A Pathway to “Becoming”: Stories About Indigenization From One Indigenous Health Scholar

A Pathway to “Becoming”: Stories About Indigenization From One Indigenous Health Scholar

Chantelle A. M. Richmond (Western University, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3618-6.ch005

Abstract

In Canada, an exciting transformation has taken place within the context of Indigenous health research and scholarship. As Canadian universities strive to embrace processes of indigenization, the author takes the position that much can be learned from the Indigenous health experience. Drawing in large part from her own journey into Indigenous health scholarship, first as a student and now as an academic leader, the goal of this chapter is to describe the author's pathway “to becoming” an independent Indigenous health scholar. Herein she shares stories that describe how her pathway—and her continued learning as a researcher, teacher, and mentor—has been shaped by the powerful experience of being engaged in these Indigenous health training environments. She describes the important sense of belonging and success she achieved from learning in such indigenized environments, but also of the internal struggles she has experienced when attempting to bridge these powerful practices within the wider university context, where the same openness to indigenized ways of learning and doing has not been similarly embraced.
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Indigenization In Canadian Universities

In June 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada released 94 Calls to Action, many of which were targeted specifically at Canada’s post secondary environments. Shortly thereafter, universities began answering the TRC’s Calls when university presidents and/or their leadership teams came together with Indigenous leaders, Indigenous student leaders, and Indigenous scholars at the University of Saskatchewan for a two-day forum to discuss how universities could respond to the many urgent calls (Universities Canada, 2015). This meeting highlighted the institutional responsibilities of universities for fostering reconciliation on their campuses, including a number of systemic, social and ideological changes, such as making university campuses more inclusive and productive places for both Indigenous students and scholars.

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