To help us work towards our commitment to embodying principles of anti-racism and anti-oppression in all our program activities we are thrilled to be inviting two new members to our team as Curriculum Advisors. Jeffrey Kiyoshk Ross will be joining the Centre as CFD Advisor, Indigenous Education and Beck McNeil will be joining as CFD Advisor, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. They bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to these roles and will help us in reviewing our curricula and education processes with a lens of anti-oppression and will facilitate and teach in our programs, events and workshops.
Now that Beck and Jeffrey have been in their roles for a few weeks, they have given us some brief insight about their work with us.
What has you most excited about your work at the Centre?
J: I’m really excited to hear and learn from the great roster of facilitators and to be able to share my knowledge around Indigeneity, sovereignty, truth before reconciliation, and inclusive community building. I think this is a very important time for all of us in terms of really listening and taking time to learn from each other. We can benefit from the medicine wheel teachings and wampum belts that were foundational at one time in the building of these lands on Turtle Island, currently called Canada.
B: I am thrilled to join the CFD at this time of renewal because the way that educators think, especially those in faculty development, maps to ways of seeing how structures and process impact outcomes. We know the value of reflection, we know to critically look at the hidden curriculum, we know that intention does not equal impact – and all of that will allow us to have rich and creative dialogue in considering what our role and the role of educators in HPE could be with regarding to equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging.
What is coming up on the horizon in your work with us?
J: The work that I’m really happy to bring to the team are around Indigenous ways of knowing the world (not just the human world), that can benefit the way we think about systems that marginalize groups of people and view the planet as a commodity. A greater understanding of ways of knowing allows us to be more compassionate teachers and employees. I’m developing an Indigenous Cultures and Powers course that will show how colonization is a system and not an event, embedded in the Indian Act, Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution, and modern day services to Indigenous peoples. I’m hoping that through looking at history we (participants and myself) can examine our practices and roles that reinforce marginalization of not just Indigenous people but other BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ people. This will help us be better facilitators and look at our curricula wholistically, interconnected within this system, and enable us to think outside of these systems and imagine brave and great new possibilities for our work, our families, our relationships, and ourselves.
B: Over this next year, my work is shaping into three streams: Teaching around the central concepts of EDI and critical allyship; looking at the Centre’s offerings at a high-level for opportunities for the curricula to build upon and reinforce each other in various program offerings; and, finding ways to equip our faculty to feel confident and engaged in leading complex and uncomfortable conversations. I’ve been working in the EDI education space for several years, and there is a fault in that oftentimes, all things “EDI” get lumped into one workshop, that workshop occurs, a box is checked, and then that’s the end. Any meaningful changes requires a consistent – persistent even – making visible of those things that benefit from staying in the shadows. Issues of power, privilege, oppression, bias and identify inform ALL of our interactions, and increasing reflection as to how that manifests in different environments will paint a fuller pictures for learners no matter what the learning is. I am excited to take a multi-pronged approach that will help the CFD move forward meaningfully, and influence the greater system.
We are incredibly privileged to be working alongside Beck and Jeffrey to towards our commitment to exemplifying principles of anti-racism and anti-oppression in all our activities.
Read more about Beck, Jeffrey and the rest of our team on our Meet the Team page.