Indigenous cultures have been proficiently educating learners for 10,000 to 75,000 years promoting natural gifts of individuals within the tribe. Colonial practices historically tried to decimate languages, cultures and Indigenous ways of knowing through systems of power and control forcing Indigenous learners to assimilate. My life work for the past 10 years has been to recalibrate and reconcile these practices through my experiences and research in Indigenous Instructional Design.
The research term “Two-Eyed Seeing” coined by Mi’Kmaq elder Albert Marshall states as researchers/educators we must see out one eye with the strengths of Indigenous Ways of Knowing and see out the other eye from the strengths of Western knowledge. Blended we can weave a stronger foundation in a broader context for application in our classrooms and professional fields.
My doctoral research “A Qualitative Portraiture Study: Instructional Practices from the Tundra” focused on the problem many Alaska postsecondary faculty face when designing courses based on Western academic instructional practices instead of culturally responsive strategies when teaching Indigenous Alaska first-generation college students. The purpose of my decolonialization/feminist research approach was to explore stories of lived experiences of Indigenous Alaskan first-generation college students about experiences with Indigenous and online instructional practices in remote villages to enhance faculty interest in utilizing culturally responsive strategies on Alaskan academic campuses. My participants were my co-researchers providing a collage of portraits of their lives as learners. You can find more about my background and publications by clicking here.
Fun Facts: I hiked 70 miles of the Appalachian Trail summer 2023, my favorite spot in Alaska is the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, I LOVE to cross-country skiing in the winter on Tsalteshi Trails, I have visited many village communities, the furthest West I have been in Alaska is Mekoryuk. Come visit me in my office (310B in Grant Hall) or online (Teams) to find more random nonsense about my life, practice and research.