Examining the Braiding and Weaving of Indigenous Ways of Knowing, Being, and Doing in Alberta Teacher Education


  • Patricia Danyluk University of Calgary
  • Amy Burns University of Calgary
  • Yvonne Poitras Pratt University of Calgary
  • Astrid Kendrick University of Calgary
  • Maureen Plante University of Calgary
  • Samara Wessel University of Calgary
  • Kathryn Crawford Ambrose University
  • Eva Lemaire University of Alberta
  • Joshua Hill Mount Royal University
  • Robin Bright University of Lethbridge
  • Dawn Burleigh University of Lethbridge
  • Chloe Weir Burman University
  • Laurie Hill Mount Royal University
  • Lorelei Boschman Medicine Hat College




Alberta’s Teaching Quality Standard requires that all teachers possess and apply a foundational knowledge of Indigenous Peoples to their teaching. In 2020, representatives from ten Alberta teacher education programs came together to examine how they were braiding and weaving Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and doing into their programs. They also considered the challenges and successes encountered and the ways programs might work together to improve and combat anti-Indigenous racism. Drawing upon a collective case study methodology, representatives responsible for the design and delivery of Indigenous education within each of the programs completed an 18-question survey. Results demonstrate the Teaching Quality Standard (Alberta Education, 2018) served as a catalyst for deepening Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing in preservice teacher training. The levels of integration are examined through the concept of differentiation (Tomlinson & Imbeau, 2010) and Kanu’s (2011) five levels of integration.

Keywords: Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing, teacher education programs, Teaching Quality Standard

La norme de qualité pour l'enseignement de l'Alberta exige que tous les enseignants possèdent et appliquent une connaissance fondamentale des peuples autochtones dans leur enseignement. En 2020, des représentants de dix programmes de formation des enseignants de l'Alberta se sont réunis pour examiner la façon dont ils intègrent à leurs programmes les façons autochtones de savoir, d'être et de faire. Ils se sont également penchés sur les défis et les réussites rencontrés et sur les façons dont les programmes pourraient collaborer pour améliorer et combattre le racisme anti-autochtone. En s'appuyant sur une méthodologie d'étude de cas collective, les représentants responsables de la conception et de la prestation de l'éducation portant sur les autochtones dans chacun des programmes ont répondu à un sondage de 18 questions. Les résultats démontrent que la norme de qualité de l'enseignement (Alberta Education, 2018) a servi de catalyseur pour approfondir les façons autochtones de savoir, d'être et de faire dans la formation initiale des enseignants. Les niveaux d'intégration sont examinés à travers le concept de différenciation (Tomlinson et Imbeau, 2010) et les cinq niveaux d'intégration de Kanu (2011).

Mots clés : Façons autochtones de savoir, d'être et de faire; programmes de formation des enseignants; norme de qualité pour l'enseignement

Author Biographies

Patricia Danyluk, University of Calgary

Patricia Danyluk (PhD) grew up in northern Manitoba where she spent many years working with remote First Nations and Métis communities. Although Patricia was born in Mohkinstsis, she has spent most of her life in Manitoba and Ontario. She is grateful to be back in Alberta where she enjoys hiking in the mountains. 

Patricia is a K–12 teacher and has been at the Werklund School of Education (University of Calgary) for nine years, where she is currently the Chair of the Adult Learning Studies Area and the principal investigator for this study. Patricia is a settler of Scottish/Irish ancestry. Patricia views reconciliation as an ongoing journey in which she continues to learn each day.

Amy Burns, University of Calgary

Amy Burns is a former K–12 teacher and is an Associate Professor in leadership, policy, and governance and Associate Dean of undergraduate programs in education with the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. She is a leader and researcher committed to learning and listening and is proud to be a part of this research project as it aims to encourage the meaningful exploration and integration of Indigenous ways of knowing in K–12 classrooms.

Yvonne Poitras Pratt, University of Calgary

Yvonne Poitras Pratt (Métis), Associate Professor, traces family roots to historic Red River and Fishing Lake Métis Settlement in Alberta. She publishes on Indigenous and reconciliatory education, digital storytelling with Métis, and arts education. She has earned multiple awards since her recruitment to the Werklund School of Education in 2013.

Astrid Kendrick, University of Calgary

Before taking on her current role of Director, Field Experience (Community-Based Pathway), at the Werklund School of Education, Dr. Astrid Kendrick was a K–12 classroom teacher for nineteen years specializing in Physical Education and English/Language Arts. Dr. Kendrick has two main research foci: firstly, on compassion fatigue, burnout, and emotional labour in Alberta educational workers; and secondly, on building the instructional capacity of preservice teachers in online and virtual learning environments. She is the primary investigator on a SSHRC-funded Partnership Development Grant with the Alberta Teachers Association, ASEBP, and Northwest Territories Teachers Association; a co-investigator on a health promotion grant through Alberta Education; and a co-investigator on an SSHRC Insight grant into improving teacher integration of Indigenous knowledge.

Maureen Plante, University of Calgary

Maureen Plante (MSc) was born and raised in a small community north of Edmonton on Treaty 6. She is Iroquois Cree/Métis and has German ancestry. Maureen is currently working as a therapist and research assistant. Her master’s research focused on understanding disrupted eating patterns from an Indigenous Oriented Therapy lens. She has been a research assistant on this project since it began and is very thankful to be part of it.

