of First Nations and the Chiefs of Ontario.

Diane is the founder of First Nations House (Office of Aboriginal Student Services and Programs) at the University of Toronto and Soul of the Mother, a traditional healing lodge on the shores of the Grand River at Six Nations Grand River Territory.

Diane was the Indigenous Education Advisor to the Premier of Ontario and the Ontario Minister of Education from 2018-2018. Recently Diane was Co-Chair of the Indigenous Peoples Program at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, a global gathering for 8,500 visitors in November 2018.  The program hosted over 100 Indigenous spiritual leaders and leading climate activists from 80 countries.

Pamala Agawa, Anishinaabe-kwe from Batchewana First Nation. She is a mom, a daughter, an auntie, a niece, a granddaughter and a sister. She is a Secondary Vice Principal at a secondary school with the York Region DSB. Pam is a coach and a lifelong learner who seizes every opportunity possible to grow as a person.  Currently, her interests are focused in decolonizing instructional practice to create amazing spaces for learning for all (especially Indigenous youth) acknowledging that this is a journey and that this is really rooted within the colonial/ western structure we have all adopted as a system in public education.  Pam loves working alongside youth and believes she is a strong advocate for them in a good way.

Tanya Senk is a Métis/Cree/Saulteaux educator, researcher, artist and speaker. She has been working in the Toronto District School Board for over two decades. During this time she has been a classroom teacher, seconded as a course director at York University, in the Faculty of Education, in both the Urban Diversity and Regent Park Teacher Education program sites, an Instructional Leader, AQ Instructor, Program Coordinator and Central Coordinating Vice-Principal in Indigenous Education. She is currently the Indigenous Education Board Lead, Centrally Assigned Principal for Indigenous Education with the Urban Indigenous Education Centre and Principal at Kapapamahchakwew – Wandering Spirit School. She has also written and reviewed with publishers such as Pearson, Goodminds, Indigenous Education Press, Nelson, Emond Montgomery, ETFO, and Pembroke – on Indigenous Education. As a PhD candidate, her research interests include Decolonizing and Indigenizing Education, Professional Learning and Teacher Education.

Resources: Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing MethodologiesGerald Vizenor;  Willie J. Ermine on “Aboriginal Epistemology” and “Seeking Mamatowisowin

Written by Noor El-Husseini

Noor El-Husseini

Educator, Spoken Word Poet and RSEKN Network Coordinator