Indigenization at Selkirk College Co-teaching Project

During the month of March, three Selkirk College faculty volunteers embarked on an Indigenization pilot project. The project involved the practice of co-teaching with Indigenous instructor Dr. Christopher Horsethief.


Leading up to the collaborative delivery of the classes, each instructor worked with Dr. Horsethief through various means of communication, including in-person visits, Skype and email. The three faculty member participants represented various programs, with diverse topics within their curriculums.

Alongside Dr. Horsethief as a co-instructor, Lori Barkley (School of University Arts & Sciences) explored the topic of immigration in her Ethnic Relations class, Wendy Anderson (School of Hospitality & Tourism) presented on the topic of remuneration in human resources, and Kamren Farr (School of Business) examined the topic of cultural appropriation and marketing.

“I was moved to tears by some of the responses of the students,” says Theresa Southam, Coordinator of the Teaching and Learning Institute who cosponsored the pilot with Aboriginal Services. “Many felt honoured to hear about Christopher’s personal history and how that related to the topics. It made the students think about their own families. Students were also heartened by the Ktunaxa’s values of taking care of each other.”

The week finished on April 2 with the “Practical Tools for Indigenization,” workshop at Gathering Place in Castlegar. Dr. Horsethief offered tools and examples of Indigenization strategies, and faculty project participants shared their co-teaching experiences. The workshop was attended by the Vice President Education and Students, Neil Coburn, a number of Deans and Chairs, faculty members, students, and community members.

With the support of Aboriginal Services and the Teaching Learning Institute, Selkirk College will continue to explore ways to increase opportunities for faculty and staff to engage in projects similar to this in the future. The pilot project and the “Practical Tools for Indigenization” workshop was a tremendous success.

For anyone wishing to become involved in future Indigenization projects, to receive regular updates about Aboriginal Services and the Gathering Place events and activities, and/or to be added to the Community of Practice – Indigenization list serve, please contact Jessica Morin, Aboriginal Services Liaison or Theresa Southam, Co-ordinator of the Teaching and Learning Institute.

Join the Aboriginal Students at Selkirk College Facebook page for event information, news and more.