Samara Wessel, University of Calgary

Samara Wessel (MSc Student) grew up in the Okanagan region in British Columbia, the unceded territories the Syilx Peoples of the Okanagan Nation. Before coming to Calgary in 2021, Samara spent the prior 12 years living in Vancouver, BC. Samara moved to Calgary to attend the Counselling Psychology Master's program. Her master's thesis explores the apprehensions non-Indigenous clinicians have towards working with Indigenous clients to conceptualize a framework to provide culturally safe care to Indigenous clients. Samara believes that becoming a decolonial ally requires constant acknowledgement of privilege and who is benefiting from colonialism. This is a lifelong process of (un)learning.

Kathryn Crawford, Ambrose University

Kathryn Crawford (EdD) is an Assistant Professor at Ambrose University, teaching learning theory and application, and a Faculty Lead at Yorkville University in Curriculum and Pedagogy and Indigenous Education. Her experiences as an educator with students in First Nation communities, special education programs, inclusive classrooms, and with preservice teacher/partner teacher partnerships has been integral in affirming the importance of first-person stories in teacher preparation and in the teaching profession. She is interested in the taken-for-granted socialization and evaluation of preservice teachers, identity development of preservice and early-career teachers, the role of communication in the authorization of the idealized teacher through field experience, and in organizational storytelling.

Eva Lemaire, University of Alberta

Originally from France, Eva Lemaire is a Professor of Education at the University of Alberta, on Treaty 6 territory. She is Associate Professor at Faculté Saint-Jean and Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Education (Department of Educational Policy Studies). Her areas of expertise are intercultural education, multilingual education, as well as language awareness/cross linguistic awareness. Eva Lemaire is interested in the integration of Indigenous perspectives in school settings, especially in the French immersion and French immersion minority contexts; with language revitalization and language awareness being conceptualized as a pathway to reconciliation.

Joshua Hill, Mount Royal University

Through his teaching, service, and scholarship, Dr. Joshua Hill seeks to create the conditions to (re)story education as a journey towards agency, wonder, and expansive awareness of oneself-in-the-world. He is a citizen of the Métis Nation of Alberta, and his ancestors trace back to Métis, Eastern European, and English communities. Josh is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education at Mount Royal University. He is currently exploring storytelling, Indigenous land-based learning, and heterarchy in the contexts of learning, teaching, and leadership in K–12 and post-secondary education. Prior to his professorship, Josh worked for many years at Rocky View Schools as a teacher and system leader.

Robin Bright, University of Lethbridge

Robin Bright (PhD) is a Professor and Interim Dean in the Faculty of Education at the University of Lethbridge, living and benefitting from Blackfoot Confederacy traditional territory. After enjoying a ten-year career teaching elementary school, Robin pursued her commitment to lifelong learning as a researcher, writer, and teacher educator working with preservice teachers, practicing teachers, parents, children, and colleagues in the areas of language and literacy. She continues that commitment to learning through understanding Indigenous ways of knowing to support rich experiences for students and teachers in classrooms.

Dawn Burleigh, University of Lethbridge

Dawn Burleigh (PhD) is a former high school teacher in an isolated First Nation community and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Lethbridge who studies the intersections of policy and curriculum in Indigenous education.

Chloe Weir, Burman University

Chloe Weir (PhD) traces her passion for teaching and education to her second-grade teacher who had a profound influence on her life. She currently serves as the Chair of the School of Education at Burman University. She is devoted to teaching and enjoys learning new ways of engaging preservice teachers. She is a strong proponent of the view that there is a space for understanding how Indigenous ways of knowing and doing can contribute significantly to human development.

Laurie Hill, Mount Royal University

Laurie Hill (PhD) was born and grew up in southwestern Ontario, near Lake Huron, the territory of the Anishinabek Nation and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation. She now lives in Calgary and works at St. Mary’s University where she is currently an Associate Professor in the faculty of Education. Laurie is a settler with Scottish, Irish, and British heritage.

Lorelei Boschman, Medicine Hat College

Lorelei Boschman (MEd) has been an educator for thirty-four years as an elementary teacher, high school mathematics teacher, and currently Chair of Education and Instructor at Medicine Hat College, Alberta, in the Bachelor of Education degree collaboration with Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta. An important aspect of this role is to collaborate in Indigenous education with faculty, local teachers, and preservice teachers. Lorelei’s scholarly work has been focused on mathematics education, leadership, experiential learning, and high-impact educational strategies. Educating preservice teachers and creating truly meaningful and thorough learning experiences to prepare them for teaching is paramount to her. She also enjoys adventuring in the outdoors and is a firm believer in place-based experiential learning, appreciation, and personal growth.



How to Cite

Danyluk, P., Burns, A., Poitras Pratt, Y., Kendrick, A., Plante, M., Wessel, S., Crawford, K., Lemaire, E., Hill, J., Bright, R., Burleigh, D., Weir, C., Hill, L., & Boschman, L. (2023). Examining the Braiding and Weaving of Indigenous Ways of Knowing, Being, and Doing in Alberta Teacher Education. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 69(3), 384–405. https://doi.org/10.11575/ajer.v69i3.76174