Indigenizing the Curriculum

Michelle Whitstone

 

This session will address the intriguing question of "exactly HOW do you Indigenize a curriculum?"  There have been numerous communications, collaborations, and planned agendas to assess the current infrastructure that rings true to Indigenous ways of thinking and being, and next, to move into implementing Indigenous content into the university curriculum.  My belief in strengthening any program that opens its doors to Indigenous, Aboriginal, Metis, Native American students from all walks of life begin with fully acknowledging who they truly are and from whence their roots flow, as well as the adverse affects on their lives, and to provide services and consistent support and collaboration to celebrate their microcosm of traditions that all flow together in songs of unity, peace, charity, love and harmony.  For the academy to believe in us, all of us, they have to accept who we are and where we're coming from and that can mean many, many things.  The most important aspects of who we are: our Mother Tongues, our traditions, and our way of life, should be at the forefront of discourse on Indigenizing the curriculum; what should be included and how it should be applied.  For us to build strength and perseverence for our future Indigenous generations, we must first bring our essence back to life and only then will we be free to succeed in whatever we dream for, for our well-being; which will make us strong again so our future can be strong and well, too.


Michelle Whitstone

Michelle Rose Whitstone is a full-blooded Diné woman, originally from Rock Point, Arizona. Ta’neeszahnii are her mothers/grandmothers and she’s born for Naasht’ézhí Táchii’nii. Άshįįhí are her maternal grandfathers and Tó Dík’ózhí are her paternal grandfathers. Her husband, Steven B. Whitstone and their four children live in Onion Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada. As a full-time doctoral student at the University of Saskatchewan, Michelle takes her role as a student-leader very seriously as she represents the voices and concerns of her fellow Indigenous, Aboriginal, Metis and Native American colleagues in the academy of higher education. She enjoys cooking over the fire and learning as much as possible about the history/facts of her people and current events in the fields of Indigenization across the academy. As the main voicer in Rosetta Stone’s Diné Bizaad (Navajo Language) Software program, she sees the need to understand the challenges facing Indigenous languages/traditions facing adversity in today’s technological advances and innovation. Michelle hopes that one day, she would hear children speaking in their Mother Tongues and understanding each other the way Creator meant for them to speak and be understood.